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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events - cemetery tour included

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events

burial site for the family of Howard Hughes
Preservation Houston hosts a 90-minute tour that educates about the many influential women interred at Glenwood Cemetery. Photo by Bobby L. Warren
Lyle Bento Underbelly chef
Lyle Bento from Underbelly is one of the contenders who will vie for top honors at the Great Ramen Challenge 2013, presented by IKEA Houston. Photo courtesy of Lyle Bento
Marcelyn McNeil
Texas Biennial artist Marcelyn McNeil presented Untitled (speed) at the "TX★11." Courtesy of Texas Biennial/Facebook
PJ Stoops
PJ Stoops is part of a team that will execute the "Midnight Sticky Rice" pop-up dinner at D&T Drive Inn. Kata Robata Sushi + Grill/Facebook
burial site for the family of Howard Hughes
Lyle Bento Underbelly chef
Marcelyn McNeil
PJ Stoops

On the itinerary this week are cooking competitions, a big sale of designer goods, a tour of the dead, an anniversary art show, a downtown artsy open house and a two-day Thai foodie tasting event courtesy of three influential local chefs.

Be sure to click on the links below the suggested events. You'll find a page with helpful intel on where to eat, drink and shop nearby your final destination, as well as a feature that downloads the details easily to your electronic calendar. 

Great Ramen Challenge 2013, presented by IKEA Houston

Testing the economical craftiness of toques who are otherwise accustomed to creme de la creme ingredients, contenders of the "Great Ramen Challenge" are dared to turn $3 worth of edibles into something succulent, using one pot, one skillet, one set of knives, one cutting board, a couple of wooden spoons and two hot plates. 

Michael Castillo from Uchi, Lyle Bento from Underbelly, Jordan Economy from Bar Boheme, Jean-Philippe Gaston from Cove, Patrick Hart and Demetrius Smith from Eatsie Boys, Cyrus Caclini and Masahide Wakatsuki from Kata Robata and Andrew Sanchez from Moontower Inn are set to participate in battle ramen, the winner of which will earn the honorable title of master of the noodle. As part of the festivities, IKEA Houston pledges to donate $6,000 to the Houston Food Bank.

The skinny: Thursday, 7 p.m.; IKEA; admission is free with RSVP.

Houston Design Center Annual Sample Sale

Designer items come with designer prices. But for two days at the Houston Design Center, bargain shoppers can obtain big price cuts on floor samples, furniture, rugs and decorative accessories for the home and office.

Don't fret if you don't know what you are doing, aesthetically speaking. Two lectures on Friday will explain interior design concepts and the latest in home design trends. Because what's the point of snatching a deal on something that looks hideous in your soon-to-be stylish abode?

The skinny: Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.; Houston Design Center; free event.

Preservation Houston Walking Tour: Women of Glenwood Historic Cemetery

Many of the women that shaped the city's formative years are forever resting in the 84 acres that comprise the Glenwood Cemetery, a 19th century Romantic-style burial ground that has served six generations of Houstonians since it was established in 1871.

Preservation Houston hosts this 90-minute tour in which guests will learn about newspaper publisher and stateswoman Oveta Culp Hobby and movie star Gene Tierney, among many others. Keep in mind that reservations are required, no walk-ups will be accepted.

The skinny: Saturday, 10 a.m.; Glenwood Cemetery; $10 per person, $7 for students with ID and Preservation Houston members; reservations are required.

Art opening reception: Texas Biennial Fifth Anniversary "New and Greatest Hits: Texas Biennial 2005-2011"

For those who need convincing that art is on trend in Texas, one look at the Texas Biennial's journey offers a definitive answer. Since 2005, the nonprofit has cultivated an alliance of exhibitions that survey contemporary art in the Lone Star State. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the program with displays opening concurrently at Big Medium in Austin and at Lawndale Art Center here at home.

The Houston portion of the celebration, assembled by curators Michael Duncan and Virginia Rutledge, showcases the works of Christie Blizard, Marcelyn McNeil, Tom Orr and Brad Tucker, all of whom are former Biennial artists. The event is followed by the opening of "TX★13 Group Survey Exhibition" at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, on view from Sept. 5 through Nov. 9.

The skinny: Friday, 5-8:30 p.m.; Lawndale Art Center; free event.

20th Annual TransCanada Theater District Open House

For two decades, the Theater District has held this annual event that teases visitors with what's on tap for the upcoming season. Expect performances and interactive activities in a fun, festive ambiance. Be on the lookout for special, one-day only deals on subscription series and individual shows as the nine major orgs typically put together discount packages to be sold exclusively at the Theater District Open House.

The skinny: Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; Theater District; free event.

Staff writer and CultureMap's resident all-knowing foodie savant Eric Sandler's pick: "Midnight Sticky Rice" Pop-up Dinner

Eric says: "Former Feast chef Richard Knight will join forces with fishmonger PJ Stoops and Down House chef Benjy Mason for a Thai-inspired pop-up. When I met with Knight and Mason to discuss their upcoming restaurant, Hunky Dory, they promised me this week's event is not to be missed. That's probably due to Stoops's involvement.

"Prior to leading the bycatch movement in Houston, Stoops lived in Thailand for a number of years, and I've heard from friends that dining at his home is a rare treat. Expect an a la carte menu of Northern Thai dishes along with beer jelly (slushy, semi-frozen beer) and Johnnie Walker Black, both of which are popular in Thailand. Of course, D&T Drive Inn's regular menu of libations will also be available."

The skinny: Thursday and Friday starting at 7 p.m.; D&T Drive Inn; a la carte pricing.