Photo courtesy of City of Houston Mayor's Office

As Houston prepares to celebrate the Astros this weekend at FanFest, Mayor Sylvester Turner is collecting on a friendly World Series wager with his Philadelphia counterpart.

Turner cashed in on his bet with Philly's Mayor Jim Kenney at the United States Conference of Mayors 91st Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, January 19. Fans may recall that Turner placed the wager on October 28, betting that his Astros would best the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. (They did so on Game 6 in a 4-1 victory.)

Here's what he offered:

Kenney, who lost, had to pony up two-four packs of beer (brewed in Philly) plus a $500 donation to Houston's Kids Meals. The beer, produced by Philadelphia company Triple Bottom Brewing, is woman-owned company, powered by renewable energy, and hires workers in need of second-chance employment.

Turner, for his part, says Triple Bottom Brewing's values especially align with his and posed for pics with Kenney.

"The City of Houston and baseball fans will never get tired of celebrating the Houston Astros and the 2022 World Series Championship," Turner said in a statement after the meeting. "I am grateful to Mayor Kenney for following through on our friendly wager and especially for donating to a Houston-based organization with a mission to end childhood hunger."

Photo by Michael Anthony

Best Houston Astros restaurant and bar specials to cheer on a World Series win

World Series dining deals

After an epic, 7-0 run through the American League, the Houston Astros are ready to take on the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. The Astros are heavy favorites, but fans know that the team's previous encounters with NL East teams didn't go so well for the good guys.

Still, with probable AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander ready to go in Game 1 and baseball's best bullpen, fans have reason to believe they’ll be root, root, rooting for the home team all the way through a downtown parade.

With that in mind, we've rounded up a number of Houston-area bars and restaurants offering game day specials that are good for pre-game, during the game, post-game, and even the day after. Put on that Peña or Altuve jersey and cheer the team to another championship.

Roots wine bar food spread

Photo by Michael Anthony

Fans in Astros gear get 20 percent off at Roots.

7 Pie
The newly opened pizza chain will sell diners a 12-inch pepperoni pizza for $5 after every Astros win (limit one per customer). Those looking to feed a crowd can get a $77 tailgate pack that includes four pepperoni pizzas, 16 jumbo chicken wings, 12 chicken tenders, a family-size order of fries, and a half-gallon of freshly brewed iced tea.

Acme Oyster House
The Montrose location of this Louisiana favorite will feature $15 buckets of beer (six bottles or cans) during Astros playoff games. Customers can also take advantage of happy hour (2-6 pm Monday-Friday), which includes $1 raw Gulf Coast oysters, $1 off drafts, $2 off glasses of wine, and $3 off frozens.

Angel Share
The downtown bar opens at noon on game days. Located five blocks from the stadium, it will feature $5 drafts as well as half-off wine and half-off draft and frozen cocktails.

The Midtown patio bar is serving its Astros-themed YorBomb — a blue and orange frozen drink that's half mango daiquiri and half Blue Hawaiian. It's $7 for 9-ounces or $12 for 16-ounces.

Be More Pacific
This lively Filipino spot in the Heights will take 10-percent off the bills of patrons who both wear Astros gear and sit at the bar. In addition, they’ll offer $3 drafts and $1 off Filipino beers.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
The whiskey-fueled restaurant and bar will sell $5 cans of Crawford Bock and $12 glasses of its Clutch City Cooler rum punch. Food specials include a brisket-topped hot dog, nachos with bourbon-teriyaki sauce, and a smash burger.

Bovine & Barley
The downtown sports bar will offer $4s select beers, $5 bar bites, and take 10-percent off the tabs of people wearing Astros gear.

Brasserie du Parc
Located near Discovery Green, the French restaurant has a number of game day specials. That starts with a bar bites menu offering dishes such as $2 raw or baked oysters, $12 fish and chips, $10 fried shrimp, and an 8-ounce wagyu burger with fries for $10. Drink specials include $5 select beers, $7 glasses of house red or white wine, and $9 select cocktails.

