This Week in Houston Food Events: Cure Your Hangover with a Sandwich from Texans Linebacker Whitney Mercilus

This month, get a taste of "The Hangover" sandwich, created by Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus and Legacy Restaurants chef Alex Padilla.EXPAND
This month, get a taste of "The Hangover" sandwich, created by Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus and Legacy Restaurants chef Alex Padilla.
Photo by Emily Jaschke
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Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:

All month long

“H-Town Originals” with Whitney Mercilus at Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys

Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys continues its “H-Town Originals” celebrity chef campaign, this month with a new sandwich from Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who teamed up with chef Alex Padilla to create “The Hangover.” Featuring scrambled eggs and smoked gouda layered between two thick slices of brioche French toast, with strips of bacon, maple syrup and powdered sugar, “The Hangover” ($7.95) will be available at Antone’s for the entire month of October. Proceeds from every sandwich sold will benefit the WithMerci Foundation, which provides support to families of children with disabilities and special needs.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Safina

This October, the new all-day Mediterranean eatery and coffee bar, Safina, 6750 Main, marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month by honoring its Texas Medical Center neighbors on the front lines of cancer research and prevention. Located on the ground floor of the recently debuted AAA Four Diamond InterContinental Houston - Medical Center, the restaurant is offering a 10 percent discount to all area healthcare workers who present their employee ID. Additionally, the hotel’s Naturalist bar and lounge is thinking pink with a spotlight cocktail feature – the $12 Pink Warrior, a combination of gin, raspberry shrub, lemon juice and sparking water – with a portion of proceeds benefiting non-profit Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

New specials

Happy Hour at 3rd Bar at Reef

Reef & 3rd Bar, 2600 Travis, has unleashed chef Bryan Caswell’s “10 for $2 menu,” offering locally-sourced, bite-sized creations from land and sea. Get dim sum-style bites including the turmeric-rich brined Golden Fried Chicken with XO sauce, Tempura 1015 Onions with Russian dressing, Shrimp & Radish Roll, and two Reef classics — the shrimp shooter and beef slider (both just $1 each on Mondays). Pair the eats with a choice of five $5 craft cocktails, including the Purple Drank and chef Caswell’s favorite, the Hemingway Daiquiri, along with $3 draft beers, $5 wines by the glass, and $25 wines by the bottle. Happy hour will be available Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the 3rd Bar side and outdoor patio.

Cook Like a Local Happy Hour at UB Preserv

Each week, chef Nick Wong will be featuring a new dish from chef Chris Shepherd’s new cookbook, Cook Like a Local, on the happy hour menu at UB Preserv, 1609 Westheimer. Happy Hour will be offered Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m.

Torchy's opens up its second location in The Woodlands this week.EXPAND
Torchy's opens up its second location in The Woodlands this week.
Photo by Scott Paull

Monday, October 7

Torchy’s Tacos Grand Opening Party in The Woodlands Mall

Torchy’s Tacos is getting set to open its restaurant in The Woodlands Mall, 1555 Lake Woodlands Drive, (opening Wednesday, October 9) and to celebrate, it's hosting a grand opening party on Monday, October 7, serving up free tacos, its famous Green Chile Queso, beverages, giveaways and more from 5 to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Monday through Saturday

I’ll Have What She’s Having’s Second Annual WellWeek

After tragic losses among the hospitality community in 2018, I’ll Have What She is Having created WellWeek to stimulate a conversation about mental health and its effects on the food and beverage community. This year, the second annual WellWeek runs now through Saturday, October 12, as participating restaurants and bars develop a menu-worthy non-alcoholic (mocktail) beverage or designated dessert or menu item, with $1 donated for each item sold. Participants include Nancy’s Hustle, Georgia James, UB Preserv, Rosie Cannonball, Hugo’s, Caracol, Backstreet Cafe, Xochi and Coltivare, among others. See the entire list at WellWeek.org.

Tuesday, October 8

Live Fire Tuesday at Eight Row Flint

Coltivare chef Jonathan Ferguson will be taking over the patio at Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale, with an a la carte menu to preview of New Magnolia Brewing Co., a new brewery opening in The Heights in late October. Get eats — including pickled shrimp with cherries, fennel and pretzels; smoked pork tenderloin with tostones and tomato jam; weisswurst; and popcorn grits — from 5 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, October 9

Cook Like a Local Wednesday Lunch Specials at Hay Merchant

The Hay Merchant, 1100 Westheimer, will be featuring a different recipe from chef Chris Shepherd’s new cookbook Cook Like A Local every Wednesday. This Wednesday will feature the Poblano Chicken Soup and Grilled Cheese.

