Upcoming Events: Bratoberfest at Hay Merchant

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The Hay Merchant will celebrate Oktoberfest, or as they like to call it "Bratoberfest," by serving a special bratwurst created by Underbelly's chef Chris Shepherd available now until October 5. Pair that slow-cooked bratwurst featuring hints of nutmeg and garlic topped with butter-braised onions all inside a pretzel bun with one of the many Oktoberfest beer selections at Hay Merchant. And don't forget to stop by to watch the Texans game! If our home team is winning, all local beers are half off.

While these two Houston Culinary Tours aren't until October 26 and November 16, the tickets go on sale Wednesday, October 1, at noon. Secure your spot at the Day of the Dead 2014 culinary tour led by chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo's and Caracol, and his brother, pastry chef Ruben Ortega; the tour departs from Central Market at 11 a.m. and includes tastings at each stop during the Dia de los Muertos educational journey. Tickets cost $180 per person. If you're a fan of BYOB restaurants, or are looking for some to try, purchase your $180 ticket to the BYOB 2014 culinary tour led by Backstreet Cafe's sommelier Sean Beck and Houston Wine Merchant's Antonio Gianola. The duo will take you to their favorite Houston BYOB restaurants, so bring a bottle of wine and enjoy delightful bites at each stop.

The 48th Annual Original Greek Festival kicks off October 2 and lasts through October 5 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Along with the live music, dancing and other traditional Greek activities, the festival also offers a multitude of food and drinks. Seriously, you won't walk away hungry. Nosh on everything from gyros, souvlaki (seasoned and marinated tenderloin cubes) and spanakopita (spinach and cheese-filled puff pastries) to a selection of desserts such as Never on Sundae, a bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with baklava sprinkles, koulourakia (twisted butter cookies) and loukoumades (warm honey puffs). This year's beer selections include Karbach, Saint Arnold, Goose Island and Firestone Walker as well. Tickets to the event cost $5 for adults at the gate (children 12 and under are admitted free) and admission is free for everyone on Friday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

On October 4, Landry's will host Toast to Texas at the Kemah Boardwalk from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets cost $45 in advance and include beer, wine and distillery samples from all participating vendors, such as Saint Arnold and No Label breweries, Messina Hoff and Duchman wineries, plus Garrison Brothers and Red River distilleries. Pair those drink samples with various food offerings while listening to live music.

Damian's Cucina Italiana will host San Felice Agricola Wines on Tuesday, October 7, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. for A Walk Around Tasting. Tickets to this event cost $25 and include a sampling of wines from the vineyard paired with a selection of hors d'oeuvres. Guests will sip on a Chianti Classico, Contrada Rosso Toscana, Vigorello Rosso Toscano and IL Grigio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from San Felice, as well as Campogiovanni Brunello Di Montalcino. Food offerings include fried bolognese, tomato caprese skewers, spinach and spring vegetable frittata, penne marinara, antipasto misto and sun-dried tomato stoffa pestri.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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