Novelist Chuck Palahniuk once said: "The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend." Here are five hand-picked things to tell your friends you did this weekend. The catch is that you actually have to go and do them.
Social Hour at Étoile Cuisine et Bar Sunday through Friday, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. 1101 Uptown Park Boulevard
If you haven't checked out chef Philippe Verpiand's acclaimed French bistro in Uptown Park yet, the new social hour is a great time to start. Every day (except Saturday), Étoile Cuisine et Bar offers special items such as Chef Verpiand's Basque crab cake lollipops, beef short rib sliders and house-ground burgers (that's it to the right) for a reduced price from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
In addiition, Étoile mixologist Jason LaBove has selected a variety of wine and craft cocktails to complement each dish. Grab a Moscow Mule or a Le Village du Sud Chardonnay at the bar (or on the patio) and unwind after a long week this afternoon -- or wind down your weekend on Sunday.
Killen's BBQ Pop-Up Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 2804 South Main, Pearland
Within a few months, Ronnie Killen will open up his highly-anticipated barbecue joint at 3613 East Broadway. Until then, get a taste of what's to come every Saturday and Sunday at Killen's Steakhouse, where he'll be serving up brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, sausage and more at lunch.
In addition to the smoked meats -- which will include the Best Bites-winning smoked short rib -- Killen's will also have sides such as potato salad, pinto beans and pulled pork along with bread pudding, pecan pie and banana pudding for dessert. Since the popular steakhouse is closed at lunch on Saturdays and Sundays, the barbecue pop-up is a clever use of Killen's existing space while his new smokehouse is completed.
Wine Fest 2013 at Brenner's on the Bayou Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m. 1 Birdsall Street
It's not too late to snag tickets to the fourth annual Wine Fest at Brenner's on the Bayou, held each spring. The sprawling grounds of Brenner's serve as a giant picnic area, so bring your blanket and flats. You'll want to load up on wine and food, head to your blanket, chow down and repeat all afternoon long. Tickets are still available online for $65, and can also be purchased at the door.
West End Food Truck Festival at Temple Sinai Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 13875 Brimhurst
If the big Haute Wheels Food Truck Festival was simply too big, you'll love this smaller and more intimate food truck festival at Temple Sinai on Sunday afternoon. Eight food trucks -- including Coreanos, Flaming Patties, Fusion Tacos, Stick It, The Waffle Bus, Churrasco's, What's Up Cupcake and Sweet Treats Snow Cones -- will be serving street fare for a good cause. General admission is $5. For $12, you'll get admission and two beer tickets good for brews from Katy's own No Label Brewing Co. Proceeds go to benefit the Houston Food Bank.
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2013 Houston International Festival Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Downtown Houston
Tomorrow kicks off the first weekend of Houston's enormous International Festival, which is spotlighting the culture and cuisine of Brazil this year. In addition to live music across two weekends that features performances by Los Lobos and Aaron Neville, iFest will also offer a sprawling International Food Court and a wine bar. Tickets are available online for a range of prices, starting at $15 for general admission up to $150 for a Universal Passport that includes entry all four days of iFest along with access to the VIP lounge and private restrooms.