Walking through the door of Nancy’s Hustle at 10:45 p.m. this isn’t Houston; it’s Chicago. And it’s not 2019; it’s 1974 as vintage Harvey Mandel flicks notes backed by a symphony all over the restaurant. Romanced by sound and the warm, yellow lighting scheme, this cult favorite serves as a cozy respite known for slinging quick, creative dishes of delicious, especially late at night.
Open until midnight Tuesday through Sunday, a limited food menu begins at 11 p.m. and typically consists of these all-stars: Lamb Dumplings, French Fries with chili aioli, Nancy Cakes, Parmesan and Pancetta Croquettes, Wood Grilled Half Chicken, and the Burger.
Try them all, but definitely get the burger because it’s one of the best in Houston. How brilliant to combine seemingly polar opposites: the English muffin and brioche, into a happy marriage that yields sturdy, yet rich handlebars. It’s good this bun has some strength to it because everything in between is juicy. American cheese—the one and only, is melted over a double patty with house-made pickles, chili aioli, and diced red onions. It’s just big enough for a lady to hold in one hand as she slowly savors, bite by bite. Combined with a full plate of fries and even more chili aioli for just $15; this late night meal is a no brainer.
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The wine list offers hard-to-find bottles, and is comprised 100 percent of natural wines. “Natural” meaning from farming to production these wines are made using minimal hairspray—like absolutely no Aqua Net, Aveda is OK. Going au naturale often adds funk and effervescence, which for common varietals makes for an unexpected plot twist. Ho hum Napa Cab’s, those big, buttery Chardonnays— expect a much different ending. This night in particular, a glass of the “Muller” by Enderle & Moll, a German orange wine made from Müller Thurgau grapes, made for a perfect back-and-forth with the hamburger snack. Nice acid, unfiltered and spritely refreshing.
Along with Orange wines, Sherry, Cider, and Port also hold their weight on the list. Located in EaDo, the rectangular space is two-top, four-top friendly and makes for a sexy before show, after show stop. Remember, no matter what may be going on in life, as you step up off Polk Street and into Nancy’s, it’s all good, baby.
2704 Polk St
Nancy’s Hustle is open until midnight Tuesday through Sunday.