The Burger Joint
All three locations of the popular burger restaurant will provide dine-in customers with free milkshakes every time an Astros player hits a home run.

Hugo Ortega's Galleria-area seafood restaurant will give patrons in Astros gear a free happy hour margarita with the purchase of an entree.

The Montrose Tex-Mex restaurant will offer happy hour pricing during World Series games. That means $6 house margaritas, palomas, well drinks, sangria, and wines by-the-glass.

Craft Pita
Buy two get one free dip at this Briargrove restaurant. Choices include hummus, spicy hummus, labneh, and babaganoush.

Ducky McShweeney’s Irish Pub
The Galleria-area bar and restaurant will offer specials that include a bucket of beer and cheese pizza for $25 as well as Astros-themed frozen cocktails.

Eight Row Flint
Agricole Hospitality’s casual bar will feature $5 game day nachos and hot dogs. Pair it with the Astros Thriller, a bucket of Karbach Crawford Bach and shots.

El Big Bad
Head to this margarita bar near Market Square for a Gameday Dog: a smoked sausage link topped with chopped fries, caramelized onions, and burger sauce ($4.50). As the restaurant advises, diners may want a fork.

Feges BBQ
The Spring Branch location has a number of specials, including $12 smoked meatballs, 10 wings for $15, 1-pound of rib tips for $10, $10 chopped brisket or pulled pork sandwiches, $10 half hog platter, and $8 Frito pie. Pair it with $3 select beers, and half-off select wines by-the-glass, and discounts on frozen margaritas.

GJ Tavern
Those looking to celebrate after an Astros home win can head to this downtown restaurant for happy hour pricing from 9 pm until close. And yes, it will stay open late for the games.

Heights & Co.
Enjoy $5 drafts and $10 burgers while watching the game on a 20-foot projector screen at this Heights patio bar.

Henderson Heights
Get $2 corn dogs during Astros games at this Washington Avenue spot that has 22 TVs. Diners will also find rotating drinks specials.

J-Bar-M Barbecue
The EaDo barbecue joint is offering eight smoked wings with a Lone Star beer for $15. Watch the game on one of the restaurant’s 13 TVs.

Kenny & Ziggy's
Get $5 hot dogs and $4 draft beers at the restaurant's Spritzer Bar. Those who are going to the games can pick up a bag lunch with a 6-ounce sandwich, bag of chips, mini black and white cookie, and bottle of water for $17.95.

Kin Dee
Customers who watch the game at the restaurant's bar will get $3 Thai beers during Astros games.

KP’s Kitchen
The Memorial-area favorite is offering 20-percent off its family pack to-go meals when customers say the word Astros when order. Choices include chicken tenders, baby back ribs, and burgers.

La Calle Tacos & Tortas

The Mexico City-inspired taqueria will host a special watch party for Game 4 of the World Series at their Midtown location (401 Gray Street). Prior to watching the game on a 6x8-foot screen, the restaurant will host a taco eating contest at 5:30 pm.

Lyric Market
Downtown's newest food hall is offering all-day happy hour pricing during World Series game days, which includes $5 drafts, $6 house wines, and $8 cocktails from the venue's Rhapsody Bar. In addition, those who spend $35 or more at the food hall can park in its adjacent garage for free on game days.

Monkey’s Tail
Get $12 Tecate Lite buckets at this bar in Lindale Park. In addition, sample a frozen Orange for $6 during happy hour.

New York Deli and New York Eatery
Both locations of this Jewish deli and restaurant will serve half-off hot dogs throughout the series. The restaurants' companion bagel shop will sell orange and blue Astros bagels.

Pitch 25
Located near the stadium, the soccer-themed bar is a good place to watch the games. Look for drinks specials such as the Space City margarita and the Orbit, an orange piña colada.

Ribeye & Rye
Get a free shot or mocktail every time the Astros score.

