When Moon Tower Inn initially opened, Houstonians gave thanks. We loved the dressed-up wild game hot dogs and craft beer in the dressed-down outdoor setting. Never mind the long lines or the fact there wasn’t actually a “moon tower” (whatever that is) on the property. There was good food, plentiful seating thanks to many, many picnic tables, and sometimes even movie screenings. Oh! And they were open late, really late, which was wonderful, because, dontcha know, nothing tastes better after a long night of drinking than an artisan pheasant sausage on a pretzel bun.

Then, like Brigadoon, Moon Tower Inn vanished. Well, it didn’t totally disappear into thin air like the fabled Scottish village. Rather, the owners unexpectedly shuttered Moon Tower’s doors for renovations in the height of its popularity. The closing was supposed to be temporary but ultimately lasted fifteen months, which, by the way, is almost as long as an elephant’s gestational period. So, we grumbled and as the year(s) went by, our hopes faltered.

Our doubts about Moon Tower’s re-opening as well as its ability to reclaim its cult status were sorely misaligned. Moon Tower is alive and thriving, offering patrons venison sausages, buffalo dogs, and elk wieners (with optional funky toppings of feta cheese, onions, cilantro, siracha, creole mustard, etc.) that first made them famous.

And, perhaps as implicit justification for their prolonged kitchen repairs, Moon Tower Inn expanded its menu (once pleasantly restricted to beer, grilled cheese, and phallic-shaped meat products) to include some mind-blowing sandwiches. I’m partial to sardonically named “Half el Burgers,” such as the “Chong” (and yes, there’s a “Cheech”) with bacon, smoked cheddar, jalapenos, creole, mustard, and an egg or the “Willie,” topped with chipotle pimento cheese, coleslaw, and country ham. Very late-pm/very early am customers at Moon Tower might be better served by ordering the “Morning Wood”, a bountiful breakfast sandwich stacked with a sunny-side up egg, hash browns, bacon, cheddar, and savory onion jam.

If all this talk of wild game wieners and “all beef all the damn time” burgers is hurting your inner animal-friendly spirit, have faith, specifically in the “cheesus Christ,” a septuple layer sandwich made by fusing two cheddar grilled sammies with an additional layer of American or Cheddar cheese. There’s also a new beet, tarragon, and black bean burger dressed with chevre, cilantro, onions, and sambai mayo….and um, for $1 extra, bacon.

Never fear, beer inevitably brings vegetarians and carnivores together at Moon Tower Inn, which offers a rotating craft selection as well as their own seasonal homebrews. It’s been observed that the line goes faster with a pint in hand.

Moon Tower Inn
3004 Canal St
Houston, TX 77003

Joanna O'Leary

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