For me, BYOB means one thing and one thing only: Bring Your Own Beer. It has become a raging obsession of mine lately, to find the best places to get a top-flight meal where I can bring in my own American brewed, world-class brew and create my own pairings. Of course, if you are so inclined, you can bring in wine or liquor too. I've found many that fit the criteria, and here are five of my favorites. If you have some more suggestions then let me know, I am always looking for new places to bring in my own beverage.
What if Luby's served really good Mediterranean food and let you bring in your own booze? Then it would be called Aladdin. The cafeteria style flavor-factory dishes up all the favorites: falafel, spanikopita, red snapper and roasted cauliflower. It's in a setting where you can see what you are ordering and with quality that will keep you coming back. All over the restaurant are signs that say, "BYOB". On my last three visits I did just that. A locally brewed pilsner always goes well with Mediterranean as the crispness matches well with Aladdin's creamy and spicy hummus.
I want to order something other than the "Day After Thanksgiving Sandwich" here but it is so difficult. On a few occasions though I have indulged in the tasty burger and roast beef debris. Whatever you do though, get the perfectly cooked and seasoned fries. On your next visit be sure to bring along a small cooler of an American amber ale. The maltiness and hoppiness are sure to pair well with almost everything on the menu.
3) Vieng Thai
What can be said about the Long Point Dr. Thai food favorite that hasn't already been written? That an uber-hopped India Pale Ale stands up to the heat of the authentic Thai spice served at the authentic strip center eatery, that's what. Sometimes they charge a corkage fee, sometimes they don't, but whatever the case it is worth it. A menu full of outstanding Thai food and your own booze to boot, so bring the moonshine if you want.
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Himalaya is a Pakistani restaurant in strip center in the Hillcroft area of Houston. It's a few doors down from London Sizzler, which is itself a fantastic Indian restaurant, so you really can't go wrong picking either one. If you are on the fence about which one to choose then maybe Himalay's BYOB policy will make your choice a little easier. On my last visit I brought along a malty and hoppy American-style barleywine to match the big flavors of the curries.
Even though our own Katharine Shilcutt thinks Collina's is "abominable," I still thoroughly enjoy their version of American-Italian comfort food. Spaghetti and meatballs? They got 'em. Hand-tossed pizzas? There are plenty of them too. Your own kegerator of homebrew sitting right next to your table? Sure, why not? They may not be adventurous at Collina's but they know how to do all the standards properly. You really can't go wrong with a kolsch-style ale or a blonde ale to go with dinner too.