Things To Do

This Week in Houston Food Events: Crawfish Season Returns and a Burger Worth a Ride to the Bay

Pier 6's new Diplomat Burger is a true fork-and-knifer.
Pier 6's new Diplomat Burger is a true fork-and-knifer. Photo by Becca Wright
Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:

Monday, January 16

Lunar New Year specials begin at Sprinkles

To honor the 2023 Year of the Rabbit, Sprinkles bakery and the non-profit collective of Asian and Pacific Islander leaders of Gold House have teamed up to release a Gold Bunny Almond Red Velvet Cupcake featuring almond-filled red velvet cake atop an almond cookie crust and topped with almond cream cheese frosting. The cupcake is also featured in a Lunar New Year Red Box inclusive of custom red envelopes to gift. The cupcakes and bundle are available at Sprinkles bakeries nationwide, including in Rice Village and Westheimer, from January 16 through January 29.

Tuesday, January 17

Betty White Birthday Bash at Angel


Angel Share, 924 Congress, is throwing a Birthday Bash to celebrate the late queen, the iconic Betty White, kicking off with happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. ($5 wells, $5 drafts, $5 shot specials) and offering $15 bottles of sparkling until they run out plus Drink yo’ Face vodka-based cocktails (Betty’s liquor of choice) featuring Angel Share's angel, Betty. As always, every drink or food item purchased will benefit local charities.

The Perfect 10 Gala at Brennan’s of Houston

Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith, and local restaurant news publication Houston Food Finder, will host the The Perfect 10 Gala. The Mardi Gras-themed event celebrates ten of Houston’s best chefs and ten outstanding drink professionals, beginning with a VIP- and sponsor-only cocktail hour with small bites at 5:30 p.m. followed by a seated dinner with six courses starting at 7 p.m. During the event, guests can also visit the Wine Room for a silent auction benefiting food rescue organization Second Servings of Houston. General Admission tickets for the seated dinner only are $185++, with VIP tickets for $245++.

Wednesday, January 18

Brisket 101 Class at R-C Ranch

The team at R-C Ranch, 2520 Airline, and Jeremy “JJ” Jeffers, owner of J Bar J Texas Pit BBQ in Brookshire will host a Brisket 101 Class from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Guests can enjoy a complimentary beverage while learning to trim, prep, rub (or brine) and cook a brisket, including details on wood smoke profiles, temperatures, timing, wrapping, slicing and serving. Pre-smoked brisket samples and sandwiches provided by our in-house culinary team are also included. Tickets are $100, and participants also have the opportunity to purchase (pre-order or onsite during the class) a R-C Ranch Wagyu brisket at a discounted price of $75—either pre-smoked or uncooked.

Saturday, January 21

Hops n' Hot Sauce Festival at Humble Civic Center

The 7th Annual Hops n' Hot Sauce Festival will take place at Humble Civic Center, 8233 Will Clayton Parkway, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests can enjoy SpindleTap brews and unlimited samples of hot sauces, salsas, seasonings, jellies, jams, pickled products, and more; plus food trucks, photo ops and fun events like the Hot Pepper Eating Contest and Spicy Food Eating Challenge. Tickets are $10 (free for kids under 12).

Blacksmith By Night Market

Celebrating a decade at 1018 Westheimer, Blacksmith will host a pop-up Blacksmith By Night Market from 3 to 7 p.m. Vendors include Amaya Coffee, Boo’s Burgers, Dumpling Haus, JQ’s TX BBQ, Underground Creamery and a whole bunch more.

Saturday and Sunday

Lion Dances at Tobiuo and Money Cat

Guests can enjoy energetic Lunar New Year lion dances performed by Celestial Dragon at Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, 23501 Cinco Ranch, on Saturday, January 21, at 6:30 p.m. and at Money Cat, 2925 Richmond, on Sunday, January 22, at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 22

Lunar New Year at Phat Eatery

January 22 marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year, and the start of the annual celebrations at Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial Parkway. To welcome the Year of the Rabbit, the restaurant will offer four seatings: Sunday, January 22 at 6 p.m. (Chinese New Year’s Day); Friday, January 27 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, January 28 at 11:30 a.m.; and Sunday, January 29 at 11:30 a.m. (early arrival advised, no walk-ins). At each seating, guests can enjoy a special five-course tasting menu — from dim sum offerings like lobster dumpling, caviar shrimp siu mai and XO carrot cake to 44 Farms beef short rib rendang — plus Lion Dance performances by Lee Golden Dragon. Prepaid reservations are $88 per person (service included) and $28 for children ages 4 to 12 (includes choice of pineapple fried rice or chicken stir-fried noodles and ice cream).

