The Velvet Melvin (3303 Richmond Ave., 713-522-6798) is sort of an odd fellow in the area around Greenway Plaza. Despite the fact that the bar is now nearly an island in the growing population of luxury apartments, it still manages to maintain its dive-y feel, without the actual dirt that would normally be associated with a dive. The inside is littered with old couches and chalkboard specials, and there's a decent selection of draft beers, trivia, and live music.
But what I care the most about is the food. The Melvin has really good, greasy bar food. It may not be the most inventive cuisine served in a pub atmosphere, but it is usually just what the doctor ordered. For about $8, you can get nachos that really will feed three people; these are probably my favorite thing on the menu. The nachos are piled high with beef, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and cheddar cheese. They are heaven paired with a pitcher of cool beer on a swampy summer night. The Melvin has pretty darn good pizza, too.
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Fun fact: The Velvet Melvin was once the Velvet Elvis, but the estate of the man himself pressured them to change the name.