Times are tough for everyone, including the hospitality industry. But that doesn't mean all hope is lost, as Houston's food community has proven to be a strong one. Here's a look at what's going on in the food world during the COVID-19 crisis, including ways you can help, restaurants to support, and of course, tasty things to eat and drink.
Monkey's Tail, 5802 Fulton, has rolled out “On My Tab,” an initiative to feed hospitality workers, first responders, healthcare professionals, public officials and folks who have been laid off due to COVID-19. Here’s how it works: companies can put meals on their tab, and for every $6, one meal is donated back to those in need. Donations are about 50 to 150 meals per day and the meals — mostly burgers and fries — will vary depending on the donation. The meals are served seven days a week between 4 to 8 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis. Companies can inquire about sponsorships by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Those in need can just show up to receive their free meal.
LASCO Enterprises is committed to helping the many who lost their jobs in the hospitality industry, matching a pledge from Dave Berry of MyECOPlanet to offer free meals to out-of-work hospitality industry employees. Chef Beto Gutierrez’s homemade lasagnas and salad for four will be available curbside for every Tuesday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Tasting Room Uptown Park, 1101-18 Uptown Park (on a first-come, first-serve basis). To score one, show a recent pay stub when you arrive (they ask that you limit one meal kit for four per car). If you would to like to sponsor or match current pledges, contact The Tasting Room.
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The Rustic, 1836 Polk, has announced its “Hot Chicken & Cheese Challenge” to support local hospital workers. Now through Sunday, March 29, guests can buy a hot chicken and cheese sandwich ($14.95) to feed a local hospital worker and The Rustic will match with another. Kyle Noonan, co-owner of FreeRange Concepts, has added another fun incentive: once 1,000 sandwiches are donated, he'll share the recipe for the fan-favorite sandwich. To donate a sandwich, call 832-321-7799. The restaurant is also open for takeout and delivery via Favor.
Chef Tim Love opened three Houston restaurants just a week before the COVID crisis closed Houston restaurants for dine-in service. To help support the community during this time, Love has launched “Bring Love Home,” a program delivering heat-and-serve family meals to doorsteps, with 100-percent of proceeds going towards Love’s Community Hot Meal Program, which provides hot lunch and dinner for vulnerable community members in Fort Worth/Dallas and Austin, plus children’s brown bag lunches at Woodshed Houston. Order from Levy Park’s Woodshed Houston, 3801 Eastside, online and get bbq by the pound and sides ready to heat and serve, available for pickup or delivery with a $100 minimum. Over in the GOOF-area, Love Shack, 3728 Wakeforest, will be serving a limited to-go menu with Love Burgers, Love Yard Bird, Shack Dogs, Kale Salads and more; and the Side Dough Houston food truck in Levy Park, 3801 Eastside, has offerings as well, including Brown Bag lunches for kids Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.
Ghost kitchen Click Virtual Food Hall has partnered with local charity Kids' Meals, pledging to help end childhood hunger and donating a fresh chef cooked meal for every order over $30 it receives. Each meal is nutrient-dense and thoughtfully curated.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar has introduced the "Pay It Forward" campaign, donating one burger to healthcare professionals who are working diligently to fight the novel COVID-19 virus for every burger purchased.Upon online checkout, guests to input promo code “Buy1Give1” and customers in-store can tell cashiers they would like to “Buy One Give One” at check-out to redeem.