This Week in Houston Food Events: Game Day Contests and Ugly Sweaters

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Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:

All month long

Secret Santa Specials at Jax Grill

Through December 31, all Jax Grill locations will be offering a secret menu to guests, showcasing unique, seasonal items not featured on the regular menu. What makes it a secret? You won't see any promos in the restaurant! Secret Santa Menu items include Heavenly Holiday Cheesecake, a peppermint cheesecake with graham cracker crust; Jax's Spicy Holiday Platter; a buffalo-style Bellaire Basket; Holiday Queso, red salsa, guacamole and white queso served with holiday-themed chips; and Texas Winter Burger, a Jax Burger topped with grilled onions, jalapeños, Monterrey Jack cheese and chipotle mayo served with all the fixings.

Through February 2

BIG GAME Sweepstakes at Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers

Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers, 3501 West Holcombe, 1335 Lake Woodlands, 10403 Katy Freeway, has officially launched Jerry Built’s BIG GAME Sweepstakes, a contest where customers have the chance to win two tickets to Super Bowl LI in Houston at NRG Stadium. To participate now through Thursday, February 2, entrants must log in though Jerry Built’s WiFi at any of the three locations (The Woodlands, West University, Memorial City). Entrants will log on to the access point using their Facebook, Twitter, or e- mail accounts. Logging in multiple times does not increase the chance of winning. There is no purchase or payment of any kind necessary to win. For the official rules, visit jerrybuiltburgers.com/promotions.

Tuesday, December 13

Butchery Demo at Revival Market

Revival Market, 550 Heights, will be hosting a Butchery Demo with co-owner Morgan Weber and charcutier Andrew Vaserfirer from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13. Guests will learn how to butcher a whole hog, head to tail, plus enjoy a selection of charcuterie upon arrival, a family-style dinner midway through the class, and a take-away selection of Revival salumi. BYOB is strongly encouraged. Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased in-store, over the phone, or via email at info@revivalmarket.com.

Louis Roederer and Cristal Champagne Dinner at L’Olivier

L’Olivier, 240 Westheimer, invites guests to a bubbly filled dinner beginning at 7 p.m. Guests can enjoy butternut squash bonbon in sage truffle sauce, a gratinee of shimp and scallop, stuffed lobster tail with crab and baba au rhum, all paired with Louis Roederer and Cristal bubbles. Cost is $155 per person. Call 713-360-6313 or email mary@olivierhouston.com to make reservations or learn more.

An Evening of Holiday Champagne at Bistro Provence

On Tuesday, December 13 beginning at 7 p.m., Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial, will host An Evening of Holiday Champagne. The dinner will pair some of the finest selections from Voirin-Jumel with a five-course French Provence menu, with Houston’s own Tim Smith and Phyllis Adatto of French Country Wines on hand to represent the winery. Feast on dishes include Foie gras mousse and ginger bread toast, the fresh catch with sorrel sauce, and grass-fed veal paupiette with seasonal vegetables. The cost per person is $135 plus tax and gratuity. A $60 deposit via PayPal is required to secure a reservation. For reservations, call 713-827-8008 or email bistro_provence@sbcglobal.net.

Wednesday,  December 13

DIY Ugly Sweater Creating Party & White Elephant Gift Exchange at Raven Tower

The Ugly Sweater making kicks off at Raven Tower, 310 North, at 7 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m. For $5, a sweater will be provided, along with items to decorate it. All proceeds will go to non-profit The Pink Giraffe House, a safe haven for young victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment who need protection from immediate danger at home. At 9 p.m. the White Elephant Gift Exchange will begin (see Facebook event page for the rules). There will also be live entertainment, plenty of drink specials and s'mores.

Thursday, December 15

A Glean Taste Dinner at The Milford House

Guests are invited to eat, drink and reduce food waste at this special dinner hosted by Slow Foods Houston and held at The Milford House, 1101 Milford, from 6 to 9 p.m. In collaboration with local farmers, chefs, artisans, producers and retailers, A Glean Taste brings a host of delectable dishes and drinks prepared from perfectly edible but potential food waste. Local chefs are creating six dishes and beverage artisans will be providing unique drinks. Tickets are $50 for one or $90 for two.

Toys for Tots at The Palm Houston

The Palm Restaurant Houston, 6100 Westheimer, is partnering with Houston Young Professionals for this special holiday event from 6 to 11 p.m. It is free to attend, but guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate or donate cash/check. There will be a gold flake stage coach with horses out front, Santa Claus and Lady Elves, an outdoor patio bar with apple cider, eggnog and mulled cider, light bites, photos, happy hour specials and an appearance from the Marines from 6 to 8 p.m.

Gingerbread Doghouse Contest and Auction at The Westin at The Woodlands

Dog lovers are invited to this charity event at The Westin at The Woodlands, 2 Waterway Square Place, starting at 6 p.m. Some of the area’s most talented chefs will be there to support an evening of culinary, canine fun. One-of-a-kind gingerbread doghouses will be on display, judged on creativity, then auctioned off to benefit Operation Pets Alive. Guests can enjoy complimentary admission, treats from Nothing Bundt Cakes and hors d’oeuvres, plus specially-priced hair of the dog drinks. CURRENT restaurant, located on the ground floor of The Westin at The Woodlands, will also offer a prix fixe menu option beginning at 5 p.m. with a percentage of sales supporting OPA.

Friday, December 16

National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day at Velvet Taco

Yes, there is such a thing as National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day,  and Velvet Taco, 4819 Washington, is just awesome enough to celebrate it. Simply wear your Christmas “worst” to Velvet Taco on Friday for the chance to win a $25 gift card. Five winners will be selected from the Houston location.

Saturday, December 17

Arbor-EAT-um: Holiday Treats at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

In this class held at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway, nature lovers will work together to make three delicious nature-themed holiday treats: a chocolate peanut butter pine cone, a marshmallow reindeer, and a festive Christmas tree. There will be two time slots, 12:30 to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m. The class is ages 5 and up and cost is $30 per member and $45 per nonmember (per pair).

Little Woodrow’s Midtown Chili Cook-Off

Little Woodrow’s Midtown, 2306 Brazos, is hosting its annual chili competition from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (judging starts at 6 p.m.). The bar will be serving stellar beer options and craft cocktails over the course of this day-long event, during which the chili teams will provide samples to guests throughout the day. Little Woodrow’s will also be awarding cash prizes and aprons to the winners.

Sunday, December 18

Game Day Brunch Off at Third Coast

Third Coast, 6550 Bertner (sixth floor), will be hosting a Game Day Brunch Off as Café Annie’s Robert Del Grande (representing the Houston Texans) and Restaurant Orsay’s Michael McKinney (representing the Jacksonville Jaguars) face off. Third Coast’s Jon Buchanan will be whipping up all the brunch necessities. The brunch includes mimosa and runs from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $35 per person, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Houston Food Bank. Guests are welcome to stay through the end of the game.

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