After a five-week run, Houston Restaurant Weeks ends on Labor Day. For diners in search of one last meal before the event ends, here are six suggestions: one for each remaining meal. Remember, $3 to $7 for every menu sold goes to the Houston Food Bank.
Those meals really add up. Vic & Anthony's executive chef Michael O'Connor tweeted on Wednesday that his restaurant has served more than 3,000 HRW diners; that's over $21,000. Whether that's enough to break last year's record of $1.6 million remains to be seen, but it's clear diners are doing their part.
Saturday lunch: B&B Butchers
The steakhouse on Washington Ave has been one of Houston's hottest restaurants since it opened in May, why not use HRW as an opportunity taste what all the excitement is about? The three-course, $20 menu starts with a choice of soup or salad. Entree options include a hefty 10-ounce burger, steak sandwich and spaghetti and meatballs. For dessert, keep it classic with New York cheesecake. Considering the burger is $14 on the regular menu, diners are getting quite a deal (and contributing $3 to the Food Bank).
Saturday dinner: Ciao Bello
All three of Tony Vallone's restaurants serve high-quality food with extremely polished service, but this casual Italian restaurant in Tanglewood is the most accessible. The four-course, $35 has to be one of HRW's best values; it features can't miss dishes like sweet corn pansoti, pork osso bucco and a classic cannoli. Of the various supplements, spending $5 for the grilled peach and burrata salad is the way to go. Of course, ask ever-present manager David Siegman to recommend a bottle of wine to pair with the meal.
Sunday brunch: Indika
Brunch at this upscale, modern Indian restaurant features an unlimited buffet. For $25, choose from dishes almost 20 selections that include corn bell poori, chicken green masala samosas, fish kofta curry and coconut pancakes. The menu is definitely vegetarian friendly and should be able to accommodate just about anyone.
Sunday dinner: Alamo Drafthouse
One of HRW's most fun deals come courtesy of the Austin-based movie chain with locations in Katy and Vintage Park. For $35, diners receive a three-course meal — yes, unlimited popcorn is a starter option — a movie ticket and a ticket to return for a movie on another evening. With most people off on Monday for Labor Day, Sunday night is the perfect time to catch up on a film like Mission: Impossible or Straight Outta Compton.
Monday lunch: L.A. Bar
This slightly fancier companion to Ragin' Cajun offers a three-course, $20 lunch menu. Since it's Monday, red beans and rice are mandatory. For the entree, sample a classic Mandola family meatball sub or keep things Cajun with blackened chicken. All three desserts are worth the caloric splurge, but bread pudding is never a bad choice.
Monday dinner: Etoile
Some restaurants are closing for Labor Day, but the city's best French restaurant will be open for business. The three-course, $45 menu starts off with classic dishes like beef tartare and escargot. Lemon sole and duck leg confit make for tempting entree choices. Picking from the dessert choices at a French restaurant is never easy, but the floating island is a throwback gem that deserves strong consideration.