Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All month long beginning August 1
Houston Restaurant Weeks
Houston Restaurant Weeks is back, beginning Tuesday, August 1, and running through Labor Day, September 4. Throughout the fundraising event, which brought in a record-breaking $2,015,157.77 for the Houston Food Bank last year, diners can enjoy specially priced multi-course prix-fixe menus at a growing list of more than 200 participating restaurants. Check out our guide to this year's Best HRW Deals, from steakhouse dinner to Big Easy brunch.
New York Deli Month at Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen & Restaurant
August brings the second annual, nationwide New York Deli Month; and both Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen & Restaurant locations, 2327 Post Oak, 5172 Buffalo Speedway, will be taking part by offering a multi-choice, three-course menu during lunch and dinner ($37, plus tax and gratuity, with 10 percent of each meal sold going to the Holocaust Museum Houston). As an added incentive, the museum will be offering anyone who purchases a New York Deli Month meal a complimentary ticket, good for two entries to its temporary museum location, opening in September at 9220 Kirby, Suite 100.
Build Your Own Panini days at D’Amico’s Italian Market Café (Rice Village)
As August is National Panini Month, the Rice Village location of D’Amico’s Italian Market Café, 5510 Morningside, is allowing guests to build their own panini all month long. Starting at $8.99, guests can fill the fresh-baked Italian bread with one meat and three ingredients of choice, then let the kitchen take over and prepare.
Monday, July 31
Grand Opening at Bernie’s Burger Bus Heights
The long-awaited Heights location of Bernie’s Burger Bus, 2200 Yale, is finally open! Burger fans can celebrate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with all-day happy hour, giveaways, music from a high school marching band, and 100 free “The Principal” burgers to the first 100 people in line, beginning at 11 a.m.
Last Service Family Dinner at One Fifth Steak
One Fifth Steak, 1658 Westheimer, is celebrating its last night of service with one final family meal. Every night before dinner service, the cooks prepare a meal for each other as a way to break bread together before the craziness of a shift. And on its final night as a steakhouse concept, the staff is inviting the public to join in on the fun. Guests will be entirely in the kitchen’s hands, as there is no menu. Cost is $85 per person and reservations can be made online.
Tuesday, August 1
$1 Skillet Meals at Omaha Steaks
Omaha Steaks will be announcing the launch of its newest product line, 15-minute Skillet Meals, and to celebrate, it will be offering $1 Skillet Meals all day at its new flagship Omaha Steaks retail store in the Town & Country Village Shopping Center, 650 West Bough, Suite 100. The launch party will also feature cooking demos and tastings, with Skillet Meals flavors including Moroccan-style harissa beef and vegetables, Indian-style chicken curry with vegetables, chicken piccata, steak au poivre, Asian-style pepper steak, and Chinese-style orange chicken.
Summer Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint
Chef Sam Chang, an alum of some of Houston’s most celebrated kitchens (including his most recent post: Oxheart), will be the next featured chef in the Summer Outdoor Cooking Series at Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale. On Tuesdays through August, 15, Chang will prepare Slack Season Noodles ($15), his take on a popular dish from Tainan, Taiwan, where his family is from. This more dressed up version of the traditional braised pork, shrimp and wheat noodles dish will include elements such as fried shallots, julienne scallions and a soft-boiled soy egg. To make use of the outdoor grill, the shrimp will be skewered for the open flame instead of being poached. All food service begins at 5 p.m. and will continue until sold out. The regular Eight Row menu is also available.
Wednesday, August 2
Sundown at the Grove
The Grove, 1611 Lamar, continues its Sundown at the Grove summer series, featured every Wednesday evening through August 30 (5:30 to 8 p.m.). Patrons can enjoy samples from featured local craft breweries (or wineries) alongside DJ sets and savory food pairings with made-to-order food stations, with this week’s Sundown featuring Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Tickets are $20.
Landry’s “Dining through the Decades” at Morton’s The Steakhouse Downtown
Landry’s Inc. continues its Houston Chef Series: “Dining through the Decades” with time-hopping dishes from chef Frank Lewis of Morton’s, 1001 McKinney. The private and exclusive dining experience will feature five wine-paired courses, including blackened Gulf snapper with maque choux, broiled Chateaubriand with mushroom ragu and marshmallow fluff bars. Dinner is at 7 p.m. and cost is $95 per person or $80 for Landry’s Select Club members (plus tax and gratuity).
Thursday, August 3
Chocolate Class for Kids at Araya Artisan Chocolate
Araya Artisan Chocolate, 2013 West Gray, will be hosting a kid-centric chocolate class from 10 a.m. to noon. The kids will learn about the history of chocolate and how chocolate is made, taste different varieties of chocolate and cacao beans, learn the essential techniques of tempering and molding chocolate, and make their own chocolate masterpieces to take home. All the equipment will be provided, including disposable chef hats and aprons. Cost is $25 per child.
King’s Cares at King’s BierHaus
King’s Bierhaus, 2044 East T C Jester, continues its charity initiative, King’s Cares, from 5 to 10 p.m. On the first Thursday of every month, 20 percent of the day’s sales proceeds will be donated to a local charity nominated by the public. To nominate, leave a comment on King’s BierHaus's Facebook page naming the charity and the cause it supports. King’s BierHaus will pick four, and the charity with the most votes will win the donation. Thursday specials at King’s BierHaus include 50 percent off all bottles of wines, $5 bites, $6 signature drafts, $7 cocktails and reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Friday, August 4
Indian Summer Pop Up at Pondicheri
Pondicheri, 2800 Kirby, will host an interactive dinner highlighting the best street foods of India from 7 to 9 p.m. The dinner is limited to 16 people and cost is $135 per person, including food, wine, gratuity and tax.
Saturday, August 5
White Linen Night in the Heights
The annual block party, art sale and vendor shop takes place on the 200 and 300 blocks of 19th Street from 6 to 10 p.m., but you can find the revelry going well into the night all over the Heights. Check out party spots like Heights Beer Garden, Southern Goods, Town in City Brewing and Christian’s Tailgate.
Sunday, August 6
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National Root Beer Float Day at Saint Arnold Brewery
Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons, will be celebrating National Root Beer Float Day by opening up its (Root) Beer Hall for an afternoon of family-friendly fun. Classic root beer floats, made with local Fat Cat Creamery Mexican Vanilla ice cream, will be served along with some special variations and grown-up floats for the adults. Admission is free and open to the public from noon to 5 p.m.
End of Summer Bash at Killen’s Barbecue
Bid farewell to the carefree days of summer with a live show by the Junior Gordon Band from 2 to 6 p.m. at Killen’s Barbecue, 3613 East Broadway. Guests can enjoy the tunes while they sip free beers in line and get down on ’cue and the Sunday specials: Barbecue chicken and fried chicken.