Spring is upon us in H-town, which means that in addition to fabulous patio weather, some of the best annual food festivals are happening this month. Ready to tie on the feed bag? Here is a roundup of special ways to gloriously gorge this month.
When: April 3 through April 10
Where: 16 Houston-area restaurants
Details: The inaugural Black Restaurant Week runs from Sunday, April 3 through Sunday April 10. The event is meant to encourage support of African-American-owned eateries, while supporting a cause. Each of the participating restaurants has developed one or more special prix-fixe menus that will be served during brunch, lunch and/or dinner. Prices range from $20 to $45 for two- and three-course meals. Always wanted to try the oxtails at Cafe Abuja Nigerian Kitchen or to experience chef Mark Holley’s cuisine at his eponymous Holley’s? Now’s your chance. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from each meal will benefit Change Happens, a local non-profit.
When: April 5, 7 to 10 p.m.
Where: 1501 Silver St.
Details: In its fourteenth year, the Houston Press' Menu of Menus Extravaganza features more than 40 area restaurants served alongside samplings of wine, beer and cocktails. This year's featured restaurants include Eculent in Kemah, Harold’s, Andalucia Tapas, Mala Sichuan Bistro, Zelko Bistro and more. During the event, watch chef Jean-Philippe Gaston of Izakaya compete against Lyle Bento of Southern Goods in the Iron Fork Competition hosted by James Beard Foundation award winner, Chris Shepherd of Underbelly.
Admission: General Admission Tickets: $45 – $60; VIP Admission Tickets: $85 – $120
When: April 6 through 10
Where: Click here to see event schedule
Details: As in years past, Fort Bend County’s annual food spectacular has more prongs than a fork. The event kicks off with a VIP dinner hosted by the brothers behind LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards on Wednesday, April 6. The following five of Houston’s best mixologists battle it out in a bartender challenge. Three days of bacchanalia follow. Festival-goers can opt to purchase single tickets to the Grand Tasting on Friday or a VIP admission ticket to the Grand Tasting, Sip & Stroll and Bistro Brunch, which take place from Friday through Sunday. The Grand Tasting hosts local chefs as well as a few from out of the area, including cooks from Mexico, Boston, and Maine.
Admission: Three day VIP pass is $225. Individual tickets for events range from $40 to $150.
When: Saturday, April 9, 3-6 p.m.
Details: Spend a beautiful spring afternoon on the grassy knolls of Buffalo Bayou sipping from a choice of more than 40 wines from prestigious Moët Hennessy, Jackson Estate, Robert Mondavi and more. Cover band Music by Midstream will provide the tunes, while vinophiles graze on a smorgasbord from restaurants including Brenner’s on the Bayou, Oceanaire, Morton’s The Steakhouse and La Griglia, as well as sweets from Signature Group pastry chef Eunice Grassa. VIP entry grants guests access to premium wine selections such as Caymus Vineyards' special selection cabernet sauvignon.
Admission: $65 regular; $75 day of; $125 VIP
When: Sunday, April 24, 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. (VIP Entry at 3:30 p.m.)
Where: Audi Central Houston, 2120 Southwest Freeway
Details: The annual benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters Houston returns for a tasty afternoon filled with food, live entertainment and the chance to win a 2016 Audi via raffle. The event is relaxed, but the fare, from restaurants including Uchi Houston, State of Grace, Bramble and Helen Greek Food & Wine, is anything but. Vino and booze come from Kim Crawford Wines, Casa Noble Tequila, Dripping Springs Vodka and more.
Admission: $125 standard entry; $195 for VIP access; $195 for entry and Audi raffle
When: April 20 through May 3
Where: Central Market Houston, 3815 Westheimer Rd.
Details: Every year since 2010, Central Market has hosted a two-week “passport” event, allowing its customers to become immersed in the food and culture of another country. Past events have included passports to Argentina, Spain, France, Brazil, Italy and Greece. This time around, the passport takes us to Mexico with two weeks’ worth of tastings, cooking classes and events that take place throughout the market. Pasaporte Mexico kicks off on Wednesday, April 20 with a cooking class by chef and cookbook author Margarita Carrillo Arronte, followed on Thursday, April 21 at 5 p.m. with “Noche de Fiesta,” a free and tented event in the parking lot featuring the foods of local chef and James Beard nominee Hugo Ortega. Friday brings a walk-around event full of food samplings. Cooking classes and more will be featured throughout the week.
Scam Alert: Since we alerted you to the fraud of an event called Hot Garlic Crab Feed, the scammers have changed the name to Crab America Houston. Do not buy tickets to this event. Instead, choose from among the many legitimate days and evenings of fun above.