Get a taste of with over 120 different dishes in chili, chicken and open dish categories at the Karbach Cookoff.
Get a taste of with over 120 different dishes in chili, chicken and open dish categories at the Karbach Cookoff.
Photo by Eric Sauseda

Houston's 5 Best Weekend Food Bets: The Karbach Cookoff Heats Up

Here’s a look at this weekend's best culinary happenings:

Beers, Bugs & Blues Mardi Gras at Willie’s Grill & Icehouse
Friday through Sunday (plus Fat Tuesday)
17492 Northwest

Willie’s Grill & Icehouse is celebrating Mardi Gras with a lively, Cajun-style party. Running all weekend long, and of course, on Fat Tuesday, February 13, Willie’s will have a 5,000-square-foot tent set up outside, complete with a full-size bar, stage and dance floor for Mardi Gras revelers of all ages. In addition to its full menu of Texas comfort food, guests can get Louisiana crawfish for $6.99 per pound. 

Corks & Forks at The Corinthian
Friday, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. (6:30 for VIP)
202 Fannin

The annual Corks and Forks event raises money for the American Cancer Society, featuring a culinary competition among some of Houston's top chefs, food tastings paired with fine wines, live music and live and silent auctions. This year’s lineup of competing chefs includes chef Colin Shine of Frank’s Americana Revival, chef Edelberto Gonçalves of Fielding's local kitchen + bar, and chef Lance Gillum, Uchi, to name a few. Tickets start at $125 for individuals.

Karbach Cookoff in East Downtown
Saturday, noon to 10:30 p.m.
801 Saint Emanuel

The Robert Garner Firefighter Foundation and Karbach Brewing Company are teaming up once again for the fourth annual Karbach Cookoff. The day’s entertainment includes headliner Big & Rich along with Cowboy Troy, Cam, Frankie Ballard, Sundance Head and Brooke Eden; and this year, 40 cookoff teams will participate in the cookoff, with over 120 different dishes in the chili, chicken and open dish categories. Ticket prices range from $50 to $200, with 100 percent of the profits supporting the Houston Fire Department and local area firefighters. 

Mardi Gras Ball at Saint Arnold Brewery
Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m.
2000 Lyons

Houston’s oldest brewery will be hosting its first Mardi Gras Ball, featuring entertainment by the Bayou City Brass Band, flowing suds and a buffet of New Orleans-inspired eats, including shrimp and andouille jambalaya, blackened wings, red beans and rice and king cake. Tickets are $50 per person and include buffet, beer, entertainment and a hurricane-style glass to take home. Mardi gras costumes, tuxedos and gowns are encouraged. The brewery is also hosting a Valentine’s Day Beer and Cheese Tasting with Houston Dairymaids on Sunday, February 11. 

Hawker Night Market: Mardi Gras Food Festival at Conservatory
Saturday, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
1010 Prairie

Once a month, Conservatory transforms into an authentic Hawker Street Market; and this time around, it’s celebrating all the flavors of Mardi Gras. Expect festive food and drinks, from daiquiris, gumbo and boudin balls to crawfish croquettes, beignet fries and King Cake bread pudding.

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