Everyone's gearing up for Thanksgiving, so the beginning of this week is quiet, but the holiday season gears up in a big way on Black Friday. Check out this calendar for dining deals, special beer tappings and more.
Tuesday, November 25
Demystifying French Wines
Many people find French wine intimidating and less "friendly" than domestic. James King of the Texas Wine School wants to take the pressure off and is presenting a seminar just in time for Thanksgiving. The combination class and wine party promises to deliver "an exciting new way to speak about French wines that learners will easily 'get.'" It's happening at at French Country Wines. RSVP here. 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 2437 Bartlett. Free.
Thursday, November 27
Escape From the Relatives At Anvil
The bartenders at Anvil Bar & Refuge are continuing their tradition of opening the bar just in time to allow people to get away from cheek-pinching aunts and moms who want to know why you haven't given them any grandchildren yet. Anvil will even have pumpkin pie so you don't even have to stay through the dessert course if it gets that bad. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Friday, November 28
When you need a meal or a break from all that Black Friday bargain-hunting, several restuarants around town have got you covered.
Black (as in Dark Chocolate) Friday at Cloud 10 Creamery
Chef Chris Leung at Cloud 10 Creamery, 5216 Morningside, is making a special dessert just for Black Friday. It's a dark-chocolate coated ice cream candy bar made with milk chocolate, cereal crunch, caramel and fudge cake. It's only $3. Resistance is futile.
Black Friday Brunch at The Hay Merchant
We're still waiting on more details, but we do know that The Hay Merchant at 1100 Westheimer is opening early on Friday for brunch. There will also be some special tappings of Goose Island beer. Specifically, 2014 Bourbon County Stout (no growlers), 2014 Madame Rose, 2013 Bourbon County Stout and 2014 Bourbon County Barleywine will all be on draft. The Hay Merchant is also selling cases of 2014 Bourbon County Stout bottles to go throughout the day to help ration them so that several people get a chance to buy. They recommend you check their Twitter feed for availability and updates. We'll update this post when we get rest of the information. 11 a.m.
Picos Parking Lot Tamale Stand Debuts
Black Friday is the first day for pickups at Arnaldo Richards' Picos new parking lot tamale stand. They'll start serving at 10 a.m. The varieties include Tamales Oaxaqueños, filled with pork, chicken, vegetables, shrimp or turkey and wrapped in banana leaves for $2.95 each and Tamales Norteños filled with pork, chicken, beef, cheese, black beans, raisins, pineapple or coconut, and wrapped in traditional corn husk for $1.50 each. If you order a dozen, you'll get a 13th for free and if you order five dozen, they'll throw in a sixth at no extra charge. Order in advance by calling (832) 831-9940 or you can just drop by and see what's available. 10 a.m. 3601 Kirby.
Drinks and Snacks at RA Sushi
Both RA Sushi locations at 3908 Westheimer and 799 Town and Country Boulevard promise to have 25 inexpensive appetizer and sushi selections on Black Friday that range from $3.49 to $8.99. There will also be beer, wine and cocktails from $3.75 to $8 each.
Gift Card Special at Provisions
Give the gift of good future meals. If you have lunch at Provisions (807 Taft) on Black Friday, you can purchase gift cards for 20% off. Do it for someone you love or just do it for yourself and reap the rewards of a discounted meal in the future.
Added: Brunch and Bargain Cocktails at Lucille's
Lucille's (5512 La Branch) will have Black Friday specials on food and drinks, including $10 bottomless mimosas and sangrias as well $3 individual glasses. Bloody Marys are only $4 each. The brunch menu will be available and features Green Eggs and Ham with Pork Belly, goat cheese and spiked hollandaise. Guests who present their Museum Membership card, Employee ID, or Volunteer ID will receive 15% off their purchase. This offer is valid until December 31, 2014.
Saturday, November 29
Wine Sips and Deals at Camerata
After Black Friday, what do you need? Wine, of course, and lots of it. Visit Camerata at 1834 Westheimer on Saturday for a two-hour tasting event and retail sale. Camerata is known for its excellent, off-the-beaten-path small production selections. Try some and if you like what you're tasting, buy the bottles to take home. 3 to 5 p.m.
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Small Business Saturday
Don't forget about the little guys. Today is Small Business Saturday, when consumers are encouraged to support local independent businesses. (Of course, that's a good thing to do any day of the year.) The U.S. Small Business Administration has teamed up with American Express on this web site that allows consumers search their area for small businesses. AMEX is even sweetening the pot by giving cardholders a $10 credit for spending at least $10 at small business on Saturday. You must register your card at the web site to get this credit. French restuarant Bistro Provence at 13616 Memorial is among the local participants.
Small Business Saturday with iBurn Hot Sauce
Chilihead haven iBurn is celebrating Small Business Saturday by encouraging Houstonians to try samples from 1893 Salsa, Big Daddy's Hot Sauces, Cin Chili, Gulf Coast Urban Farms, Hurricane Salsa, and Salsa Maya. Click here to register at Eventbrite. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.