Things To Do

Spec's Fest Returns on Saturday with Gourmet Food Galore

Spec's Fest hits Houston this Saturday with live music, guest vendors and tons of free food (and booze) at the Midtown Spec's.

Spec's Fest differs from the annual Wine and Cheese Fest in that it has wine, cheese and, according to Kylie Boaz, so much more. Boaz is the marketing assistant and social media manager for Spec's, and she was able to give us a sneak peek at what this year's festival has to offer.

"The inside will host a lot of our vendors and samplings, while outside we will have some food for sale," Boaz says. "Also, there will be live music, a smoker from the Goody Girls grilling hot dogs, and the Tillamook Love Loaf Bus will be outside with samples, too."

Hold up. The what bus?

Evidently, the Tillamook bus travels the country distributing cheese samples and looking cute. The Goody Girls BBQ Cookoff Team LLC, it seems, are a group of ladies who compete in barbecue competitions around the world and are stopping by Spec's to show us how it's done. Their chief cooker, Rock Smith, will be partnering with Spec's chef Dimitra Kriticos to make some rad dogs.

A number of Spec's vendors will be at the event to talk about their products, which will include everything from cheese, meat and salsa to ice cream, chocolate truffles and coffee. The event and all tastings are free, but Spec's is offering reduced prices on many of their popular items (including plenty of local beers) if you want to take home some of the things you taste.

Some of the vendor stations will focus on regional cuisine. For example, there will be a German table with several varieties of German sandwiches, blood and tongue sausages, jagdwurst (German bologna), matjesfilethaeppchen (bite-size herring salad canapés) and Bahlsen brand cookies.

An Italian table will feature a hand-cranked prosciutto slicer with San Daniele Prosciutto and San Daniele Speck d'Alto Adige, and a Texan table will offer samples of Texas Firecrackers crackers and Texas Brew salsa.

Katz Coffee will provide samples of the newly launched Juan Diaz coffee line named after the Houston-born boxer, and Juan Diaz himself will be in the store to help promote it. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Mercer's Wine Ice Cream will be handing out sweet treats, as will Xan, makers of beautiful chocolate truffles.

The money raised from sales of the Goody Girls' $1 hot dogs will be donated to the Houston-based Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research. If eating for a good cause isn't enough incentive to go, Spec's will be raffling baskets filled with gourmet food every hour during the festival.

The celebration lasts from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you're still thirsty after that, the Spec's neighborhood in Midtown is filled with great bars like Little Woodrow's, Bar Munich, 3rd Floor and 13 Celsius. Though we doubt you'll be craving anything after this food extravaganza other than a nap.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kaitlin Steinberg