Here, Eat This

The 10 HRW Restaurants To Visit Before It’s Too Late

There are less than two weeks remaining of Houston Restaurant Weeks, which started on August 1 and ends on September 5.

By this point, many enthusiasts have dined at the top spots on their wish lists. There are, however, several places that might not have received as much attention for their Houston Restaurant Weeks menu. Perhaps some diners don’t even realize these places are offering a dining deal or maybe they’re just taken for granted.

Fortunately, it’s not too late to visit any of these places that might have been overlooked. Here are ten well worth diners’ attention, and of course any meal purchase generates a donation to the Houston Food Bank. View and search all the restaurant menus at the Houston Restaurant Weeks web site

Américas/Churrascos, various locations. These restaurants, all of which are part of legendary restaurateur Michael Cordúa’s Houston restaurant empire, have faithfully participated in the Houston Restaurant Weeks fundraiser year after year. The only question might be which beloved Houston favorite to try. Should the starter be the beef tenderloin-stuffed empanadas at Américas or the albondigas (beef and pork meatballs) in crisp yucca cups with spicy black bean and queso idiazábal fondue at Churrascos? The good news is that with a few exceptions like these, there’s a lot of overlap between the menus and the signature six-ounce Churrasco steak with chimichurri is available at all locations. Both the $35 dinner and $20 lunch is available.

Aura Brasserie, 15977 City Walk. Chef Frederic Perrier’s France-meets-Texas menus at his Sugar Land restaurant are as elegant as they are approachable. Start with Foie Gras Crème Brûlee with onion marmalade and French toast before tucking into a twist on Beef Wellington that instead has a pastry-wrapped and baked pork filet with porcini mushroom sauce. Conclude the meal with silky chocolate mousse with fresh Chantilly cream.

Benjy’s in the Village, 2424 Dunstan #125. This is definitely among the Houston restaurants that should not be taken for granted. It's done a fine job for years and the HRW menu is full of adventurous choices. Begin with Gulf Crab Dip and housemade saltines, then segue into one of the most interesting HRW entrées: Crispy Fried Harissa Spiced Catfish with summer corn salad and sliced watermelon. The Lemonade Pie with lemon curd and strawberry jam is a tangy end to this ideal August meal. The HRW menu is only available at dinner and is $35. (Don't forget about the Benjy's on Washington, either, which offers the same menu.) 

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, 5061 Westheimer Rd #8060. Perch in the upper balcony of this Galleria-area steakhouse while making some delightfully tough entrée decisions. The question comes down to whether to spend an extra $18 for a hefty 16-ounce ribeye or go off the beaten path and select the generous platter of tempura lobster tails with black bean sauce. The obvious answer is to bring a friend and try both. If the soup of the day is the poblano cream, get it. For dessert, the chocolate mousse is a well-made rendition and just as rich and silky as anyone could want.

Latin Bites, 5709 Woodway. Show some love for the food of Peru by indulging in an HRW dinner menu that starts with flounder ceviche service classically with aji limo leche de tigre, cuzco corn, Andean corn nuts and chunks of sweet potato. Move on to Aji De Gallina, or shredded chicken luxuriously bathed in almond-pecan sauce with aji Amarillo, fingerling potatoes and white rice. Then, succumb to the intrigue of a fanciful dessert: a purple corn cheesecake with a oatmeal crust modeled after the national drink of the same hue, chichi morada.
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Phaedra Cook
Contact: Phaedra Cook