Though social distancing is in effect with bars closed for in-house services and restaurants limited, the ever-strong Houston food community continues to truck on. This week, you can support local restaurants by carrying out or making reservations for dine-in service, try out Houston Restaurant Weeks before it comes to an end (on Labor Day), enjoy a Taco Tuesday collaboration and do Friday lunch.
Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All week long
Back to School Special at Tarka Indian Kitchen
From now until Thursday, September 10, Tarka Indian Kitchen, 721 West 19th, is running a Back to School special, offering 50-percent off a kid’s meal with a purchase of an adult entrée. The offer is only available online for rewards club members, but non-rewards members can redeem in-store. To redeem online or via app, add items to cart, hit checkout and discount will automatically apply. Mention the offer to the cashier to redeem in-store (the offer is not valid for third-party delivery).
Houston Restaurant Weeks
It’s your last full week of Houston Restaurant Weeks, which runs now through Labor Day to raise funds for the Houston Food Bank — honoring founder Cleverley Stone’s incredibly legacy, it has raised over $16.6 million to date. Local restaurants will be serving specially priced multi-course prix fixe menus for brunch, lunch and dinner, many of which will include takeout. Look out for a mix of both new and classic spots, including Eugene’s Gulf Coast Cuisine, Fung’s Kitchen, Guard and Grace, Kin Dee Thai Cuisine, Mastrantos, Peli Peli South African Kitchen, The Tasting Room, Rainbow Lodge and many more.
Tuesdays (in September)
Riel “Taco Tuesday Team-Up” at Tacos A Go Go
Tacos A Go Go continues its "Taco Tuesday Team-Up", a monthly campaign encouraging support of the local restaurant community with a portion of proceeds benefiting I’ll Have What She’s Having. Each month, the taco kitchen will team up with a different restaurant to feature a one-of-a-kind taco on Taco Tuesday throughout the month, with a focus on partnering with woman-owned restaurants. Riel, owned by Mechelle Tran and chef Ryan Lachaine, is up next in September, with Lachaine’s tacos available at all four active Tacos A Go Go locations (Midtown, Heights, Oak Forest, Cinco Ranch).
Wednesday, September 2
50-Cent First Wednesday at The Kolache Shoppe Heights
Kolache Shoppe continues its 50th anniversary, offering 50-cent kolaches at its Heights Kolache Shoppe, 1031 Heights, on the first Wednesday of each month through December 2020. The offer is good the its $1.65 varieties of kolaches (such as small sausage, small sausage and cheese, peach, cream cheese) starting at 7 a.m. until sold out (limited to two dozen specially priced kolaches per party and excludes call-in orders).
Virtual Houston Press Menu of Menus Extravaganza
For the first time ever, ourHouston Press Menu of Menus Extravaganza
is going virtual, celebrating Houston’s culinary scene beginning at 7 p.m. Ticket holders will experience the Iron Fork competition chef face-off, as well as virtual cocktail demonstrations, food and cooking tips fromPeli Peli South African Kitchen
, a curated selection of savory and sweet food bites and premium alcohol, and swag (including an exclusive Menu of Menus card featuring savings at participating restaurants). This year,One Fifth Mediterranean
chef de cuisine Matt Staph will represent our city in the Iron Fork competition, going up against Luke Rogers, executive chef at Savor in Dallas' Klyde Warren Park. GA tickets are $49 plus fees and VIP tickets are $79 plus fees; and food and drink packets — there won't be any perishables in the box — can be picked up on August 31 (VIP ticket holders will also be able to eat food from food trucks on site at the August 31 pickup party).
