Things To Do

This Week in Houston Food Events: 'Tis the Season of Tamales

Monkey's Tail has brought back its holiday tamales, available in red chile pork and green chile chicken, by the dozen and half-dozen.
Monkey's Tail has brought back its holiday tamales, available in red chile pork and green chile chicken, by the dozen and half-dozen. Photo by Becca Wright
Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:

Wednesday, November 16

Spirit Round Table Turkey Trot Tasting at Brennan’s of Houston

Brennan’s, 3300 Smith, invites guests to gather for an evening of Wild Turkey, light bites and learning during the 14th Annual Turkey Trot tasting event. Tickets ($35++) include one-ounce pours of select Wild Turkey products paired with Brennan’s hors d'oeuvres. Welcome reception at 6 p.m.; round table commences at 6:30 p.m. This year’s event honors the late Brennan’s bartender Richard Middleton and is led by his dear friend Ed Guiney.

Thursday, November 17

Zoo Lights at Houston Zoo

Adults can enjoy Zoo Lights without the kids at the Houston Zoo's Sip & Sparkle event, held from 6 to 10 p.m. The 21 and up event invites guests to stroll through the Zoo and take in the sparkling holidays lights, stopping to taste wine or sip Saint Arnold beer along the way. Expect an illuminated interactive dance floor, colorful holiday light tunnel, sparkling photo ops throughout the Zoo and more. Tasting Passes are $49 ($39 without tastings) and include an event pass and five 2-ounce wine samples or two Saint Arnold Brewing Co. beers. Additional tastings, pours by the glass, and beer will be available for purchase.

Tequila and Wine Dinner at Alicia’s Cypress

Alicia’s Mexican Grille has brought back its popular tequila and wine dinner series at all Alicia’s locations, starting with a welcome cocktail followed by three classic holiday courses with a Tex-Mex twist–butternut squash soup paired with a spice sour cocktail, 1855-certified outside skirt steak and veggie stuffed poblano pepper with a Napa Cellars cabernet sauvignon, and pumpkin roulade paired with Tres Agave Anejo-infused wassail. The first dinner will take place at Alicia’s Cypress, 26326 Northwest Freeway. All Alicia’s tequila and wine dinners are at 7 pm for $94.95 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Friday, November 18

Holiday Wine Tasting at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Downtown

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, 1200 McKinney, will host its annual Champagne Campaign Holiday Wine Tasting, as trained sommeliers guide guests through a range of 15 fantastic Champagne producers alongside snacks including yellowfin tuna poke, East Coast fried oysters with béarnaise, petite twice baked potato with burgundy truffles and baked brie. Tickets are $150 per guest plus tax and gratuity and the event runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m.


713 Night Market at 8th Wonder Brewery

713 Night Market will host its next pop-up at 8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas, for two nights. Expect vendors offering everything from Filipino food, Korean wings and chicken and waffles to Thai street food, Asian bbq fusion, Mexican, Pakistani and more, plus live music and DJs, merchandise and other fun.

Sunday, November 20

Holiday Wine Sale at Camerata

Camerata, 1830 Westheimer, will host its annual holiday wine sale from noon to 4 p.m., offering more than 50 different wines from ten area distributors available for free sips and retail purchasing in the Paulie’s parking lot at 1834 Westheimer. All purchases will be available for pick up Monday, November 21 through Wednesday, November 23.

6th annual Houston BBQ Throwdown at Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons, has sold out its annual Houston BBQ Throwdown, taking place at the brewery from 1 to 4 p.m. But if you manage to still get your hands on tickets, you can enjoy eats from year’s lineup of rockstar pitmasters, including Bar-A-BBQ, Brett's BBQ Shop, Daddy Duncan's BBQ, Dozier's BBQ, Firecraft BBQ (People's Choice winner from 2019), Harlem Road Texas BBQ, JQ's Tex Mex BBQ, Nomad Barbecue, Reveille BBQ, Roegels Barbecue Co, Smokin' Z's BBQ, Tejas Chocolate + BBQ, Texas Q and The Pit Room.
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Friendly neighborhood spot The Upside Pub has added new brunch items to the mix.
Photo by David Browne
New and ongoing specials

November Kolache Special at Kolache Shoppe

This month’s Kolache Shoppe specials will be available throughout November at Greenway Plaza, Thursdays through Saturdays, beginning November 3, and in the Heights, Fridays through Sundays, beginning November 4. Pop by to try out the Cranberries & Cream, featuring tart cranberry filling spiked with cracked black pepper prepared by Just Pure Flavors and balanced by sweet cream cheese ($2.95) and the Bacon Jalapeño Popper, a collab featuring Blood Bros. BBQ spicy bacon jalapeño popper sausage ($2.10).

Brunch at The Upside Pub

Garden Oaks watering hole The Upside Pub, 3402 North Shepherd, has added a pub-style brunch to its repertoire, expanding to six new menu items including fried batter Pancake Puppies, Pub-ocado Toast served on Kraftsman sourdough, Tex-Mex Pub Migas with jalapeños and queso, sweet and crunchy Frosted Flake French Toast, a Hangover Burger covered in scrambled eggs and bacon, and the Big Ole’ Breakfast Burrito with chorizo and queso. Dishes range from $4 to $13 and guests can tack on $20 pitchers of mimosas, $15 pitchers of craft beers and $4 cold brew coffee, which can be turned into a morning cocktail with a $5 shot of William Price Coffee Liqueur. Brunch runs Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tamale Season

Monkey’s Tail, 5802 Fulton, has brought back its famous tamales for the holiday season, available in red chile pork or green chile chicken—six for $9 or 12 for $16—served with salsa verde and roja.

Both locations of Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen are turning into tamale central as owner Sylvia Casares offers a to-go promotion, tamale-making classes and Tamalada parties right before Christmas Day (one open to the public and others by arrangement). To reserve your tamalada, call the Eldridge location at 832-230-3842. 
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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