Summer Sundays

SAT 7/20
There are other things to do on Sunday besides go to church. At Industry Cafe's "Flip Flop Sundays," you'll find invigorating house music, lethal frozen daiquiris served in plastic pineapples and lotsa girls with tattoos on their lower backs. But it's the beef and chicken fajita strips grilled out in the back that wrap the whole deal up in a lovely, summertime bow. "We try to appease all the senses," jokes artist Lila Rivas, who, with resident DJs Zach Vizza and Mike C., throws the late-afternoon/ early-evening get-together on the first and third Sundays of the month. "It's basically just something for friends and people that are into the same kind of style and sounds," says Vizza. "It's a gathering place; we play dominoes and hang out." Industry isn't the only downtown joint that wants to bring in that postbrunch crowd. After a monthlong shutdown, Seven Lounge has brought back "Blender." The weekly happening was supposed to entice Midtown folk by "serving up steaming bowls of musical macaroni and cheese" -- in other words, eclectic sounds ranging from Missy to Sinatra -- but ended up turning off its burners after two months. Now bartender Joe Murphy has persuaded the owners to give it another go. "Eventually," says Murphy, "once people know that you're here and you're gonna be here, somebody will come through." Maybe grilling up some beef and chicken fajita strips outside would do the trick.

"Flip Flop Sundays" pops off from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of the month at Industry Cafe, 2110 Rusk. For information, call 713-222-CAFE. Free. "Blender" goes down from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays at Seven Lounge, 2000 Bagby. Free. For information, call 713-523-9088. -- Craig D. Lindsey


Mo Mong's Ginger-Infused Martini
Too much of a good thing can turn ugly, especially on a hot, sultry evening when you're waiting for your date to show up. I found myself three sheets to the wind, sprawled on a sofa at Mo Mong and telling a stranger a loud, obnoxious joke (1201 Westheimer, 713-524-5664) when my cell phone rang. "I can hear you all the way from the bathroom," the voice on the other end was saying. Apparently I hadn't seen her come in. "You must be stinking drunk!" I knew then that this was going to be a date to remember (or maybe not). A table opened up on the patio, and with my eyes fixated on her short black skirt, I stumbled after my date, spilling half of my martini before we sat down. The pork pot stickers were remarkable (at least the ones that made it to my mouth), but I was transfixed by the pickled ginger in my glass and stared at it blankly. Another drink was proffered, but by that time I had half of my dinner on my shirt and was attempting to pay with two different credit cards. My date grabbed the pen out of my hand and practiced writing my name a few times on the back of the receipt. The next thing I remember is waking up in the morning, feeling like I had a sock in my mouth.

5 ounces ginger-infused Skyy vodka
Pickled ginger

In a large glass jar, cover several sprigs of ginger root with an ample amount of Skyy vodka. Wait several days for vodka to soak up ginger flavor. Fill a martini shaker with ice and measure out the vodka. Serve in a chilled six-ounce martini glass and garnish with a small piece of pickled ginger. Consume slowly, preferably not on an empty stomach. -- J.W. Crooker


MON 7/21
Sans Halen
You might as well "Jump" if you're still holding out for that Van Halen reunion. But hey, David Lee Roth is still kicking, just not as high -- and without the spandex. The bumbling, lounge-lizard surfer dude who scored hits with his covers of "California Girls" and "Just a Gigolo" recently released a new album, Diamond Dave. With its '60s blues-rock swagger, Diamond Dave won't guarantee Roth a long-running stint in Vegas, but it should satiate fans who tolerated Roth's bland offerings through the '90s. His tour set list, though, is Van Halen-heavy. Life's still worth living. 8 p.m. Monday, July 21. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas Avenue. For information, call 713-230-1600. $36.50. -- Troy Schulze


SAT 7/19
The M-Spot
We're halfway through the summer, kiddies, which means it's time for the mid-summer music fest known as "The Melting Spot." Happening this Saturday over at DJ Joe B's warehouse, the event features live bands, DJs, artists and other creative folk. Soundpatrol, the Trade Collective, Collective Hallucination and the What Nots will perform live, while Joe B, SupaNeil, Swift, Suma and other spinners will provide deck support. On the art side of things, Aerosol Warfare will be creating a live exhibition. 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, July 19. 2023 Semmes. For information, call 281-793-8093. $10; a portion of the proceeds benefits the Houston Food Bank. -- Craig D. Lindsey

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