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This Week in Houston Food Events: Juneteenth Dinner and An Oyster Shucking Throwdown

Julep's Oyster Shucking Contest is back for its fifth year.
Julep's Oyster Shucking Contest is back for its fifth year. Photo by Emily Jaschke
click to enlarge Julep's Oyster Shucking Contest is back for its fifth year. - PHOTO BY EMILY JASCHKE
Julep's Oyster Shucking Contest is back for its fifth year.
Photo by Emily Jaschke
Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:

Monday, June 14

Fancy Steak Night at Johnny's Gold Brick

The Fancy Steak Nights at Johnny's Gold Brick, 2518 Yale, continue with Chase Voelz of Bludorn. Steaks, cocktails and good times will be served starting at 6 p.m. (until sold out).

Oyster Shucking Contest at Julep

Julep, 1919 Washington, is bringing back its annual Oyster Shucking Contest for the fifth year, inviting both industry pros and guests to participate in the competition. There is no cover charge for the festivities (which begin with happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m. followed by two rounds of oyster shucking from 6 to 9), and spectators can come watch the battle in person while indulging in $1 oysters all night. Julep will be accepting participants until Friday, May 28 (fill out the form and DM a 15-second video about yourself and your shucking skills to Julep's Instagram to enter). Winners will receive prizes from Williams Sonoma and bragging rights as the 2021 Oyster Shucking Champ.


National Bourbon Day at Ouisie’s Table Restaurant

Ouisie’s, 3939 San Felipe, will offer three top bourbons in 1.5-ounce samples for $20 (plus tax and gratuity) all day long in honor of National Bourbon Day. The standard offer will be top-ranked Kentucky-made bourbons including Angel’s Envy, Basil Hayden and the new Maker’s Mark 46, though a number of other bourbons are available to substitute including several from Texas.

Texas vs. Kentucky Bourbon Blind Tasting at Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar is hosting a Texas vs. Kentucky Bourbon Blind Tasting in honor of National Bourbon Day. Attendees will take notes at each station as they taste three Texas and three Kentucky bourbons with the labels hidden in burlap sacks. They’ll place votes on which state they think each bourbon is from, and then Whiskey Cake will reveal the correct answers. If a guest gets all three guesses for one state right, they’ll be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Tickets are $50 per person and includes access to a buffet of select appetizers.

Wednesday, June 16

Beach Blanket Bingo at Doris Metropolitan

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Doris Metropolitan, 2815 South Shepherd, will be hosting a Beach Blanket Bingo party, featuring a ‘60s surfs up vibe and a range of special island and tiki-themed drinks. The bar will be decorated and guests will be able to earn prizes. Call 713-485-0466 to reserve.

Houston Chef Series at King Ranch Texas Kitchen

Landry’s Signature Group invites guests to its annual Houston Chef Series, a celebration starring the restaurant group’s award-winning executive chef on select Wednesday evenings beginning through August 7. LSG restaurants will host private and exclusive dining experiences based on this year’s theme, “A Global Culinary Adventure,” with this week’s dinner featuring a Spanish-inspired feast with chef Carlos Rodriguez at King Ranch Texas Kitchen, 1605 Post Oak.

Thursday, June 17

Dads and Cabs event at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Galleria

Guests are invited to the Dads and Cabs walk-around tasting event at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Galleria, 5839 Westheimer, featuring tastings of different Cabs, plus heavy appetizers for $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Saturday, June 19

Saturday Whole Hog Special at Truth BBQ

Truth BBQ, 110 South Heights, has added a new succulent barbecue selection to its menu, with whole hog now being served weekly on Saturdays. Owner-pitmaster Leonard Botello uses locally raised heritage pigs from Berkshire, Texas, smoking the whole hogs for 12-plus hours over wood coals, in the style of North and South Carolina. Pulled and chopped with crispy pork skin, the hog is served with tangy and spicy Carolina-style vinegar sauce. Get it on Saturdays for $18 a pound.

