My sister and I made a long awaited trip to the movies to see the critically acclaimed documentary, Amy, which focuses on the short life of jazz/soul singer Amy Winehouse. We decided to go to the downtown theater Sundance. First up we stopped over at Sundance to pick up our tickets. If you park in the theater garage across the street the theater will validate your parking, so make sure you bring your receipt into the theater with you. We had a few hours to kill so we went in search of a good happy hour. The ridiculous heat limited on how far we would walk for a deal. We settled on a spot a few feet away from the theater, The Blue Fish.
Blue Fish has a GREAT Happy Hour from 5pm to 7pm every day. Like most places it is only offered in limited places in the restaurant. We lucked up on two seats at the bar. For the most part, the drinks are $4, with an up charge for stuff like margaritas. I ordered the house white wine, Night Harvest and my sister ordered a bourbon and coke. The drinks were good because of the price. For the food, the appetizers are only $5 so we went to town. I ordered the crab pan fried potstickers and spicy salmon tartare on crispy rice cake. Both were really good and not just because they are so reasonably priced. My sister loves sushi so she ordered the Shrimp Tempura roll. She enjoyed so much that she went back for a second round. All of the food other patrons around me ordered looked really good as well!
After we had our fill of happy hour, we walked back over to the Sundance for our movie. I think what I like most about Sundance is that the whole set up is so not Houston! In recent years Houston’s downtown is where you go to work, NOT where you go to hang out, but Sundance proves that stereotype wrong. There were plenty of movie goers at Sundance enjoying downtown nightlife. Also, as the name would imply Sundance shows more independent films than your run of the mill theater. Then there is a full service restaurant and bar in the theater so you can order real food before you head inside. I was still full from the Happy Hour, so I only grabbed a snickerdoodle cookie. I feel like I tried some food items on my previous visits, but nothing stands out. I think the draw to the food is the convenience. Another side does offer typical movie theater fare such as popcorn. Arrive early if you plan to order food, because lines are pretty long. Oh and inside the theater, there are larger armrests to accommodate your food.
I know this is a food blog, but I would be remiss if I did not comment on the documentary itself. It was all that I expected and then some. Watching Amy record and perform some of my favorite songs made my night. Then actually seeing the handwritten poems that became lyrics to songs I know by heart, I was just a kid in a candy store. The music amounted to the highlights, but for her to have only lived 27 years, she had so many low moments. We as the public knew she was troubled because so much of that played out for us to see. I think the documentary really showcased what a feeding frenzy it was for her after she released Back to Black. I thought I would be able to walk away pointing the finger at one moment or one person who who was at fault for her untimely demise, but it was really a perfect storm. From her childhood, her eating disorder, disastrous relationships, money hungry label, her parents, depression and finally her. Amy was more self destructive than I realized. If you are a fan of her like myself, you will absolutely love the documentary. For those of you that only know her for the autobiographical song Rehab (my least favorite song of hers), check out the documentary or her discography and learn how much more she had to offer.