This week means we are all back to work and school after the holiday break. As for me, I’m still here catching up! While I was off from my full-time gig during the break, this attorney by day and local food blogger (Black Girls Who Brunch) by night made an afternoon visit to Jack & Ginger’s Irish Pub, an Austin transplant that has now joined the Houston food scene. Check out the details on my visit below!
The Setup & Location
Jack & Gingers is located in Houston’s Midtown, and I found myself a bit nostalgic when I pulled up to the restaurant because about five years ago I spent just about every weekend in Midtown. All of the fun new bars and restaurants used to always seem to pop up in this area, like Mr. Peeples and Rico’s Noon and Night. Slowly, all of those spots closed, and I moved on to other neighborhoods. I say all this to say, I was happy to see Jack & Gingers taking up the space vacated by another old favorite of mine, Cook & Collins (RIP).
As far as Jack & Gingers goes, the space has been completely transformed. This includes the outdoor space, which I quickly fell in love with. Well, let me describe it correctly: It is an indoor space with an open concept, meaning not windows. This is incredibly smart, considering the Houston heat and rainy season that we have to deal with. In the outdoor space at Jack & Gingers, guests relax on seats at wooden picnic tables or at the large bar. As an added bonus, dogs bowls at the end of each table makes the space dog friendly. So, make sure you bring your pooch when you stop by for a visit!
Inside, as expected, is a darker area with plenty of green and wood paneling. There is also a bar inside that mirrors the outdoor bar in size and tap offerings. For the sports fans, both spaces have plenty of televisions for you to catch sporting events (wipes away some tears for my Texans). It kind of feels like two bars in one because each part will appeal to a different bar goer.
Because it’s an Irish bar, most of you will head here for their impressive beer list. And yes, they live up to the name. Jack & Ginger’s has tons of beers on tap, including from local breweries like Brash Brewing. My friend took advantage of this fact during our visit and ordered the Pussy Wagon IPA, while I went straight for the cocktails (I couldn’t help myself). It’s important to note that while the beers may bring your here, you should not skip over the cocktails. I ordered the Red Head in Bed, which is garnished with a strawberry nestled in a flower petal, hence the name. This cocktail, light and fruity and topped with sparkling wine, is one that I will definitely order again during my next visit. The Irish Rose also got a big thumbs up from moi.
Jack & Ginger’s offers bar food that pays homage to the Irish theme. With that in mind, I ordered some traditional Irish dishes like Bangers & Mash and Fish & Chips during my visit. While I am no Irish food expert, I thought these dishes were pretty darn good. My favorite dish was easily the soft pretzel they have that is served with beer cheese and honey mustard. I topped off the food portion of my visit with dessert, ordering the Guinness Brownie with a scoop of ice cream. Dessert at a bar may sound odd to some, but this brownie is oh so good and worth the extra calories (trust me). Other popular dishes on the menu include the fried pickles (they are spears), loaded french fries, and the wedge salad (for those who have resolutions for the new year).
Considering the space, the impressive drink list and the food, I would say Jack & Ginger’s is a great new bar that many will enjoy. Midtown residents will likely make this their new neighborhood haunt, while others will come for that patio. I for one plan to head back for the weekend buffet!
Head over to Erika Harrison’s food and lifestyle blog, Black Girls Who Brunch, to read more of what the unconventional foodie and traveler has to say about the Houston food scene.