Where would you expect to find the Houston area's hottest new tiki bar? Probably not on FM 2920 to the north of Houston and just south of The Woodlands. Like the Heights' beloved Lei Low, Howie's Tiki is in a strip mall, but once you're inside you'll feel the stresses of the day melt away, as you enjoy the tiki decorations and exotic cocktails on offer.
This laid-back, friendly tiki bar offers plenty of pleasant surprises in the way of atmosphere, drinks and food, and whether you're in the Spring area, traveling through or you just want to try something new, Howie's won't disappoint. This bar was the brainchild of Mark Voros, who has explored tiki culture in depth and researched original recipes to bring you an authentic experience.
What to Expect
The bar itself has a relaxing, surprisingly un-kitschy atmosphere with subtle lighting and plenty of tiki decorations and cool fixtures to catch your eye, such as pufferfish lights, tiki masks and some pretty great paintings. It's smoke-free and has no TVs, so you can get into the chill vibe sans distractions. As you would expect, drinks are served in quirky ceramic mugs or fishbowls. Some are garnished with fruit or herbs while others are served aflame. There are classic drinks as well as more modern ones, so take your pick. The former are labeled with the year of their creation—Cobra's Fang, for example, is a combination of rum, passion fruit, lime and "secret flavors" concocted in 1937.
Ask Mark about any item on the menu and he will be able to tell you why he chose to include it, why he pairs the ingredients he does, and why he prefers to use not only top-shelf liquors and house-made syrups but also hand-squeezed juices. The drinks I sampled were perfectly balanced—neither too sweet nor too sour.
Lots of Drink Options
There are plenty of classics on the menu, such as the Blue Hawaii, a heady concoction of vodka, light rum, pineapple and sour mix, as well as more unusual options like the Sake Mule, boasting sake, lime and Fever Tree brand ginger beer. There is a range of beers if you prefer, or consider one of the sharing bowls or a fine liquor flight. Classic cocktails such as Negronis, mojitos, Manhattans and daiquiris also feature on the extensive menu.
A Great Place to Enjoy Poke
The quality of the drinks isn't the only thing that separates this tiki bar. Diners can enjoy freshly made poke during the daytime and evening up until 9 p.m. A few weeks ago, Hawaiian Poke Co. opened its doors inside Howie's, adding yet another reason to visit.
Poke bars have been all the rage recently in Houston, but they are not all alike; some are definitely better (and more authentic) than others. Here, you can choose from poke bowls, rolls or salads, topped with grade 1 Hawaiian big-eye tuna or salmon of a similar grade, additions like seaweed, sesame seeds and candlenuts, and much more. So head over early for the poke and stay on for the amazing tiki cocktails.