At the entrance to Hans' Village Bier and Vino Haus (2523 Quenby, 713-520-7474), I'm greeted by a dog named Taylor who appears to be pulling double duty as both bouncer and hostess. Tail wagging, he sizes me up and leads me to the bar. I sit down and look out the window at the massive backyard porch, where there are these huge sails that form a makeshift tent over the entire area. I ask the affable bartender, Doug, what's up with the sails. "Oh, that's for the terrorists," Doug replies. "Oh really?" I ask. "I didn't know Al Qaeda took such an interest in Rice Village." It all began three years ago, Doug tells me, when a real estate developer decided it would be a great idea to build a high-rise condominium adjacent to a bar. Yuppies started moving in, and soon after, the noise complaints followed. Then came the day local music heroes El Orbits played an afternoon set on the porch, and the neighbors began their egg-tossing jihad. So many eggs were sacrificed for the yuppie cause that day that El Orbits had to end their set early. Thus began the new War on Terror: yuppies vs. alcoholics. The bar and its patrons began affectionately referring to the building next door as The Evil Empire Tower. Doug hands the story off to the owner of the bar, who fills me in on the rest of the tale. He says the Bier Haus has tried to create a green zone by putting up the sails, and that they've been cooperating with HPD, but the eggs and tacks keep coming. For his part, the owner has pledged to fight to the finish. I take a long swig of my sangria, look up at The Evil Empire Tower, and thank God I'm not on the other side.
3 ounces red wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce peach or apple juice
1 lemon slice
Combine all ingredients in wine glass, stir for 30 seconds or until sugar is fully diluted. Garnish with lemon slice. Keep looking for some WMDs.
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