Summer may be unofficially over with the Labor Day holiday, but Houston's celebrating rolls on. This week features a slew of Labor Day dining and drinking deals, as well as a special tribute to first responders. A beloved Houston institution throws itself a series of anniversary parties, and there's s killer cookoff that our very own Eric Sandler helps judge.
Monday, September 2 - Friday, September 6
First Responders Appreciation Week
All Berg Hospitality Group restaurants (B&B Butchers and Restaurant, B.B.Lemon, and B.B. Italia Kitchen and Bar) offer on-duty first responders a free, three-course meal during lunch and dinner service from a special menu. Each concept has different offerings, including a choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert. First responders' guests can get the same for $25 per person.
Monday, September 2
Labor Day Dining Deals Around Town
Both BCK and Bosscat Kitchen & Libations extend their brunch menus into Monday. At BCK, brunch is available from 10 am to 3 pm; brunch runs from 11 am to 3 pm at Bosscat Kitchen. Brasserie 19 has special bottle pricing on Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé, Ruinart, Smoke Tree, and Cape Mentelle rose; every bottle sold gets entered to win swag from the featured vineyards and producers.
Get half-price mimosa carafes and enjoy the brunch menu at lunchtime at all Hungry's spots. Buy one entree at any Jax Grill location and get one free from open to close, as does its sister restaurant The Union Kitchen. Le Colonial and Toulouse in the River Oaks District are offering 50-percent off select bottles of wine.
King's BierHaus' Heights and League City locations offer a massive crispy ham hock served with sauerkraut, potato salad, and apple horseradish for just $15 today. The Heights and Upper Kirby outposts of Local Kitchen are serving brunch from 10 am to 3 pm. Get $6.50 Molina's margaritas at all Molina's locations. Peli Peli serves brunch from 11 am to 4 pm. Dressing up like Lady Gaga or Madonna is encouraged at Postino today; the Madonna versus Lady Gaga brunch from 11 am to 4 pm features $5 mimosas and a DJ spinning the dueling divas' music.
Tuesday, September 3
6th Annual Banh Mi Cookoff at Warehouse Live
Featuring chefs from around Houston, this party with a purpose features a silent auction, food vendors, bubble tea, music by DJ Phil Good, and entertainment from the Aloha Polynesian Dancers — not to mention plenty of banh mi. Among those competing are Evelyn Garcia of Decatur Bar & Pop-up Factory, Robert Linn from The Artist's Cuisine, Kristen Powell from The Barking Pig, Marcus Powell of Hoot's Smokehouse, and more. Judges include our own Eric Sandler, Masterchef winner Christine Ha, and Houstonia's Timothy Malcolm. Regular admission tickets are $35 and include unlimited samples of the chef's creations, as well as samples from the other food and drink vendors on site. The fun kicks off at 6:30 pm.
Back-to-School Kickoff Night at El Patio
From 5 to 8 pm, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree. The popular, family-friendly deal will be available on Tuesdays throughout the school year.
Wednesday, September 4
Epic Dinner at State Fare Kitchen and Bar
Chef Justin Yoakum offers a four-course dinner paired with selections from Karbach Brewing Co. Looks for menu items such as coastal crab fingers paired with Karbach style Blueberry Mule, pork belly and watermelon salad paired with Day Maker Brut Rose IPA, and 44 Farms double smoked brisket paired with Crawford Bock. Dinner starts at 6 pm and tickets are $50 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Thursday, September 5
41st Anniversary Drunk Dinner at Rudyard's
This five-course dinner is part feast, part stroll down memory lane, as Rudyard's rolls out some of its favorite dishes and drink pairings over the decades. Look for a 1970s-inspired smoked oysters partnered with whiskey; the 1980s styling of "Miami Vice Tartare," steak tartare with horseradish cream, fish sauce caramel brittle, and trout roe with a housemade wine cooler; and "Fusion Sliders That Don't Suck," a 2000s-era offering of lamb, short rib, and quail paired with a surprise. Tickets are $65 each, and dinner starts at 7 pm.
Sunday, September 8
Pizza Magic at Rudyard's
Because when a place has been in business for 41 years, one anniversary celebration doesn't quite cut it. Starting at 1 pm till it's gone, chef Anthony Calleo returns to his Pi Pizza roots by baking up pies in a homemade "Southern engineered" brick oven. Diners will dig his Macgyverian skills — and the pizza. No word on ifs the infamous 420 slice will make a return.