BOURBON STREET SPORTS BAR If there's a bar I wish the Texans could be just a little more like, it's Bourbon Street Sports Bar in Katy. It's kind of reckless and maybe a little dangerous. It can be sexy, but in that sort of scary way some people like. If you walk in thinking you have its playbook figured out, you'll find yourself sprawled on the ground like Kareem Jackson getting toasted by T.Y. Hilton.
The most dubious of the bar's activities is its beer-pong setup. An entire table is dedicated to this tailgate staple, which must be driving some insurance company's liability department nuts. You may have been your frat's champ once, but these regulars will bounce your ass into a red solo cup quicker than you can say Omega Delta Phi. Add in at least a dozen TVs of various sizes, a spacious room, poker tables, slot machines, and a full bar serving a rowdy bunch and it's quite a Sunday afternoon. 803 S. Mason Rd. (Katy), Facebook page
CARLOS'S BEER GARDEN Open since 1978, this place has been hosting Houston football fans since the Houston Oilers' Luv Ya Blue heyday with coach Bum Philips and Earl Campbell. Well that is all history now of course but many faithful Houston football fans, old and young, still show up here hoping the Texans can kick in that door that the Oilers never managed. An icehouse with a welcoming crowd of regulars from all backgrounds, Carlos's feels like a neighborhood backyard patio party; even Cowboys fans are welcome, kind of.
A handful of craft beers are sold here, but the majority of people gulp down domestics, along with the occasional wine. The bar food consisting of wings, chicken fried steak sandwiches, burgers and po-boys, among other items, is tasty. You can even get your hair cut a few steps away at a small barber shop owned by the original Carlos during halftime if you like. 18018 Hwy. 3 (Webster), Facebook page
CHRISTIAN'S TAILGATE-HEIGHTS I'm not even going to lie about why this one is my top choice: proximity. Located less than a quarter-mile from my residence, Christian's Tailgate off White Oak has become my go-to most Sunday mornings for great burgers, a Bloody Mary and some football. With the weather having cooled down, now would be the ideal time to bundle up and take advantage of their open-air setup. 2820 White Oak, Web site
CONCERT PUB-GALLERIA Known primarily as a live-music venue specializing in cover bands, the Concert Pub Galleria has always had a strong Texans fan base that shows up on game days decked out in full regalia; jerseys, helmets, painted faces and hair. Some ladies dress up like Texans cheerleaders, and some guys even come dressed as "Swatt Team" members, with helmets and plastic rifles. Mardi Gras beads in team colors, foam Texans logos, and numerous other accoutrements are always on hand here as well.
The rowdy and vocal fans watch the games on a giant big screen or at numerous other TVs spread out along the two bars and outside patio. Beer is the drink of choice for most here while watching football, and they use it to wash down Buffalo wings, burgers, pizza and other bar food. True to its name, the Pub has free live music after the games. 5636 Richmond, Web site
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GRIFF'S HOUSTON If you're the no-frills type of Texans fan who is only interested in tearing his or her eyes away from the screen to grab a beer during the commercial break, Griff's is your dream bar. One of the best remaining dive bars in Montrose is also a sports and steak mecca. Tucked just out of sight of the Montrose/Westheimer intersection, Griff's offers low prices, loud fans and walls covered in Houston sports paraphernalia. 3416 Roseland, Web site
HOUSTON TEXANS GRILLE Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows every Texan's name. That place is Houston Texans Grille in CityCentre, which is overrun with the Toro logo and all things red, white and blue. It's a bit more highfalutin than the bro bars, so you'll mostly be surrounded by fans who won't want to punch you, a wall or anything else when the Texans fail to convert on that critical third down.
But the best reason to be here may be the food. You ain't gonna find edamame, shrimp and grits or peanut-and-lime chicken at most tailgates. But if you must eat a burger to enjoy the game, try the Swatt Burger, which is topped with cream cheese, chipotle mayo and an over easy egg. Yurm. 12848 Queensbury Ln., Web site
LITTLE WOODROW'S-MIDTOWN Ah, Midtown. How you've grown over the years. As the Washington Strip flounders, Midtown continues to boom. And Little Woodrow's continues to be a staple of the area. Football fans flock here Sunday mornings, donning Texans gear and towing along their puppies. Grab a bucket or two during the first quarter to avoid the long lines that form during game time. Oh, and ignore that dude wearing all that Cowboys gear; he's there every week just to bother us. 2306 Brazos, Web site
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LUCKY'S PUB-EADO Let's say you've put two bills down on your five-team parlay this weekend. You have the Texans getting three points from Cleveland and you wisely took the under. But, your wisdom isn't enough. You are going to need lots of quality beer, a rambunctious and good-looking group to keep your mind off the line, plus some plain old-fashioned luck. There's rent money on the line!
So the first thing you need to do is get some help with that gambling problem, and then to get to Lucky's Pub next to Warehouse Live. Everything you need for game day is here, but best of all is the beer. As a professed suds-quaffer, it's my opinion Lucky's has the best combination of fine beers and gargantuan sports TVs in the city. There's food, too. It's good enough, which is all you need, since even fois gras will taste like shoe leather when the Texans can't cover the spread. 801 St. Emanuel, Web site
MEZZANINE LOUNGE How many times have you missed a big play during a Texans game when you had to run to relieve yourself after drinking massive amounts of beer? Not a problem at Mezzanine, which has TVs in the bathrooms so you never have to miss a play. Usually Mezzanine is like two bars in one, with the downstairs having a more laid-back vibe while the rowdy sports fans head upstairs, but during Texans games we have witnessed the rowdiness spread on the ground floor as well.
There is also a covered patio with outdoor seating where fans can watch the game on an HD projector TV, which is usually not a problem during Houston's mild winters, but on the rare Sundays when it gets cold, fans bundle up a bit, not like Houston is ever going to approach Green Bay's frozen-tundra weather or anything. Along with Buffalo wings, nachos, burgers and other bar food, try the Arian "Bananas" Foster bites served with caramel dipping sauce. 2200 Southwest Fwy., Web site
NICK'S PLACE ITALIAN SPORTS BAR & PIZZERIA Nick's has been around for more than 20 years now and, truth be told, looks a little worn and divey, but that's part of its charm. It's authentic and real as the sports fans who call the place home, and is definitely not a plastic, corporate place. Not everyone who comes here is a Texans fan; the staff can put on any team you like on one of its many TVs and it is fun to hear all the different reactions going on throughout the bar from people watching different games.
There is usually a majority of Texans fans, however, and hardcore fans at that. Good-natured trash-talking usually goes on between different teams' fans, and we have witnessed some entertaining verbal battles between Texans and Cowboys fans in particular. Oh yeah, we should mention that the Italian food here, particularly the pizza, is outstanding. 2713 Rockyridge Dr., Web site
Written by Matthew Keever, David Rozycki and Jesse Sendejas Jr.
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