The holiday weekend provides food-obsessed Houstonians with numerous opportunities for eating and drinking beyond grilled burgers in the backyard. From wine dinners to barbecue to a Tokyo-inspired street festival, people have plenty of reasons to brave the heat.
Friday, September 3
Brisket and Lambrusco Dinner at Henderson & Kane
Presented by the Houston Dinner Club, the three-course menu includes seared Gulf shrimp over green hatch chile and cheese grits, chile nogadas stuffed with smoked brisket and rose-pistachio macarons for dessert — all paired with different Lambruscos. $90, 6-9 pm.
Saturday, September 4
Boo’s Burgers pop-up at Cochinita & Co.
Discover why burger lovers, including Houston chef Dawn Burrell, are hailing Joseph Bourdeaux’s smash burger pop-up. Whereas previous Boo’s pop-ups have required pre-order, this will be first come first serve. 4-9 pm.
Chef Sofia Cortina at Blacksmith
The Montrose coffee shop will revive its Blacksmith by Night pop-up series to host the woman who’s been named the best pastry chef in Latin America by the World’s 50 Best. Known for her work at Mexico City’s La Vitrine Pâtisserie, Cortina will serve a variety of sweets alongside Blacksmith’s signature coffees and art by Elena Johnston. Proceeds will benefit local non-profit I’ll Have What She’s Having. Get there early; this one will sell out fast. 5 pm.
Sunday, September 5
Best Dish Throwdown at Rice Village Farmers Market
The first of three weeks of competition will begin this weekend with chefs Henry Lu (Kin) squaring off against Matt Zach (Prego). Farmers Market attendees will vote for the winner, who will advance to the finals September 26 at the Heights Mercantile Farmers Market.
Booze Can Sunday at Riel
The always lively party will feature an appearance by guest chefs James Haywood and Ross Coleman (Kitchen 713, Lit Chicken) who will prepare a special menu that will be paired with drink specials. In addition, DJ Seek will spin tunes, local artists Jerry Guzman, Floyd Mendoza, and Noke will display their work, and Heavy Metal Racket will have items food sale. 3 pm - late.
Tokyo Night Festival at Social Beer Garden HTX
Chef Naoki Yoshida of Shun Japanese Kitchen has rounded up a group of food and retail vendors to bring a little bit of Tokyo to Houston. Expect 15 food vendors — including Ramen Tatsu-ya, Click Virtual Food Hall, Izakaya Wa, and Hando — along with live sumo matches, vintage Japanese cars, cosplay, and more. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime characters. A portion of proceeds will benefit OCA of Houston’s campaign to “Stop Asian Hate.” 5-11 pm.
Pool Party at the Heights House Hotel
Chef Lyle Bento will be serving a smoked meat platter of brisket, sausage, turkey, and sides for $25 while a DJ keeps the party going. Refreshment comes via drink specials and adult snow cones. Discounted rooms are available with code LABORDAY21. 5-11 pm.
Monday, September 6
Labor Day Party at Bobcat Teddy’s
The ice house in The Heights will host a party that includes free hamburger and hot dogs (while supplies last) along with live music from Roger Tienken. 2-6 pm.
Labor Day Luau at Preslee's Southern Good Eatery
Join pitmaster James McFarland of the Nomad BBQ pop-up will team up with the crew from Piper's BBQ for an evening of tiki drinks, Hawaiian shirts, and smoked meat. Each $20 plate comes with a pastrami-spiced whole hog sandwich served on marbled rye buns topped with pineapple sauerkraut, Caribbean-style rice, and smoked black beans. 5 pm until sold out.