Houston's restaurants and bars are doing their part to assist federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown. While a free or discounted meal can't replace a missing paycheck, maybe a night out will ease the sting.
Some of the specials are one-day only, while others are available for as long as the shutdown lasts.
Workers in the private sector shouldn't try to cheat their way to a free meal. All of these establishments will be looking for a federally issued employee identification and proof of furlough to grant the special. Besides, that's just being a jerk.
Antone's Famous Po'boys: Government workers receive 50 percent off during both lunch and dinner at this classic Houston restaurant.
Bistro Provence: The Memorial-area French restaurant offers workers a free lunch from one of two blackboard specials that will be available that day, plus a non-alcoholic beverage. Good one time per person. Reservations required.
Bread Man Baking Company: The craft baker will give federal workers a free loaf of bread. Available at the bakery (9127 Stella Link Rd.) on Friday from 8 am to 3 pm and at Saturday's Urban Harvest Farmers Market from 8 am to 12 pm. Limited quantities.
Cottonwood: Federal workers will receive 25 percent off food at the family-friendly craft beer spot.
D’Amico’s Italian Market Café: The Rice Village restaurant will provide a worker and one guest with a free order of its classic spaghetti and meatballs, plus a non-alcoholic beverage. Available Monday through Thursday at lunch or dinner. Good one time per person. Reservations encouraged.
Killen's Barbecue: Ronnie Killen and crew are offering a free family pack of brisket, sausage, potato salad, and beans. Pick up at the to-go window on the west side of the restaurant. Available only on Friday, January 18, from 11 am while supplies last.
La Grange: Federal workers will receive 25 percent off food at the Mexican-influenced patio bar spot.
Lasagna House: The 1960 location of the Italian-American restaurant will serve federal workers a free pasta bowl or order of lasagna and a glass of iced tea this Friday, January 18.
Ouisie's Table: Get a free lunch entree or free dinner entree under $30 at this River Oaks comfort food institution. Available for dine-in only to groups of four people or fewer. Once per week per person. Reservations required.
Poitín Bar & Kitchen: Receive one free happy hour bar snack per person per day at this Southern-inspired restaurant in Sawyer Yards. Happy hour happens daily from 4 - 6 pm and Sunday through Wednesday from 9 pm to close.
Rainbow Lodge: Receive a free bowl of smoked duck gumbo Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 am until 3 pm. The restaurant requests people purchase a drink and tip their servers. Offer is for dine-in only and groups of four or fewer.
Riel: Take 50 percent off all happy hour at this creative Montrose restaurant. That means bar bites like gator karaage and fried cauliflower are just $4, beers are $2, and wines by-the-glass are $3.50, and select cocktails are $4. Available Monday through Friday from 5 - 6:30 pm.
Rosewater: Furloughed NASA employees and contractors can drown their sorrows at Clear Lake's best cocktail bar with a special menu of $6 and $7 cocktails, $4 draft beers, and $6 glasses of Malbec.