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Houston Restaurant Weeks Menus and Reservations Go Live on July 15

HRW 2016 raised more than $2 million for the Houston Food Bank.
HRW 2016 raised more than $2 million for the Houston Food Bank. Photo courtesy of Houston Restaurant Weeks

Houston Restaurant Weeks
, the single largest fundraiser in the United States benefiting the Houston Food Bank, the single largest food bank in America, returns August 1 through September 4.

Last year the event raised a whopping $2,015,157.77 for the Houston Food Bank, with 274 restaurants participating for a great cause. On top of that, The Houston Food Bank partners with the Montgomery County Food Bank and the Galveston County Food Bank, with all donations from restaurants operating in those counties going to their respective food banks.

What will this year entail? Well, you'll find out come Saturday, July 15. That's when the website will go live for Reservations Day, when you'll be able to book a table to the eatery of your choosing (though some restaurants don't require reservations, just FYI). For five weeks, participating restaurants will then offer specially priced prix-fixe menus and make a donation to the food bank based upon sales. Since Houston Restaurant Weeks is run by volunteers,100 percent of the donations raised from the event goes to charity.

Wondering if the money you're spending during HRW actually goes a long way? Well, it does. The most affordable HRW prix fixe option, a $20 lunch/brunch, actually generates nine food bank meals. And the $45 dinner splurge generates a whopping 21 food bank meals. That's pretty amazing, and it's also a great deal for folks who normally can't afford, say, a three- or four-course meal at a ritzy landmark like Tony's or Brennan's.

“Houston Restaurant Weeks is very critical to our mission at Houston Food Bank,” said Brian Greene, president of Houston Food Bank, via a press release. "Last year we distributed 39 million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables. We also distributed more than 7 million pounds of fresh frozen meat.”

The 35-day fundraiser was founded by Cleverley Stone, radio personality, Texas food authority and Houston Food Bank volunteer, in 2003 and since then has raised more than $9.6 million, with the food bank providing more than 29 million meals for Houstonians who are food insecure and distributing upwards of 79 million nutritious meals through a network of 600 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other hunger relief charities in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals each year.

“As one who reports on restaurants and chefs in our city," says Stone, "I am so grateful for the outpouring of support by Houston’s restaurant industry, diners and sponsors...Houston Restaurant Weeks has become one of the most anticipated times of the year for local foodies and visitors to our city.”

Log on to to make those reservations and check out the HRW menus on Saturday, July 15. And check back on Monday as we reveal our top menu picks for this year's fundraiser.
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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.