Friday, November 11, 2011

Guest Blog - My Local

This week's guest blog is by Leslie from Texas, the person behind Lushtastic and one of Houston's leading bloggers, so rather me wittering on, I hand you over to her:

When I first discovered an old gas station turned coffee shop, turned amazing craft beer bar, nestled in the quiet Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston, I was in love. The Petrol Station*, with their laid back atmosphere, 2 huge patios, rumors of expansion and possible brewpub dreams, great food menu (get the garlic-parmesan fries with everything), and ever evolving and changing craft beer selection, I knew there wouldn’t be another place I loved in this town more to get my craft beer fix.

I started frequenting Petrol after a visit with my dear friends, Christine and Jordan, and now I feel like family. Troy, the best beertender ever, knows the styles I like to drink and always has a recommendation for me when I can’t decide (which is often, as I am quite indecisive with their list). He even made a Chocolate Yeti “Beeramisu”, with homemade marscapone, for my friend Cathy’s birthday party we had there.

Not only is Petrol a perfect place to drink a delicious craft beer and eat yummy tacos (the special on Tuesdays), owner Ben Fullelove goes out of his way to acquire seriously awesome beers for other events, like the Dogfish Head Scavenger Hunt he hosted in October of 2010, that featured a different rare, vintage Dogfish beer at a different bar each day, some to take home, some to drink on premise (Texas law says if an establishment has a mixed-liquor license, no beers are available to-go). I participated in the hunt every day for 10 days, figured out the clues, knew the password and had all the beers. I got a sweet t-shirt and a 4pack of beer out of it too.

Petrol sells growlers too, a few times a year they offer a limited number of these to-go containers and they always feature an entertaining graphic. It has become almost a cult following of Houston beer nerds, everyone trying their hardest to collect all of the Petrol growlers. The last round involved selling them out of the trunk of Ben's classic Lincoln across the street from the bar in their parking lot, and sold out in something like 15 minutes.

Then there are Ben’s beer dinners. Coming up for Houston Beer Week in November, he is collaborating with Jonathan Jones of Xuco Xicana to face-off in a beer dinner vs. beer dinner against Kevin Floyd of Anvil and forthcoming Hay Merchant, who is teamed up with Chris Shepherd of the upcoming Underbelly. It will include 10 courses and 10 beers, and it is sure to be epic. Previously, he has worked with Chef Jones on two beer dinners, I attended both and they were fabulous. The first one took place during Houston Beer Week in 2010 and the second was earlier this year in March. Both of them paired rare beers (to our market) with fabulous creations from Chef Jones. I have been to some great beer dinners in my time of enjoying craft beers, but these take the cake, by far.

When someone asks me where to go in Houston for good beer, good food, or a good patio, I always recommend Petrol. Hell, I recommend Petrol for almost anything, I have all of my blog interviews there and any meetings I can possibly schedule there as well. The only downside, if you aren't a regular and used to it, may be the wait time for food when they are busy. Their small kitchen seriously limits how much food they can make quickly during busy times. These guys take their time, but I have never seen that as a bad thing, only an indication that the food is fresh, made-to-order and always stellar.

*Petrol Station, 985 Wakefield Drive, Houston, Texas, 77018

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