The Montrose restaurant will honor Lance McCullers, Jr. with its $7 LMJ shandy. In addition, look for special ballpark-themed bites (hot dogs, etc.) during happy hour (Monday-Friday, 5-6:30 pm).

Customers wearing Astros gear will get 20-percent off their food and drinks at this EaDo wine bar and restaurant.

Second Draught
The craft beer bar in The Ion will take $2 off a different "beer of the day" for each World Series game. Watch the game on the bar's TVs.

State Fare
All three locations of the comfort food restaurant will offer happy hour pricing during World Series games. Those watching at home may order a party box loaded with enough Frito pie, pickle dip, and guacamole to feed four to six people ($45).

Sticky’s Chicken
The Sawyer Yards favorite will celebrate every Astros win by giving customers two free wings over rice.

Stomping Grounds
Garden Oaks residents can gather on the green space of this development for World Series watch parties. The development's restaurants — Cherry Block Smokehouse, Rooster & Rice, Fat Cat Creamery, and Little Dreamer Coffee — will be offering different food and drink specials each night.

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen
Both locations of the popular Mexican restaurant will offer Astroritas and beef and chicken fajitas nachos for $9 during the games.

Tobiuo Sushi & Bar
Customers wearing Astros gear get half-off yakitori skewers and $2 glasses of hot sake (wagyu excluded).

The Bunker Hill location will reduce the price of a Crawford Bock by $1 for each Astros win. They start at $4.

Underground Hall
The downtown food hall is serving $4 Crawford Bocks all day on game day.

The Upside Pub
Newly opened in Garden Oaks, this casual bar will feature $12 pitchers and free shots of beer for every home run. Food specials include a bacon-wrapped hot dog that’s topped with queso.

In honor of the Astros, Hugo Ortega's street food restaurant in Uptown Park will sell blue and orange conchas. Quantities are limited, so ordering ahead is encouraged.

Voodoo Doughnut
All three locations will offer an Astros-themed sprinkle cake for just 25-cents on game days.

Wild Oats
The Texas-inspired restaurant at the Houston Farmers Market will serve $3 Lone Stars during World Series games.

William Price Distilling
During any playoff game, get $5 beer, $5 house shot, and $9 frozen cocktails at this distillery in Garden Oaks-Oak Forest.

Winfield's Chocolate Bar
Upper Kirby's new chocolate shop will give away one scoop of ice cream or one chocolate-covered Oreo per customer after every Astros win.

Located next to Discovery Green, Hugo Ortega’s Oaxacan restaurant offers a $22 Tlayuda de Res (a large, thin Oaxacan tortilla topped with black beans, housemade quesillo, grilled skirt steak, chichilo mole and fresh greens) and choice of draft beer for $22 plus tax and gratuity.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Charming Houston town's top rank in nation for families leads week's hottest headlines

this week's hot headlines

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

1. Charming Houston community named No. 12 most family-friendly U.S. city. The "Family-Friendly Cities" list focuses on local communities that offer plenty of recreational outdoor activities.

2. Houston's favorite outdoor concert venue ranks No. 1 in the world in new list. The venue had more million-dollar box office grosses this year than ever.

3. Where to eat in Houston right now: 9 best new restaurants proving our pizza town cred. The new arrivals enhance Houston's dynamic pizza scene.

4.Beyoncé reigns supreme with Megan Thee Stallion cameo in jaw-dropping Houston Renaissance Tour opening night. Our review recaps Beyoncé's breathtaking homecoming celebration, from jaw-dropping visuals, to Megan's surprise appearance.

5.Countdown to Beyoncé: Parking, closures, rideshares, and more for NRG Stadium. We mapped all the ways to get to NRG Stadium for last weekend's epic shows.

Rock icon Bono's daughter makes her own sweet music in Flora and Son

in bloom

The new Apple TV+ film Flora and Son centers on a single mother and her teenage son, a situation that typically calls for an uplifting story about the mother’s struggles trying to support the two of them, and the bond that develops between them as go through the troubles together. While that element exists somewhat here, it goes down a much different path that’s both saltier and equally as rewarding.