Wednesdays and Thursdays
Bars Across Houston Patio Pop-Up Series at One Fifth Houston (Wednesday) and Lucille’s (Thursday)
Lucille’s, 5512 La Branch, continues hosting its Thursday Patio Pop-Up series (6 to 10 p.m.), inviting local bar teams to take over the restaurant’s patio for a full evening of service and with the featured staff collecting 100-percent of the sales and tips generated by their curated cocktails. And now, One Fifth Mediterranean, 1658 Westheimer, has joined in on the giving and the fun with its own Wednesday nights (Lucille’s has made each pop-up reservation-only and implements maximum time caps on each reservation to help further manage distancing, and Chris Shepherd and his team plan to implement similar protocols at One Fifth). In addition to supporting bartenders across the city, both restaurants will give $1 for every cocktail sold to Lucille’s 1913, a nonprofit launched to provide meals to Houstonians in need, targeting the elderly in impoverished neighborhoods from Sunnyside to Acres Homes. Restaurants and bars interested in participating in the 1913 Pop-Up Program can contact Lucille’s 1913 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Wine Dinner with Roma
Roma, 2347 University, continues its Weekly Virtual Wine Dinner series, with a fun, interactive meal beginning at 7:30 p.m. Each setup includes three bottles of wine and a multi-course dinner to be picked up from 5 to 7 p.m., plus a Zoom link for the virtual meal hosted by wine guy Jeremy Parzen and with Italian winemakers as special guests. Cost is $119 per couple or $89 per individual.
Friday, September 4
BBQ & Bubbles at 13 Celsius
Texas Hill Country Friday Lunch at State of Grace
State of Grace, 3258 Westheimer, is now offering a Texas Hill Country-inspired lunch every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu offerings include smoked pimento cheese ($9), deviled eggs ($9), grilled chicken salad ($16), pharmacy burger ($13), lobster roll ($28), spaghettini ($21), pansoti ($19), petite filet (6oz, $35), squash blossoms ($10), Szechuan eggplant ($7) and more. To place a lunch order to-go, call 832-942-5080.
New and ongoing specials
New tacos at Fly By Taco Co
The Fly By Taco Co pop up breakfast taco shop — which pops up at Max’s Wine Dive, 4720 Washington, Monday-Friday 7 to 11 a.m. and weekends 8 to 11 a.m. — has added two brand-new tacos to its menu. Priced at $3.75 each, the Choriqueso taco features pork chorizo, jack cheese and refried beans; and the Max & Jack Taco rocks breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeños. To order contact-free pickup, download the “Toast Take-Out & Delivery” and search for Fly By Taco Co.
“Pay It Forward” to the Teachers at Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Hopdoddy Burger Bar launched the Pay It Forward campaign in May 2020 to provide support
(and burgers) to healthcare and hospitality professionals in Houston and across all markets. Now, the burger joint has pivoted the program to support educators. For every burger purchased through September 17, Hopdoddy will donate one burger to teachers who are working to keep students safe as schools open, or to support parents participating in at-home learning. To participate, guests can use the promo code “Teacher” to donate a burger to a teacher when ordering online; and dine-in customers can let cashiers know they would like to “Buy One Give One” when checking out at any Hopdoddy location. Teacher and school nominations can be sent to email@example.com.
Family Meal Pack at Pluckers Wing Bar
Pluckers Wing Bar is offering a Family Meal Pack to fuel sports fans this season, featuring a choice of holy macaroni or fried pickles, 15 bone-in wings, eight boneless wings, twos sides of mac and cheese, a side of tater tots, a side of fries, a brownie and a choice gallon beverage. The packs feed four to six for $65 (and guests can add on signature gallon cocktails mixes to-go, too). Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Pluckers offers dine-in options and curbside pickup at all 22 locations across Texas and Louisiana and delivery at select locations.
Outdoor Tents, Dining and Sports Watching at Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks restaurants in Kirby (4527 Lomitas) and Webster (20931 Gulf Freeway) are now offering an outdoor dining experience under large, open-air tents during the pandemic. The tents come complete with cooling fans, socially distanced seating and multiple big screen TVs for sports fans. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily (Friday-Saturday to midnight).