Houston's 5 Best Weekend Food Bets: Tamales, BBQ & Brunch With Santa

Shrimp, grits and Santa Claus. Does brunch get any better?
Shrimp, grits and Santa Claus. Does brunch get any better?
Photo courtesy of Brennan's of Houston

Texas Winter Beer Fest @ Town Green Park (Woodlands)
Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.
2099 Lake Robbins

This season’s largest food and beer festival features more than 50 brewers, plus DJ music, food booths and trucks, and vendors. Sip and sample your way through the party for $40/ticket, which includes six beer samples for three-ounce pours ($3 extra beer tickets, $80 VIP and $10 designated drivers tickets also available). A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a local charity.

Tamale Festival Houston @ Navigation Esplanade
Friday (VIP), 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.
2600 Navigation

Celebrate “tamale season” at this festival featuring eats from some of Houston's best chefs, pop-up kitchens, food trucks and restaurants. The fest’s lineup includes a tamale contest to see who has the best beef, pork, chicken and wildcard tamales in town (with a blind judging on Friday and winners announced Saturday), live music running the gamut from Tejano and R&B to country, local merchants, artists, and crafts, and a full-on party. Tickets are $5 pre-sale, with VIP Friday Night and Director’s Club tickets available as well. 

3rd Annual Brunch with Santa @ Brennan’s of Houston
Saturday, reservations from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3300 Smith 

The annual holiday brunch at Brennan’s offers guests a two-course meal from executive chef Danny Trace, plus a dessert buffet and photo ops with Mr. Claus. In addition to classics such as eggs Brennan and shrimp and grits, adults ($55) can choose from festive dishes including holidays country ham salad; sliced beef tenderloin; or Creole roasted chicken. Children ages two to 12 ($35) can select from kid-friendly dishes such as pancakes and eggs, strawberry cream parfait, farmer’s vegetable pasta with broccoli and parmesan, and buttermilk fried chicken. To end the meal, guests can partake in a dessert buffet filled with treats from the North Pole, including cookies, cupcakes, bread pudding and a hot chocolate bar. Adults will receive a complimentary mimosa and a keepsake ornament with their family photo with Santa, and children can send their wish list to Santa from the new letter-writing station. Call 713-522-9711 for reservations.

Harlem Road Texas BBQ Pop Up @ Savory Spice Shop
Saturday, 11 a.m.
2516 Times

While they're finishing up things for this month’s opening, this Richmond-area joint will be smoking all things meat at a pop-up in Rice Village. Get your first taste of luscious barbecue goodness from chef Ara J. Malekian, and look out for Harlem Road Texas BBQ’s opening soon. 

Culinary All-Stars Dinner for Liz Fenton @ Underbelly
Sunday, 6 p.m.
1100 Westheimer

Liz Fenton is a Houstonian whose passion for food and volunteering have made her a beloved friend to many of our city's most beloved chefs. She was recently diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, so those chefs are coming together to host an incredible benefit dinner to help her with medical bills and other expenses. The chefs — including Chris Shepherd of Underbelly, Adam Dorris of Pax Americana, Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi of Kata Robata Sushi + Grill, and Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan of Pass & Provisions, to name a few — will each be preparing one dish to be paired with wine selected by sommelier Justin Vann of Oxheart and Public Services. The meal will be served Fenton’s favorite way to eat, family-style. There will be only 120 seats for this exclusive dinner. Tickets will be available for a suggested cash donation of $300 per person at Fluff Bake Bar, Underbelly, Oxheart and Killen's BBQ. For those unable to attend but who would still like to help, donations can be made on Fenton’s GoFundMe Page.

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Related Locations

Brennan's of Houston
2600 Navigation

2600 Navigation Blvd
Houston, Texas 77003



1100 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77006



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