Photo by Jenn Duncan

Those still recovering from the one-two party punch of Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day may not realize that Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 14. (Need a last-minute gift? We're here to help.)

While many of the city’s most prominent brunch destinations are either completely booked or have very limited tables, other restaurants can still accommodate more people.

Those still planning should start their search with the list below. All of these restaurants had availability as of Tuesday, May 9.

Aya Sushi
The Bellaire sushi restaurant will feature a special, $75 Mama-kase menu that includes both raw items and hot dishes from the kitchen. It will be served from open to close (11 am - 9 pm).

El Topo
The Mexican-inspired restaurant in West U. will supplement its usual brunch offerings with champagne specials, housemade desserts desserts, and a barbacoa benedict that uses the meat as its award-winning Houston taco. Those looking to feed a crowd should consider the family-style taco platter.

Feges BBQ
In addition to its usual smoked meats, the Spring Branch barbecue joint will feature specials such as crawfish frittata, crawfish cornbread with cinnamon-honey butter, bottomless mimosas, peach daiquiris, and more.

Frank’s Americana Revival
The River Oaks favorite’s brunch menu offers a diverse mix of dishes including tenderloin kebabs, gazpacho, smoked salmon benedict, and lemon ricotta pancakes. Sandwich options include the River Oaks Club and a burger topped with bacon and pimento cheese.

Hibachi Bros
The Third Ward food truck is offering a free shrimp or chicken burrito with the purchase of an entree. Options include filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, chicken, and more served with fried rice and grilled vegetables.

As has become a tradition on major holidays, Agricole Hospitality’s Texas-inspired restaurant in EaDo will serve a buffet-style menu that’s brought to people at their tables. The extensive offerings include shrimp cocktail, chicken and pistachio meatballs, watermelon salad, pancakes, tomato and spinach quiche, beef tenderloin, cedar plank salmon, and desserts. It’s priced at $65 per adult and $25 for kids aged 3-12.

J Bar M Barbecue
The EaDo restaurant recently introduced weekend brunch that includes dishes such as a smoked turkey salad and pulled pork benedict. They’re paired with drinks such as mimosas, sangria, and Bloody Marys. Moms will received a complimentary glass of bubbles and a rose.

Loch Bar
River Oaks District’s East Coast-style seafood tavern will celebrate Mother’s Day with new dishes such as a prosciutto benedict for brunch and a duck with pistachio mole and fresh figs for dinner.

As a preview of its future Sunday service, the East End Italian restaurant will serve a four-course, family-style menu. Priced at $65 per person, it includes an arugula salad, lemon risotto, roasted pork loin marsala with Brussels sprouts and polenta, and tiramisu.

Chef Mayank Istwal has created a six-course menu inspired by moms. Priced at $95 for lunch or $125 for dinner, it has both an omnivore and a vegetarian option.

The Menu:

  • Joy: Aaamras shots, compressed puri, mango pate de fruit, aampapad
  • Love: Aloo googni chaat, tamarind water, sev
  • Fear: Choice of lobster polichettu or paneer and mushroom polichettu
  • Grace: Truffle malai tikka, spiced onion rings, daikon
  • Strength: Choice of lamb kofta or Malai kofta
  • Guilt: Baked walnut sheera, saffron mawa crème, lonavala chikki

Both locations of this Italian restaurant from the owners of The Union Kitchen will supplement their regular menus with selections such as the Rose Timbale, spinach and ricotta cheese baked in lasagna sheets to resemble a bouquet of flowers, and the family-style Taste of Italy platter that comes with spaghetti and meatballs, shrimp scampi, and chicken alfredo. Wine specials and a range of desserts round out the experience.

Spoil mom at Ben Berg's decadent, Galleria-area supper club. The restaurant's "Ultimate Mother's Day Brunch" consists of a three-course, $250 per person menu that starts with caviar before moving on to one of four starters — including duck confit salad and lobster stracciatella — a choice of entree such as branzino, king crab benedict, and braised short rib, and choice of dessert. Each diner will also receive a glass of Champagne, Kir Royale, mimosa, or bellini. Live music will be featured at both seatings, 11 am and 2 pm.

