Courtesy of Hugo's

From multi-course dinners to extravagant brunches, take-home family feasts to meals perfect for two, Houston restaurants have something for every diner's need this Easter.

Easter brunch in-person

Arnaldo Richards' Picos
The Upper Kirby favorite offers a special brunch buffet on Sunday, April 9, with a carving station, omelets and waffles to order, paella grande, charcuterie selections, an antojito platter, and more. The cost is $54 for adults, $42 for seniors, $30 for children over eight years old, and free for those under eight. Brunch is available from 10 am to 4 pm. Use Resy to make reservations.

Backstreet Cafe
This classic River Oaks restaurant offers a three-course brunch on Easter Sunday, with menu options such as a chilled creamy artichoke soup, Gulf Coast seafood beignets, braised lamb shank with creamy mashed potatoes and mushroom pan jus, pan-roasted striped bass with spring vegetables, pan-seared scallops with asparagus risotto, Nutella chocolate banana bread pudding, and more. Bob Chadwick offers live jazz. The cost is $56 for adults and $15 for children. Brunch is available from 10 am to 3:30 pm, and reservations are highly recommended.

Brennan's of Houston
On Saturday, April 8, diners can get into the Easter spirit with visits from live bunnies from Boiling Bunny Farms. The restaurant's classic dishes are available, and this family-friendly experience is sure to delight diners young and old. This special brunch is available from 10 am to 2 pm. Reservations required. On Easter Sunday, brunch is available from 10 am to 4 pm. Reservations can be made online.

Georgia James
Executive chef Greg Peters has a special in the works at this luxe Montrose spot, which will open for a one-day-only brunch from 11 am to 3 pm. In addition to the brunch specials, favorites such as Viet-Cajun roasted oysters and fried Holmes chicken will also be available. Note: the restaurant will not be open for dinner on Easter Sunday.

Guard & Grace
Usually closed on Sundays, the luxurious downtown steakhouse will feature a special brunch menu. Starters include smoked salmon rillette, wagyu beef dumplings, crab and avocado toast, and heirloom blue corn hush puppies. In addition to steaks, entree choices include lobster benedict, a giant buttermilk biscuit with brisket, huevos rancheros, loco moco, and more. Reservations recommended.

In addition to the restaurant's popular buffet brunch offerings, diners can look for seasonal specialties, a carving station, and specialty Easter desserts. The buffet is available from 10 am to 3 pm on Easter Sunday and costs $55 for adults and $15 for children. Reservations are highly recommended.

Hull & Oak
Head downtown to this restaurant in The Laura hotel for an a la carte menu with specials just for Easter. Look for duck confit salad with quail eggs for $18, rack of lamb with spring vegetables and potato gratin for $42, stuffed pork loin with apple cranberry chutney for $38, creme brulee for $15, and more. A DJ adds to the vibe.

Dine in on Easter Sunday and enjoy a modern Texas take on classic dishes. The four-course, pre-fixe bottomless brunch menu includes options such as crawfish deviled eggs, herb-crusted leg of lamb with mint jus, cedar plank smoked salmon, duck-fat roasted potatoes with lemon and herbs, and chocolate ice box pie. Best of all, it combines a buffet-style ability to try everything with the convenience of table service. The cost is $65 for adults and and $20 for children 12 and under. View the full menu and make reservations online.

The Savoy
Known for its massive patio and lively vibe, this bar and restaurant in the heart of Houston's Third Ward offers a family-style brunch on Easter Sunday with special offerings such as an Easter egg mimosa flight along with infused French toast and pancake flights, 11 am to 5 pm.

This Woodlands restaurant offers a special brunch buffet on Easter Sunday. Selections include housemade pastries, stracciatella bruschetta, omelets made to order, fresh campanelle pasta served in a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, carved porchetta, and other sweet and savory options. The cost is $60 for adults and $21 for children. Brunch is available from 10 am to 3 pm.

Southside Sporting Club
The chic sports bar offers an Easter brunch of casual comfort favorites, along with photo opps with the Easter Bunny, an Easter egg hunt, and an Easter basket giveaway. Brunch is available from 11 am to 3 pm.

State of Grace
At this River Oaks favorite, diners will find a brunch menu with dishes such as butter biscuits and ham for $10, deviled eggs for $8, crawfish eggs Benedict $27, and other classic selections. On Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny will put in an appearance and is available for photo ops.

