Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners - 2003
Etta's Lounge on Sunday night
Readers' Choice: Rice Village
The Sunday-night Etta's experience never fails to leave a lasting impression on visitors. It isn't simply the soul music or the burgers or the buckets of Budweiser (or the guilty pleasure of partying into the working week). The atmosphere here is spiritual. This is night church. The older, sharply dressed African-American crowd sips Canadian whiskey at the front end of the room, while the casual, college-age mob congregates toward the back. They meet on the dance floor thanks to the music of Grady Gaines and the Texas Upsetters. Young and old do the Harlem shuffle unfazed by the gawky first-timers fighting for rhythm against the waves of veteran shufflers crashing around them. You only learn by doing, child.