Executive pastry chef Ariana Quant and her team have prepared a Mother’s Day Sweet Box that’s available for pick up. Priced at $80, it includes six entremet-style desserts — Paris brest with apricot, almond, and creme fraiche; Milk chocolate bar with blueberry and hazelnuts; Coconut mango bar with frangipane, coconut mousse, and mango compote; Flourless chocolate cake with cream cheese and dark chocolate mousse; Tonka bean bar with raspberry and pistachio; and a Cashew, coffee, and caramel bar. Only 50 boxes are available for pickup either May 13 or 14.

Wild Oats
Underbelly Hospitality’s family-friendly, Texas comfort food restaurant will serve specials such as tuna tostada, roasted beet salad, smoked salmon benedict, and smoked prime rib. Staples such as chicken fried steak and Haven-style shrimp corn dogs will also be available.

Turner's king crab benedict

Photo by Jenn Duncan

Splurge on a King Crab Benedict at Turner's.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

3 extra-special Mother's Day gift ideas from the Houston SPCA

Paw-fect Presents

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re wondering what to get your mother or the special woman in your life, the Houston SPCA has a few thoughtful (and philanthropic) gift ideas.

1. Name an orphaned kitten
Honor Mom by naming a kitten in the life-saving neonatal nursery. For only $30, she will receive a photo of the kitten with the personalized nursery card posted on their incubator.

When kitten season comes to an end in June, Mom will receive her second gift: a physical copy of the nursery card in the mail along with the kitten’s adorable pawprints. To guarantee delivery, donate before 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 11.

2. Expand the family with 50% off VIP pets
Celebrate Mom or become a pet mom yourself to experience the unconditional love of a homeless pet. Adopt a VIP (Very Important Pup) for half of their normal adoption fee, which includes a microchip, spay or neuter surgery, up-to-date vaccinations, free sample bag of Hill’s Science Diet pet food, and a post-exam from any VCA Animal Hospital.

Visit the Houston SPCA now through May 14 and look for the VIP logo on the animals' suites.

3. Honor Mom’s beloved pet
Another way to honor Mom is with a memory stone engraved with a custom, heartfelt dedication for her beloved pet. The stones will be featured in the beautiful Carol & Tommy Harper Courtyard with a serenity fountain that is located on the Houston SPCA’s William and Evelyn Griffin Campus for All Animals.

The personalized stones come in a variety of sizes, and donations for the custom stones are $500 or $1,000. Moms will receive a copy of what their stone will look like in time for Mother’s Day. To guarantee delivery, donate before 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 11.

Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe

Mom’s the word at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Conroe this May

A Toast to Moms

If you want to gift any special mamas in your life with something a little zippier than flowers this Mother’s Day, there’s a lakeside paradise right around the corner with every mom’s name written all over it.

For Mother’s Day weekend, Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe is showering moms with love through three special experiences, including the ultimate brunch, a beautiful spa day, and a get-away-from-it-all weekend staycay.

For the moms who love a good menu
There’s an endless array of indulgences at Margaritaville’s Mother’s Day Brunch — the Texas-sized French toast with whiskey-infused syrup and blueberry compote, brisket Benedict with chipotle hollandaise, and roasted tomato and feta frittatas are only just the beginning.

Don’t sleep on carving stations with tenderloin, smoked pork, and roast chicken, not to mention all the charcuterie, veggie sides, and freshly baked sweet and savory pastries you can handle. Naturally, there’s a Bloody Mary, mimosa, and bellini bar, too.

View the full menu here, and leave plenty of room on Sunday, May 14, from 10:30 am-3:30 pm for this brunch.

For the moms who love a massage
At the St. Somewhere Spa, the resort’s 18,000-square-foot wellness retreat, mom can have some much-needed rest and rejuvenation — with special pricing for three mom-perfect packages.

The Mommy “Me Time” Spa Package includes a 25-minute neck, back, and shoulder massage and a 25-minute express facial.

The Super Mom Spa Package delivers a 50-minute signature massage and a 50-minute South Beach Anti-Aging Facial.

And the Sweet Mama Spa Package features a 50-minute Milk & Honey body scrub and a 50-minute Sunny Beach Bright Skin Facial. Plus, each package comes with a rose and a glass of champagne.

For the moms who love a staycay
With that decadent brunch already on the menu, you might as well make a weekend out of it at Margaritaville. Grab the License to Chill Overnight Spa Package for a getaway for mom.

