Most go to The Flat to drink against a backdrop of mellow live music. With attractive happy hour specials and a coterie of affable bartenders and regulars, this grunge-meets-hipster casual cocktail lounge tucked away in upper Montrose is the perfect watering hole for those who enjoy a scene but not necessarily being seen. However, most who frequent The Flat inevitably find themselves coming not just for the libations and the rotating lineup of quality DJ’s and musical ensembles, but the food.
On the surface most of the menu seems to be typical bar grub (fries and pizza) but via some innovation and a few tweaks The Flat has managed to offer highly improved versions of these staples. The “Home Fries,” for example, are thick wedges whose lightly fried exterior gives way to a dense interior of pillowy potato that eagerly absorbs ketchup and other accompanying sauces.
Though popular, the aforementioned dish is mere supporting cast to the real star of the show at The Flat: the pizza. Or, for that matter, pizza(s), since it’s the creative varieties that distinguish those at the flat from other bar pies. The “Banh Mi” with ground pork, pickles made in-house, tangy cilantro, and feisty sriracha sauce, is a delicious affirmation of the fact that Houston is becoming known more for its Vietnamese rather than Tex-Mex cuisine. Balance its porcine notes with a Bayou City Swig made with Bayou silver rum, bitter, citrus, and ginger beer.
If you’re sipping on a glass of Charles Arnaud Brut ($9) and feeling fancy, support that swagger with a slice of “The Goat,” with (you guessed it) goat cheese, prosciutto, basil, and dash of lemon oil for some piquancy. Finally, there’s the simple but satisfying classic cheese, which actually increases in deliciousness by a factor of 10 per each frozen mojito you have consumed prior.
The admirable food selections at The Flat will leave you primed for more dancing and (even more) drinking and as the evening wears on and the space pulses with mixed tracks and an equally mixed exuberant crowd, you may find yourself, once again, hungry? Never fear: those pizzas are available even after midnight.