From wine dinners showcasing the flavors of Austria and Spain, to festivals that celebrate vegan food and barbecue, there’s a full range of food events this week with something for every palate. Check out these 10 must-attend events, including a regional French dinner at Etoile, Tea + Victory’s first anniversary party, the Houston BBQ Festival, and Karbach Brewing Company’s crawfish fest.
Monday, April 8
Speed Rack Practice at Night Heron
Help CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Bartender of the Year Sarah Troxell get ready for the national finals of Speed Rack, the all-female bartending competition that raises money for breast cancer prevention, treatment, and awareness. For $25, she'll make four cocktails from the Speed Rack list. It starts at 7 pm, but get there early. Slots fill up quickly.
Tuesday, April 9
Spring Celebration at Costa Brava
This four-course dinner features a selection of wines from Baron de Lay of Rioja, Spain, hosted by Scott Folmar from the Spirivin Group. Pairings include seared cod loin and littleneck clams in a saffron-blood orange seafood broth served with a 2017 rose, and fideuà with suckling pig, lamb loin, green onion and Romesco sauce served with the Baron de Lay 2012 Rioja Reserva. Open seating begins at 5:30 pm, and the cost for dinner is $80 per person. Call 713-839-1005 for reservations.
Regions of France Dinner at Etoile
This four-course dinner is a culinary tour of France, beginning in the southwest (sud-ouest) with foir gras and ending in Brittany an orange crêpe cake. The event is the first in a series, and Chef Philippe Verpiand has created a menu that showcases the myriad styles of French cuisine, all of it paired with spirits curated by beverage manager Kimberly Paul. Dinner begins at 7 pm, and the cost is $98 per person; reservations are a must. Make them online or call 832-668-5808.
Wednesday, April 10
Chicken Salad Chick Grand Opening in Vintage Park
UPDATE: This event has been moved to April 17.
The Southern-inspired, fast-casual concept whose claim to fame is a menu featuring 12 kinds of chicken salad opens its third Houston location with goodies and giveaways. The restaurant opens at 10:30 am, and the first 10 guests over the age of 16 will receive one large Quick Chick of chicken salad per week for an entire year; the next 140 16-plus-year-olds receive a free large Quick Chick of chicken salad per month. Any guest not part of the first 150 in line can make a purchase and enter to win a drawing for free chicken salad for a year.
Friday, April 12
Glass of the Titans Wine Dinner at The Pass
Austrian wine legends Emmerich Knoll and Michael Malat create some of the world’s most sought-after creations. The Pass hosts the pair to discuss their processes and history, and will pair their wines with a host of menu items. Tickets are $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Saturday, April 13
Houston Vegan Festival at the University of Houston
Hosted by How to Be Vegan, this afternoon event includes cooking classes, guest speakers, games, and dishes from some of Houston’s vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Gates open at 1 pm, and the celebration continues until 8 pm. Tickets are $20 each for adults and $5 each for children under five and seniors 65 or older.
Sunday, April 14
First Anniversary Party at Tea + Victory
The board game café celebrates its first year in business with a host of attractions and activities including a petting zoo in the parking lot, outdoor games and Moar beer. VIP ticket holders get special event access from 9 am to noon, a commemorative glass, a free drink, a 10 percent discount on food, free breakfast tacos and a cake cutting at 11:30 am. As an added bonus, each VIP ticket includes a free child’s admission (additional kids tickets are $10 each). VIP tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.
Crawfish and Riesling at Avondale Food and Wine
The restaurant hosts its first crawfish boil, featuring regular and spicy mudbugs. They’ll be paired with Von Winning’s Riesling Revolution and Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Riesling. Festivities start at noon, and tickets are $30 per person, including wine. In addition to the all-you-can-eat-till-its-gone grub, there will be specials on retail bottles of Riesling.
7th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival at the Humble Civic Center and Arena
Over two dozen of the Houston area’s best barbecue restaurants, including Blood Bros. BBQ, CorkScrew BBQ, Daddy Duncan's BBQ, El Burro & the Bull, Gatlin's BBQ, Killen's Barbecue, Pinkerton's Barbecue, Ray's BBQ Shack, Roegels Barbecue Co., Spring Creek Barbeque, and The Pit Room, will be offering unlimited sample portions at this event that's widely considered the city's best barbecue-centric meatfest of the year. The annual festival also features domestic and craft beers and live music by Folk Family Revival. General admission is $60 per person. VIP tickets are available for $120 per person and include early entry at noon, a T-shirt, and one free-drink ticket.
2019 Karbach Crawfish Festival
Houston's beloved brewery is throwing a big beer, crawfish, and music bash for a worthy cause. Aside from the refreshing brew and cajun 'dads, entertainment will include artists G. Love & Special Sauce, Bob Schneider, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Bayou City Brass Band, and Boomtown Brass Band. All profits will support The Robert Garner Firefighter Foundation, a Houston-based educational firefighter organization that supports, inspires, and educates future and current firefighters. Early bird general admission are $15 (limited supply), while general admission tickets are $25. VIP tickets ($135) include: three pounds of crawfish, three beers, access to VIP deck, access to the pub (with air conditioning and private bathrooms), and an RTIC bag with Y-shirt and a koozie. Event starts at noon.