Things To Do

Houston's 5 Best Weekend Food Bets: New Year's Brunch, Hangover Burger

Shots Heard Around the World is a flight to la la land.
Shots Heard Around the World is a flight to la la land. Photo by Jenn Duncan
Here's a look at this weekend's best culinary happenings:

Brunch Weekend at Traveler's Table
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
520 Westheimer

Brunch at this globally-inspired restaurant is available for Friday as well as the weekend so day-drinkers can have their fun and go home early before Amateur Night begins on New Year's Eve. Late night party people can start Saturday morning with a leisurely breakfast and Sunday church-goers can take advantage of a post-sermon shot flight to wash away their sins. However you brunch, you do you,

At Traveler's Table, the brunch menu is more than eggs and bacon. Guests can start off with decadent sweets like Morning Churros, Hawaiian Pancakes or Custard Lava French Toast. More savory options include Louisiana Fried Chicken, Blue Crabs Eggs Benedict and Indian Eggs Masala. It's not brunch in Houston without some form of chilaquiles on the menu and Traveler's Table has a version with green suiza sauce. The chilaquiles are available with skirt steak or roasted chicken and there is a vegetarian option with crispy tofu and vegan goat cheese.

Cocktails include a flight of Bloody Marys or its Shots Heard Around the World which includes the Churro del Diablo, Good Morning Vietnam and Wake the Dead. There are also lighter brunch drinks with sparkling wine and juice.

Vegas New Year's Eve at Frio Grill
Friday, 8 p.m.
16410 Mueschke

Not all the fun happens in downtown Houston. North of the city, the Frio Grill is hosting its Las Vegas in Cypress for a lucky New Year's Eve celebration. There will be casino games, with $10,000 in chips for the tables, including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Hold'em. The high chip holder at the end of the evening wins one VIP table for a concert of their choice at The Barn for spring 2022. The Barn is a music and private event venue located on the restaurant's property.

Not only will there be games for trying one's luck but there will also be live music from PBR, a Cypress vocal group that performs classic country with a little 70s rock thrown in. There will be complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a midnight champagne toast plus party favors. Beverages, alcoholic and soft, will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $90 per person and can be purchased here.

Vegan New Year's at Verdine

Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
449 West 19th

In a city as diverse as Houston, New year's revelers can find some sort of celebration to fit their lifestyle. For vegans, there may not be quite as many options but fortunately, Verdine has created a vegan four-course New Year's Eve dinner that will make everyone, vegan or no, happy.

It starts with an amuse-bouche of Seared Eggplant Nigiri and a complimentary Champagne toast followed by a first course of King Scampi made with king oyster mushroom "scallops". The second course provides three options. Guests may choose Tempeh Short Ribs, Ricotta (made from almonds) Tortellini or Moringa Pad Thai. For dessert, there are two to choose from: Matcha Creme Brulee or Bon Bon + Macaron.

The dinner is $85 plus tax and 20 percent gratuity. Guests may add a four-course wine pairing for $30. Reservations are required for dine-in or customers may take the four courses to go for $78 per person. For more information, call 713-876-4768.

Hangover Burger at Dog Haus
Saturday, all day
1096 Enclave Parkway
8422 Highway 6 N.
click to enlarge
The Hangover Burger will soak up all the booze left in your system from the night before.
Photo by Paul Castro
There are two locations of this hot dog and burger chain in Houston and it's offering a hair-of-the-Dog Haus solution to the problem most of us face New Year's morning after a night of getting more lit than the fireworks. Its New Year's Day deal offers a Hangover Burger topped with white American cheese, smoked bacon, Haus chili, a fried egg and mayonnaise plus a 16-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon can for just $5.99.  That's a cheap cure for what ails you.
click to enlarge
The diet begins tomorrow.
Photo by Abbie Arnold
Sunday Brunch at Georgia James Tavern
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
737 Preston

Chris Shepherd's tavern at Market Square Tower shares the same name as his steakhouse and his parents, Georgia and James, but it has a personality all its own. From the marquee lights in the bar to the clubby banquettes, it's a cozy spot to settle in for brunch. Though the holidays may have left some of us a bit skint, Georgia James Tavern is more on the casual side of Shepherd's dining empire and wines by the glass can be had in the $12 to $18 range. Signature cocktails run $14 to $18 while beer begins at $7 and goes up to $42. It's a special beer.

The brunch menu includes the Breakfast Sandwich with ham, bacon, fried egg, pimento and pickles on an English muffin and French Toast Waffles. There's also the Chicken Cordon Bleu Nuggets made with boneless chicken thighs and Tally's Cuban made with roasted pork. Beef is always a popular menu item at most Underbelly Hospitality concepts and guests can opt for the Tavern Burger made with 44 Farms ground chuck or splurge on the Steak and Eggs, served with a NY Strip, also from 44 Farms.

No one should begin their New Year's resolutions on a weekend, so go ahead and indulge in the Hearth-baked Apple Crumble or the Elvis Cookie with peanut butter, banana and bacon. We won't tell.
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.