This weekend will see a number of restaurants, bars and breweries opening for the first time since the pandemic began in March. With Phase Two of the Reopening of Texas, restaurants can increase capacity to 50 percent and bars are now allowed to open with a 25 percent cap. Memorial Day will be the first holiday in which Texans can dine in or belly up to the bar since March 17, when restaurants and bars were banned from dine-in and bar service due to the COVID-19 crisis. That left many businesses losing their revenue for St. Patrick's Day, Easter and most of Mother's Day.
So, it's to be expected that many business owners are chomping at the bit to get going again this Memorial Day weekend and serve the customers they have sorely missed. While the day is meant to honor the men and women who have died in military service to our country, it is also a time for we Americans to be united in our resolve to defeat the COVID-19 virus and return to our normal lives. Our unity is the best way to honor the lives lost.
For Patrick Feges, who owns Feges BBQ with wife Erin Smith, Memorial Day has a deeper meaning than backyard grilling and fireworks. Feges is a U.S. Army combat veteran who received the Purple Heart for life-threatening injuries sustained in Iraq. In an emotional press release for this Memorial Day, Feges said, "Every Memorial Day, I think about the three guys who I served with in Iraq that didn't come back...Especially now, I think a lot about the people who have put and are putting their lives on the line for freedom. People who have sacrificed everything for our freedom. I encourage everyone to wear masks - it's such a small sacrifice to keep our fellow human beings safe compared to what a lot of people have done and are doing now."
Indeed, it is.
This contemporary wine bistro is about celebration and it's offering a picnic basket special, or as the French say, le pique-nique, for $69. It includes two roast beef sandwiches, horseradish, mayo, truffle chips, pasta salad, homemade cookies and a bottle of Ayala Brut Majuner Champagne.
It will also serve a Memorial Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Feges BBQ Pop-ups
3 Greenway Plaza, through Friday, May 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
8217 Long Point, Saturday May 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
1972 Fairview, Sunday May 24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Owner Patrick Feges and wife Erin Smith quickly garnered a well-deserved spot in Houston's barbecue scene when they opened Feges BBQ in Greenway Plaza. The couple plans to open a new full-size restaurant in Spring Branch in 2021. Meanwhile, they are doing pop-ups in Spring Branch and Montrose to get their barbecue to hungry Houstonians who want to leave the smoked meats and tasty sides to the professionals. The BBQ in Bulk menu includes items like Pork Belly ($25), Whole Rack Pork Ribs ($30), Chopped Brisket ($35 for two pounds), half turkey breast ($20) and more. There are sides such as the popular pimento mac 'n cheese, braised collard greens and loaded potato salad.
Orders should be made ahead of time. There are instructions on its website for payment and pick up. They will be accepting walk-up orders at the Montrose location in the parking lot at Roost. The crew from Tlahuac will also be there May 24 with a mobile panaderia. Customers can pre-order breads and pastries such as a pina empanada ($3), pink concha ($2.50) and coconut tres leches online at papalotaqueria.com
Guard and Grace
Chef Troy Guard's modern steakhouse is offering a Family Style Grill Kit which includes a choice of an eight ounce NY Strip, six ounce Black Angus Filet Mignon or eight ounce Gulf Red Snapper. With it comes a Caesar salad, Guard and Grace's Black Truffle Mac 'n Cheese, Troy's famous Chocolate Chip Cookie plus a sample of the restaurant's signature steak rub. The kits are $70 per person. All bottles of wine are 50 percent off with the purchase of two kits. Guard and Grace is closed Sunday and Monday so all orders for the a la carte menu and steak kits must be picked up by Saturday, May 23. The dining room is now open for dinner service as well.
Jax Grill and Bar
1613 Shepherd, 713-861-5529
6510 S. Rice, 713-668-3606
This casual, family-friendly restaurant is offering its steak night special for Memorial Day, beginning at 4 p.m. It offers a ten ounce mesquite-grilled ribeye with a baked potato and salad for $16.If you're not in the mood for steak, there are seafood baskets, chicken tenders, fajitas and burgers. Update: Due to a shortage from its supplier, Jax Grill has discontinued its Steak Night offerings.