NBA star James Harden's posh Midtown restaurant will feature brunch specials such as shrimp and grits, deep fried strawberry cheesecake French toast, and Churro Chicken & Waffle. A DJ adds to the atmosphere. Brunch is served from 11 am to 3 pm.

Toro Toro
This pan-Latin steakhouse in the Four Seasons continue's the hotel's tradition of over-the-top holiday brunches. For $155 per adult and $65 per child 12 and under, diners can feast on an omelet station, Texas cheese display, pasta station, seafood station with cold shellfish and sushi, carving station with beef tenderloin and smoked brisket, and so much more. Reservations required.

Traveler's Table
Diners can get an Easter Sunday three-course brunch for $50. Selections from the amuse-bouche, second, and third courses include Japanese kakii fry oysters, watermelon and avocado salad, breakfast bread pudding, Japanese ube pancakes, custard lava French toast, Louisiana fried chicken, and more. All the menu options are available for dine-in and take-out from 10 am to 2:30 pm on April 9.

Both the Galleria and Woodlands locations of this steak and seafood restaurant will open for Easter Sunday with special hours of 12 to 9 pm. In addition to menu favorites like miso-glazed sea bass and king crab, the bar will feature a special Spring Fling cocktail (vodka, Ramazotti Rosato, Cava, raspberries, fresh lime, almond syrup, mint).

The Union Kitchen
All five locations of the comfort food favorite will supplement their regular brunch menu with Easter specials such as crispy crab deviled eggs, Fruity Pebble pancakes, coffee crusted short rib, and herb-crusted lamb lollipops. Cocktail and wine specials will also be available.

Warehouse 72
The live jazz brunch includes items like steak and eggs, chicken and waffles, eggs Benedict, $3 mimosas, and other classic offerings. Kids can participate in an Easter egg hunt. Brunch is available from 11 am to 3 pm.

The Warwick
The Galleria-area restaurant augments its weekend brunch for Easter Sunday, with specials such as smoked ribeye and garlic mashed potatoes for $42 and cedar plank redfish for $39. Known as a great place to bring a crowd, those who love to share can also check out the board room brunch platter with butter pecan waffles, candied bacon, four eggs cooked to order, sausage, and more for $100. Brunch is available from 11 am to 4 pm.

Photo of a table with many dessert platters on it, with items such as cheesecake, brownie bites, cookies and fruit.

Courtesy of Hugo's

There will be special Easter-themed desserts on the brunch buffet at Hugo's.

Easter brunch to-go

The Butcher Shop at B&B Butchers
The to-go side of the popular steakhouse has both ready-to-roast and pre-cooked entrees, starters, sides, and desserts available for Easter dining. Choices include Caesar salad, mini beef Wellington, mini crab cakes, whole rack of lamb, prime rib, mac and cheese and New York cheesecake (24-hour notice required). Orders may be picked up April 7-9. All items subject to availability. Call 832-767-4828 or use link above for more information.

Common Bond
For the holiday, the bakery and cafe is offering fluffernut macrons, with fluffernutter buttercream and a speckled blue shell; carrot cake entermet made with layers of cream cheese icing and candied walnuts; and an Easter case cake, a lemon-soaked vanilla cake with lemon buttercream and blueberry curd. The goodies are available for in-store purchases through April 9, although the cake is only available at bistro and bakery locations.

Craft Pita
The Mediterranean spot teams up with Truth BBQ for the holiday, offering a take-and-bake Easter meal special that includes 1.5 lbs of smoked lamb, rice pilaf, fattoush salad, cucumber yogurt, and maamoul cookies. Items must be pre-ordered and will be available for pickup on April 8. Call the West University location at (832) 767-1265 or the Briargrove location at (832) 804-9056 for information and ordering.

Feges BBQ
Give Easter a Texas twist with Feges' to-go items that are enough to feed a crowd. Get a whole turkey breast for $60 or a whole brisket for $150. Need sides? Moroccan-glazed carrots, loaded potato mash, hog fat cornbread and more are all available for $40. Pick up is available at the Greenway Plaza location on April 6 between 9 am and 3 pm. The Spring Branch location has pickup on April 6 through 8 from 11 am to 9 pm. Full the full menu and order online.

