Bar Beat

Late Night: Night Heron

Devon is a great bartender. That Rosolio De Bergamatto is a mouthful of roses.
Devon is a great bartender. That Rosolio De Bergamatto is a mouthful of roses. Photo by Kate McLean
Night Heron, the newest concept to nest at 1601 W Main, has spent a year settling in to the Montrose neighborhood, a zip code that, these days, is a sure bet when hunting for late night grinds. The bar top, which is relatively well-lit in contrast to the chic, candled dining room just a few paces away and illuminated wooden patio a few further, makes for an excellent feeding table for the post-shift weary, those looking for a break in the revelry, and those—not. Let’s be real, it’s probably all of the above, one and the same.

Night Heron does a great job with sauces; which says a lot about Agricole Hospitality, but especially, it says a lot about the cook wielding the whisk day-in and day-out. The house-made ketchup, teems with kick from Calabrian chilies, ginger, garlic. A little mo-lasses in there, too: bottle it. Dunk after dunk, that turmeric yogurt that comes with the Turmeric Chicken Frites: Sign the papers. Bottle it. That strawberry amaro jam all up close on the brunch menu croissant sandwich: Honestly, haven’t tried it yet, but go ahead and bottle that too probably. And then there are Chef Jacob Pate's favorites; the hot sauce and the ranch, which can both be found on the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Sauce is lyfe, and at Night Heron they get that.

Up and down, back up again, just like passing through the metal detector and realizing you forgot to tell them about your belly ring, beeeeeeeeep—stop in the middle at the two burger selections. The Chimichurri Burger and the Smoked Gouda Burger: what to do with a late night fork in the road such as this.

click to enlarge Get that burger, ya'll. - PHOTO BY KATE MCLEAN
Get that burger, ya'll.
Photo by Kate McLean
Whelp; if it’s of assistance, either way it’s coming with a hand rolled patty of Marble Ranch Wagyu Beef, a Challah Slow Dough Bread Co. bun, and those twice cooked, flash-fried, either curry or ranch spiced, red potato halves—alongside the aforementioned ketchup, of course.

Here is the deal with potatoes: some people might gush that one preparation is better than another, but honestly, the Solanum Tuberosum can be made delicious hundreds, perhaps even thousands of ways. I don’t know, I’ve never been to Ireland. Nevertheless, the potatoes at Night Heron, are an excellent example of just one.

Back to the burger—enhancements include a free range egg, avocado, or— definitely add bacon. Because if Blair is on grill that night, he’s going to apply excellent attention to detail until the very last ticket of the night.

“Did you make my burger?”

“Yeah,” Blair said, as he and another employee settled into a pair of Snack Packs— AKA a line cook special.

It doesn’t matter if it was a hard night or slow night, if it was just “night” out, this duo is your jam. Line Cook Special: A shot of whiskey, any kind will suffice, complimented with a cold beer, literally any brand will do. In the crushable beer category, Montucky Cold Snack is to Budweiser what Topo Chico is to off-brand club soda— like whatever, it's water.

“Nice job on the bacon.”

“You like that lattice work?”

Exactly. Lattice work. Crispy stacked bacon like it’s a DIY Easter decoration straight off the shelves of Michael’s—that crunch is for real, that crunch was bought and paid for. With a melty proportion of cheese, whether it’s smoked gouda or grilled provolone, and a big ‘ole lettuce leaf probably for health reasons, the twin burgers at Night Heron wake up every morning and put on their Sunday’s best.

Alas, that Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich will live to see tomorrow’s lunch service. But who better to dish on that than Houston Press sandwich guy, Jeff Balke.

Night Heron
1601 W Main
The Night Heron kitchen is open until 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

click to enlarge The line cook special is the chamomile tea of the service industry. - PHOTO BY KATE MCLEAN
The line cook special is the chamomile tea of the service industry.
Photo by Kate McLean
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