Things To Do

Upcoming: An "Only in Htown" Cookout and Ways to Support Fellow Houstonians in the Aftermath of Beryl

Craft Pita West is rocking an “Only in Htown” Cookout at its West University location this 713 Day (Saturday).
Craft Pita West is rocking an “Only in Htown” Cookout at its West University location this 713 Day (Saturday). Photo by Michael Ma
Mark your calendars, because you don’t want to miss these deliciously fun culinary happenings:

Houstonians have a way of coming together in times of need, and if you’re looking for a way to help, the Houston Food Bank needs volunteers to sort and pack food for distribution in the wake of Hurricane Beryl. Folks can sign up to volunteer and donate online.

Southern Smoke Foundation is also accepting donations in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl in support of its efforts to help food and beverage workkers in need.. As many bars, restaurants and coffee shops experienced damage and power outages, the foundation is receiving a growing number of applications for assistance. Donations can be made online.

To thank first responders for their continued service to the Houston community, Little Rey, 2345 Mid Lane, will be offering two free breakfast tacos to all first responders on Thursday, July 11 from 8 to 11 a.m. from its Uno Mas takeout window inside the restaurant.

Velvet Taco has unveiled its new AI-generated taco, the ChatGPTaco 2.0, available now through Wednesday, July 17 at all locations nationwide. Using the latest iteration of the ChatGPT AI model to craft what AI considers to be the perfect taco, this year’s creation features blackened shrimp, Tajin basmati rice, avocado crema, red chile aioli, corn pico, pickled red onions, jalapeno, queso fresco and cilantro.

On Saturday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Craft Pita West University, 5172 Buffalo Speedway, is bringing back its summer cookout event (coinciding with 713 Day), rocking an “Only in Htown” Cookout to showcase the combination of cultures and flavors one can only experience in Houston. This year’s menu collaborators include chef Gabriel Medina (formerly of Click Virtual Food Hall), Michael’s Cookie Jar and Booza Ice Cream Shop, with a menu celebrating Lebanese, Filipino, Palestinian and Peruvian cultures. Expect a Filipino Lechón Shawarma Rice Bowl with suckling pig prepared shawarma style; Tahini Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich featuring pistachio ice cream from Booza and Tahini Snickerdoodle Cookies from Michael’s Cookie Jar, and a "Mystery Peruvian Dish” in collaboration with Craft Pita chef Rafael Nasr and his mother, Claudia Nasr.

On Sunday, July 14, chef Lung Ly of 93’ Til and Don Nguyen of Khói Barbecue will riff on the classic Vietnamese dishes from their childhood, leveraging Ly’s chef-driven, seasonal farmers-market approach and butchering/charcuterie experience with Nguyen’s live-fire and offset smoking techniques. Both chefs will be cooking on-site at 93’ Til, 1601 West Main, offering items like rabbit and pork sausages, whole hog cơm tấm, smoked chả lụa bánh cuốn and spicy sweet ribs. Eats are available first come, first served from 11 a.m. to sellout. Music and drink specials will also be available.

Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith, will host a Rodney Strong Wine Dinner beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18. The elegant four-course wine dinner features welcome bubbles with Deviled Quail Egg with Caviar, Compressed Watermelon and Shrimp, Escargot Pontalba, Bison Wellington and a fancified Ice Cream Sandwich for dessert. Special guest Justin Seidenfeld of Rodney Strong Vineyards will join, and selections from Napa and Russian River Valley, including exclusive pours from Davis Bynum and Rowen Wines, will be served. Cost is $195 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano