The Faded Four

We’re down to the Faded Four™ and the cold consumable competition is anything but iced over. Indeed, debates among the Crew grew quite heated and we very nearly discarded our scientific selection process entirely. That said, our victors from the Inebriated Eight™ are all more than worthy of your attention and patronage, but in the end there must be winners and losers. Here’s how it all played out:

  1. Goodnight Charlie’s vs. Caracol: As good a match as you could ask for this late in the game. Both of these bars bring late evening endurance with happy hours running to 7:00 pm as well as deep rosters of specials on just about any drink you could want. Are you in the mood for Mexican food? Tacos and bar bites abound. In the end though, Caracol wins on the quality offered by its world class chefs and bartenders and a big alley-oop from it’s earlier start time (3 pm instead of 4 pm).
  2. Sideout Volleybar vs. Eight Row Flint: In the Inebriated Eight™, Sideout glided by with the sort of grace that can be expected of a bar that bribes the Crew with happens to have dogs in abundance. But dogs will only get you so far in the face of tacos and whiskey. Eight Row Flint gets the tip on both counts with $3 tacos and $6 old fashioneds, earning them yet another W and a spot in the semi-finals.
  3. Lei Low vs. Aka Sushi House: Of the four match-ups in this quarterfinal round, this was the hardest played. Aka brings their a-game with sub-$4 specials on beer (including imports), as well as discounts on wine and cocktails. It’s worth checking out even if you’re not interested in the discounted sushi. Lei Low responds with boozy tiki drinks for $6 and a theoretically infinite happy hour so long as you’re wearing a Hawaiian shirt. And that doesn’t even touch on the style described in this misguided Yelp review as “a washed out Ernest Hemingway hangout”. It really just makes the place feel like home. Lei Low wins this one with a wild toss that has nothing to do with this writer’s dislike of sushi.
  4. Wooster’s Garden vs. Bernie’s Burger Bus Heights: Wooster’s Garden has been doing everything right up to this point. 50% off great cocktails and wines, and $3 drafts on about half of their taps. Ample parking. Solid location. It’s unfortunate that they had to come up against the sleeper powerhouse that is Bernie’s Burger Bus. Bernie’s bookends Wooster’s 4 – 6pm happy hour with an additional hour on each side. While their drafts are $1 more, the special is on every tap. Their parking lot extends to the horizon. And to cap it all off you can get from-scratch burgers and fries with homemade ketchup on demand. Bernie’s Burger Bus dunks on Wooster’s Garden for the last semifinal slot.

As you can see, Houston Heights area bars have made a powerful showing this year clinching 3 of 4 semi-final slots. Pretty amazing since, until 2017, the Heights was technically a dry district. Will Caracol be able to stop them? Only time will tell.

That all said, here’s a look at the semifinals! (Click this link for a live version of the full bar-cket.)