Juneteenth Jubilee Dinner at Bisong Art Gallery

Top Chef contestants and chefs Dawn Burrell (Late August, Houston), Nelson German (Sobre Mesa, Oakland), Kiki Louya (RWCF, Detroit), and Chris Viaud (Greenleaf, New Hampshire) are joining forces for a Jubilee dinner in honor of Juneteenth, the annual holiday celebrating the day enslaved Africans in Texas learned they were free (two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation). The five-course immersive dinner experience will take place at Bisong Art Gallery, 1305 Sterrett, on Saturday June 19 from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $250 per person or $1,200 for a table of six. Guests are invited to experience local artists Wayne Bell and others as they create unique pieces, that speak to their interpretation of the Juneteenth Jubilee. Each piece will then be auctioned off to benefit the evening’s charitable partner Lucille’s 1913, a non profit providing fresh, nourishing meals to underserved communities, schools and elderly residents throughout greater Houston.

All month long

Pride Month Specials

Dessert Gallery founder and 2020 Pride Houston Grand Marshal nominee, Sara Brook, has rolled out Pride-themed this June, including hand-decorated cookies, petit fours, cupcakes, chocolate-dipped pretzels and cookie kits. Proceeds from the Pride dessert selection will go to the Montrose Center, a cultural resource hub for LGBTQ+ Houstonians that provides a range of services including behavioral health and support services, adult primary care and psychiatry, and free wellness programs.

In honor of Pride, Eighteen36, 2221 West Alabama, is partnering with the Transgender Education Network of Texas, donating 5 percent of all brunch and Pride cocktails sales to TENT to support its crucial and timely efforts to halt discrimination against transgender Texans. The benefit will continue all June long.

June Charity Menus at Etoile Cuisine et Bar

Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park, will turn its monthly charitable efforts to The De La Salle Educational Center of Cypress, a faith-based educational organization that helps promote the Vietnamese culture and traditions that is still recovering from a devastating flood during Hurricane Harvey. Etoile hopes to aid in these ongoing efforts via its June prix fixe menus, a four-course dinner menu ($65 per person plus tax and gratuity, from which $7 will go to De La Salle); and a special three-course brunch menu on Saturday and Sundays ($36 per person plus tax and gratuity, with $4 going to the charity for each one sold).

June Burger of the Month at Hopdoddy

Hopdoddy Burger Bar has announced its June Burger of the Month: The Double Stack Comeback. The heaping double-decker burger comes stacked sky high with two Certified Piedmontese burger patties, cheese, special Alabama comeback sauce, lettuce, pickles and diced white onions on a sesame seed bun. Look out for other upcoming burgers of the month, including The Cousin Vinnie, inspired by a sub sandwich; The Que, a barbecue burger; and The Ultimate, an umami creation.

Tacos of the Month at Tacodeli

Tacodeli,1902 Washington, is offering two limited-time menu items for the month of June, and both are old favorites. Get the Akaushi Picadillo + Egg breakfast taco ($3.75), made with Vital Farms scrambled eggs, seasoned HeartBrand akaushi ground beef, chile de arbol salsa and cilantro; and the Tikin Xic ($4.95) for lunch and dinner, a Mayan inspired taco made with achiote marinated grilled salmon, spicy salsa negra, habanero onion escabeche and cilantro.

June Taco of the Month at Torchy’s Tacos

Torchy’s Tacos' Texas Hottie is back in action with hot and spicy flavors as June’s Taco of the Month. Available at participating Torchy’s locations all month, the Texas Hottie features a hottie chicken tender, cayenne sauce, cabbage slaw, chow chow pickled relish, honey and fresh cotija cheese with chipotle sauce on a flour tortilla for $5.95. Guests can pair the Texas Hottie with Torchy’s featured June beverage, the Ranch Party ($10.50), made with Camarena Silver Tequila, housemade sweet and sour and Topo Chico served with a Tajin salt rim and a lime wheel. Portions of the proceeds from Taco of the Month sales go to Torchy’s charitable partners, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, MD Anderson and Phoenix House.

New and ongoing specials

Astros Specials at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen

During all televised Astros games, Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 6401 Woodway, 1140 Eldridge, will be offering special deals in the bars where the TVs will be tuned in. Sip the Astrorita ($9), an orange adult Margarita-style beverage created when the ‘stros took the World Series, alongside Sylvia’s signature fajita chicken and beef nachos. Keeping in the baseball spirit, the price is $9 each. The specials will be available starting with the game Tuesday, June 15. 
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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