"I'll be with you guys shortly," the bartender at the Cozy Corner (11530 Burdine St., 713-723-4048) said for the fourth time in two minutes. The air conditioning was set on "meat locker," and some sadist had put "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" on the jukebox. The bar was done up with Fourth of July decorations, and a man was playing a slow-paced solo game of shuffleboard by the far wall. This is Westbury nightlife, and if you like falling down the dive-bar rabbit hole, it doesn't get much better. (This is good for area residents, since it's the only bar for miles.)
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After finishing up with another customer, the bartender introduced herself as Sherri, then introduced my friend and me to a group of gregarious regulars at the other end of the bar. I asked her for a Salty Dog. She didn't have grapefruit juice handy, but she disappeared in the back for a couple minutes and emerged smiling with a Costco-size jug of Ocean Spray under her arm. It was a victory for all parties involved. While she rimmed the glass with salt, I noticed the constable's phone number tacked to the wall and a note on the freezer below it that read, "Trudy is BANNED until August 6." I'm not sure what you'd have to do to get banned from such a friendly place, but if I were Trudy, I'd make damn sure I never did it again.
The Cozy Corner's Salty Dog
- 1½ ounces Taaka vodka
- 3 ounces grapefruit juice, give or take an ounce
Combine ingredients over ice in a rocks glass that's been rimmed with salt.