I’m coming up on my one year anniversary calling the Washington Corridor my home and my neighborhood got me the sweetest anniversary present: FM Kitchen & Bar.
The new eatery by former Triniti (RIP) chef, Ryan Hildebrand, may seem like a normal patio restaurant and bar, but it’s actually all the things you love about Texas in one new spot. From the fun art to the food, it’s so Texas me and my Texas necklace can’t even. I can even, actually, and when I did even, I super enjoyed it. Did I just find my new neighborhood bar to replace J. Blacks? I did. And, if they roll out brunch, I might have even gotten upgraded.
Here are ten things that make FM Kitchen & Bar so totally Texas:
1. There’s a mural. If you haven’t noticed, Houston (and Dallas, apparently) is kind of obsessed with turning walls into art, and I LOVE IT. FM’s mural was painted by local artist, Daniel Anguilu, and is just the first of many local artist spotlights FM plans on doing.
2. There’s a stage with live music. Just adjacent to the fabulous mural is a stage, a stage which tons and tons of musicians will be regularly playing. How Texas is that? Live music? Check that box.
3. The food is super Texas. Burgers, frito pie, tater tots, oh my. Ryan Hildebrand’s menu isn’t just good comfort food, it’s actually GOOD comfort food: High quality, made in house, etc. My favorite things were the burger (honestly better than Shake Shack, which is one of my favorites) and the Frito Pie (the chili is so good!!).
4. Their milkshakes bring all the boys (and girls) to the yard. It can’t just be me, but pretty much every Texas road trip I’ve ever been on included a Dairy Queen or McDonald’s shake. And, seeing as FM’s sign/name pay homage to our state’s fabulous highways, enjoying a milkshake seems totally appropriate to me. The chocolate shake had tons of candies (yes that’s a chocolate covered pretzel you see) and was so decadent my friend and I barely made a dent. Oops.
5. It’s dog friendly. Is there a patio in Texas still that ISN’T dog friendly? (OK, probably) But, in Texas we love our huge patios almost as much as we love man’s best friend. Just had to include this because, A. I want to pet your dog, and B. I want to pet your dog. Bring him/her please.
6. There’s a painted brick feature. This is less a Texas thing and more of a super cool thing I wanted to mention. Oh, hey. Texas is super cool. Boom. Connection made.
7. There are tons of activities. Anyone raised in Texas knows how to play cornhole, but FM takes yard games to a whole new level. When I went, I didn’t get to really enjoy all the fun games, but they’re there and waiting for you.
8. There’s a full bar with delicious craft cocktails and tons of beer options. We Texans love to drink, don’t we. The very Houston thing about FM’s bar menu is that it’s got craft cocktails. Why have a simple margarita, when you can have an FMargarita or a mule when you can have a watermelon mule. Plus, the FM Punch has a banana chip in it (don’t worry, the drink tastes more like pineapple than banana). There’s also an extensive beer list with more than 20 options. Oh, lots of wine too!
9. It’s art and decor is so Texas. Inside the restaurant feels like somewhere between a garage and a throwback bar mixed with, well, a brand-spanking-new restaurant, which it actually is. There are super nice and new features, then there are pallets with cushions on them and called a couch. I love the mixing of things! While I didn’t get to explore too much (my milkshake was melting), I did love the Texas represented art I saw (like a Shiner sign on the way to the bathroom), and I know there are even more to find.
10. It’s friendly. Come on in, y’all. Relax and take a load off after a long day at the office — you earned this happy hour/burger/shake/all of the above.