Here’s a look at this weekend's best culinary happenings:
The Taste of New Orleans @ Jones Plaza
Saturday, 1:30 to 10 p.m.
Celebrate the rich culture of New Orleans at this second annual festival, which features live zydeco and brass bands, plus the best of food and art from the Crescent City. Get your favorite NOLA-style eats from local favorites including BB's Café, The Cajun Stop and St. John's Fire, all with craft beer and refreshing Bourbon Street cocktails alongside. General-admission tickets are available for $20.
Big Texas Beer Fest @ NRG Center
Saturday, 2 to 6:30 p.m.
1 NRG Park
After four successful years in North Texas, this giant beer fest has made its way to Houston. It's known for exclusive and rare beers, one-offs and special firkins, and the inaugural event will feature at least 80 breweries and more than 300 beers to sample, with food trucks and live music making the day that much cooler. Tickets are $39 for general admission and include a commemorative tasting cup and sampling card good for 12 two-ounce samples. VIP tickets are $65 and include the tasting cup, sampling tickets, one-hour early admission (1 p.m.), and first access to rare beers. During the festival, additional tasting tickets for 12 two-ounce samples will be sold for $2.
Houston Barbecue Festival @ NRG Park
Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Gate 13 — Green Lot
Get your 'cue on at this fourth annual smoked meat festival, featuring pitmasters from Blood Bros. BBQ, The Brisket House, Brooks’ Place BBQ, CorkScrew BBQ, Gatlin’s BBQ, Killen's Barbecue, Louie Mueller Barbecue, Ray’s BBQ Shack and Roegels Barbecue Co., to name a few. General-admission tickets to the rain-or-shine event are $60 and include unlimited samples from each barbecue joint. Note: The first three festivals sold out before the day of the event, so act now if you plan to attend.
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Dessert Pop Up @ Public Services Wine & Whisky
Sunday, 2 to 8 p.m.
Since Public Services has hoarded more dessert wine than it knows what to do with, it has invited pastry chefs Karen Man of Oxheart and Jillian Bartolome of Common Bond to make a series of desserts to justify opening all the good stuff in Public Services' cellar. They'll be pouring legendary dessert wines from producers like Huet, Heidi Schrock, Bussola and Donhoff, and offering them at almost cost (break-even, if you will) to pair with mind-blowingly awesome desserts.
Wooster’s Bier Fest 2016 @ Wooster’s Garden
Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m.
Wooster's Bier Fest is set to celebrate all things hoppy, malty and yeasty. Head to the garden to sip free samples from top breweries, including Founders, Dogfish Head, Saint Arnold and Karbach, plus enjoy live music, craft cocktails and eats from local favorites. Holley's Seafood, Luna y Sol and Cousins Maine Lobster are just a few of the eateries on hand. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or older.