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son

Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son.

Set in Dublin, Ireland, the film follows Flora (Eve Hewson), a single mom to Max (Oren Kinlan), who gets in a fair bit of trouble. She shares custody with her ex, Ian (Jack Reynor), and their antagonistic relationship, along with Max being a teenager, likely has an effect on how Flora and Max get along. A typical interchange between mother and son has them calling each other all sorts of bad names, although there rarely seems to be any true animosity behind their arguments.

When a guitar Flora refurbishes for Max goes unappreciated, she instead starts taking online lessons herself with an American named Jeff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). She’s no less brash with him, but her sincere interest in learning how to play and in finding out more about Jeff’s music opens a new door for Flora. Soon, a discovery that Max is making music of his own on his laptop helps them communicate better than they have in a long time.

Flora & Son is the latest music-focused film from writer/director John Carney (Once, Sing Street), and he once again finds the sweet spot in telling a personal story enhanced by song. Flora has more than a few rough edges, making her a less-than-ideal protagonist, but the heart of the character shines through precisely because she has no filter. Once music is added to the equation, it become that much easier to see the type of person she is and why you should root for her.

Both Hewson and Gordon-Levitt are charming actors, so they establish a connection through a screen well. Fortunately, though, Carney chooses not to leave it at that, adding a slight fantasy element to some of their scenes by having Flora imagine Jeff in the room with her. A romantic element naturally arises, but it’s the unexpected way in which two lonely souls find each other from across the world that makes them the most interesting.

There are a couple of decent songs that come out of the process of all of the music-making, but nothing that you could truly call an earworm. Instead, it’s the feeling you get seeing the characters interact when they’re sharing music with each other that makes the film sing. Only one character could be classified as a professional musician, with the rest of them making music for the pure joy of it, an emotion Carney translates well in his storytelling.

Hewson (the daughter of U2’s Bono, in case you were unaware) is having a moment after 15 years in the business. She has a boldness that serves her as well in this role as it did in the recent Apple TV+ limited series, Bad Sisters. This is Kinlan’s first major part, and he acquits himself well. Both Gordon-Levitt and Reynor are seasoned actors who know how to make the most of their limited scenes.

The depiction of a mother/child relationship in Flora and Son is atypical, but it still winds up in a great spot thanks to the power of music and some fine performances. Carney’s love for both songs and filmmaking has yielded some memorable movies over the years, this one included.


Flora and Son opens in select theaters and on Apple TV+ on September 29.

Spectacular SPI sandcastles, F1, ACL, and more Texas travel tidbits in October

where to travel right now

Fall is finally here, and with the (hopefully) cooler temps will come the chance to get outside and enjoy autumn activities all around Texas. Can't decide where to take a quick vacation, road trip, or staycation? Here are 11 events, special celebrations, and hotel happenings to help plan a getaway in October.

Along the Gulf Coast

What better way to celebrate the arrival of spooky season than by seeking out haunted ghost experiences in Corpus Christi? The Heritage Park Museum will showcase four reportedly haunted houses, and phantom chasers will delight in visiting the USS Lexington during the "Haunting on the Blue Ghost" event, October 6-31, to glimpse any ghostly crew members lurking about the vessel. The abandoned Nueces County Courthouse also has some ghouls of its own, with reports of voices, noises, and screams being heard following a hurricane that devastated the area more than a century ago.

Summer might be over, but a trip to the beach is always in the cards on South Padre Island. The annual Sandcastle Days falls on October 5-8, drawing the attention of sandcastle-building experts, food and craft vendors, and free family-friendly entertainment. Then, from October 19-21, classic cars and motorcycles rev up the brand new Chrome in the Sand Festival. The weekend will consist of live performances, car shows, a poker tournament, and more. Tickets for the Chrome in the Sand Festival begin at $20 for general admission, $55 for VIP, and $500 for VIP tables.

