Bovine & Barley: Meat and beer married in the best way

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HOUSTON, Tx - Few storefronts beckon like the one on Downtown's newest addition, Bovine & Barley. The floor-to-ceiling marquee lights spelling out "HTX" are hard to miss. However, once the bright bulbs bring you inside, expect the menu from both the bar and the kitchen to keep you interested.

Bovine & Barley is exactly what its name advertises: meat and beer.

"Bovine is a word for large animals like cows, ox, things like that, and barley is one of the key ingredients in crafting beer, so it was just perfect," said part-owner Jason Lowery.

Lowery and his partner Michael Collins have had their hands in a few other projects in the Midtown bar and restaurant scene, but decided to put their swanky stamp on Downtown. Now, don't let the high-end vibe scare you off. Lowery and Collins kept things classic with the menu serving up beef-centric feel-good foods brought to life by Chef Harold Wong.

"We wanted to do something simple, that was not necessarily comfort food, but stuff that we kind of grew up on," explained Lowery.

Creative renditions of old favorites make up the menu, including steak bruschetta and sloppy joe sliders, but the kitchen also caters to the thousands of people working within walking distance of the gastropub's Main Street location. Chef Wong's brown bag lunch gets you a tantalizing chef-inspired sandwich, house cut chips and a cookie, bagged up to-go, all for nine bucks, and the sandwich ideas are new everyday, depending on what Chef Wong has at his fingertips.

If the food doesn't get your mouth watering, the beer selection will. The back bar wall is lined with 36 rotating taps, flowing with the best craft brews bar manager John Havens can get his hands on. Close to half the taps dispense locally-brewed favorites, and the rest come from all over the country. You'll even find four nitrogen-fed taps, and draught cocktails, ice cold and ready for sipping, if that's more your style.

The "urban bar & eatery" is just about a month old, but it's coming on to the Downtown scene with the mindset of a mainstay, and Houstonians can expect to see those massive marquee lights shining bright as long as Texans love their beef and beer.