Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
Monday, November 22
Turkey Leg Hut Thanksgiving Giveaway
last week to give readers a heads up because once the word is out, the lines for free turkey legs from Turkey Leg Hut in the parking lot at 4902 Almeda Road, are going to be hours long. However, fans of its smoky, huge leg of turkey are not easily defeated and it's worth taking a chance that supplies will last long enough for every eager beaver to get theirs. One turkey leg per person, beginning at noon. There will also be free beverages from Exotic Pop.
In the past two years, owners Lynn and Nakia Price have given out 6,000 turkey legs for Thanksgiving. Houston is grateful.
Tuesday, November 23
This Italian restaurant from Shanon Scott has local Italian wine expert, Jeremy Parzen, as the restaurant's wine director. With decades of experience, Parzen can guide newbies and oldies alike in the choice of a food-friendly pairing and his vast knowledge means that the variety spans a range of costs and includes some very reasonable quaffs without breaking the bank.
This Tuesday, 6 p.m., Parzen will be showcasing ten wines for tasting and guests will be able to purchase their favorites to take home for Thanksgiving guests or hide away in the cellar for when the relatives depart. Or, give in to temptation and stay for a relaxing dinner.
For those who like to plan in advance, there will be the Yeye Pop Wine Dinner, December 10 at 7:30 p.m. Parzen has curated the music for the event and guests will enjoy the sounds of YeYe Pop, a French '60s sound that inspired Parzen's own former band, Nous Non Plus.
While the music will be francaise, the food will be la cucina italiana, catered by Roma. Wines will be by Vesper Wine. The cost is $45 per person. That's much cheaper than a trip to Europe and there's no TSA to deal with.
Roma is located at 2347 University Boulevard.
Wednesday, November 24
Drinksgiving at Live Oak Grill
The newly reopened Live Oak Grill, which first opened in 2001, is now part of Night Moves Hospitality. Greg Perez's young team has been on a roll, opening new hip hang-outs and restaurants around the city in the past year, including Trash Panda Drinking Club, Space Cowboy and most recently, the Mexican-American restaurant Chivos. The neighborhood bar and restaurant, located in a historic 1915 house, has a sprawling patio under 130-year-old live oak trees on a spread of 2.7 acres.
For its Drinksgiving, it will offer half-off food and happy hour drink pricing until 7 p.m. along with the debut of its latest menu items. The new offerings include a Carne Asada Po'Boy, Houston Hot Chicken Sandwich, Live Oak Chili and its version of the trending Smash Burger.
Live Oak Grill is located at 10444 Hempstead in Spring Branch.
Friday, November 26
Black Friday Brunches and Happy Hours
Dish Society has six locations in which to enjoy a relaxing brunch and it is starting its Black Friday Brunch at breakfast time. From 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. hungry shoppers or bleary-eyed post-Thanksgiving revelers can order farm to table dishes like Shrimp & Grits, Chicken & Biscuits, Brisket 'N Eggs and House Breakfast Tacos. There are sweeter offerings like Nutella French Toast and Pancakes. There are organic gluten-free pancakes, too.
There's coffee, fresh juices, tea and beer and wine. Most locations, except for the San Felipe store, have brunch cocktails, too. Dish Society also offers online ordering for delivery or curbside take-away and its family meal packs are designed to feed 3 adults or two adults and two kids. The Family Traditional ($30) offers scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit and toast plus seasonal jam and butter. The Family Breakfast Tacos Breakfast ($25) includes 10 flour tortilla tacos filled with eggs, bacon, and cheddar.
The Original Ninfa's, 2704 Navigation and 1700 Post Oak, will have a special cocktail for Black Friday shoppers who need to pep up or wind down. Its El Toro Rojo is made with tequila, elderflower liqueur, ginger, fresh lime and blood orange juices, then topped with Red Bull energy drink for $12. It may not give you wings but it will probably make you sing.
Reserve 101 is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Black Friday.
Saturday, November 27
This smash-style burger concept from rapper Bun B, Andy Nguyen and siblings Patsy and Benson Vivares has been teasing Houston with the promise of a brick and mortar location but until then, fans of the thin, crispy patties will have to follow the pop-up news. Online pre-orders begin Tuesday, November 23 at TrillBurgers.com and must be picked up at Sticky's Chicken, 2311 Edwards November 27 from 2 p.m. through 8 p.m.
While the OG Classic and the Grilled Onion Smash Burger will hit the spot for traditionalists, Trill Burgers is introducing a vegan burger this pop-up. The Beleaf Burger is 100 percent plant-based and made with Impossible meat. It is expected to sell out, so orders should be placed as soon as possible.
Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28
This South African restaurant launched its weekend brunch last week and it's the ideal place to bring visiting relatives who may still be in town for a taste of something unique and definitely not turkey and cranberry sauce. Restaurateur Ryan Stewart and executive chef Macey Maples have created a brunch menu with the vibrant flavors of South Africa teamed with American brunch favorites.
There's the Soet Sunrise Dutch Baby Pancakes with fruit and powdered sugar or South African Koekstersfor, a traditional Afrikaner fried pastry with caramel sauce for those who like a sweet breakfast. For a more substantial and heartier brunch, the Espetada Benedict with its tower of grilled steak amid two eggs Benedict will keep diners sated for the rest of the day. A variety of mimosas and South African cocktails such as the Tipo Tinto invite guests to linger and relax, forgetting the previous stresses of Thanksgiving hosting. Mozambik's version of a Bloody Mary is garnished with beef biltong, cured beef strips similar to beef jerky. You can have your Mary and eat it too.
All Month Long:
From now through the end of 2021, the venerable Houston Tex-Mex restaurant, is offering its pork tamales for $11.95 per dozen. That's $2 off the regular price. Tamales are a holiday tradition in Mexico that has been happily adopted by Texans. Their presence on a festive table never lasts long, so it's best to stock up.
Molina's version is traditional with chili-laced braised pork, just enough spice to tease the palate. They are available for pick-up and take away at all three Molina's Cantina locations: 7901 Westheimer, 713-782-0861, 3801 Bellaire, 713-432-1626 and the Fulshear location at 6300 FM 1463, 832-789-6450. For large orders, please order 24 hours in advance.
This local coffee shop has three locations: 8147 Long Point in Spring Branch, 1203 W. 34th in GO/OF and at Levy Park, 2925 Richmond. For the holidays, it has rolled out some seasonal flavors that will get sippers in the holiday spirit. For November, it introduced a Pumpkin Pie Latte, Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa, Salted Caramel Mocha Latte and even a Snickerdoodle Latte. for December, it pays tribute to the candy cane with a Peppermint Mocha Latte and Peppermint Hot Cocoa. If the dropping temps make you long for S'mores and a warm drink, the Campfire Latte and the Campfire Hot Cocoa have a good smattering of mini marshmallows on top.
Slowpokes also has breakfast sandwiches, salads, pastries and more to enjoy with your seasonal beverage. And there's beer and wine if you stick around for the day.