Though social distancing is in effect with bars closed for in-house services and restaurants limited, the ever-strong Houston food community continues to truck on. This week, you can support local restaurants by carrying out or making reservations for dine-in service, try out Japanese-inspired ice cream and hit up a new pop-up sandwich shop. Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
Monday, August 17
Free Coffee Mondays at Fly By Taco Co
During the entire month of August, breakfast taco pop-up Fly By Taco Co will be offering a free coffee with your order every Monday when you pre-order on the Toast Take-Out & Delivery app. Other new incentives include a 10-percent discount for orders over a dozen tacos and the Fly By Taco Rewards Card, which will allow customers to get a free taco after their fifth visit. The pop-up will be open at the popping up at Max’s Wine Dive, 4720 Washington, Monday-Friday 7 to 11 a.m. and weekends 8 to 11 a.m.
Tuesday, August 18
Sticky’s Chicken “Taco Tuesday Team-Up” at Tacos A Go Go
Tacos A Go Go is teaming up with Houston-area chefs and restaurants to launch "Taco Tuesday Team-Up", a monthly campaign encouraging support of the local restaurant community with a portion of proceeds benefiting I’ll Have What She’s Having. The first Taco Tuesday Team-Up is a collaboration with food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant Sticky's Chicken. Sticky Chicken’s Orlando Santos joined Tacos A Go Go chef/owner Maribel Gomez to create the "Sticky's Fried Chicken Taco", made with Sticky's double-fried chicken, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, Sriracha mayo and Sticky’s secret sauce. It will be available at all Tacos A Go Go locations on every Tuesday during the month of August.
August Scooby Snack Wine Club Zoom with Montrose Cheese & Wine
Montrose Cheese & Wine is featuring three Pinot Noirs bottles for its August Scooby Snack Wine Club, exploring unexpected regions and complex flavors, paired with Thomasville Tomme cheese for $75 (order online). And for an additional $15, assistant wine director Beth Whitten and general manager/lead cheesemonger Shannon McCracken will host a virtual tasting to lead tasters through the selections on Tuesday, August 18 at 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 20
Virtual Sake Dinner with Kata Robata
On Thursday, August 20, Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby, is hosting a virtual sake dinner to-go, featuring Kata Robata omakase with three bottles of DASSAI sake, a virtual tour of the DASSAI brewery in Yamaguchi, Japan, and a conversation about Japanese food, drink and art. Guests will get a premium to-go omakase/bento box with hot and cold dishes to pair with the sakes for pickup between 5 and 6 p.m., and the Zoom dinner begins at 7.
Cost is $200 per person for omakase (includes three 300-milliliter bottles of sake)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
Bars Across Houston Patio Pop-Up Series at Lucille’s
Lucille’s, 5512 La Branch, continues its Thursday Patio Pop-Up series (6 to 10 p.m.), inviting local bar teams to take over the restaurant’s patio for a full evening of service; with the featured staff collecting 100 percent of the sales and tips generated by their curated cocktails. You can check out the future schedule every Tuesday on restaurant’s social media pages — IG: @lucilleshouston; Facebook: Lucille’s Houston). Reservations are required and can be made via Resy or by calling the restaurant at 713-568-2505. Lucille’s is also following a strict “no mask, no service” policy.
Virtual Wine Dinner at Roma
Roma, 2347 University, continues its Weekly Virtual Wine Dinner series, with a fun, interactive meal beginning at 7:30 p.m. Each setup includes three bottles of wine and a multi-course dinner to be picked up from 5 to 7 p.m., plus a Zoom link for the virtual meal hosted by wine guy Jeremy Parzen and with Italian winemakers as special guests. Cost is $119 per couple or $89 per individual.
Friday, August 21
Friday Night Live Wine Tasting with Underbelly Hospitality
UBH will host aFriday Night Live
Zoom and wine session (6 p.m.) with chef Chris Shepherd, wine director Matt Pridgen and Phil Abram of Sinskey Vineyards as they talk wine, food and other Friday night musings. The $85 tasting includes a half bottle of Sinskey Pinot Blanc and 750mL of Sinskey POV and wines can be picked up on Thursday, August 20 between noon and 6 p.m. at 1100 Westheimer.
