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This Week in Houston Food Events: MARCH Returns with an Exploration of Southern Spain

Buñuelo, boquerones and alfajor are just some of the tastes you can experience from MARCH's reopening menu.
Buñuelo, boquerones and alfajor are just some of the tastes you can experience from MARCH's reopening menu. Photo by Julie Soefer Photography
Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:


Meatless Monday at Pondicheri

The menus at both Pondicheri, 2800 Kirby, and its upstairs Bake Lab + Shop will be meatless every Monday. Guests can expect a Pickled PB&J (peanut butter, local jam, spicy mango, herbs, sourdough), Market Curry (a light vegetable curry loaded with local vegetables, spices, and herbs), Pumpkin Chai Oats (steel-cut oats, pumpkin, cardamom, jaggery, and almond milk), Oondhiya (a decadent vegetable curry made with flat green beans, eggplant, and baby potatoes) and more.

Tuesday, September 21

“Big Tex” Burger Launch at Rodeo Goat Ice House

Rodeo Goat Ice House, 2105 Dallas, is honoring the State Fair of Texas with a hat tip to the legendary Big Tex, offering an over-the-top “Big Tex” burger from Tuesday, September 21 through Monday, October 18. The burgers features a 44 Farms all beef patty, chicken fried mashed potato cake, bacon, fried onion ring and chorizo gravy for $12.50.

Wednesday, September 22

Food Paradise Watch Party at Hay Merchant

Hay Merchant, 1100 Westheimer, will be featured on an episode of the Cooking Channel’s Food Paradise at 9 p.m., and the gastropub will be hosting a watch party and serving the two of the off-menu dishes featured on the show —hint, one of the specials rhymes with “rings.”

Thursday, September 23

Heaven’s Door Whiskey Dinner at Etoile Cuisine et Bar

Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park, is hosting a multi-course Heaven’s Door Whiskeydinner on its patio beginning at 6:30 p.m. Highlights include pâté en croute, steelhead trout in ginger beurre blanc, filet de boeuf in an au poivre whiskey sauce, and apple confit crumble with whiskey vanilla ice cream, plus paired cocktails created by mixologist Kimberly Paul. Cost is $98 per person plus tax and gratuity for the four-course dinner and pairings. Reservations are required as seating is very limited. Call 832-668-5808 or go online.


Orin Swift Cellars Wine Dinner at Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette

Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette, 963 Bunker Hill, 4224 San Felipe, will kick off a new wine dinner featuring Orin Swift Cellars. The four-course paired dinner option is $175 per person plus tax and gratuity, available to all diners at both the River Oaks and Memorial locations Thursday, September 2-Saturday, September 25 and Thursday, September 30-Saturday, October 2. Highlights include Chilean sea bass carpaccio, seared duck breast with plum and grilled radicchio, Japanese A5 Wagyu strip with ginger braised bok choy, and cinnamon and clove pastry cream profiteroles with dark chocolate raspberry ganache. Reservations recommended but not required

Friday, September 24

Brew at the Zoo

The Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park, will host Brew at the Zoo from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 24, featuring beer tastings from some of Houston’s most popular breweries, live music, arcade games, and the chance to view the some animals by night. Tickets are $45 and include a commemorative souvenir cup and six 4-ounce beer samplings from any of the breweries. Additional sample cards will be available for purchase on-site and tastings can also be used towards hard seltzer, ranch water, and cider. Designated driver tickets are $35.

Wines Under the Sea at Downtown Aquarium Houston

Downtown Aquarium Houston, 410 Bagby, will host its first annual Wines Under the Sea from from 7 to 10 p.m., inviting guests to stroll through the Aquarium exhibits while enjoying light appetizers, visits from the Aquarium’s animals and award-winning wines from Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and the International Rosé Station. Tickets start at $75 ($65 for Landry’s members) in advance and $85 day of.


Galveston Island Shrimp Festival

The 12th annual Galveston Island Shrimp Festival will return to the Historic Strand District this year, kicking off with a VIP Sponsor Party and Texas Sized Fried Shrimp Dinner at Saengerfest Park on Friday, September 24; and followed by the festival beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, 25. Stop by for popular events like the Shrimp Gumbo Cook-Off, Famous Gumbo Stroll ($12) and the Lil' Shrimps Parade.

Sunday, September 26

Chef Fest at Harvest Green Village Farm

Chef Fest will host its fourth celebration on Sunday, September 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., returning to Richmond’s Harvest Green Village Farm, 8939 Harlem. Nine Houston chefs will showcase their passion and creativity around local produce while simultaneously raising awareness and proceeds for the Houston Food System Collaborative, as guests enjoy and wash down the day's bites with craft cocktails, local beer and Texas wine, plus add-on experiences, farm tours and live music. This year’s chef lineup includes Brandon Silva of Degust, Dawn Burrell of Late August, Emmanuel Chavez of Tatemo and more. Tickets are $95 for adults and $20 for children.

