Upcoming Houston Food Events: Get Tickets to the Houston BBQ Throwdown

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Mark your calendars, because you don’t want to miss these deliciously fun culinary happenings, from a bakery pop-up to taco and barbecue throwdowns:

Last weekend, Oporto Fooding House & Wine, 125 West Gray, launched its Portuguese-inspired pop-up bakery and coffee shop, NATAS. The pop-up is meant to embody the authentic pastry shops in Portugal that serve a variety of pastries, salty snacks, breads and simple sandwiches at breakfast. Oporto has added an Indian-influenced twist, including options like katchipuri and cardamom-spiced blondies. Beverage director Samantha Porter has curated a menu of coffee, organic teas, housemade chai, juices and a unique Passionfruit lassi to go alongside. NATAS will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 11 a.m., with the pastries available during brunch service, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

B&B Butchers & Restaurant, 1814 Washington, has just launched “Rare Force One,” an exclusive shuttle service featuring a custom-designed Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van. The service will be offered seven days a week, and includes transport to and from all downtown theaters and venues, as well as NRG Stadium on Sundays. The complimentary van seats up to 15 people and includes Wi-Fi and phone chargers in every seat. The offer is available for dine-in guests only and reservations are required since space is limited. Call 713-862-1814 to make your dining and shuttle reservations. If you're requesting the van for a venue that is not downtown, a party of at least ten or more people is required to fill the shuttle.

On Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m., Ginger & Fork, 4705 Inker, will be hosting a five-course Cantonese wine dinner, featuring Hong Kong-style Cantonese cuisine — think Chinese barbecue pork and stir-fried filet with mixed mushrooms — paired with wines from Donati Family Vineyards. Cost is $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For more information or reservations, call 713-861-8883 or visit GingerAndForkRestaurant.com.

Guests are invited to a Texas Whiskey Dinner at Punk's Simple Southern Food, 5212 Morningside, on Wednesday, October 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Chef Brandi Key and chef Nena Rieser have prepared a four-course prix fixe menu with whiskey pairings for $65 per person. Space is limited and reservations are required. For information and reservations, call 713-524-7865.

In honor of Texas wine month, Ouisie’s Table Restaurant, 3939 San Felipe, will be pairing six Texas courses with nine Texas wines from Lubbock's McPherson Cellars Winery on Thursday, October 27. The menu has Texas twang, starting out with a sparkling wine and a rosé paired with Ouisie’s spud and Texas shrimp mojito and moving on to dishes like shrimp and cheese grits, Broken Arrow Ranch quail and wild boar sausage and Texas pecan pie. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 713-528-2264.

On Monday, November 7 at Good Dog Montrose, 1312 West Alabama,, chef Brandon Silva (Wooster's Garden) is hosting another “Thyme & Place” pop-up, this time with a focus on fall flavors, along with Austin-based chef Nathan Lemley (executive chef at Parkside). Seatings will be offered between 5:30 and 8:30 and each will be limited to 30 guests. The six-course, beverage-paired menu features dishes such as poached mussels with Swiss chard and egg yolk and pork neck with chestnuts and apple. Cost is $85 to $120.  

Tickets are now on sale for The Gr8 Taco Challenge, held on Sunday, November 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at 8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas. Chefs will compete in a battle royale for the best "taco" in Houston using 8th Wonder beer as an ingredient. Tickets ($40) include four beer tokens, a souvenir pint glass, one taco sample from each challenger and access to a premium Michelada bar. The event will have a fenced-off area that requires a ticket for access to the taco goodness, but the rest of the taproom and WonderWorld will be open to the public.  

The 2nd Annual Houston BBQ Throwdown is returning to Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons, on Sunday, November 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. This year’s lineup features 14 of Houston's best barbecue restaurants, including pitmasters from Brooks’ Place BBQ (the Judge's winner from 2015) and Corkscrew BBQ (the People's Choice winner from 2015), each competing to create the next great barbecue dish that represents Houston-style barbecue. Ticket holders will be able to sample each of the barbecue competition entries alongside Saint Arnold brews. Tickets are $60 for general admission and $120 for VIP.

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