Ghost hunters and professional drinkers, you'll want to sign up for tonight's Historic Pub Crawl starting at the Lancaster Hotel. The tour will take you through five area pubs (with half-off happy hour fare at each) as well as stop at the Spaghetti Warehouse, which is said to be the most haunted building in downtown Houston. You'll also receive an exclusive tour of the Lancaster Hotel's storied basement, where World War II-era socialites and actors once gathered and partied.
Next Wednesday, The Brownstone Cafe is celebrating its official grand re-opening after years of being closed. Food samples from new chef Olivier Ciesielski will be on hand (as will drink samples), starting at 4 p.m. and carrying on into the night.
And that Friday, food trucks will be facing off on Washington Avenue in the first ever Food Truck "Iron Chef" Challenge. HTown Food Crawl, the organization that has been holding Food Truck Fridays (mini food truck crawls), is sponsoring the event, which will feature four different food trucks competing to see which can create the tastiest dish from a special secret ingredient. The Modular, Oh My Gogi!, Bernie's Burger Bus and Cut & Fry will be competing with one another starting at 6 p.m., with the winner announced at 9 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 a person, which includes samples from all four trucks, drink specials and a dessert cupcake from MMM Cupcake!, with a portion of ticket sales going to benefit Noah's Kitchen.
If you're still not sick of pub crawls and/or Washington Avenue, good for you! There's another event coming up on Tuesday, August 16, from the three big restaurants in the Azuma Group: Kata Robata, Soma Sushi and Azuma (the one in Rice Village, that is). Guests are invited to "Ride the Sushi Roll" by touring around to all three restaurants on the Washington Wave. You'll also get to sample sake along the way, all while getting a crash course on sake from an expert Sake Sommelier (yes, those exist). Tickets are $65 a person, which includes a full belly of sushi and sake and transportation throughout the night. Call 713-863-9283 for tickets.
Coming up on August 22 is another event for you professional drinkers: The Houston USBG (United States Bartender Guild) annual showcase. The event will feature bartenders and cocktail menus from bars and restaurants across town, including Haven, Kata Robata, Soma Sushi, Flora & Muse, 13 Celsius, Grand Prize Bar, The Queen Vic Pub, Double Cross Lounge and Anvil bar & Refuge. Taking place at Mortar, the showcase will feature a rotating staff of bartenders from 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 a person, with drink tickets selling for $3 each. All profits go to benefit the Houston USBG.
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Last but not least, grab your tickets now for Chris Frankel's upcoming cocktail pairing dinner at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino, because I promise that it will be an evening of extremely inventive wine-and-aperitif-based cocktails and amazing food from Giacomo's chef/owner Lynette Hawkins. After attending Frankel's first cocktail dinner at Pondicheri, I was blown away by his creations: a light mixture of Sauvignon Blanc, white Port, grapefruit, honey and mint, a heavy hitter of Cotes du Roussillon with balsamic vinaigrette and garam masala, just to name a couple. Dinner will be a six-course affair of Italian dishes like octopus and chickpea salad and a slow-roasted Berkshire pork butt for $85 a person. Email Chris Frankel to make your reservations.