With our Houston Astros doing remarkably well this season it was time to take in a game with the wife. Since we do not like driving home after we attend events downtown we decided to book a room at Hotels in Houston | Autograph Collection | Hotel ICON Houston which is one of the most Historic Buildings in Houston, formerly the home of Union National Bank being built in 1911. The hotel is convenient and within walking distance to just about everything in downtown including Minute Maid Park, The George R. Brown Convention Center, Toyota Center, BBBA Compass Bank Stadium and right on the Light Rail System that takes you to NRG Stadium.
We walk into the main lobby and it is gorgeous. The old structure in tact, the bank offices are now the hotel offices which has the iconic look of walking into the safe at an old bank and very ornate decorations. I had used Mobile Check-In so in about 45 seconds we were off to the very very old elevators to our room on the 11th floor with free drink and free breakfast coupon for being a Platinum Rewards member.
Our room was perfect. Spotless, fresh, comfortable, old style plumbing and a very nice sliding window door overlooking a Jacuzzi tub into the bedroom. Somebody just had to lay on the bed to see how "yummy" it was so the comfort got messed up!
After a shower since I had played some poor golf in the morning which I wanted to wash off, it was off to La Carafe which is the oldest bar in Houston, built in 1847 and listed on the National Registry for Historic Places. I had never been there before, buy my wife had before we met and the place is something else. Dark, tiny, incense and candles burning, old wooden bar that folks had scratched their names or messages in to it, cash only and about 15 feet wide and 50 feet deep. What a joint and do not go there looking for food, there is none!
After a glass of wine each at La Carafe it was off to find a quick bite to eat before heading into the ballpark. We stumbled on a place that had only been open for six weeks called Moonshiners which is supposed to be locally owned with a couple more opening around Houston in coming months. Talk about a great spot for a drink as the prices are normal for downtown and the menu very unique. We opted for something we normally wouldn't eat in a restaurant, but couldn't resist the Deviled Eggs and were not at all disappointed. The five Deviled Eggs topped with Bacon Crumbles, Paprika and Chives were awesome. So with still a tiny bit of hunger my wife decided on a Beef Steak Tomato Salad with chunks of Blue Cheese, Shredded Arugula and a Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing which was so fresh and tasty (of course she offered me a bite). My taste buds drove me to the Smoked Trout Crostinis that came with Caper Cream Cheese. Well I have to say the Trout was crazy good, wonderful smokey flavor and the Crostinis were a perfect fit and they didn't skimp on the Trout one bit. Heck yes we will return to Moonshiners and I may even dip into their Popcorn Infused Moonshine next time!!!
Okay time to walk to Minute Maid Park where they were celebrating before the game the 10 year anniversary of the Astros playing in the World Series. Many of the players were there from that team but the topping on the cake was when the "Killer B's" were introduced, Lance Berkman, Jeff Bagwell and our recent inductee into the Base Ball Hall of Fame Biggio, Craig | Baseball Hall of Fame. What a team that was and we are hopeful with this bunch of young kids we will see a World Series back in town soon.
Since it wasn't game time yet we went off looking for a bar to get a beverage and soon stumbled upon the right field bar directly above the Astros bullpen where the starting pitcher Collin McHugh was warming up.
Our seats are in the Crawford boxes in left field, a great spot to watch a game from and with the roof closed a very comfortable 72 degrees in the place we decided to walk around the entire stadium before getting into our seats 15 minutes prior to the first pitch.
Game time and after going into the bottom of the 9th our Stros were losing 1-0, right until Preston Tucker launched a ball back back back into the lower deck for a 1-1 tie. The place went crazy and stayed that way until the Detroit Tigers took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the 11th inning. Final score Detroit 4, Houston 2.
As we walked out of the stadium toward the hotel the crowd was less than happy with a loss, you could hear murmuring all along the way. Since it was fairly early and my wife knows the owners of http://batangahouston.com/ (she knows everybody so why is she married to me ) right across the street from our hotel we decided to venture into their place for a couple of Tapas and Sangria. Well it was clear as we approached the front door that nobody in there had seen the Stros lose or maybe they had seen the Texans win across town, but either way the place was loud, bulging at the seams and the music was playing. With the owners "no esta aqui" we walked back across the street to the lobby bar in the hotel and enjoyed Stuffed Mushrooms and a few glasses of wine before turning in for the night.
Sunday morning brought a cloudy day and with the free breakfast coupon we said "lets eat here before heading home". The buffet was average at best yet often replenished with fresh food. Next time we will walk down the street and have a weekend brunch at Home - Hearsay Gastro LoungeHearsay Gastro Lounge | Chic Antique as it has become a highly thought of and popular spot in downtown.
All in all a very fun quick trip downtown and while our beloved Astros lost Saturday night they did win Friday night and Sunday afternoon to take the series from Detroit 2-1. Well done kids and I mean kids as they are very very young, but very fun to watch now with a 3.5 game lead over LA Angels.
Hope you enjoyed our little evening and thanks for dropping by.