Whether it's a testament to good weather or restaurants trying to sneak in a couple events before everyone's distracted by Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are food events every day this week that are worth checking out. Whether someone wants a sneak-peek at an upcoming restaurant or simply to sample as many dishes as possible, there's something to suit pretty much every taste and budget. Here's a guide to the best of what's happening.
Tuesday (Oct. 22)
For the past few weeks, Montrose bar Boheme has been previewing its new menu. Dubbed Test Kitchen Tuesdays, each event pairs a new dish with a small batch beer from 8th Wonder Brewery. So far, each of the dishes, particularly a butter injected fried chicken, have been worth sampling, and this week's looks to be no exception. It's a tumeric-spiced, Tempura fried soft shell crab banh mi. The cost? $16 for the sandwich and a blueberry-infused version of Feight, the brewery's new red ale. Not a beer fan? The sandwich is $12 by itself or try the beer for only $4. One word of warning: Go early. Dinner is served at 5 p.m. and, despite the best efforts of Boheme's kitchen to produce as much food as possible, every Test Kitchen Tuesday item has sold out.
Wednesday (Oct. 23)
At the first Wingtoberfest battle in 2011, The Modular's duo of chef Lyle Bento and partner Joshua Martinez rode Eggo-crusted wings to victory. This year they'll compete head to head with Martinez representing Japanese-inspired Goro & Gun and Bento representing Underbelly. While both men undoubtedly believe they're competing for first and second, chefs from Uchi, Boheme and defending champion Little Bitty Burger Barn will all have something to say about that. The first 150 people to show up at Social Junkie get to taste the wings and vote on the winner. That starts at 7 p.m., but get there earlier to secure one of the judging slots.
Eager to sample chef Randy Rucker's twist on Mexican food? Upcoming downtown gastrocantina El Big Bad will host a snapshot dinner this Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. For $95, diners will sample seven courses prepared by Rucker and EBB executive chef Ben Rabbani that are paired with some of the restaurants signature agave-based cocktails. Adding to the entertainment, third generation Jimador (agave farmer) Jose Cortes will perform a live demonstrate of how to harvest agave using the traditional tool called a coa. Buy tickets on eventbrite.
Thursday (Oct. 24)
Just when it was starting to feel as though it had been awhile since the last massive tasting event like CultureMap's Last Chef Standing, along comes Zest in the West to fill that particular gap in the dining scene. Taking place at the Chateau Crystale at Westheimer and Gessner, the event features over 20 west Houston restaurants and over 30 wineries. The best part? It's only $45 for general admission. The $100 VIP option includes 50 additional "premium" wine selections and food from Carmelo's Ristorante Italiano. Part of the proceeds benefit the West Houston Leadership Institute.
For those who prefer food over wine, or just don't like leaving the loop, Azumpalooza 2 also starts at 6:30 p.m. at Soma. All of the Azuma Group restaurants, including Kata Robata, will serve dishes inspired by Asian street food. There's beer, too, of course, from 8th Wonder Brewery, wines from Duchman Family Winery, and cocktails featuring spirits by byejoe, Wild Turkey, X-Tropix, Flor de Cana and Campari. Tickets are $40 or buy 4 at once for $35 each.
Friday (Oct. 25)
Saint Arnold will open its tour hall for pub service from 5 to 10 p.m. Beers, including some rare casks, will only be available for purchase as individual pints or bottles. Poutine, cheeseburgers, bratwurst, frites and warm pretzels will also be available. Start the weekend off right.