Local boy done good, Neil "Bigmista" Strawder, is returning home to Galveston once again on Saturday, March 17. Strawder, best known as the Long Beach, California pitmaster who impressed Jonathan Gold enough to be included on Gold's list of "99 Essential LA Restaurants" and as a contestant on TLC's BBQ Pitmasters, is making a yearly habit of coming back to Galveston in support of St. Augustine of Hippo.
The church -- which Strawder once attended -- is the oldest African-American Episcopal church in Texas. Last year, Strawder headed up a celebrity barbecue at the church to raise money for St. Augustine's community gardens. This year, money will go toward much-needed repairs for the church, which is now 128 years old. Tickets for the big BBQ -- all cooked by Strawder and his crew -- are $10 for a one-meat plate with two sides, bread and dessert or $13 for a two-meat plate. You can even order one of Strawder's award-winning whole briskets ahead of time for $75, as long as you call 409-763-4254 before March 14.
One of Strawder's biggest fans and a BBQ guru himself, Robb Walsh will be traveling around Texas signing copies of his new book: Texas Eats. Walsh was at the weekly Sacred Heart spaghetti lunch on Wednesday, and will be at the Foodways Texas all-you-can-eat crawfish boil benefit this Sunday, March 11, at Vargo's.
You can also catch Walsh at another Foodways Texas benefit on Tuesday, March 27: The Oysters, Brews & Blues party at the Armadillo Palace. Admission is $50 and includes a presentation and tasting of Texas appellation oysters as described in the book, samples of new microbrews and Houston blues music.
Speaking of microbrews, a beer dinner of a different color is coming to the Alamo Drafthouse in Katy on Thursday, March 22. The movie theater will be screening Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited and -- in keeping with the movie's setting -- will have a menu of gourmet Indian food paired with beers from Avery Brewing Company. Naturally, the first course will be paired with an India Pale Ale.
If the four-course Indian feast and beer aren't encouragement enough to attend, get this: Each ticket bought gives you a chance to have your name entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Great American Beer Fest in Denver this October, along with a private tour of the Avery Brewery. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased online.
Starting Monday, March 12, it's going to be a lot easier to find good food in the restaurant-starved Museum District: The food trucks are rolling in. Taking a cue from the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston will be hosting a different food truck every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden. Every single day. How cool is that?
The first truck to be featured will be Ladybird, with a rotating list of Houston's favorite food trucks to follow. Seating will be available in the Cullen Sculpture garden itself, which will soon be one of the prettiest places to dine al fresco thanks to the MFAH.
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Finally, if you want to see some of the cutest baby animal action on earth, head to the City Hall Farmers Market this coming Wednesday, March 14. In celebration of the ongoing Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the market will have a baby goat petting area for the duration of the market -- 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. -- as well as the usual suspects selling fresh produce, local foods and lunch treats.