Better Luck Tomorrow
How can you not love a place that offers “Houston weather specials”? The menu proclaims: “When it is hotter than 95 degrees, highballs are half-off; when it is raining, hurricanes are half-off; when it is colder than 40 degrees, hot toddies are half-off.” Better Luck Tomorrow is a teeny and often-jammed neighborhood bar that started life as a house. Now it’s tricked out with a crazy quilt of colorful decorative panels accessorized by neon lighting that snakes all over the walls. Well-padded stools line up in front of a brass-topped bar, and outside there are a few tables and lawn chairs, plus fluorescent lights, on a concrete patio. It’s easygoing and noisy, and the food is impressive, thanks to the involvement of celebrity chef and co-owner Justin Yu (the other owners are local restaurant- and bar-biz stalwarts Bobby Heugel and Steve Flippo). The menu’s short—just ten items. Our two top favorites were the Southern bean stew (with navy beans and black-eyed peas cooked in a thick, luscious tomatoey broth stocked with caramelized carrots and lightly wilted fresh greens) and an amazing crispy fried whole chicken breast (pounded as flat as a fritter and covered in panko for a superlative crunch; the menu description pays homage to the famous Hot Star chain, with its line-up of Taiwanese specialties). No wonder Better Luck Tomorrow was selected in late July as one of Bon Appétit’s top fifty new restaurants in the country—it may be in the top ten by the time you read this.