Houston: Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Road,
Houston, TX 77006

My friends and I had a mini progressive meal the last time I was in Houston. We were at Underbelly first and then hopped over next door to Hay Merchant. Because we didn’t do our usual four to five venues for one meal, we were able to sample more from each place!

As you might have guessed from the name of this restaurant, Hay Merchant has an impressive beer menu. Check out their extensive beer list here. I’m allergic to alcohol so sadly the beer list was wasted on me, but my eating buddies really enjoyed their selection.

Fried Oxtail Ravioli, $14

Braised Oxtail with tomato, red onion, and goat cheese in an oxtail jus. NOM. I love the variety of meat we had on this day. At Underbelly, we had just sampled a goat dish and an antelope dish. I’m always a fan of tender oxtail. You wrap it in ravioli and goat cheese and it’s heaven.

Blood Sausage Queso Fundido, $9

House-made blood sausage, melted cheese, and tortillas. Glorious! Love the coloring of the blood sausage when you mix it up. The slightly earthy and lush taste of blood sausage coupled with hearty cheese was a winning combination. I’d order this again.

Mama’s Fried Chicken, $15

You can’t really see it in this photo, but Mama’s Fried Chicken is laying on a bed of velvety mac and cheese. I kept digging underneath the chicken to steal bites. The fried chicken was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. We Texans love our fried chicken.

IPA Mussels, $14

Mussels, garlic, onion, fennel and smoked tomato puree, with IPA. The IPA gave these mussels a unique, slightly bitter flavouring. Love that a beer place cooks their mussels in IPA.

Thomas and Christina

I love when I eat with Thomas because I get amazingly beautiful photos of the food that he so kindly lets me use. It makes me sad though that his presence during meals is rarely photographically captured because he’s the man handling the lens. This is a rare occasion where you get to see the face behind some of the food photos I post. This is Thomas! Sitting next to another lovely eating buddy, Christine.

I really love the feel of this bar. Laid back with a chill atmosphere where you can enjoy pints of endless beer and munch on unique bar food. The ice cream here is a win too! (We sampled some ice cream at Underbelly which was provided by the same ice cream vendor as Hay Merchant.)

Photos by Thomas Chen Photography.