I was in the mood for something simple and classic. I wanted to dial it back a few years. I wanted bourbon. I wanted mahogany, low lighting, get the idea. So imagine my surprise when we got to the bar at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (2405 W. Alabama; 713-520-5959) and heard Death Cab on the stereo. I quickly realized that this ain't your father's steakhouse. There were two guys in Ed Hardy T-shirts. There was a young couple probably on the all-important date No. 2, her with salon hair and a martini, he with a Scotch and a disconcerting display of dude décolletage. Somebody by the TV asked for a Mind Eraser shot. And then there was me, probably looking a little confused (and lame) as I ordered my old-fashioned. Oh, the dichotomy. Ace bartender Emily Grymes clearly understood my predicament. She mixed my drink with a heavy hand, nice and strong, as she prefers and as God intended. All was right with the world again. More rounds and more bemused people-watching ensued. As we paid the bill, I wondered if the waiters would soon sport white belts and skinny jeans. Stay tuned.

2 ounces Maker's Mark bourbon

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Splash of club soda

1 sugar cube

Orange slice

1 maraschino cherry

Place sugar, bitters and soda in a rocks glass; add fruit and muddle to preference; fill glass with ice and add bourbon; cue Frank.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
W. Healy