Enjoy the Holidays With Dishes & Drinks From Pearland Restaurants & Breweries – Updated 12/29/21
The holidays are (still) here! Keep things simple and letting someone else create festive meals and drinks (perhaps the best gift of all!). Whether you are hosting family from out of town, meeting up with college pals on break, organizing an office shindig or simply enjoying some time off with friends, these Pearland eateries can take the edge off and allow you to enjoy the fun too.
Whatever your plans, be sure to include a visit to the Pearland Festival of Lights, a collaboration between Second Baptist Church – South Campus and Pearland Parks and Recreation. The special holiday event is free to attend, and includes assorted “lands” depicted by joyful lights. It is open daily from 6 to 10 p.m. through January 2, 2022. Visit the event page for more information.
BAKFISH Brewing Co., 1231 Broadway: Year-round, beer, specialty coffees and gourmet sandwiches are just three of the perks diners will discover at this well-established craft brewery. The rotating and seasonal draft list is ideal for Texas refreshments and features quirky names such as Defying Gravity double IPA, Paleican pale ale, ¡Mas Lucha! Mexican Amber Lager and a passionfruit guava hard seltzer called Swim Shady. Order one of eight deli sandwiches such as spicy turkey, bacon grilled cheese, Reuben and the vegetarian-friendly Caprese, or watch for a visiting food truck.
Bakfish Brewing is open New Year’s Eve from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed New Year’s Day.
Big Horn BBQ, 2200 Smith Ranch Road: This family-operated, casual barbecue operation has something for everyone — including a fuel station and gift shop in addition to the restaurant. Menu highlights include burgers, such as the most popular Smoked Brisket Burger — a thick, charbroiled patty topped with saucy smoked brisket, onions and pickles, or the Bacon Cheeseburger with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, bacon and cheese. Barbecue plates and sandwiches are essentials, too. Choose from seven, one-meat plates such as Brisket or Pulled Pork or two Combo Plates with a choice of two or three meats, two sides and bread. There are nine sandwiches with fillings such as Pulled Pork, Turkey and Fried Chicken, plus loaded baked potatoes, salads and 15 different sides. Stick-to-your-ribs fare include Country Cooking dishes such as Chicken Fried Steak. Finish with one of six desserts such as Banana Pudding, Peach Cobbler and Pecan Pie. Visit on Fridays and Saturdays for live music from 6 to 9 p.m.
Dining at home? Big Horn offers custom menus for off-site catering with delivery and full service options. There are holiday to-go meals, too!
Big Horn BBQ is open regular hours New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Good Vibes Burgers and Brews, 1329 East Broadway: Big groups with big appetites are no match for the generously sized, chef-driven menu at this cool-and-casual, beach-themed spot. Burger patty options include Angus brisket blend made from midwest and Texas beef by Stone Cold Meats in League City, and locally sourced Wagyu from R-C Ranch in Angleton and the Impossible plant-based patty. Regardless of the protein, all burgers include a brioche bun baked by Cake & Bacon in Houston.
Choose from 10 types of burgers such as the South Coast with applewood-smoked pepper bacon, roasted green chili, pepper jack cheese and roasted garlic aioli, and The Kraken, a freshly cracked pepper-crusted burger topped with sautéed sweet onions, mushrooms cooked in garlic, shallots and white wine, Muenster cheese and peppercorn-cognac sauce. Traditional burgers are available, too, such as the Good Vibes Classic American Burger is a half-pound patty with American cheese, butter lettuce, vine-ripe tomatoes, Texas sweet onion and dill pickles, plus chicken and turkey selections. Vegetarians can order the fried portobello burger and customize it with cheeses such as blue, smoked gruyere and white cheddar. All sandwiches come with a choice of classic, Cajun or sweet potato fries.
For weekend meals, consider the Sunday brunch dishes served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The eye-opening goods include Beachin’ Deviled Eggs, Truffled Avocado Toast, Cinnamon Roll French Toast and Crab Cake Benedict.
When you visit, check out the new Coastal Kitchen-style menu, which features more seafood, plus creative craft cocktails. In addition, for those who prefer to dine outside, the heated patio provides warm, beach-like comfort, even when weather dips to less than tropical temps.
Good Vibes is open regular hours 11 a.m. until midnight (or later) New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, 3005 Kirby and 2202 East Broadway: Tuck into classically satisfying Tex-Mex dishes at this casual, family-friendly concept. Pass around an assortment of essential snacks such as Queso Loco with ground beef, guacamole and sour cream or guacamole salad before moving on to heartier fare. Fan favorite entrées include the Pollo Marisco, which is a creamy composition of Gulf shrimp and crawfish tails sautéed in a white white sauce served over grilled chicken breast and finished with cucumber relish, and the Plato Soldado combination plate with steak fajita taco al carbon, cheese enchilada and pork tamale with queso, guacamole and pico de gallo. For each Plato Soldado sold, Gringo’s donates $2 to non-profit Camp Hope, which supports veterans in crisis.
There are plenty of enchiladas, salads and fajitas, too. Can’t decide? Try the Border Sampler that comes with chicken quesadillas, southwest eggrolls, taquitos and steak nachos. Add your choice of six sauces for extra flavor such as the ranch-based Amazon spiked with cilantro, peppers, garlic and spices, poblano cream that combines sour cream with mild roasted poblano peppers or chili con carne.
