Walk into Leon's Lounge
(1006 McGowen, 713-659-3052) on the right night, and it's quite possible you'll hear something along the lines of "Mom!
When are you going to fucking
yodel?" Sometimes the owner's mom, a former lounge singer, does classic songs on request. Other times she just belts them out at random. No, I am not making this up. And yes, she's actually very good. One part David Lynch film, one part saloon, Leon's Lounge is the kind of place that defies description or genre. It's decorated like the apartment of a sophomore-year college student: pub games, garage-sale-style wall decorations, and a random assortment of chairs and couches. After a few drinks, our group finds its way to the "party room," which has a piano and an additional -- but empty -- bar. The owner, her mom and someone who knows how to play the piano eventually trickle in as well. At some point, someone finds a bunch of lyrics sheets in the piano bench, and for the next two hours Mom leads the way as we all sing drunken, sloppy renditions of old standards like "Black Magic" and "You'll Never Know." Surreal doesn't begin to describe this scene, and I'm sure anyone who wasn't drunk could hear how off-key we were. But for those two hours the whole thing made perfect sense, and it was a blast. We never did get to hear Mom yodel, though. Maybe next week!
1 ounce vodka (any brand is fine)
Pour vodka into rocks glass, and fill to three-fourths with club soda. Top off with ginger ale, a twist of lime and ice. Grab a piano and some friends, and make Frank Sinatra roll in his grave.