All month long

Galveston Restaurant Week

Galveston Restaurant Week runs now through February 5. Participating restaurants — with hotspots like BLVD Seafood, Hearsay on the Strand and Willie G’s — will offer prix fixe menus for lunch, dinner and brunch, helping to raise funds for local charities including Galveston ISD Educational Foundation, Resource & Crisis Center of Galveston County, and Teen Health Center, Inc.

Dry January at Coltivare

Coltivare, 3320 White Oak, is ready to celebrate Dry January with its month-long, zero-proof cocktail menu. This year, the beverage team has curated an all-new menu in collaboration with Sipple, with drinks including The Perfect Storm (like a Dark & Stormy) and the Not & Tonic, a non-alcholic riff on the restaurant’s popular Gin & Tonic made with elderflower tonic, grapefruit, mint and green peppercorn.

Kenny & Ziggy’s Cakeworks

Kenny & Ziggy’s, 1743 Post Oak, will be featuring its own inhouse bakery, Kenny & Ziggy’s Cakeworks, by launching the Cakeworks Cake of the Month, offering a specialty cake each month for the next six months with discounted prices for slices or whole cakes. First up will be Wolfie’s Famous Victory Cake, a nod to one of the country’s famous Jewish delicatessens that features seven layers of chocolate cake and whipped cream under cream icing and a chocolate dribble rim. For all of January, cake slices will be $10.95 each or $55.95 for an entire cake (entire cake orders should be done two days in advance).

January Specials at Kolache Shoppe

This month, Kolache Shoppe will feature Boudin Kolache (a collab with La Boucherie out of Spring, Texas), Strawberries & Cream Kolache, and Spiced Pumpkin Lattes. Grab the specials Thursday-Saturday at the Greenway Shoppe and Friday-Sunday at the Heights and Kingwood Shoppes.
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Stately surf and turf "The Ambassador" is also new to the menu at Pier 6.
Photo by Becca Wright
New and ongoing specials

Crawfish season

Fresh Louisiana style crawfish shack Boil House, 606 East 11th, has officially reopened for the 2023 crawfish season, currently open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until sold out and expanding hours as the season goes on.

Daiq’s, 7333 West Sam Houston Parkway South, will be serving up its Cajun crawfish by the pound, with potatoes, corn and andouille sausage, and in seafood specialty dishes throughout crawfish season.

Lotus Seafood has welcomed Crawfish Season at all five Houston area locations, offering Cajun crawfish for $10 per pound (with a two pound minimum).

Monkey’s Tail, 5802 Fulton, has officially kicked off crawfish season featuring regular or jalapeño flavoring at a current price of $10 per pound (prices are expected to drop later in the season). Crawfish will be available for dine-in and to-go Thursday through Sunday.

Southside Sporting Club, 11110 West Airport, has weekend seafood boils from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, plus live Zydeco bands every Saturday.

New menu items at Daily Gather

Chef Brandi Key has introduced cozy new dishes at Daily Gather, 800 Sorella . Guests can enjoy Shareable Meatballs simmered in a rich house tomato sauce and served over whipped ricotta; or the Short Rib & Mushroom Risotto finished with Parmesan-cornichon gremolata, available at dinner. /

French style Kings Cake at Etoile Cuisine et Bar

At Etoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park, chef Philippe Verpiand will be baking dozens of made-to-order Galette de Rois (the French version of Kings' Cake) for pick up and take home through January 31. Unlike the familiar ones from New Orleans, the crown-shaped cake is made of puff pastry and filled with a buttery, almond cream filling. Cost is $38 plus tax and each cake feeds 6-8 people. Orders must be made 24 hours in advance by calling 832-668-5808.

New menu items at Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House

Pier 6, 113 6th, executive chef Joe Cervantez has introduced a plethora of new menu items, including Spicy Shrimp Crispy Rice, BBQ Shrimp & Grits and Lobster Benedict at brunch, and the dinnertime only Diplomat Burger, a fork-and-knifer made with Akaushi patty, smoked Gouda, caramelized onions and Forestiere sauce.

Mardi Gras Milk Punch at Rainbow Lodge

Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella, will offer its Mardi Gras Milk Punch now through February 21 (Mardi Gras). A fun riff on its standard milk punch, the drink combines house-aged, pecan-infused bourbon, milk and king cake spices, topped with traditional purple, yellow and green colored sugars. Cost is $10 for the drink, or $40 for the King Cake Milk Punch Kit to-go (serves four and includes the mixed cocktail and a container of the three colored sugars). 
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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