Saturday, August 22
Kids Mac and Cheese Cooking Class with Underbelly Hospitality’s Nick Fine
Underbelly Hospitality will host a Kids Mac and Cheese Cooking Class with culinary director Nick Fine. Kids will learn to make mac and cheese from scratch and will be baking some of pastry director Victoria Dearmond’s chocolate chip cookies. The kit includes all the ingredients for mac and cheese, snacks for the kids and a pack of frozen cookie dough ($45, feeds a family of four), and can be picked up at 1100 Westheimer between noon and 5 p.m. on Friday, August 21 (the Zoom link will be sent that day as well).
Sunday, August 23
Baking Biscuits with Victoria Dearmond
Underbelly Hospitality pastry director Victoria Dearmond leads this virtual biscuit baking class at 1 p.m., offering up tips and tricks to make the best biscuits on the block (seriously, have you had Blacksmith’s biscuits?). You’ll pick up the goods (enough for ten biscuits, plus jam) on August 22 between noon and 5 p.m. at 1100 Westheimer. Tickets are $45.
All week long
Battle of the Burgers: Hatch Chiles at Rodeo Goat
Rodeo Goat Ice House, 2105 Dallas, has brought back its “Battle of the Burgers,” running epic competition showcasing the season’s Hatch chiles now through Monday, August 24. Guests can order the “Hatch Me If You Can” — featuring a 44 Farms all beef patty, white cheddar Hatch chile queso, roasted Hatch chiles, tortilla strips, pan-fried onions and avocado ranch; or the famed “Chupacabra,” with a beef and chorizo patty, roasted Hatch chiles, smoked lime aioli, queso asadero, jalapeño croutons and guacamole. Each burger ordered is considered a vote with the most popular selection moving on to the next round of burger (burgers are offered for dine-in service, no-contact curbside service and delivery options via UberEats and Door Dash).
All month long
“H-Town Originals” at Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys
Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys, 2724 West T.C. Jester Blvd, 4520 San Felipe, has debuted another one of its H-Town Originals sandwich for the month of August — this time with award-winning radio personality Roula Christie of KRBE. Legacy Restaurants corporate chef Alex Padilla and Roula on the ‘Roula’s Greek Getaway sandwich ($8.95), made on freshly toasted Ciabatta bread from her husband’s bread company, Bread Man Baking Co., and layered with a marinated grilled chicken breast, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olive tapenade and soft goat cheese. Antone’s will donate 50-percent of proceeds from the sandwich to local Houston charity Kids’ Meals.
National Peach Month Specials at Dandelion Café
Dandelion Café, 5405 Bellaire, will be offering Peach French Toast and more limited-time plates throughout the month of August. Chef JC Ricks’ twist on the classic features layers of homemade peach preserves and mascarpone over fresh peaches and Bread Man Baking Co’s focaccia. Other specials include the toaster strudel, loaded with peach preserves you can purchase by the jar. Both dine-in and takeout service are available. Order online or call 832-988-9210.
Ice Cream Sandwiches at Dessert Gallery
Dessert Gallery, 3600 Kirby , is now selling ice cream sandwiches made with its fan-favorite “fresh bake” cookies and Amy’s ice cream scoops. Customers can choose their favorite fresh cookies (chocolate-chip, vegan-almond, peanut butter, brookie and more) plus their favorite ice cream flavor (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or cookies and cream) to craft their dream ice cream sandwich. As with all of Dessert Gallery’s offerings, these will be available to-go from the cafe or to enjoy in the outside seating area. Ice cream sandwiches will be sold through the end of August for $8.95 each.
Houston Restaurant Weeks
Houston Restaurant Weeks is running now through Labor Day, raising funds for the Houston Food Bank and honoring founder Cleverly Stone’s incredibly legacy which has raised over $16.6 million to date. Local restaurants will be serving specially priced multi-course prix fixe menus for brunch, lunch and dinner, many of which will include takeout.
National Deli Month at Kenny & Ziggy’s
Throughout August, Kenny & Ziggy’s, 2327 Post Oak, will once again join Jewish delis across the nation in National Deli Month, a month-long effort to recognize the great American heritage of New York-style delicatessens. The deli will be raising funds for Holocaust Museum Houston, offering a multi-choice, three-course menu during lunch and dinner for $38 plus tax and gratuity, with 10 percent of each meal sold going to the HMH. The special menu is available for both curbside pick-up or dine-in at the Post Oak location only (the West U location off Buffalo Speedway location will remain closed until a later date).
King’s Annual Sausagefest at King’s BierHaus and King’s Biergarten
All month long, King’s BierHaus, 2044 East T C Jester, 828 West FM 646, and King’s Biergarten, 1329 East Broadway, will be hosting the annual King’s Sausagefest, offering all-you-can-eat sausages in a dozen varieties. Choose from traditional German wursts to exotic and plant-based sausages starting at $9.95.
