Summer is a time to relax, enjoy the weather and eat some really good food. Thank goodness we live in a city bursting with opportunities to satisfy our adventurous food cravings.
We have listed ten food-centric tasks for you to do this summer. Think of it as a bucket list. Get all of these things done before the summer is over.
10. Eat at Every Food Truck Park The amount of food truck parks in Houston and the surrounding area has significantly grown over the past several months. Make a trip to each one (Mangum Food Park, Midtown Mobile Cuisine, Houston Food Park and My Food Park HTX) to have breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late-night snack. The Modular, Pi Pizza Truck and Porch Swing Desserts frequent Mangum Food Park in northwest Houston; Taco Nuts, Flip 'n Patties and Zeapod Cakery tend to set up shop at My Food Park HTX in the Energy Corridor; and Texas Blizzard likes to hang out at Houston Food Park on St. Emanuel street. Check out the newest park, Midtown Mobile Cuisine, featuring a rotating lineup of seven food trucks at a time, such as Doughmaker Doughnuts and Detox Truck.
9. Ice Cream and Treats at La King's Confectionery Of course, you should drive to Galveston for the sun, ocean and sand, but you should also make a special trip to the Gulf for ice cream and sodas from La King's Confectionery. Don't just stick to a couple scoops of ice cream, though. Add a scoop of your favorite frozen treat to any soda from the old-fashioned soda fountain. Sit inside the ice cream parlor, watch the confectioners make taffy and enjoy a stroll along The Strand.
8. Farmers Market Trips & Picnic Lunches Head to the Eastside Farmers Market on Saturday (or Sunday) and fill a basket or bag with locally-sourced foods to make a picnic lunch. Grab some bread from Angela's Oven or Artisana Bread, then collect duck breast prosciutto from Tejas Heritage Farm and chevre from Swede Farm for a delightful sandwich. Add some blackberries and plums from Lightsey Farms, or tomatoes and lettuce from Knopp Branch Farm. Throw in some macarons from Maison Burdisso or honey from Bee Wilde for a little something sweet. This story continues on the next page.
7. Order Ribbon Ice in Chinatown Kaitlin Steinberg wrote about the ribbon ice from Nu Cafe in Chinatown. Some call it snow ice, while others call it ribbon ice, but either way, it's a Taiwanese dessert that's just as much a treat to eat as it is to watch be prepared. Explore Chinatown's hidden gems, then stop by Nu Cafe or head to SnowBlock Shavery on Rice Boulevard for one of the best ice-cold sweet treats. Rock-hard ice cream blocks are placed into a machine that shaves the block as it is spins, creating tissue paper thin ribbons of ice cream. Watch the server catch the ice cream on a plate and create a mountain-high dessert accompanied with fruit, condensed milk, fruit syrups and mochi mango boba.
6. Eat Backstreet Cafe's Seasonal Tomato Menu Tomatoes are one of the best fruits of the summer and Backstreet Cafe's seasonal tomato menu is one of the best ways to enjoy them. Chef Hugo Ortega will be serving up this menu for brunch, lunch and dinner until the middle of September. Don't miss out on staple tomato dishes like the fried green tomatoes topped with crabmeat remoulade, or a light and refreshing tomato jalapeno gazpacho. Introduce your palate to bold flavors with the tomato pie served with a small black bean salad, or the blistered cherry tomato tartine with whipped feta cheese, basil and pine nuts.
5. Tour Every Brewery in Houston Take the 15 to 20 minute tour at Saint Arnold, then spend the rest of the day drinking fresh brews, eating and playing board games with friends in the beer hall. Karbach might be small, but it's a fun place to eat food from a food truck, sit outside and enjoy a Rodeo Clown or Hopadillo. Buffalo Bayou Brewery also offers tours each Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. and includes two pints of beer plus a souvenir glass all for just $10. 8th Wonder Brewery and Members of The League of Extraordinary Brewers don't offer tours, but they do host events, so check out their Facebook pages and websites to see what they're doing next. Take a trip to Missouri City to tour Fort Bend Brewing Company; to Conroe for Southern Star Brewing Company; and to Katy for No Label Brewery. Each is different and you're bound to have a blast at all of them.
4. Pick Blueberries at Moorhead's Blueberry Farm Spend any weekend morning picking blueberries at Moorhead's Blueberry Farm in Conroe. They go for $2.50 a pound. Then incorporate them into cobblers or pies with Blue Bell ice cream on the side.
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3. Be First in Line at Killen's BBQ or CorkScrew BBQ Wake up early and get your butt to Pearland or The Woodlands to be the first person in line for tender brisket, ribs and pulled pork.You'll be a happy camper when you get to choose exactly what you want without fear of it being sold out. Especially that banana pudding from Killen's.
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2. Saturday Breakfast at Revival Market Revival Market offers different items on its Saturday morning breakfast menu. Stalk the Facebook page or sign up for the newsletter to get a hint at what is going to be served. And if it's Kolache Saturday, drop all plans and get to Revival Market before the rest of the city does. You don't want to miss out on their kolaches or klobasneks.
1. Eat Crepes from Melange Creperie Hang out with Buffalo Sean in the morning or early afternoons (Friday to Sunday) at the corner of Westheimer and Taft where he whips together his signature crepes on his cart's stove top. Choose the ham, egg and cheddar for a savory breakfast, or take the vegetarian route with brie, jams and fruit. Or opt for the sweet combination of banana and Nutella, or strawberry, vanilla crème fraiche and Sinfull Bakery's Everything Granola.