Top it all off with one of 13 margaritas, seven specialty cocktails, 15 beers and assorted wines. Call the Gringo’s closest to you to discuss your to-go or catering needs, and all locations also offer online ordering.
Gringo is open at both the above locations 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and closed on New Year’s Day.
Jimmy Changas, 3515 Business Center Drive: The fun-loving Tex-Mex fare includes the shareable Chango Platter loaded with taquitos, Donkey Wings, Tex-Mex eggrolls and Gorilla Peppers; stuffed jalapeños filled with cheese, pulled pork and barbecue sauce. There are plenty of entrée choices, too, including combination plates, seafood specials, fajitas, tacos and quesadillas. Festive spirits include “Wild Margaritas,” like the Prickly ‘Rita with Western Son Prickly Pear Vodka or the frozen Triple Threat Margarita with raspberry, peach and amaretto meltdowns. Cocktails, beer and wine round out the offerings.
The patio has a playground, which is perfect for little ones needing to let off some steam while waiting on food to arrive. There is also a special menu of gluten-free dishes, making dinner plans for those with food sensitivities a breeze!
Jimmy Changas is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and closed on New Year’s Day.
Vallensons’ Brewing Company, 4081 Rice Drier Road: At any given time, there are 15 to 20 different beers on tap, from heavy porters to lighter brews. Currently, seasonal selections abound, such as Christmas Ale, Black Currant Sour, Vallensons Peppermint Stout, Apple Wassail Sour and Happy HoliHaze. There is even Li’l Vik’n Root Beer for those abstaining from alcohol. Enjoy Vallensons’ beers in the backyard or patio, or order 32-ounce crowlers and growlers to go (the latter would make nice gifts too). The goods are inspired by owner Valle’s travels while in the military, as well as his Estonian roots. Out-of-towners can connect with a bit of Pearland history via the flagship brews such as The Advocate Amber Ale that is a nod to Pearland’s first newspaper.
There’s food to enjoy, too. The brewery partners with food truck such as Texasiana, which sells a rotating menu of fried and blackened fish, chicken, sandwiches and more. It is open during the same hours as the brewery. Check the Vallensons’ Brewing website and social media for what’s on tap, including tours, special events and more.
Enjoy being outdoors? When the weather is temperate, enjoy ample patio space and the grassy beer garden. Bring your own chairs and blankets, or snag tables in a variety of sizes.
Vallensons is open New Year’s Eve 4 to 8 p.m. with drink in and drink to go and closed New Year’s Day. It is open January 2 from 1 to 6 p.m. There will be no food truck on NYE or New Year’s Day, but you can bring your own food.
Grazia Italian Kitchen, 9415 Broadway: Texas meets Italy at this award-winning, family owned and operated mainstay in the heart of Pearland. Guests adore the cozy, homey atmosphere, and the patio is great for those seeking an al fresco experience. Must-try starters include fusion fare such as Wagyu Meatballs with spicy marinara, whipped ricotta and fried basil leaf, Lasagna Eggrolls and Grilled Wagyu Steak Salad. The wood-fired pizzas are crowd-pleasers — grab a few to mix and match — with toppings such as The “Dansby” with mozzarella, ricotta, Italian sausage, pork shoulder bacon, red onions, tomatoes, basil, red pepper, balsamic and extra-virgin olive oil, and Adrian’s Art (named after owner Adrian Hembree) made with two kinds of cheeses and four meats. Fans of hearty entrées can choose from an assortment of pastas, steaks and seafood.
The aforementioned patio seats 50 and is outfitted with both small and large dining tables. It is dog-friendly too. (Leashes, please). Visit every third Thursday for live music. Reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends. Call (832) 230-8873, or go online for more information.
Grazia is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and closed on New Year’s Day.
Killen’s Steakhouse, 6425 West Broadway: Celebrate with a festive soiree in one of the swankiest locales in Pearland, and enjoy excellent service alongside impeccable steaks, Gulf Coast seafood, cocktails and wines. Executive chef Ronnie Killen opened the original Killen’s Steakhouse in 2006 and continues to provide a destination-worthy experience for occasions of all kinds. (Please note that, at minimum, business casual attire is requested.) The patio is available for group dining, too, and has space heaters to keep guests toasty.
Menu highlights include Jumbo Lump Crabcake with lemon butter and jumbo shrimp and Pistachio Crusted Duroc Pork Chop with labneh and pomegranate molasses. Naturally, steak is well-represented with selections for wet- and dry-aged, along with three types of Wagyu: domestic, Japanese A5 Wagyu from the Kagoshima Prefecture and W. Black Australian Wagyu. Try a bit of everything with the New York Strip Flight that includes four ounces each of wet-aged USDA prime, W. Black Australian Wagyu, Snake River Farm Wagyu and Japanese A5 Wagyu. Sides are no afterthought here, with heaping portions of 13 scratchmade options such as Broccoli & Cheese Risotto, Grilled Jumbo Asparagus, Creamed Corn and Macaroni & Cheese.
You can also check out the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau dining website and social media for the latest updates. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There is even a YouTube channel with videos that take you right to the people and places that make Pearland a great food and drink destination!
Killen’s Steakhouse is open 4 to 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and closed on New Year’s Day.