Charitable Chow

Houston Restaurant Weeks: Bountiful Brunches

A handy field guide to making the most of Houston Restaurant Weeks, from August 1 through September 2.

By Katharine Shilcutt July 22, 2013

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Houston Restaurant Weeks, the annual ritual in which Houston restaurants give diners a lot of bang for their buck—and donate even bigger bucks to charity. When HRW first kicked off in 2003, there was no "s" suffix at the end of the week-long fundraiser. Over time, Houston Restaurant Week morphed into Houston Restaurant Weeks as more restaurants offered HRW menus for longer than just a week.

The now-month-long charity drive gets bigger and better each year, with more restaurants participating and more money given to the Houston Food Bank at the end of each HRW fundraiser. During its first year, HRW raised only $5,000 with 16 participating restaurants. In 2012, HRW was able to donate $1.2 million to the Houston Food Bank thanks to the participation of 169 restaurants—and that amount is only expected to rise this year. To date, HRW has raised nearly $3 million to feed hungry families across Houston.

For its 10th anniversary, HRW has an array of menu options for every price range: a $20 lunch/brunch, of which $3 is donated to the Houston Food Bank; a $35 brunch/dinner, of which $5 is donated; and a $45 dinner, of which $7 is donated. And all week long, we'll be directing you to the best deals for your dining dollars.

The courtyard at Brennan's beckons at brunch.

Image: Ed Schipul

Best Brunches

Brennan's of Houston
3300 Smith, 713-522-9711

Brunch is the best time to don your Sunday finest and pretend you're starring in Terms of Endearment at this grande dame of dining. The $20 brunch at Brennan's includes your choice of appetizer—we recommend the classic, sherry-laced turtle soup—and entree. Although eggs benedict are one of the two entree choices, we'd go with another Brennan's favorite: the plush Texas pecan-crusted catfish with corn maque choux, French beans, and spiced pecans in a Creole meuniere.

Ouisie's Table
3939 San Felipe, 713-528-2264

As with Brennan's, brunch is our favorite time to visit the country club-like Ouisie's Table and settle in with a few mimosas for the day. The $20 brunch menu at Ouisie's features a large selection of chef/owner Elouise Adams Jones's best dishes, from crab cakes with corn relish and jalapeño tartar sauce as appetizers to brunch-perfect entrees such as grilled asparagus with two poached eggs, crabmeat, and a truffled hollandaise sauce.

Latin Bites
5709 Woodway, 713-229-8369

For something altogether different from your standard brunch, Latin Bites has created a menu that highlights Peruvian influences with a soulful Southern twist. The $20 brunch menu at chef Roberto Castre's restaurant features such interesting dishes as a lúcuma French toast, which we only imagine makes extraordinary use of the lúcuma fruit's sweet caramel-custard flavor. You can also go full South American at brunch, indulging in choripán as your main course: a grilled Argentinean sausage sandwich that sports tomato, lettuce, and spicy aji amarillo mayonnaise with a side of shoestring fries and tangy chimichurri sauce.

RDG + Bar Annie
1800 Post Oak,

Get gussied up and get your girlfriends together for a brunch at RDG + Bar Annie that would normally cost an arm and a leg—that's because Robert del Grande's flagship restaurant is offering a three-course brunch menu instead of the standard two-course affair. The $35 brunch menu at RDG starts with your choice of dishes such as house-smoked salmon on brioche with avocado and fennel salad and a chopped egg sauce before moving on to entrees like wood-grilled hanger steak with huevos rancheros and fresh salsa. You can be good at dessert with a berry and yogurt sundae, but brunch is for fat pants and roomy dresses; get the chocolate brioche bread pudding or the pecan pie with butter pecan ice cream instead.

Check back tomorrow, when we'll be listing the best date night dinners during HRW.


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