On many a family road trip in Australia I had driven past the Big Pineapple, Big Prawn, Big Avocado, Big Banana and Big Yabby, to name just a few. It was usually when Dad made a 3 hour detour down some far flung highway so we could spend 2 minutes standing in front of the giant whatever and take 100 photos. In Houston, I hadn’t quite been prepared for the large, disco-ball version of Texas’ state small mammal – the Armadillo – complete with Longhorns!
I actually find the Armadillo fascinating and cute but what sort of establishment would put such an odd looking creature on Kirby drive? Hmmm, I will have to check this out with the locals…
A few weeks later some local Houstonian friends suggested we meet for a drink at the Armadillo Palace and I knew exactly where to go. The parking lot was full (mostly with 8 supersize trucks) and you could already sense this place was something special. We opened the heavy entrance doors via the western pistol doorknobs and walked into what felt like another world.
This is what we had been yearning for…a true Texas bar with great live music. The Armadillo Palace was open for that exact reason. A dedicated home for real Texas music where from Tues-Sun every week there is a mix of talented acoustic country duos and hopping, toe-tapping country bands. Check out the Calendar for the upcoming artists and whether there’s a cover charge.
The décor in itself will keep you entertained all night. A mix of historical photos and artifacts that are the real deal, eye catching Bison, Longhorn and Deer are proudly displayed on the walls and authentic saddle seats line the central bar. The crowd is definitely locals and real life cowboys are plentiful. The music starts up about 9pm and couples two-step around the small dancefloor – this is not Wild West.
Adjacent is Goode Company BBQ which is an experience in itself for great Texas BBQ. The romantic and simple shed setting with smoke pouring out the back lets you know you are in for some great ribs, sausage, turkey and some of the best brisket in Texas. Start your night here and then wander over to the Palace for a beer and some great country music. If you decide to eat at the Palace there is a good variety of Texas comfort food on offer.
The Armadillo Palace, 5110 Kirby Drive, Houston
Open every night except Sundays & Mondays