The day has finally arrived — the last weekend of Houston Restaurants Weeks 2014 is here. Since the event lasts through Monday, diners only have a few days to cash in on discount dining at some of the city's best restaurants. And to raise money for the Houston Food Bank, of course.
Since time is tight, this list only has five options, but, as of Friday afternoon, all showed tables available for parties of two and four between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Also, they all feature $35 dinner menus, because that's still one of the sweet spots in the HRW pricing structure and contributes a respectable $5 to the Food Bank.
The globally-influenced, farm to table-inspired restaurant offers a three-course dinner menu. Start with Korean spicy chicken or sake-cured salmon sashimi. Entree options include a sweet tea-brined pork chop and bistro steak. For dessert, peach creme brulee or the signature mom's chocolate cake. Each course includes both vegan and gluten free options as well.
As a member of the Food Bank's board, Churrascos owner Michael Cordua prides himself on bringing as many people to his restaurants during HRW as possible, which makes both Churrascos and Americas a consistently excellent choice. All four Churrascos locations are participating and have reservations available this weekend.
The seven appetizer choices include black bean soup and chef David Cordua's recently introduced chicken tinga arepa. For dinner, try a six-ounce portion of the restaurant's namesake churrasco steak, pork tenderloin or a variety of shrimp dishes. Obviously, tres leches is the way to go for dessert. Every dish has a recommended wine pairing from beverage director James Watkins, and mojitos are only $8.
This River Oaks-area restaurant definitely draws a mostly neighborhood crowd, but you don't need to have an eight-figure bank account to appreciate Frank's old school charm. While the menu features both gluten free and vegetarian options at each course, let's cut to the chase — you're going to Frank's because the restaurant serves one of Houston's best chicken fried steaks. It's $22 on the regular dinner menu (and worth every penny), so getting two additional courses for only $13 is a definitely a good deal.
Go discover why this more upscale companion to the Ragin Cajun empire landed on CultureMap's list of Houston's top destinations for oysters. The signature char-grilled oysters are one of three starter options on the three-course menu. Main course choices include fried soft shell crabs, seafood pasta in alfredo sauce and grilled shrimp.
One of the few honest-to-goodness steakhouses at the $35 price point is this Mexican steakhouse on lower Westheimer. Instead of puny four-ounce filets, La Casa del Caballo delivers three adult-sized portions of beef as part of its three-course menu.
Choose from an eight-ounce eye of the ribeye, a 10-ounce beef shoulder or a generous 20-ounce slow smoked brisket. Or just skip the HRW menu, order the four-pound ribeye cap (feeds six pretty comfortably) and make a separate donation to the Food Bank. It's one of the best group dining entrees in Houston.