Things To Do

Upcoming Events: Brunch, Burger Guys-Style and a Volcanic Cook-Off

Remember the days when The Burger Guys had first opened and Jake Mazzu was doing these amazing brunches with his crew, like Brandon Fisch and Steve Marques? Well, these days you can find Marques turning out killer food at The Tasting Room Uptown, but Mazzu and Fisch are doing the brunch thing once again.

The return of The Burger Guys Brunch will take place on Sunday, May 27, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. (or until the food runs out, which will likely be much earlier). RSVPing is strongly recommended; call 281-497-4897 to save your spot. No word on what they'll be serving yet, but the Facebook page says to expect "brunch with several small bites and fun dishes to choose from, all executed in an open kitchen by The Burger Guys chefs."

That same day, Under the Volcano will be hosting its annual Memorial Weekend Cajun Food Cook-Off from 4 to 9 p.m. (so technically, you can totally make both events). The event is still in need of cooks, however.

Says the Volcano: "We are changing things up a bit this year and opening the competition to all Cajun food and not just gumbo. So if you make a mean jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo or even corn maque choux, we'd like you to help us raise funds." The event benefits Wellsprings, Inc. a home for abused women and their children run by the Dominican Sisters. Sign up in person at the bar.

On Sunday, May 20, top-ranked Major League Eaters will converge on the city for the 5th Annual Niko Niko's World Gyro Eating Championship. The eating contest, which is part of the 17th annual Houston Greek Fest at 1100 Eldridge Parkway, is sponsored by the Greek restaurant and will be paying $2,000 to the winner. This purse has attracted serious eaters like Chicago's Patrick Bertoletti, the jalapeño-eating champion of the world. Bertoletti has competed in the Gyro Eating Championship in the past, setting a 2009 record for eating 21 gyros in only ten minutes.

Also competing will be No. 6-ranked Major League Eater Matt Stonie of San Jose, who is known as "Megatoad," and No. 7-ranked Major League Eater Adrian Morgan, an oyster- and crawfish-eating specialist from Baton Rouge. The contest begins at 2 p.m. sharp.

Ongoing the rest of the month is the Roman Holiday menu at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino, where owner and chef Lynette Hawkins is offering an à la carte selection of traditional Roman favorites through May 31. The menu includes cold dishes like Pomodori a Riso (baked tomatoes stuffed with fresh herb risotto and parmigiano reggiano), hot dishes like Coda alla Vaccinara (oxtail stew braised with red wine and aromatic vegetables) and full-size entrées like Spaghetti Carbonara, which Hawkins notes is "the authentic Roman version with guanciale (cured pork jowl), extra virgin olive oil, egg, and pecorino romano and lots of fresh black pepper."

Coming up this summer, IKEA is featuring another of its popular food festivals. On Friday, June 15, the store's second-story restaurant will host a traditional Midsummer Swedish buffet in celebration of Midsommar, a Swedish summer festival. Diners will enjoy a traditional Swedish spread of new potatoes boiled in dill and served with assorted varieties of herring, smoked and poached salmon, assorted Swedish cheeses, Swedish ham, Prinskorv sausage, Swedish meatballs, cucumber and fruit salads, ice cream and assorted desserts and more from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $9.99 for adults and $2.49 for children.

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Katharine Shilcutt