Goode Company
The Easter meal kit includes a choice of either Texas honey-glazed, pit-smoked ham or mesquite-smoked turkey breast, along with a variety of sides and a dessert. Additional items are available to purchase as well. The cost for the kit is $195 and each kit feeds between four and six people. Pre order online by April 1 with pickup on Friday, April 7 or Saturday, April 8.

R-C Ranch
The butcher shop at the Houston Farmers Market will feature a few Easter specials, including smoked ham ($4.95/lb), smoked brisket ($18.75/lb), bacon green beans ($16.95), and beef tallow mashed potatoes ($13.95). Order at the shop or by calling 979-864-3540.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Legendary Houston writer's passing, Katy restaurant boom, and spacey new Montrose bar lead week's top stories

this week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Booming Katy development adds 5 grand new restaurants serving boba, Korean BBQ, giant pizzas, and more. They’ll join a number of destination-worthy tenants including hot pot restaurant HaiDiLao and dim sum favorite Tim Ho Wan.

2. 3 Houston-area counties among the top 10 most expensive to live in Texas, report says. Since these are also some of the state's wealthiest counties, it's also easier to pay those bills.

3. Farewell to John Nova Lomax: Remembering a wise and witty wordsmith and consummate Houstonian. Born to spin a yarn, Lomax deftly and superbly chronicled the weird gumbo that is life in Houston.

4. Dynamic duo behind Nobie's and Toasted Coconut bake up new tavern-style pizza restaurant in Montrose. The pizzeria will serve the Midwestern-style tavern pizza that’s popular in Chicago, the city where the couple met.

Roswell's Saloon HoustonSpace cowgirls and cowboys are welcome at Roswell's Saloon. Photo by Becca Wright

5. Spacey new bar and cosmic cocktail spot from Burger Joint owner blasts off in Montrose. Since all of the lighting is either blacklight or neon, Bermudez made sure all of the floors, walls, and bartops are UV-reactive.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo makes history with election of first female chairman of the board

pat saddles up

In 2022, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo made history by making local rap icon Bun B the first Black headliner from Houston. Now, the venerable institution has made history again with the appointment of its first female chairman of the board.

Pat Mann Phillips, a rodeo life member since 2001, will begin her three-year tenure as chairman of the board starting with the 2024 Rodeo, according to an announcement. She takes over for departing chairman Brady Carruth.

“As the newly elected Chairman of the Board, I am humbled and honored to lead the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and our amazing team of dedicated volunteers,” Phillips tells CultureMap. "Together, we embark on a transformative endeavor to propel our organization to its fullest potential. By breaking new ground and pushing boundaries, we will elevate the rodeo experience to unprecedented heights, capturing the essence of our vibrant community and its unwavering spirit.”

Her first objective, according to the rodeo, will be to collaborate with the executive committee to lead the Rodeo, focusing on its core mission of promoting agriculture and supporting Texas youth and education.

Heralded by peers and staff for her high-energy, positive, genuine, compassionate, and humble nature, Phillips has served on myriad rodeo committees, various committees, including the Corral Club – Suites, Directions & Assistance, Jr. Rodeo, and Special Children's committees.

She was elected to the board of directors in 2012 and rodeo vice president from 2016 to 2018. During her tenure, she oversaw the Transportation, Magazine, Special Children's, Agricultural Education (formerly Ladies' Go Texan), Souvenir Program, and Communications & Special Services committees. She joined the rodeos executive committee in 2018.

Consummately Houston and rodeo, Phillips holds a BBA in Petroleum Land Management and a BBA in Finance from Texas Tech University and boasts more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry. She is currently the executive director of Energy Services for Revenade, a global management consulting firm.

Rodeo is a family affair: She and her husband, Tim Phillips have contributed financially through auction buying groups, season tickets, and donations to the Rodeo's Educational Fund. Tim Phillips, a former chair of the Jr. Rodeo Committee, continues to serve on the Special Children's Committee, per the rodeo.

Pat and Tim Phillips also walk the walk: they own Trinity Spirit Ranch in Field Store, Texas and manage their family ranch in Johnson County, Texas. Pat is also a charter member of Texas Women Venture Fund and a member and former director of Ladies of Texas Tradition, per her bio. She is a mentor and board member in organizations including Amigas Para Niños and the American Association of Professional Landmen.