Best Dish Throwdown Finale at Heights Mercantile Farmers Market

After a lineup of six chefs have been throwing down at the the Rice Village Farmers Market and Heights Mercantile Farmers Market the past three weeks, the final cook-off winner of Best Dish Throwdown will be announced on September 26 at the Heights Mercantile Farmers Market, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 714 Yale.

All month long

$99 Wine and Dine for Two at Brennan’s

Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith, has brought back its $99 three-course meal for two, available September 1 through 30 and accompanied by wine selections (a bottle or four glasses) to help jazz up your next date night. Choose from Creole classics including Turtle Soup, Blue Crab Cakes, Grilled Filet Mignon and Shrimp and Grits, as well as Bananas Foster and Creole Bread Pudding.

BARC Foundation Fundraiser at Etoile Cuisine et Bar

Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park , will be raising funds for the Houston BARC Foundation this September, supporting its effort to improve the quality of life for all animals in Houston. Chef Philippe Verpiand has created two special prix fixe menus, one for dinner ($65 for four courses, with $7 going to charity) and one for weekend brunch (36 for three courses, with $4 going to charity.

Hunger Action Month with Houston Food Bank

To bring awareness to the important issue of hunger and with the ultimate goal of a world without food banks, the Houston Food Bank and hunger relief agencies across the country have designated September as Hunger Action Month. Throughout the month, HFB will have interactive food justice activities and other learning opportunities available in our lobby and volunteer areas, and volunteers can learn about the myths of food insecurity and what critical policy changes are brewing in Congress.

Fresh Corn Tamales at Hugo’s

This September, chef Hugo Ortega will once again offer fresh corn tamales at his namesake Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer. The tamales are made with fresh corn masa and come two to an order, served with salsa macha verde, crema fresca and housemade queso fresco for $12.

Firefighter Appreciation Month at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches is celebrating Firefighter Appreciation Month by offering first-responders 25 percent off their favorite sandwiches as a thank you for their service. Present a proof of ID at the counter to redeem.

Taco of the Month at Torchy’s Tacos

The Tailgater has returned to Torchy’s Tacos as its September Taco of the Month. Featuring panko-battered chicken on a bed of crisp bacon and topped with green chile queso, Diablo wing sauce, poblano ranch slaw, blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of honey, all served on a flour tortilla, the taco sells for $5.75 a pop.

Banh Mi of the Month at Yelo

Yelo, 23119 Colonial Parkway, has introduced monthly specials, beginning with its Banh Mi of the Month as part of its weekend rotation for September. The Bulgogi Banh features house-marinated beef bulgogi piled high in a fresh French baguette with all of the usual banh mi fixins’, including Yelo’s signature pickled papaya and carrot slaw, fresh cucumber, local cilantro, garlic aioli and a new gochujang garlic aioli. Nab it every Saturday and Sunday in September for $8.50 while supplies last.

New and ongoing specials

Reopening at MARCH

After its one-month summer break, MARCH, 1624 Westheimer, has reopened with a new menu focused on Andalusia and Murcia. The culinary team studied the history of southern Spain and the cultures that ruled over Andalusia and Murcia over the centuries to prepare, dreaming up dishes including tobacco-infused butter with potato and boquerones, tortilla de angulas with baby eel and bay laurel ice cream with PX sherry caramel. Ticketed Reservations are bookable for purchase up to 60 days in advance via

Cocktails for a Cause at MAD and Le Colonial

In an effort to further amplify River Oaks District’s partnership with Susan G. Komen for Breast Cancer Awareness month, MAD and Le Colonial, 4444 Westheimer, invite guests to a glass with the newly launched Cocktails for a Cause campaign, running now through October 15. Each concept will donate $1 from a signature pink cocktail towards the organization, with a Fresa Gin & Tonic ($19) at MAD and the La Vie En Rose ($15) at Le Colonial.

Hispanic Heritage Month at Central Market

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, has sourced a diverse collection of top-rated Hispanic-owned products from around the globe. From Hispanic-owned wines and coffee to gourmet chocolates and salsas, the items will be showcased at all Central Market locations through Friday, October 15.

Chile en Nogada at Tacodeli

In celebration of Mexican Independence Day, Tacodeli, 1902 Washington, will offer the Chile en Nogada ($4.50) through October 15. Made with roasted Anaheim chile stuffed with Akaushi picadillo, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, cilantro, and topped with goat cheese sauce made with Cheesemakers chèvre, the three colors of the chile (green), walnut sauce (white) and the pomegranate seeds (red) represent the colors of the Mexican Flag. 
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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