If you're white and you've ever wondered what it's like to feel extremely Caucasian, look no further than the dance floor at 8.0 Retro, a McClub that's a part of Drink Houston (7620 Katy Fwy., 713-290-0041). I'm meeting up here on a Saturday night with two friends, Craig and Dorothy, who bring along a PhD student friend of theirs who I'll call Dr. Hotness. She's way out of my league in terms of both looks and education, but I'm smitten nonetheless. I ask the Dr. if she wants a drink. "I'll take a Blue Hawaiian," she says with a wink and a smile. Perhaps I won't strike out after all. 8.0 Retro, along with Rain, Center Stage and Drink, makes up Drink Houston, a Voltron-esque mega-club. For a $16 cover, you get to barhop between four clubs without having to drive. Noble as it may be, the attempt to provide a variety of styles and experiences all under the same roof just ends up giving me musical vertigo. Like Michael Richards giving the keynote at an NAACP convention, the mixture of '80s hits, Latin salsa and karaoke doesn't seem like the best idea. But as the night goes on and my chances with Dr. Hotness seem better and better, the place starts to grow on me. The lack of vibe actually becomes a vibe in itself, and it's refreshing to see an establishment that doesn't take itself too seriously. By the end of the night, my two friends are long gone, and the Dr. and I are trashed, singing along out of key to some Psychedelic Furs and planning where to go next. Fortunately, Rain is a mere ten feet away, and there's a cozy, dimly lit little booth in the corner. As we head over, I cross my fingers and hope some Latin salsa does the trick.
1 ounce Bacardi 151
1 ounce Malibu Coconut rum
1 ounce Blue Caraco liqueur
Splash pineapple juice
1 slice pineapple
Combine 151, Malibu, Blue Caraco, pineapple juice and Sprite in a highball glass. Garnish with pineapple and cherry.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.