Things To Do

Upcoming Events: Wingtoberfest 2012 and Brews Cruises Down the Bayou

More than 100 of our readers came out to last year's inaugural Wingtoberfest and enjoyed free wings plus beer samples from some of the city's best chicken wing purveyors.

This year, Wingtoberfest is back with a bigger location and all-new competitors. Join us at Taps House of Beer next Tuesday, October 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. The first 150 guests will receive tickets for two free wings from each competitor along with a beer sample from Saint Arnold. After you've tasted all four, vote on your favorite, which will be announced at 9 p.m. sharp. Competing restaurants this year are Taps, Soma Sushi, Little Bitty Burger Barn and The Breakfast Klub.

Kick the weekend off by helping others at Pondicheri, where the restaurant is giving 50 percent of the proceeds from breakfast and brunch to Planned Parenthood. The donation window runs from 7:30 a.m. to noon tomorrow, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy one of Pondicher's Morning Thalis or some saffron-infused yogurt with fresh fruit.

Afterward, grab your group and head downtown to Discovery Green. There, the first-ever Margarita Festival will kick off at noon tomorrow and run until 10 p.m. The festival features what it calls "an exotic selection of margaritas," as well as food, live music, a couples' salsa competition and even a limbo competition.

Tickets for the Houston Margarita Festival can be purchased online. General Admission tickets are $15 in advance and increase to $25 at the door. The festival offers an exclusive $10 "Designated Driver" ticket, which provides entry to the festival but denies access to alcohol. VIP tickets are available for $60, which includes early entry, free food and seating. And, obviously, all guests must be at least 21 years old.

With the nicer weather in town, it's a perfect time for a Brews Cruise in a pontoon boat down Buffalo Bayou. The next scheduled bayou cruises take place on Tuesday, October 16, and the following Tuesday, October 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. As you float down the city's historic waterway, you'll be treated to some nibbles from the Houston Dairymaids and brews from Saint Arnold. The cost is $50 a person, and reservations can be made by calling Trudi Smith at 713-752-0314, extension 3.

Calling all Katies, Katys or Katherines: In celebration of its newest store opening in Katy at 557 S. Mason Road, fast-fresh chicken chain Pollo Campero is giving away a free Latin Duo combo plate on October 23 to any customer with an ID showing their name to be Katie, Katherine or a variation thereof. And even if you're not a Katie in Katy, you can get the same free food at any of Houston's Pollo Campero locations.

If you grew up eating at Houston Tex-Mex chain Los Tios, you probably have a favorite combo plate. Maybe it's the No. 5 with two beef tacos and puffy queso, or maybe it's the No. 1 with guacamole salad and a chalupa. Whatever your favorite is, all Los Tios locations are offering $1 off their combination plates throughout the entire month of November in celebration of its 42nd anniversary.

Now that fall's here, pumpkin specials are hitting menus across town. And that includes Fratelli's Authentic Italian Cuisine, where the restaurant is celebrating with pumpkin specials every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Choose from dishes such as housemade ravioli stuffed with wood-roasted pumpkin or cappellacci, thick, hat-shaped ribbons of pasta filled with fire-roasted pumpkin and topped with a brown butter-sage sauce. There's even pumpkin cheesecake to round out your dinner.

Do you have your Halloween costume picked out yet? Even if you aren't going trick or treating anymore, you can still do the adult version of dressing up and getting (almost) free food, thanks to Chipotle. On Halloween, anyone who visits in costume from 4 to 11 p.m. will get their burrito for only $2. Better yet, all proceeds from the sales of $2 "Booritos" go to benefit the Cultivate Foundation, the Chipotle-created foundation that is "committed to creating a more sustainable and healthful food supply and to raising awareness concerning food issues."

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Katharine Shilcutt