In addition to overnight accommodations in a suite that boasts a private furnished balcony or patio, you’ll get two complimentary cocktails from the License to Chill Bar and a $125 spa credit per night of your stay.


Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe is located at 600 Margaritaville Pkwy. in Montgomery, just an hour from Houston. Learn more and plan the perfect Mother’s Day here.

Mom brunch pancakes

Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe

You won't want to miss the Mother's Day brunch.

Photo courtesy of The Post Oak Hotel

Celebrate chic moms at The Post Oak Hotel's Parisian Mother's Day brunch

Cheers to Mom

Show the mothers in your life how much you j'adore them with a Springtime in Paris Mother's Day Brunch at The Post Oak Hotel.

On Sunday, May 14, step into Houston's version of Rue Cler, Paris' renowned market street of charming cafes, pastry shops, and retail boutiques.

It helps that the hotel's award-winning executive chef, Jean Luc Royere, is originally from France. His menu is the backdrop for this unique Mother's Day experience that's happening on the hotel's mezzanine level.

On this Parisian food tour, enjoy bites from the butcher shop, or boucherie, offering delights like carved domestic lamb with tarragon beluga lentils and slow-cooked filet mignon with corn and sauce vierge.

The poissonerie is the ultimate destination for fresh fish, offering smoked salmon tartar as well as roasted Alaskan salmon with warm tomato-garbanzo salad and jerez vinaigrette.

The culinary journey continues with fresh-rolled sushi and nigiri at the sushi bar, shucked oysters with caviar at the brasserie, and a wide assortment of local and imported cheeses at the fromagerie alongside a variety of cured meats and sausages at the nearby charcuterie.

In true brunch fashion, traditional breakfast will also be offered and includes an omelet station, assorted individual breakfast quiches, and a sourdough pain perdu bar.

The hotel’s exceptional executive pastry chef Oralia Perez will spoil all at the boulangerie filled with decadent housemade breakfast pastries and breads.

Don’t forget to save room for dessert — Perez’s patisserie is filled with delicate yet refined miniature desserts and macarons, and the creperiewill provide delicious sweet crepes made a la minute.

Beverage options include classics such as freshly squeezed mimosas and traditional Bellinis as well as a champagne Bubble Bar created by the hotel’s esteemed mixologist Judith Piotrowski and inspired by a variety of French fragrances.

Favorites will surely include the Mademoiselle, made with infused Martini and Rossi Fiero, pink bubbles, and vanilla cedar aromatics, as well as the Je T’adore, which blends elderflower and cassis with bubbles and rose water aromatics.

Of course, guests will also have access to the hotel’s incredible Grand Award-winning Cellar at The Post Oak to treat Mom to that rare vintage or treasured bottle.

The celebratory brunch will also offer a Toy Boutique for kids to enjoy fun games and activities, face painting, a balloon artist, and a candy bar while adults can get their shopping fix from 29 North’s on-property retail boutique.

Before departure, family photos to commemorate this special day will be available in front of a floral wall, while mothers will receive lavender bouquets and piped floral “spring garden” cupcakes to take home.

The Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch will take place from 10 am-4 pm on Sunday, May 14, in the Post Oak Ballroom.

Adult tickets are $160 per person, inclusive of non-alcoholic beverages and one welcome drink from the Parfum Bubble Bar. Children ages 5-12 are $68 per person, while children under five are complimentary.

Reservations are required and should be made through The Post Oak Hotel’s website. For more information or to book a Mother’s Day celebration of 11 or more, please contact 346-227-5041.

Mother's Day brunch

Photo courtesy of The Post Oak Hotel

Travel to Paris for this Mother's Day brunch.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Houston Hot Girl Megan Thee Stallion seizes the awkward with mental health campaign

hot take

We all know Megan Thee Stallion is the baddest you-know-what of them all. She can share the stage with a fellow Houston queen (and still get choked up about it), make an ex-porn star quote her lyrics on social media, and even play a cartoon version of herself on a Netflix show.

But America’s favorite Hot Girl Coach also wants you and your friends to take care of each other mentally.

She recently joined the Seize the Awkward campaign to encourage young adults to reach out to their “strong” friends in a new PSA. In the video, Megan gets real about the pressures to be strong and the importance of peer-to-peer support. “No matter who you are,” she says in the video, “being vulnerable is what makes us whole.”

