Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:
All month long
Special of the Moment at Tacodeli
This month’s special of the moment, the Pulpo a la Doña, is now available at Tacodeli, 1902 Washington. It's a concoction of pulpo (octopus) in a spicy tomatillo salsa negra with lime-cured Gulf shrimp, jicama, Anaheim peppers, and a pop of salsa Doña, and diners will have the option to order it as an appetizer, served with a side of fresh tortilla chips, or as a taco. Both options are available for $4.75 per order.
All week long through Tuesday, July 25
Burger and Shake Special at Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 4444 Westheimer, 5510 Morningside, 142 Vintage Park, has rolled out a new limited-time burger and shake special, the Black & Blue Burger ($11) and the Virgin Tart Shake ($6). The burger features a black Angus beef patty topped with blue cheese, black pepper aioli, crispy apple-smoked bacon, and housemade fig and onion marmalade on a fresh-baked brioche bun; while the summer sip is made with local extra-virgin olive oil blended with housemade ice cream, fresh lemon and sweet biscotti batter and topped with whipped cream, candied lemon rind and crunchy biscotti.
Monday, July 17
"Dinner with my Friends" event at Fluff Bake Bar
Chefs Sarah Simmons and Aaron Hoskins of South Carolina’s RISE bake shop will be the special guests for this month’s "Dinner with my Friends" event at Fluff Bake Bar, 314 Gray, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The five-course collaborative dinner includes a Champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception and wine pairings for $125 per person, with 10 percent of all proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program. The intimate dinner setting accommodates only 24 guests. Call 713-522-1900.
Wednesday, July 19
National Hot Dog Day at JCI Grill
James Coney Island is celebrating National Hot Dog Day and its 94th year as a Houston institution by serving up free Coneys to the first 94 guests at each of its 20 Houston-area locations. Simply make a purchase as one of the first 94 guests at any JCI Grill and receive your choice of a free Plain, Cheese or Original Coney.
Sundown at the Grove
The Grove, 1611 Lamar, continues its Sundown at the Grove summer series, featured every Wednesday evening through August 30 (5:30 to 8 p.m.). Patrons can enjoy samples from featured local craft breweries (or wineries) alongside DJ sets and savory food pairings with made-to-order food stations, with this week’s Sundown featuring SpindleTap Brewery. Tickets are $20.
Landry’s “Dining through the Decades” at Grotto Downtown
Landry’s Inc. continues its Houston Chef Series: “Dining through the Decades” with 1930s-inspired dishes from chef Sean Hochstein of Grotto Downtown, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. The private and exclusive dining experience will feature five wine-paired courses, including deviled eggs with fried oysters and caviar, chipped beef with wild mushroom demi-glace and bananas Foster with chantilly cream. Dinner is at 7 p.m. and cost is $95 per person or $80 for Landry’s Select Club members (plus tax and gratuity).
“I Never Thought I’d Eat THAT” night at Izakaya
Executive chef Jean Philippe Gaston of Izakaya and James Beard Award nominee chef Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata are inviting food lovers to test their adventure-loving palates with an “I Never Thought I’d Eat THAT” night at Izakaya, 318 Gray. Beginning at 7 p.m., the two acclaimed chefs will jointly be creating a five-course dinner featuring extraordinary ingredients — think salads made with jelly fish and shiro ebi (white prawn); Rocky Mountain oysters; and ramen made with mantis shrimp. The cost is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity, with a beverage pairing are available for an additional $25. Note, some menu items may change due to availability. Reservations are required with a credit card to secure a spot. Call general manager Brett Bryan at 713-527-8988.
Thursday, July 20
Summer Wine Event at The Houstonian
Don your seersucker and sundresses for a Summer Social at The Houstonian’s Manor House, 111 North Post Oak, from 6 to 9 p.m. The summer fête will celebrate Houston chefs and great food and wine, with fare that reflects the restaurants on property, special wine selections, decadent desserts, entertainment by the April Spain Trio and a fashionable game of croquet on the back lawn. Cost is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 713-685-6840 for reservations.
Il Sapore Italiano Cooking Class at the Italian Cultural & Community Center
The Italian Cultural & Community Center, 1101 Milford, will host an Italian cooking class as part of its cooking series Il Sapore Italiano — a series of hands-on cooking classes aimed to promote the Italian traditions. Participants will learn to make gnocchi alla sorrentina, handmade potato gnocchi, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Limited seats available and previous registration is required ($50 for ICCC members, $50 for non-members) Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the class begins at 7 p.m. Call 713-524-4222 ext.7 or register at iccchouston.eventbrite.com.
Friday, July 21
Tribute to Champagne Wine Dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille – Memorial City
The Memorial City location of Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, 9827 Katy Freeway, will be hosting a Tribute to Champagne Wine Dinner at 7 p.m. Cost is $150 per person and includes a reception plus five courses paired with six champagnes. Reservations can be made by calling 832-358-9000.
Saturday, July 22
Beer and Bacon Brunch at Piggy’s Kitchen and Bar
Piggy’s Kitchen and Bar, 3412 West Lamar, will be hosting a three-course Beer and Bacon Brunch with Saint Arnold suds from noon to 3 p.m. Guests can enjoy pork belly torta with Summer Pils, Saint Arnold Root Beer-braised belly with Widow's Watch; and bacon fat banana fritters with Bishop's Barrel No. 18.
Houston Fajita Festival at HTX Sports Creek
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The second annual fajita fest will take place at HTX Sports Creek, 2619 Polk, from 1 to 9 p.m. Guests can expect musical performances, a live art mural wall, a playground for the kids, frozen spiked lemonade for the adults, and a plethora of fajitas, from beef to seafood. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children with food and drink sold separately; or $100 for VIP, which includes a fajita buffet, $30 in drink tickets, private spiked lemonade tastings, souvenir mug and t-shirt.
Sunday, July 23
Saint Arnold’s Magical Mystery Ride in the Heights
Ride through Southern Goods, Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room, Hughie’s Tavern, Pinkerton’s Barbecue and the Raven Tower, with a Saint Arnold mystery beer tapped at each stop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.