Happy Hour at Oporto Wine Cafe

Thursday, October 10, 2013
A couple of weeks ago I went to a book club meeting here in Houston.

(Pause for you to make fun of me.)

So a couple of weeks ago I went to a book club meeting here in Houston. When I got there a friendly girl named Megan introduced herself to me. She then told me I looked incredibly familiar, and - crazy as it seems - I looked exactly like one of her best friends from high school's best friends in college (Do you follow?). But she was from New Jersey and I was from Houston, so that couldn't be possible!

But it was possible! We both know Mike! She was friends with him in high school in New Jersey, and I was friends with him in college in Miami! And we both ended up here! At the same book club! In Houston! And we live only a few blocks away from each other! Excessive use of exclamation points!!!!!!

I knew you would love that story.

Last week, Megan and I did Happy Hour at Queen Vic Pub, followed by a visit to the Greek Festival. I have learned from experience that taking pictures of my food in front of new friends can come across as strange (yeah, I don't get it either), so I refrained during our first friend date.

FYI though, Queen Vic was AWESOME, and the Greek fest was super fun, so I will have to revisit those jaunts at another time.

So when we met up for drinks this week at Oporto, I decided to ease into the food blogger convo and test the waters.


(So much for easing into it).

To which she casually responded, "Oh I know, I've already cyber-stalked you, that's cool."

Do you think Megan would prefer matching "Best Friends" necklaces in gold or silver?

Totally kidding.

(Awkward pause...)

Aaaaaaand onto Oporto! First of all, the Happy Hour prices were ridonk-a-donk. I'm no math wizard, but I think if we got every food item (which there were easily 20-30), the bill would still have been under 100 smackers.

We ordered six tapas-style apps to share, so I'm going to rank them 1-6, one being the best, with Megan's ranking underneath (We had an in-depth discussion about this). Keep in mind that 1-5 are all in the big leagues, so there are only measly fractions of points separating them. 6 was sort of a bust, but we'll get to that.

1. Spinach and Artichoke Crostini.

Just look at it. LOOK AT IT. The bread was so crispy, the spinach artichoke mixture was so creamy and rich, and the combination was absolutely delectable. It was a whole new level of spinach artichoke dip, refined and heavenly. GET THEM IF YOU GO.

Megan's Ranking: 1

2. Patatas Bravas.

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what it was that made these potatoes so amazing. My guess is that they were broiled (?) in a tomato sauce of some sort with diced onions. And WHOA. Again, GET THEM. They were perfect.

Megan's Ranking: 3

3. Chicken Curry Empanadas.

OHMYGODSOGOOD. Look how beautifully little 'nadas are cooked. And the curry chicken mixture inside? WONDERFUL. And the perfectly tart little thing of aioli on the side? LAWD. Again, I definitely recommend.

Megan's Ranking: 2

4. Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Crostini.

Imagine a good solid bagel with lox, but replace the bagel with a thin, crispy piece of bread, and the cream cheese with GOAT CHEESE, GAH. Adorable, light, fresh, and delicious.

Megan's Ranking: 4

5. Mushrooms a la Plancha.

The margin of likeability gets a little wider with this one. I really liked these 'shroomers, but they could have been cooked a little more well done for my taste. The sauce they came in was magnificent though, so they're still something I'd recommend. Very tasty!

Megan's Ranking: 5

6. Prosciutto Wrapped Dates.

I have this disease where if I see prosciutto (or any other similar cured meat) on a menu I HAVE to order it. I really have no other choice. So I obviously HAD to order the prosciutto wrapped dates. When I proposed getting the them, I saw a flicker of doubt in Megan's eyes for a brief instant, but she said she was game. I really love the concept of this dish, but the sweetness of the figs was a little too overpowering for me. It maybe needed more prosciutto (um, always) or another savory element added to it. They do have a Prosciutto/Fig/Mozzarella Crostini on the menu, so that may just be the proper solution!

Megan's Ranking: I think you know.

Despite the fact that we weren't crazy about the last dish, everything else was beyond excellent. The service, the food, the prices, the atmosphere - Just fantastic. Oporto has one helluva Happy Hour that will not disappoint, and it's a perfect little spot to catch up with a friend or take a date!

Oh and I ordered this drink. It's called a "Caipiroska," which is their version of a Caipirinha, made with Dripping Springs vodka instead of rum. And since I'm in LOVE with Dripping Springs, Texas (and obviously, vodka), I got this. And it rocked.


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