From a Thanksgiving burger to a festival dedicated entirely to cheese, here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All month long
November specials at Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 4444 Westheimer, is kicking off the holidays with seasonal favorites. The Thanksgiving on a Bun Burger ($11) will be available through Sunday, November 20 and features a turkey patty topped with sage pesto, jalapeño cornbread stuffing, ginger cranberry chutney, gouda cheese and a bacon Brussels sprout salad. Guests can also get down with a Butter Pecan Shake ($6) and Cranberry Sangria ($7) through Sunday, November 27.
White & Black Truffles at Kata Robata
Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby, has just received its first shipment of white truffles—aka “diamonds of the kitchen”—and they join a supply of black truffles already in house. For at least the next month, chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi will showcase the bits of Italian black and white gold with specials such as seared salmon served wrapped around a quail egg and topped with Italian black truffles or White Alba Truffle Chawanmushi with foie gras, oyster mushrooms and Japanese Ginkgo, all topped with a coat of white truffle shavings.
Monday, October 31
Halloween Dinner at Charivari
Charivari, 2521 Bagby, is offering a special Halloween menu straight from the mind of Transylvanian-born chef Johann Schuster. Feast on dishes such as Dracula’s Favorite Bone Marrow Soup, Black Angus Spooky Spiced Short Ribs and Black Raspberry Crepes. The five-course meal costs $45 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Mischief on McGowen
On Halloween between 4 and 9 p.m., both Leon’s Lounge, 1006 McGowen, and Mongoose Versus Cobra, 1011 McGowen, are partnering with the Houston Halloween pub crawl for some frightful drink specials. Guests are encouraged to don a costume and party under the spooky ivy.
Tuesday, November 1
300th Raising Cane’s Grand Opening
The newest Raising Cane’s, 5236 South Rice, will host grand opening festivities beginning at 9:30 a.m. with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce and attended by local fire, police and city officials. Doors open to the public at 10 a.m., with the first 20 paying, dine-in customers ages 13 and older receiving free Cane’s for a year. In addition, the first 100 paying, dine-in customers ages 13 and older will receive a free limited-edition Cane’s Houston t-shirt, along with a voucher for a free Box Combo—containing four fresh, never ever frozen chicken fingers, Texas toast, secret recipe Cane’s sauce, coleslaw, crinkle-cut fries and a drink—that may be redeemed on a subsequent visit.
Satays and Kabobs at Eight Row Flint
Continuing the Tuesday night dinner series, Coltivare manager Mike Sanchez will be hosting Satays and Kabobs at Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale. Sanchez has always loved Indian cuisine, comparing it to the Mexican food of his childhood in Houston—aggressive meats, fresh vegetables, an affinity for sauces and strong spices. He’ll serve the kabobs and satay with basmati rice, tamarind chutney and a cold bean salad to cut the spice, made with lemon vinegar, olive oil and roasted peppers and onions. All food service begins at 5 p.m. and will be served until it sells out. The regular menu is always available as well. This special will also be available on Tuesday, November 8.
“Sweets Cocktail Hour” at Fluff Bake Bar
To get everyone ready for Sweet Week—a week-long special running Sunday, November 6 through Sunday, November 13 and benefiting No Kid Hungry—Michael’s Cookie Jar’s Michael Savino and Fluff Bake Bar’s Rebecca Masson are hosting a “Sweets Cocktail Hour” at Fluff Bake Bar, 314 West Gray, from 6 to 8 p.m. A $15 donation will get guests samplings from some of the sweetest shops around, including Red Dessert Dive, Three Brothers Bakery, the Cupcake Cowgirls and Araya Artisan Chocolate.
Thursday, November 3
The Woodlands Restaurant Week begins
Running through Friday, November 11, Woodlands restaurants will be joining together in this fundraising event for The Montgomery County Food Bank. Participating restaurants—including favorites Robard's Steakhouse, 2301 North Millbend, and Fielding’s Wood Grill, 1699 Research Forest—will donate between one to three dollars per entrée; with each dollar donated helping to provide 3.5 nutritious meals to locals in need.
8th Annual Picnic in the Park at Discovery Green
Bringing together local foodies, businesses and philanthropists, this annual event raises money for SEARCH Homeless Services (SEARCH), a United Way organization dedicated to fighting homelessness in the Houston area. From 6 to 9 p.m., guests can enjoy an evening under the stars featuring bites and drinks from over a dozen local favorites, including B&B Butchers & Restaurant, Saint Arnold and Songkran Thai Kitchen. Tickets are $100 for individuals.
Friday – Sunday
"Harvest the Block"
Houston Black Restaurant Week kicks off its first annual fall series, Harvest the Block, with the goal of stimulating growth between black-owned farms and the local Houston economy. On Friday, guests can enjoy “Kitchen Konversations: Cooking Experience,” a culinary demonstration at the grand opening of Etta’s Table, 4212 Dowling, led by chef Shakti Baum. The three course, farm-to-table meal and cooking demonstration costs $80. On Saturday, “Harvest the Block” begins with a classic farmer’s market and ends with community block party ($25) in Houston’s historic Third Ward neighborhood. The afternoon continues with a heated food challenge, as patrons can sample bites from various culinary vendors (Cajun, barbecue, food trucks and desserts), then cast their vote for the best of the block. To close out the weekend on Sunday, a Reunion Community Dinner will be held at the Blue Triangle Community Center, 3005 McGowen. Chefs Yolanda Henry and Javani King will be preparing a family-style feast utilizing select ingredients from local farmers for $40 per person. Proceeds from the Harvest the Block fall series will benefit the renovation of the Blue Triangle communal kitchen.
Friday, November 4
The Cheese Fest at Hermann Square Park
Downtown’s Hermann Square Park will be a cheese lover’s paradise from 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include unlimited samples of artisan cheeses and products, plus a drink ticket and samples of mac’ and cheese and grilled cheese from the Meltdown and Macdown competitions. VIP tickets are $75 and include early entry, an extra drink ticket, special access and a swag bag.
Saturday, November 5
Houston Margarita Festival at Sam Houston Park
Going on its 5th year, this margarita festival will showcase more than 30 different margarita flavors made with 100 percent agave tequila. From noon to 10 p.m., guests can sip flavors like peach mango, coconut and pumpkin spice, dance to live salsa music and get tastes from local restaurants. The day’s highlight is the Best Margarita Competition, with competitors including Chulas, Diablo Loco and Lupe Tortilla. Tickets are $25 (or $35 day) and include admission, a drink ticket for one margarita and HMF cup for the first 10,000 people. At the festival, additional drink tickets can be purchased for $6 to $8 (cash only). VIP and value passes are also available.
Sunday, November 6
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Four Year Anniversary at Michiru Sushi
Michiru Sushi, 3800 Southwest Freeway, is celebrating four years at its Greenway location by giving away a $25 gift card for every $50 spent that day.
Southern Smoke at Underbelly
The second annual Southern Smoke event will be held in the streets near Underbelly, 1100 Westheimer from 4 to 8 p.m. Hosted by chef Chris Shepherd and the HOUBBQ Collective, the day will bring together a dream team of Southern chefs and pitmasters with the goal of raising $200,000 for the MS Society in honor of Antonio Gianola. The lineup includes brisket from Aaron Franklin, beer can chicken from Ashley Christensen, and smoked Vietnamese-style bologna with nuoc mam slaw from Tandy Wilson, all of whom are James Beard Award winners. And that's just a taste. There will be even more 'cue and a stellar roster of grapes and grains. Tickets are $200 for general admission and $350 for VIP.