Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All month long (August)
Houston Restaurant Weeks
Houston Restaurant Weeks is back, running now through Monday, September 2 and with a growing list of 255 restaurants expected to participate. The annual fundraiser, that benefits the Houston Food Bank, has raised more than $14.7 million to date, as restaurants offer preset menus for brunch and lunch ($20) and dinner ($35 to $45) with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the charity. New to the lineup this year are popular spots like Bisou, Indianola, Tris and La Lucha.
National Deli Month
Kenny & Ziggy’s, 2327 Post Oak, 5172 Buffalo Speedway, will join more than 30 Jewish delis across the nation in National Deli Month, a month-long effort to bring attention to the historically American New York-style delicatessen and raise funds for local charities. Both locations will offer a multi-choice, three-course menu during lunch and dinner for $38, with ten percent of each meal sold benefiting the Holocaust Museum Houston.
Wurstfest at King’s BierHaus and King’s Biergarten
Throughout the entire month of August, Wurstfest is going down at King’s Biergarten, 1329 East Broadway, and King’s BierHaus (Heights and League City), 2044 East T C Jester, 828 FM 646 West, with an impressive 12+ lineup of specialty sausages offered in an All-You-Can-Eat promotion starting at $9.95. Guests can enjoy flavors from the traditional, like the “Scharfe Kase Wurst” (hot smoked pork and beef sausage with red pepper and cheese), to the exotic and plant-based, including Wild Boar (with blueberries, merlot wine and brown sugar) and Smoked Apple Sage (hickory smoked with Yukon gold potatoes, apples and sage).
“Some Like It Hot” Tacos of the Month at Torchy’s Tacos
Torchy’s Tacos has kicked off its 2019 “Some Like It Hot” Tacos of the Month campaign at its 60+ restaurants across Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Arkansas. Every week throughout the month of August, a new, hotter taco will be released, from mildest to hottest. Tacos in the lineup include the Bottle Rocket Shrimp, Barnburner, The Creeper and Scalding Pig. New this year, Torchy’s will host its first Some Like It Hot taco eating contest on Monday, August 19 – National Hot and Spicy Food Day. Daredevils can attempt to withstand the fire at Torchy’s at the 10123 Louetta location. Participants can sign up online starting Tuesday, August 6 (space is limited).
Monday, August 5
National Oyster Day at The Oceanaire Seafood Room
The Oceanaire, 5061 Westheimer, is inviting guests to enjoy one “shell of a deal” this National Oyster Day, offering Chef’s Select Oysters for $1 each in the bar area all day long.
Wednesday, August 7
Italian Brunch cooking class at the Italian Cultural & Community Center
The Italian Cultural & Community Center, 1101 Milford, will host a hands-on “Italian Brunch” cooking class, led by Houston food blogger Flavia Scalzitti of Flavia’s Flavors and beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65 for ICCC members and $70 for nonmembers.
Back to School Bash at Rainforest Cafe
Rainforest Cafe, 5000 Katy Mills, will host a Back to School Bash from 5 p.m. to close, featuring interactive games, activities and a $10.99 kid’s pasta and taco bar buffet.
Real Ale Beer Dinner at State Fare Kitchen & Bar
Following a successful beer dinner in June, State Fare Kitchen & Bar, 947 Gessner, has decided to continue the series on a monthly basis. First up, the eatery will collaborate with Real Ale Brewing Company, featuring four beer-paired courses from executive chef Justin Yoakum — think Spiked Lobster Roll paired with Skullberry Strawberry Milkshake IPA and Chicken and Waffles, with spiked hot honey, Brussel cole slaw and Hans Pilsner (vegan courses available upon request). Tickets are $50 per person (swag included), plus tax and gratuity, and the dinner runs from 6 to 8 p.m.
Thursday – Friday
An Introduction to French Country Wines at French Country Wines
French Country Wines, 2433 Bartlett, will host a series of classes dubbed “An Introduction to French Country Wines” for the next ten months, beginning on Thursday, August 8 and repeated on Friday, August 9. Each class will have a different theme – from exploring the wines of different regions to learning all about dessert wines – and will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Cost is $48 per person and includes five wines for tasting with cheese pairings. Those attending the class will also receive a ten percent discount off the purchase price of any of the wines discussed. Reservations are required as seating is limited. Call 713-993-9500.
Friday, August 9
“Come Wine with Us” wine tasting at the Italian Cultural & Community Center
Beginning at 7 p.m., the Italian Cultural & Community Center, 1101 Milford, will host a wine tasting highlighting five Sangiovese based wines paired with bites from Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar. The tasting will be led by Philip Cusimano. Tickets are $60 for ICCC members and $65 for nonmembers.
Saturday, August 10
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Five-Year Anniversary Block Party at Cacao & Cardamom
Cacao & Cardamom, 5000 Westheimer, turned five this summer, and it's celebrating with a free block party from noon to 4 p.m. Guests can taste, shop, splurge and create their own chocolate creations, from artisan chocolate bars topped with Pop Rocks, spices, nuts and pretzels to S’mores bars with homemade marshmallows. The first 50 guests will also get free swag bags.
Free Wine Tasting: Julia Child Edition at French Country Wines
As the world celebrates the late, great Julia Child on her birthday (Thursday, August 15), French Country Wines, 2433 Bartlett, will pay homage to the chef with a special free wine tasting, selecting wines that pair nicely with some of her most famous French dishes from her best-selling Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Owner Jean-Philippe Guy is offering to give a copy of that book to one lucky winner, and another lucky winner will be presented with a copy of the 2009 movie Julie and Julia, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. The free tasting runs from noon to 6 p.m.