With big food events like Menu of Menus, iFest, the Grand Food & Wine Affair and the Big Bite Night behind us now, what else is there to look forward to in the coming weeks? A lot, that's what.
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, and plenty of Houston restaurants and bars will be offering specials (although not as many as in the past -- has Cinco de Mayo reached the limit of its popularity?). Upscale Mexican restaurants Hugo's and Pico's Mex-Mex will both have fiestas to celebrate: Hugo's will be featuring a buffet of traditional Pueblan food along with mariachis (naturally) and Balet Folklorico dancers, while Pico's will go more low-key with happy hour prices all day and specials on fajitas, grilled shrimp and baby back ribs. Bonus: Pico's currently has soft shell crab on the menu, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Cyclone Anaya's will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with cinco straight days of partying, which sounds fun if exhausting. The party kicks off on Saturday, May 1 with complimentary tequila tastings and pinatas at all three locations and moves into full gear on May 2 with all-day happy hours each day until May 5. On Cinco de Mayo itself, the Durham and Midtown locations of Cyclone Anaya's will feature live entertainment including miniature mariachis, life-sized pinatas and Azteca dancers.
Can't get enough pint-size entertainment? That's something for your therapist to figure out, really. But in the meantime, the House of Blues is hosting its own Cinco de Mayo party with MiniKiss -- a KISS tribute band composed entirely of midgets -- and a full Mexican buffet. We could not make this stuff up. And at only $5 a person, you can attend and later swear to people that you, too, are not making it up when you say you saw a three-foot-tall Gene Simmons smack a lady's ass.
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After the tequila-flavored vomit has dried on the sidewalks, there will be other activities to look forward to. Most of them classier, too.
On May 15, Penny De Los Santos -- the acclaimed photographer whose work can be seen in publications like Saveur and National Geographic -- is bringing back her popular food photography workshop to Houston. Unlike her last visit, this is a nearly day-long, highly intensive course designed to expose photographers of all skill levels to different shooting conditions. The course starts with a morning session at Branch Water Tavern, photographing food created by Chef David Grossman, then hits the streets for a course in shooting street food. Aftewards, De Los Santos will spend the afternoon individually critiquing work and offering feedback. At $350 a person, it's a steep price but one that's well worth it for aspiring photographers.
And if you aren't yet worn out from grazing, there are two more events coming up this month: Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation and the Great Taste of the Heights. The former features more than 50 area restaurants and will be held at the Houstonian Hotel on May 2, with tickets starting at $100 a person. The latter features only restaurants from the Heights and will be held at the All Saints Catholic Church on May 15, with tickets going for $25 a person. You can guess which one we'll be at.