2555 Kirby, 713-255-4440
714 Yale, 360-6133
Both the Heights and Kirby locations have five refreshing cocktail kits for chilling in the backyard or front porch all weekend long. Choose from the Spicy Rita, Mojito, Gin 7 Tonic, Blackberry Julep or the Thai Basil Vodka Cooler. The kits start at $27 and makes up to six drinks. Customers can also order online from its takeout menu and grocery set-up.
No Label Brewing Co.
This brewery out in Katy has been doing its quarantine drive-thru for the past couple of months. Now, it's ready to open its taproom in compliance with the new Texas guidelines for bars and restaurants. This Memorial Day weekend, it will feature live music and food trucks all weekend long. Friday, Jacob Asbill will play from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. while Chris Boise and DJ Fermented will be part of the line-up for Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. with Curbside Coonexan dishing out Cajun cuisine like the Jambalaya Grilled Cheese and its Fried Pork Chop Sandwich. On Sunday the live music continues and Araguaney Food Truck will be on site selling its empanadas and Latin foods. On Monday Benny's Dawgs will be parked, selling its over-the top hot dogs which could include venison and gator. Also on Monday, the brewery will release a new beer, Perpetual Peace. It's a Barrel Aged Wee Heavy, a Scotch Ale. There are twenty-five additional beers on tap, available in six packs, crowlers and growlers. The brewery will continue to operate its drive-thru as well.
The Patio at The Pit Room
Michael Sambrooks' barbecue joint is opening Friday May 22 for regular hours as Texas goes into Phase Two of reopening. It will follow all the state guidelines with 25 percent capacity inside and full capacity on the patio. Besides its delicious barbecue, the restaurant will have crawfish all weekend long beginning at 1 p.m. each day until it sells out. Of course, there is also barbecue.
If you prefer to celebrate at home, The Pit Room has bulk barbecue to-go and its menu as well.
Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Houston's oldest craft brewery is offering a Memorial Weekend Grill at Home Pack which must be ordered by Friday May 22 and picked up Saturday, May 23 or Sunday May 23. The brewery is closed for Memorial Day. The package includes two half-pound burger patties, two house-made Amber Ale bratwursts, buns, Slow Dough pretzel rolls, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese, house-made sauerkraut, Amber Ale mustard, potato salad and green salad. It also comes with Honey Agave Cider Apple Cobbler for dessert and a six pack of beer or cider. Total cost is $65.
This Friday, the brewery will also be selling its Fresh and Sessionable Backyard low-calorie IPA at the beer garden.
State Fare Kitchen and Bar
For those looking to get everything in one place for their small gathering, State Fare is offering an At Home BBQ Grilling Kit ($83.20). It includes four Akaushi patties, buns, lettuce, tomato, onion, State Fare's signature sauce, bread and butter pickles, corn on the cob with a seasoning kit for street elote, one pound of Akaushi jalapeno-cheddar sausage, one pint of pickle dip and housemade barbecue chips. That will definitely take care of four people, but there are additional kits and family packs, too.Customers can add beer and wine to the orders or one of its cocktail kits like the Margarita kit ($35), the Bloody Mary kit ($35) or a gallon of mimosa for $25. Other add-ons include a S'mores kit ($20) or six chocolate chip cookies ($10).
Orders must be made for the grilling kits by Saturday May 23 for pick up from Saturday morning to Monday during business hours.
State Fare will also debut its brunch menu Memorial Day ,May 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests can make reservations for dine-in or do take-away.
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In honor of Memorial Day and its Around the World Brunch, this global restaurant is offering a free order of its Morning Churros with a take-out or dine in purchase of $50 or more. Its brunch runs Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It also has special brunch cocktail kits for take-out including the Caribbean Queen, Bloody Mary or Bloody Maria. Each kit features a 200 ml bottle of liquor and sixteen ounces of cocktail mix, enough to make six drinks. Each kits is $32.
It also has a limited deal right now in which customers can get a free order of Shiitake Edamame Dumplings or Chicken Karaage with the purchase of two Asian entrees. Entree choices include Short Rib Bibimbap, Viet Cha Ca and Soft Shell Crab Pad Thai. Add on a six pack of beer or a select bottle of wine for $15.