Sunday is a big night for Houston foodies.
At 5 p.m., Blacksmith is featuring a pop-up dinner by guest chef Michael Gaspard of Pappas, along with Brandon Silva and Justin Basye. This is the fifth dinner the popular Montrose coffee bar has featured this year. Previous pop-ups included Grant Gordon of Tony's, Willet Feng, Mala Sichuan and Pho Binh by Night.
David Buehrer, co-owner of Blacksmith, has infused a strong culinary influence into his coffee shop, featuring a well-rounded, well-executed menu of pastries, biscuits and sandwiches, along with these exciting regular pop-ups.
"Everything on the menu is very tongue and cheek and rather sarcastic."
In piecing together the menu for his Sunday dinner, Gaspard focused on innards, calling the dishes protein driven, playful and creative.
"I wanted to feature ingredients that are typically unapproachable and complicated and make them more approachable," he says. "Everything on the menu is very tongue and cheek and rather sarcastic.
"These are heavier ingredients, but we're going to do smaller, lighter portions so it's not too overwhelming."
Gaspard's menu features six items: Corned veal tongue with soft polenta, sweetbreads with fingerling potatoes, foie gras with onions (a play on liver and onions), coconut, green apple, onion and lemon verbena salad, braised pork shoulder, barbecue beef rib and a butterscotch pudding (made with very bad scotch, Gaspard jokes).
The rib, foie gras and pork shoulder are what the Pappas chef feels will be the paramount dishes of his one-night-only menu.
"I've made the pork shoulder dish before and it's something I get asked about by at least 15 people all the time," he says. "I braise it with lemon and milk and it comes out incredibly tender."
Interestingly enough, Gaspard's beef rib was inspired by notorious Austin pitmaster: John Mueller. "I ate at John Mueller Barbecue recently and that whole experience was insane," Gaspard says. "John Mueller is a genius, and I'm not going to say the ribs are going to be on his level, but it's definitely inspired by his technique."
Blacksmith's pop-up dinners have become wildly popular over the past few months, with the line typically running outside the door before the event even commences, so it's best to arrive early for this dinner if you want to grab a bite before the food runs out.
For those who are in the mood for barbecue fare instead of offal and sweetbreads, Underbelly chef Patrick Feges will also be preparing an early dinner this Sunday. He will feature a menu of brisket, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, beef sandwiches, smoked Frito pies and shortbread cookies from Tessie's Treats outside Anvil Bar & Refuge starting at 5 p.m.
Choose a side, or if your feeling brazen, hit up both of these Sunday dinners. Just don't forget to wear stretchy pants.