LOCAL Houston | The City Guide April 2017 - Page 25

We all need more Rainbow Lodge in our life. The 100-year-old log home (including the original fireplace and stairs), best known for its lodge-like interior, the back patio, the expansive grounds, cigars and scotch on the lower deck by the creek, and the killer happy hour, still serves wild game, seafood and Gulf Coast favorites all the while offering unmatched views and ambiance. It’s one of those places where when you walk in, you’re transported far away from the city. And don't even get me started on the kitsch all over the inte- rior. Fly rods and reels. Hunting paraphernalia, taxidermy trophies. Man, do we love lodge-y atmospheres. If you’re dining only, don’t miss out on seeing one heck of a special bar; the ‘tied-fly bar’ in and of itself is a work of art. Carved from one giant basswood tree by artist Bill Herrick (his art adorns many walls in the lodge as well) and coming in at around 20-feet long, it's frankly amazing and a must-see. Speaking of the bar, beverage director MARC BOREL runs a tight ship, sourcing an award-winning wine list, some spectacular spirits and three draft beer taps pouring local specialties. All while CHEF MARK SCHMIDT keeps the quality food flowing out of the kitchen for Sunday brunch and weekly lunches and dinners. When these two pair their best-selling small plate with an uncom- mon version of the California Common style beer from the HEIGHTS' OLDEST BREWERY , we all win. QUAIL from right here in the region, fried up nice-n-crisp but still forgiving, lies on top of Texas-made “red- neck cheddar” organic grits, smothered in bourbon bacon gravy. We really don't have to say much else, but we will! Because it was so darn good. We ate/drank this pair in record time. Grits so creamy, perfectly smoky, peppered bacon, soft, tender quail. Had an attentive server not brought us a steak knife, we would have eaten this with our hands and a fork without even blinking an eye. Instead, we went civilized and gently cut the quail off the bone. And gnawed off any left. Now, a California Common style beer isn’t all that common outside Cali. But the Town in City version, made with lager yeast fermented at ale temperatures, and generously hopped, gives – you guessed it – hoppy ale taste with the smoothness of a lager. What this really means is that this food- complimentary beer stands up to the rich savory quail/dairy dish when enjoyed together, looks darker but tastes light, crisp and bright, and really adds balance to the pairing overall. And let's be honest, beer and bourbon always go together. Just like us and lodges, and Houston and the Rainbow Lodge. By Mike Cook Photography by Kennon Evett RAINBOW LODGE | 2011 Ella Blvd. | Houston, TX 77008 713.861.8666 | www.rainbow-lodge.com april 17 | L O C A L 25