Food Trucks

Upcoming Events: More Food Trucks Hit the Downtown Streets

After all the brouhaha over food trucks being banned from downtown, the Houston Pavilions is bringing in a whole fleet of the mobile food units, six days a week. Starting last week, the food trucks will provide a daily lunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

"We've seen the demand for more relaxed lunchtime dining alternatives in downtown Houston," said Karen Mulville, general manager of Houston Pavilions. "As many Houstonians plan to test their taste buds, get healthier and try new things in 2013, there is no better time to bring daily food truck service to the Pavilions."

The lineup of featured trucks will be Monster PBJ (which is offering extended service until 6 p.m.) on Mondays, It's a Wrap! on Tuesdays, Golden Grill on Wednesdays and Fridays and Ladybird, the converted school bus that's been visiting the Pavilions regularly, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The trucks will be located at the corner of Main Street and Dallas Street in front of Forever XXI, and the Pavilions will provide tables and chairs nearby for seating. When asked if this would create a potential problem, Elmore Public Relations -- which does PR for the Pavilions -- assured us that the seating area would be located at least 100 feet away from the trucks, which meets the current City of Houston standards. And don't worry about any propane tanks creating potential "terrorist" targets; all of the trucks are electric-only.

In other food truck news, our next Food Truck Friday is happening today -- as in this afternoon! -- at the House of Dereon (2204 Crawford). Come check out this month's featured trucks from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's an all-star lineup of some of the city's best trucks: The Rice Box, The Waffle Bus, Oh My Gogi, Bare Bowls and the Wicked Whisk. As usual, Saint Arnold will also be on hand with free samples of brews and root beer.

Danton's isn't the only place we like to visit to indulge in cheap Gulf oysters. While the happy hour price (half off) at Danton's is only good on Mondays, you can find an ever cheaper deal at Tommy's Restaurant Oyster Bar in Clear Lake nearly every day of the week. Owner and executive chef Tom Tollett is currently selling oysters from Galveston Bay's East Bay region -- and he's selling a lot.

"We are serving 7,000 to 8,000 oysters a week with three full-time shuckers," said Tollett. The specials at Tommy's currently feature oysters on the half-shell for $5/dozen all day Tuesdays and Fridays, as well as a $5 per dozen happy hour special from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Look for $4.50 house wine by the glass, $4.50 well drinks, $2.75 ice cold domestic beer and $3.75 Shiner Bock during those happy hours, too.

There was a time when pass receptions helped take NFL Coach Dick Vermeil to the Super Bowl, but these day the receptions he's best involved in have nothing to do with pigskin and a whole lot to do with Cabernet, Zinfandel and Sauvignon. Today, the Super Bowl-winning head coach -- who's worked with the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs before retiring in 2005 -- is in the Napa Valley wine business as owner of Vermeil Wines.

On Thursday, January 24, Haven will be hosting a special wine dinner with Coach Vermeil and selected wines from his vineyards. Chef Randy Evans has created a five-course dinner plus reception appetizers which he has paired with six Vermeil wines. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m, with dinner served at 7 p.m. The cost is $120 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.

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Katharine Shilcutt