Thursday, October 10

Meat Cutting Challenge and Lunch Benefit for at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center

A roster of 20 professional butchers from across the region will hit the ice at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, 16225 Lexington, hoping to ‘steak’ their claim to a $20,000 grand prize in the first round of the Qualifier Meat Cutting Challenge. Outside the rink, Texas Roadhouse will host a charity event to benefit the Tip of the Spear Foundation, an organization which provides assistance to families of fallen Special Operations troops. The community is invited for lunch, line dancing and prize giveaways from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For $8, guests can enjoy pulled pork, ribs, mashed potatoes and a roll, plus a pass to the Sugar Land Ice and Sports Center and a free appetizer voucher at Texas Roadhouse. All lunch proceeds benefit the organization.

Neighbors of France Dinner at Brasserie du Parc

Brasserie du Parc, 1440 Lamar, launches its Neighbors of France Dinners Series (originally planned for September but thwarted due to Imelda), celebrating the cuisines of France’s neighboring countries once a month. First up, Brasserie stamps everyone’s passport for Spain at a special dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m., with appetizers, two main courses and dessert. Expect dishes from meat and seafood paella to churros and spicy chocolate sauce.

Houston Italian Festival at the University of St. Thomas


41st Annual Festa Italiana

will be held at the

University of St. Thomas

, 3800 Montrose, from Thursday, October 10 to Sunday, October 13. Mangia on baked artichoke hearts, chicken marsala, bruschette, meatball sandwiches, Italian sausage-on-a-stick, lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, and desserts from cannoli and assorted Italian cookies to gelato and Italian water ice, then top it all off with wines and beers, espressos and cappuccinos. This year will see the return of vendors including

Piatto Ristorante




Fellini Caffe


Michael’s Cookie Jar


Orion Water Ice

, mixed in with newcomers like

Satellite of Pizza

and an authentic bruschetta booth by

Trips 2 Italy

. Admission is free Thursday all day and Friday until 4 p.m. (after 4 p.m. Friday, admission is $8 for adults and free for children 12 and under). Reservations for festival activities, advance online tickets, and food and beverage packages can be bought on



Friday, October 11

Steak and Whiskey Friday Night at The New Potato

The New Potato, 3519 Clinton, has launched a new special, Steak and Whiskey Friday Night, in collaboration with Crooked Road Catering (owner Rick Dixon is head chef of HSLR’s Bottomless Pit team, winners of the coveted "Rodeo Best Bites" award).

OktoBrew Festival in the historic Fifth Ward

Held at the corner of Clinton Drive and Grove Street in the historic Fifth Ward, the free-admission OktoBrew Festival will feature live music from local acts, raffles, local brews from spots like Saint Arnold and Spindletap, and eats from turkey legs to kabobs. One hundred percent of the event proceeds will benefit after-school programming in six northeast Houston elementary schools.

Friday and Saturday

Heights After Dark at Bernie’s Burger Bus Heights

Beginning this weekend, Bernie’s Burger Bus’ Heights, 2200 Yale, will stay open every Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m., offering cocktails, bar bites, games and more.

Saturday, October 12

2019 Oktoberfest at City Acre Brewing

City Acre Brewing, 3418 Topping, will host its 2019 Oktoberfest from noon to 5 p.m., featuring an acre-wide autumn celebration with exclusive beer releases (including the crowd-pleasing Stadtplatz Oktoberfest), an Oktoberfest costume contest, plenty of games and fun, and an all-you-can-eat German buffet crafted by chef Rick Kelsay. Attendance is free, with Earlybird VIP ticket packages that include an exclusive, commemorative pint glass, early admission (from 11 a.m. to noon), three beers and access to the buffet for $32.95.

Texas Mexican Kitchen Sweets at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen

Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 1140 Eldridge, continues its Cooking Class series as
chef and restaurateur Sylvia Casares teaches Texas Mexican Kitchen Sweets beginning at 1 p.m.. Guests can learn to make polvorones (short bread), flan, capirotada (bread pudding), buñuelos (fried dough balls), pumpkin empanadas and Mexican Hot Chocolate. Cost for each hands-on class is $65 per person, which includes all materials, the class and a meal. To register, visit sylviasenchiladas.com or call 832-230-3842.

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