Around Austin

It's finally festival season down in the Texas Capital, beginning with the iconic Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park for two consecutive weekends from October 6-8 and 13-15. Luckily for Texas travelers, CultureMap's got the scoop on all things ACL – from can't-miss acts, to new eats, and more. One-day general admission tickets begin at $170. Weekend One tickets are waitlisted, but there are still one-day general admission tickets available for Weekend Two. Weekend passes for both weekends are waitlisted.

Following ACL, Austin will race to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas from October 20-22. Red Bull Racing has already won the 2023 Constructors' Championship after its longstanding driver Max Verstappen won the Japanese Grand Prix, and Verstappen is well in the lead to win his third-consecutive World Drivers' Championship title. Three-day general admission wristbands are $475, two-day GA is $425, and three-day parking passes are $275.

F1 racecarRace to Austin for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. Photo courtesy of Circuit of The Americas

In the Hill Country

It's never too late for a day by the pool, and the luxurious Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa has opened reservations for their renovated pool cabanas with a special VIP poolside service and deluxe amenities. The private, two-person Canyons, Preserve, and Oaks Spa Cabanas each include an unlimited mimosa service, shaded seating and chaise lounges, a dedicated server from 11 am-5 pm, and more. Cabana reservations can be made by resort guests or in addition to a spa service, and rates begin at $400.

Nonprofit trade association Texas Hill Country Wineries is bringing back its Texas Wine Month passport this month for a self-guided journey through 45 local wineries with special discounts scattered along the way. With participating estates scattered throughout popular weekend destinations like Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and New Braunfels, it’s a chance to explore the Hill Country and soak in those autumn vibes. Wine passport-holders can visit up to four wineries daily to get the most out of a weekend getaway. Individual passes are $85, and couples' passes are $120.

Speaking of wineries, one Marble Falls-based winery is hosting regular events throughout October, which is perfect for those holding a Texas Wine Month passport. Every Saturday and Sunday, folks can venture out to Flat Creek Estates & Vineyard for their effervescent Bubbles and Brunch from 11 am to 3 pm. And if the trip transforms from a brunch outing into an all-day affair, guests catch live music from local Texas bands during the winery's weekend music series from 2-6 pm. Ernie Vasquez and Evan Grubbs are scheduled the weekend of October 7-8, and Stephen Daly and Andrew Lopez will play on the weekend of October 14-15.

Throughout Texas

If searching for beautiful fall foliage around Texas is at the top of the priority list, cabin rental agency Smoky Mountains' prediction map is the perfect guide to help estimate when the leaves will begin changing throughout the state and the U.S. The map predicts most of Texas will have minimal-to-patchy changing leaves by the end of October, and most of the state's trees will be at their color-changing peak in November.

Dallas-based luxury bus operator Vonlane added 60 new weekly departures to meet anticipated high demand for the fall travel season. There are now more than 430 trips per week departing Vonlane hubs in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Travelers can book their trips online for both one-way or round-trips, with fares beginning at $119.

Two unmistakable cutesy pink trucks are going on tour throughout Texas this month, with stops in several major cities. That's right – the cult craze Hello Kitty Cafe Truck and Barbie Truck are bringing a horde of new branded clothing and accessories to adoring fans in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Houstonians can head to First Colony Mall to say hi to Hello Kitty on October 7, then head to Baybrook Mall in Friendswood to catch the Barbie Truck on October 21. Barbie will stick around to visit The Woodlands Mall on October 28.

In Waco

The annual Magnolia Silobration at The Silos will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Waco-based home design and lifestyle empire from October 19-21. Fixer Upper fans can visit the Silos to enjoy a three-day adventure of local artisan and food vendors, live music performances, shopping, and more. The festival is free, but note that certain ticketed experiences like the 20th anniversary tour, weekend rooftop passes, and Evenings with Chip and Jo are sold out.