Great little spot - probably a must stop if youíre looking for good dining and regionals in Houston. Parking on side streets and parking lots in a quaint neighborhood that reminded me a bit of Key West, actually. Industrial/refurbished warehouse feel, rough-hewn tables. Great service, knowledgable staff. Food is primo - very tasty, good - chef stuff, not just pub grub. Lots of regionals - Lone Pint, Live Oak, Real Ale, etc., and lots of top notch brews otherwise. Great dining experience, good beer selection, good pricing on happy hour and game night. Recommended.
Large selection and variety of beer with several Houston beers available. The food was good, but they could use some vegetarian dishes on their menu. It was a smaller venue than I expected but all-in-all it was an enjoyable experience.
I see lot of people complaining over the service level, and I can sort of understand it, but I donít see any reason to complain much about it when I visited. No one greeted me velcome when I arrived, so they couldíve had a visible seat yourself sign, but I quickly found a server who told me to get seated wherever Iíd like, and got the menu within a minute. Saw almost no smiles among the staff, seemed like everyone was there just because they needed the money. On the other hand, Iíve seen that too many places, so nothing special. The food I got was decent, the beers I chose were nice, and the selection is broad and mostly interesting. Definitely hope I get the chance to visit this place more times during my stay in Houston.
(VIsited 02/2013): Hay Merchant is located on Westheimer Rd off Montrose. Actually didnít visit on my previous visit to Houston because I couldnít see the place even though it was right there. Parking is available in the surrounding streets.
The interior is rustic with a lot of wood and brick walls. The doorway opens to the host stand and table/booth seating, with the bar in the rear. Cards on the wall behind the bar list the beers available.
As for the beer there around around 75 taps with Texas breweries like Deep Ellum, Real Ale, (512) St. Arnold and Live Oak. Other domestic craft breweries like Oskar Blues, Victory and Alaskan. Many bottles available too.
Service at Hay Merchant was good on our visit. The server was familiar with the beer and made good recommendations.
Food at Hay Merchant is good and includes some eclectic appetizers like sweet & spicy pig ears.
Overall this is a great spot to visit in Houston. Recommended.
bleeng (158) Houston nowhere near Beersel, Texas | December 6, 2012
Great addition to the Houston beer scene. As noted 80+ taps and 5 cask engines-sweet! Nice variety of beers-from Texas to Belgium and everywhere in between. Odd but enjoyable food menu. Too bad this is just a haul from my suburban abode. A must visit if youíre in town.
This place was recommended to me by my friends Leslie & Gonzo at the Saint Arnold Brewery. Amazing beer selection (80 or so on draft) rustic interior put together with bits and pieces of old Houston. Love the varied and unique tap handles!
Stopped by during a recent trip to Houston. There were a ton of great beers on tap, including some one-offs from local breweries. I liked the fact there were 5 casks with some exciting offerings. I didnít try the food, but the beer selection was great. They were a bit pricy, but I canít complain too much because I think this is the best tap selection in the city.
This place has a cool atmosphere, pretty laid back and a nice place to enjoy the company of friends. Not too rowdy of a bar, which is why I enjoyed it. The food is really tasty and can be a bit pricey, but there are other lower priced items that are just as delicious. The selection of beers is pretty good, but I was really disappointed that they didnít offer any bottles. I think they could really benefit from this and almost double their selection. I love that they have proper glassware and still give you decent pours if you select a high gravity beer. One of the top places to go in Houston, no doubt about that.
To start, thereís no sign outside. Walked in with no indication of whether or not we should wait to be seated or sit ourselves. We chose the later. A waiter (Alex #10) eventually brought us menus. Haggled over samples briefly (they donít do tasters but I managed to get 3 sips of beer to chose between) and my friend wisely, quickly got in an apatetizer order. Eventually, Alex came back to take our drink order. Sometime later we got drinks and an appetizer and commenced to wait and wait and wait for plates to split the appetizer and order our meals. We gave up and asked another waiter to facilitate. Finally (!!!) we ordered our meals, and though I asked for grilled onions on my burger ( more haggling), I actually got no onions. Trying to recover some rapport with the waiter, my friend cracks some light hearted joke, which had no purchase with Alex. We glance around and notice many tables waiting to be served. Maybe Alex was the over worked (not likely given the number of other servers) but if that was the case, he never mentioned it. A quick, "Weíre super busy, Iíll be with you in a second," would have mollified things, but Alex was completely noncomunicative. The food was amazingly good as was the beer, but the service really negated much of the enjoyment and value of the experience. Alex was MIA there after, and in my frustration, I just went up to the bar and paid cash for my next rounds. At least I got them in a timely manner. The waiter shot to the table to check his tip when we stood up to leave. Wish heíd been that quick with service. In short, it was a shitty experience.