a good food fight

Fresh new Houston restaurant promotion feeds the hungry and nixes food waste

Fresh Houston restaurant promotion feeds the hungry and nixees waste

Second Servings Guard and Grace zero waste yaki soba
Guard & Grace's squid ink yakisoba. Photo by Emily Jaschke

A local nonprofit's new initiative shines a spotlight on eliminating food waste. Second Serving's Fight Hunger. End Waste. Food & Beverage Series aims to raise awareness around the issue of food waste while raising money to feed hungry Houstonians.

Through the end of April, 15 local restaurants are serving special zero-waste dishes or drinks. For every item sold, the participating restaurant makes a set contribution to Second Servings.

Every $1 raised turns into $50 worth of food that is delivered to a local charity through Second Servings’ food rescue efforts. The organization "rescues" uneaten food from catered events and other venues and safely delivers it to organizations that can utilize it. 

For examples, Montrose record bar 93' Til created a fermented tomato water Blood Mary ($14; $1 donation) that not only uses the ingredients in the cocktail but also uses dehydrated leftovers in the spice rim. At downtown steakhouse Guard & Grace, the squid ink yakisoba ($18; $6 donation) features a sauce made with shrimp stock and fermented vegetable paste that's paired with house made ramen noodles. 

Other participants include Heights hand roll joint Hando and its companion cocktail bar Kanpai Club; the Heights location of sandwich favorite Local Foods; and buzzy EaDo wine bar Roots. Those in Katy and beyond will find a zero-waste brisket debris po' boy at Dozier's BBQ, while Galleria-area diners may head to the luxurious Ristorante Cavour, where chef Maurizio Ferrarese has created a zero-waste menu of five different dishes and a cocktail to pair with them.

“We created this program to not only drive awareness to two very pressing needs: food insecurity and food waste, but to also support the food and beverage industry,” Second Servings communications specialist Kristen Torrez said in a statement. “This program gives restaurants the opportunity to help Houstonians in need and gives the community the opportunity to support restaurants.”