Seize the Awkward is a national campaign (first launched in 2018) that encourages young adults to start the conversation with friends about mental health. The campaign was developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Jed Foundation in collaboration with the Ad Council.

With 76 percent of young adults turning to a peer for support in a time of crisis, how can more young adults join Megan and Seize the Awkward to get the conversation started?.

As Megan says in the PSA, you can visit SeizeTheAwkward.org and Megan’s website BadBitchesHaveBadDaysToo.com for more resources to check in on a friend. You can also follow @SeizeTheAwkward on Instagram.

Score free Shake Shack for one day only at juicy collab with charming Rice Village jeweler


Popular ear piercing barStuds made a name for itself by offering a customized piercing experience for those who aged out of places like Claire's but wanted an alternative to a tattoo parlor for piercings. With 19 locations nationwide, Studs offers a wide assortment of earrings that range from classic shapes, to huggies, flatbacks, and dangling charms.

Studs has once again added to their earring selection with their latest collaboration with Shake Shack. They created an adorably beefy earring to add to any burger lover's Earscape.

Studs and Shake Shack created a limited-edition Burger huggie earring and Earscape set. Photo by Studs

Retailing for $32, the limited edition Shake Shack burger huggie comes as a 14K gold-plated hoop with a loaded hamburger charm. Shoppers can opt for the $64 pair, but Studs is also currently offering a discount on the Shake Shack x Studs set. For $78, earring enthusiasts can get the two Shake Shack burger huggies, the 14K-gold Smiley Stud and the 14K-gold Micro CZ Stud.

What's even better than cute earrings? Free Shake Shack! On Thursday, September 28th customers can enjoy free bites from Shake Shack while they shop the new Shake Shack Charm Huggie collection at Stud's Rice Village location.

For $78, earring enthusiasts can get the two Shake Shack burger huggies, the 14K-gold Smiley Stud and the 14K-gold Micro CZ Stud.Photo by Studs

Shake Shack is known for their always made-to-order fare including ShackBurger, crinkle-cut fries, hand-spun shakes and their new Veggie Burger and non-dairy offerings.

Interested shoppers can RSVP here.

Studs Rice Village, 2567 Amherst St.; (832) 981-2869. RSVP here.

Pink-powered Barbie merch truck cruises into Houston on 'Dreamhouse Living Tour'

This Barbie Sells Merch

Hot on the heels — or wheels — of the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck comes another timely pink rolling shop for two Saturdays in October.

The Barbie Truck will stop in Friendswood and The Woodlands on its 2023 "Dreamhouse Living Tour," which celebrates the 60th anniversary of Barbie's ever more popular property, and will give visitors a chance to spice up their own homes.

Although this is all about the house, there are only a few homewares: things like coasters, glass tumblers, a glass mug, a throw blanket, and an "accessories cup." Visiting Barbies have more opportunities to take home wearable and on-the-go items like graphic tees, hoodies, and denim; a baseball cap; embroidered patches; and keychains.

Barbie Truck Dreamhouse Living TourIt's a Barbie world in Houston.Photo courtesy of the Barbie Truck Dreamhouse Living Tour

Most people who have been awake and on social media in the past year have learned that Barbie's Dreamhouse has a more empowering history than many girls realized while orchestrating drama between the dolls.

A release announcing the arrival of the truck reminds fans (and detractors) that when the Dreamhouse came out, only a tenth of a percent of young women were independent homeowners, and states that someone buys a Dreamhouse every minute.

This year's Barbie truck tour should be in very high demand following the success of the 2023 movie.

Barbie Truck Dreamhouse Living Tour

Photo courtesy of the Barbie Truck Dreamhouse Living Tour

Dreamhouse aside, this is a dream ride.

The Barbie Truck will be in Friendswood on Saturday, October 21st, from 10 am to 7 pm at Baybrook Mall at the lawn near Gloria's. Arrive early in case of long lines.

The truck will then cruise to The Woodlands on Saturday, October 28th at The Woodlands Mall near Shake Shack from 10 am to 7 pm.

These Barbies will hit five other Texas cities on the tour:

  • September 30 – San Antonio
  • October 7 — Austin
  • October 14 — Laredo
  • November 4 — Plano (Dallas)
  • November 11 — Fort Worth

Follow along to see more stops on Instagram or Facebook.