The bar area was packed soon after 6:00 on a recent Friday at Americas on Shepherd. With good reason; the happy hour specials in the bar area and patio are quite attractive. The space, too, for that matter. From Monday through Saturday until 7:00, Americas offers a quartet of approachable wines with a Latin or Spanish accent for $5, a trio of lighter beers for $2.50, a baker’s dozen of appetizers for $5, and, best of all, several somewhat labor-intensive cocktails with top shelf spirits for just $6.
These are an array of classic cocktails, a few with a twist: Pimm’s Cup featuring Citadelle gin and lemon-lime soda, a Moscow Mule with ginger beer and Tito’s vodka, a Whiskey Sour with Buffalo Trace bourbon and an egg white, a Mojito with vigorously muddled mint leaves and Don Q, and a classic margarita. These cocktails are made to order, of course, with a lot of attention to detail. It’s rare to find a whiskey sour made with an egg white, especially one in which the bartender is cracking an egg a few feet away. The results are quite good, too. The current lineup is well-suited for our hot and humid days, and the cocktails drink quickly.
The bar snacks, only $5 each, are a cut above, as you might expect at Americas, and with a signature Central American zest. There are empanadas filled with seared beef and caramelized onions, another with roasted chicken and a third with good-sized chunks of shrimp with ham and manchengo, which were quite tasty the other night. Ceviche, smoked baby lamb chops, taquitos with several fillings and Achiote Grilled Shrimp served with a sauce of blue cheese and the bright green Castelveltrano olives.
The bar at the uniquely stylish Americas – which is part of the rather inelegant Weignarten addition to the River Oaks Shopping Center – is on the second floor of the restaurant.
2040 W. Gray (at Shepherd), 77019, (832) 200-1492