“Our rich traditions serve as the cornerstone of our mission, and it is my hope that through our collective efforts, we not only preserve these traditions but also ignite a flame of inspiration within others,” Par Phillips says. “I am thrilled to saddle up for this exhilarating journey ahead. Together, we will leave a lasting legacy, inspiring generations to come and making a profound difference in the lives of those we touch.”

Gigantic 50-foot shark dives into Houston museum for jaw-dropping new showcase of Earth's greatest predator

jaw-dropping jaws

By the numbers, the great white shark is one of the most fearsome predators to ever exist on planet Earth. Consider:

Sharks! The Meg, The Monsters & The Myths HMNS

Photo courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science

Yes, this is actually scale.

  • The largest great white ever recorded spanned 20 feet – half the size of a school bus — and weighed at least 5,000 pounds.
  • At any given moment, great whites possess 300 teeth — measuring up to 6.6 inches — and can regenerate and replace up to 20,000 in a lifetime.
  • Swimming up to 35 miles per hour, a great white can launch itself out of the water like a missile.

But those stats are child's play to the great white's prehistoric predecessor, the megalodon (which literally means "big tooth"), which grew to 65 feet long. Known by scientists and fans as the "Meg," the massive monster will star in Houston Museum of Natural Science's new exhibit Sharks! The Meg, The Monsters & The Myths.

The immersive shark fest opens Friday, May 26 to members and Saturday, May 27 to the general public. Tickets are available online.

Dive into the shark tank

Meant to educate and inspire awe and curiosity rather than hysteria, the new exhibition features six galleries that include live shark tank, 14 life-sized models, interactive and touchable items, dazzling digital displays, fun photo ops, and meg-sized chunks of information about the ocean's apex predators.

Visitors can meet these fin-tastic friends via a 360-square-foot virtual “shark tank,” where sharks of all shapes and sizes (there are eight different orders and more than 500 species) swim by, showing off their sleek shapes, bioluminescence, and grace.

Meet the monster Meg

A giant, life-sized, 50-foot model of a female megalodon — in full swim pose and jaws that easily down an entire refrigerator or a few humans — wide open in a toothy grin. The megalodon's sheer mass compared to humans, its color (gray to reflect the sea wall with a "great white" belly) will be on display for photos and wow moments.

Another gallery takes viewers back more than 400 million years to the earliest sharks and fossilized shark teeth. Each visitor can select a fossilized tooth dating back to the Miocene era to keep as part of the journey.

Some gentle bamboo and epaulette sharks will join stingrays (cousins of sharks), sea urchins, and a host of other sea dwellers in an easily viewable tank, which will offer an up-close-and-personal perspective as to why these creatures are so essential to the ecosystem.

No excursion would be complete without swag, and this one offers up toys, puzzles, t-shirts, magnets, and more at the Island Store, which also houses megalodon teeth, fossilized coral, and a 100,000-year-old giant fossil clamshell.

Fans of these finned friends

While they have survived every mass extinction event in the past 450 million years and have ruled their water kingdom for some 300,000 years, sharks are now in peril by the worst predator of all: humans. Spurred by bloodlust after the release of the 1975 epic film and novel Jaws and other sensational pop culture vehicles, an average of 100 million sharks are killed by humans each year.

Whether for sport, shark fin soup (where fins are cut off while the shark is cast back still alive and left to drown), scientists worry that this decimation could mean the end for many of these astounding creatures. '

“Sharks are remarkably diverse and efficient predators but are more threatened than threatening. In fact, over one-third of shark species are now facing the threat of extinction,” said Nicole Temple, the exhibit curator. “With this exhibition, we hope that our guests are able to explore the misconceptions, mysteries, and mystique of sharks to help pave the way for conservation efforts, as well as explore their unique adaptations and behaviors that continue to inspire scientific innovation around the world.”

“Sharks are critical to maintaining the health of our oceans, which are a huge carbon sink for the planet,” Temple adds. “Really, sharks help keep us alive.”

Consider this a chance to visit to a monstrous meg, snap a selfie, and say thanks.


Sharks! The Meg, The Monsters & The Myths opens Friday, May 26 (members) and Saturday, May 27 (general public) at Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr. For tickets and more information, visit HMNS online.