Hot weather, cool treats: 10 things to eat or drink in Montrose this summer

By | July 7, 2014
Frozen Yogurt
Froyo – just one of the many ways to beat the heat in Montrose. Credit: Grand Performances, Flickr Commons

When the summer heats up, the hot go indoors to revel in the air conditioning. They also come to Montrose to eat and drink their way to refreshment. It’s easy to do with so many restaurants, bars and dessert shops in the neighborhood.

SweetCup Gelato / 3939 Montrose Blvd.
It’s probably not a mystery what to get at this gelateria, though there are a myriad of options. All of their gelatos, sorbets and yogurts are made in-house, so you’ll be getting the freshest product no matter the order. And though they do have the classics like stracciatella (similar to chocolate chip) and pecan praline, their niche is with offbeat flavors like star anise, smoked butterscotch, toasted black sesame and chocolate orange. Even the sorbets are exotic with choices like pomegranate rose, carrot orange, curry coconut and grapefruit lavender.

El Real / 1201 Westheimer Rd.
Sure the enchiladas, puffy tacos, queso and salsa are enough to get you in the door, but when it comes to chilly delights, it’s the margarita that will quell the heat waves rolling across the hot Texas asphalt. El Real’s “Perfect Margarita” might be self-proclaimed, but many others agree with their assessment. One of those in agreement is Texas Monthly, who recently featured a video of chef Bryan Caswell shaking up one of those impeccable cocktails in a list of “legendary” margaritas. If frozen is more your speed, they’ve got plenty of those ready to go as well. Either way, they’re both cool enough to take the edge of the summer swelter.

Hugo’s / 1600 Westheimer Rd.
Even chef Hugo Ortega is quick to recommend a refreshing ceviche during this time of year. His picks would be the snapper, known as “huachinango” in Mexico or conch from the Mexican Caribbean. In his words, it’s the “beautiful lime and the spiciness of the jalapeños, which is very aromatic and fragrant,” that makes this a perfect dish for summer. Additionally, the shrimp cocktail and crab salad make for equally excellent selections when a hot day calls for something savory and light.

Yogurtland / 2055 Westheimer Rd., Ste. 115A
Sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands, and at the Montrose location of Yogurtland, it’s easy to do that. The best part is that the frozen yogurt is already made, but the second best part is that you choose how much — or how little — you want to eat. It’s of the self-serve model with flavors like toasted coconut caramel, almond midnight mocha, blueberry tart, bananas foster, chocolate mousse pie and the ever-beloved cult classic, peanut butter. They offer generous sampling if the decision of which froyo to choose does not come easily.

Niko Niko’s / 2520 Montrose Blvd.
You can have your baklava and drink it too at Niko Niko’s. In a development as unprecedented as the Olympic games, democracy or the Parthenon, Greece — by way of Montrose — can now count under their contributions to society the baklava frappe. It’s as if a pastry, a milkshake and a cappuccino combined forces to create this chilled masterpiece that blends baklava right into a creamy drink, adds a kick of espresso and tops it all with whipped cream. A close second is their Athenian mud pie frappe which appeals to the chocoholics.

Little Bigs / 4621 Montrose Blvd.
The Dude abides at this slider joint, and it’s probably not what you’re thinking. While you won’t typically find Jeff Bridges hanging out here, you will find a frozen White Russian milkshake that will cool you down faster than you can say The Big Lebowski. FYI, even though it’s labeled as such, this milkshake is not for the kiddos, as it contains alcohol. Not to be left out, while mom and dad sip on The Dude, there are plenty of hand-spun milkshakes sans the booze for the under 21 set.

Paulie’s / 1834 Westheimer Rd.
Chilled soup sounds like an abomination unless you’ve tried the fresh gazpacho from Paulie’s during the summer. It then becomes a revelation. The mix of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and summer vegetables is one that’s simultaneously refreshing and hearty. It’s a seasonal offering, so get it during the summer or you’ll have to wait another year.

Flow Juice Bar / 214 Fairview St., Ste. 2
Be the picture of health this summer after getting acquainted with Flow Juice Bar. In addition to helping customers feel great, they also help cool everyone off with their fresh-pressed juices like the Green Machine with its mix of greens, celery, ginger, cilantro, bell pepper, apple and lemon or smoothies like the Berry Peachy with blueberries, peach, strawberry, banana and pomegranate. Chilling out never felt so healthy.

Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar / 307 Fairview St.
It’s hard to improve upon the Cuban cocktail known as a mojito. The original recipe has the perfect balance of sweetness, lime juice, rum and a hint of mint that is unbeatable on a hot summer day, but Boheme has taken the classic a step further. The frozen mojito is like an adult slushy that takes everything you thought you knew about a mojito, but kicks it up a notch. The price you pay such greatness is a brain freeze, but it’s a small trade-off in the grand scheme of summer drinking.

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The Montrose Management District
board workshop meeting scheduled for April 3
has been postponed indefinitely.