New and ongoing specials
Social (Distancing) Hour at Le Colonial
Le Colonial, 4444 Westheimer, is bringing back a new version of its popular happy hour after a brief hiatus. Offered in the upstairs lounge on Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight, the all-new Social [Distancing] Hour will feature a selection of favorite bites and drinks, including chicken dumplings with ginger and black vinegar sauce and cocktails like the Red Buffalo, made with Ketel One, muddled strawberries, and Thai basil and chili.
Hatch Chile Fest at Central Market
Hatch Chile Fest is returning to Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, as the market celebrates 25 years of roasted bliss with its Hatch-iversary, taking place now through Tuesday, August 25. Shoppers can expect a variety of Hatch products and dishes, from fresh and fire-roasted peppers to Hatch guacamole and Hatch marinated meats and seafood.
DipDipDip Ice Cream Pints at Ramen Tatsu-Ya
DipDipDip Ice Cream, Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s Austin ice cream shop that specializes in scoops and toppings with a heavy focus on Japanese flavors, is bringing pints of cool treats to Houston. The pints are available for a limited time at Ramen Tatsu-Ya,1722 California, for to-go ordering in three flavors, Lime in the Coocoo Nut Sorbet ($11), Strawberry Yuzu-doodle Ice Cream ($12.50), a yuzu mascarpone ice cream with strawberries and sugar cookies; and Cookies & Matcha Ice Cream ($9.50), combining matcha ice cream with chocolate mochiko cookie.
Louie’s Sandwiches To-Go at Riel
Chef Ryan Lachaine of Riel, 1927 Fairview, has launched a new concept within a concept, a to-go sandwich shop dubbed Louie’s. The cloud kitchen-like concept will offer a new menu of sandwiches, sliders, salads, sides and desserts for takeout only, Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Offerings include a B.L.T. with crispy house-cured bacon, Turkey Club with house-roasted turkey and dijonnaise, Italian Sub, Pizza Sub, Chicken Caprese stacked with pesto chicken and fried mozzarella, Chicken Parmesan with fried chicken and marinara, Fried Fish with dill tartar sauce, and Crispy Pork with spicy cabbage slaw and pickles. The menu also features favorites like Riel’s Butter Burgers (two for $12) and Crawfish Rolls, Poutine and Nanaimo Bars, a Canadian specialty featuring chocolate, coconut custard and almond that Lachaine typically only offers at Riel on Canada Day. Curbside pickup orders can be placed through Riel’s website, with delivery available via DoorDash.
To-Go Curated Omakase for Two at Uchi
Uchi, 904 Westheimer, has just introduced two Curated Omakase for Two to-go packages ($99, $75 for vegetarian). Both packages come with a bottle of Pali Wine Co. "Huntington" Pinot Noir 2016 and a breakfast treat of miso bread pudding with maple and pecan for the morning after. Features include the the restaurant’s cult favorite crispy Brussels sprouts, scallop crudo aguachili, hama chili yellowtail nigiri, wagyu tataki, spicy crunchy avocado and more. Guests can order daily and pickup during normal curbside hours (4 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Place curbside reservations online up to two weeks in advance via the website, or by phone at 713-522-4808, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
BOGO To-Go Bites at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar
Tobiuo, 23501 Cinco Ranch, is offering a selection of its cooked Japanese dishes at half the price for takeout orders. BOGO items include two orders of each dish for the price of one, with options including chicken udon, gyu nabe (crispy rice and sliced ribeye), chicken nanban (katsu with Japanese tartar and macaroni salad), katsudon and gyudon. Order online for delivery and pickup. The eatery has also introduced a new take on the light-as-air Japanese souffle cake ($19) from pastry chef Jiolo Dingayan and available as pre-order only at 281-394-7156.
Malay Snow Crab at Phat Eatery
Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial, will offer Canadian snow crab legs braised in Malaysian curry sauce ($38 for two large clusters). The special is available for dine-in and to-go orders while supplies last.
Mix-n-Match Family Packs by Mala Sichuan Bistro
For $48, Mala Sichuan is offering Mix-n-Match Family Meals to-go. Takeaway and delivery customers can choose five dishes from a selection of proteins, vegetables, soups and rice, all in deluxe portions., with featured house favorites including Crispy and Spicy Chicken, Water Boiled Fish Filet, Cumin Beef, Mapo Tofu, Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce and more. Find the Family Pack option under “Special Deal” on online menus.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.