Upcoming Events: Pre-Christmas Citrus Sale and Monday Night Football at Triniti

Kick off the holiday season by giving back at the annual Christmas Tail Gingerbread Doghouse Contest and Auction, a fundraiser to benefit Lucky Dog Rescue. VIP judges will determine who is best in show as Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston executive chef Peter Laufer welcomes a growing pack of participants including Susan Molzan of Petite Sweets, Kevin Bryant of L'Olivier, Monica Glenn of Uchi, Neal Cox of The Houstonian, Johnny Wesley of Killen's Steakhouse, Matthew Zoch of Prego, Samantha Mendoza of Triniti, Richard Esquivel of BraeBurn Country Club and David Coffman of Katsuya by Starck.

The one-of-a-kind doghouses created by these talented chefs will be on display, judged on creativity and overall appeal and then auctioned off to benefit Lucky Dog Rescue. Guests will enjoy a sampling of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres courtesy of Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston and it all kicks off Tuesday, December 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. A suggested donation of $25 per person is requested, with children welcome free of charge. Donations can be made in advance.

Want to get your loved ones an unusual, thoughtful Christmas gift that keeps giving year after year? Of course you do. Head to Urban Harvest's annual Citrus Fest, where more than 20 different varieties of local citrus trees will be for sale through December 2. Purchase unique oranges, pumelos, kumquats, satsumas, lemons, limes and grapefruit -- all of which do well in our climate and soil - and even get tips and tricks on how to best care for the trees from local experts.

The trees will be sold at the following Urban Harvest farmers markets:

  • HCC Southwest Farmers Market (5601 West Loop South) - Friday, November 30, 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Highland Village Farmers Market (2720 Suffolk) - Sunday, December 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Eastside Farmers Market (3000 Richmond) - Saturday, December 1, 8 a.m. to noon

The restaurant at IKEA Houston is hosting its annual, highly-anticipated Julbord buffet on Friday, December 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. The traditional spread provides an assortment of Swedish holiday favorites for only $12.99 a person, or $2.49 for children 12 and under.

Triniti is gearing up for Monday Night Football with its first-ever tailgating party, as the Houston Texans take on the New England Patriots on Monday, December 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. The restaurant parking lot will be transformed into a "club level-like" cheering section, complete with food, drinks and entertainment. Triniti's "Monday Night Mayhem" will feature an outdoor 10x14 screen, as well as plenty of indoor screens.

Aside from the gridiron action, the real battle will be inside between local chefs as they showcase the ultimate in tailgate fare. For $49 a person, guests will be able to savor competing dishes and sip on craft beer and cocktails -- and all of the proceeds will benefit OKRA's upcoming Charity Bar as well as the Boys and Girl's Club.

The game-winning line-up of restaurant includes: Benjy's, Branch Water Tavern, Killen's Steakhouse, L'Olivier, Soma, Underbelly/Hay Merchant, Triniti and more. Bobby Heugel, owner of Anvil Bar & Refuge and OKRA founder, will be overseeing a punch service with a special recipe for the event. Guests can also enjoy local beers from Karbach, No Label, Southern Star and Saint Arnold, as well as Crown Royal, Angel's Envy Bourbon and Aviation Gin cocktails. In addition, a special appearance by the Houston Texans cheerleaders will take center stage at the event.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online.

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