Dine, Drink, Party and Donate For Harvey Relief In Houston—Updated
Last updated 9/20/17, 1:53 p.m.
As the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey began to recede, restaurants all over Houston’s vast sprawl cranked into gear, offering meals for first responders, stir-crazy diners and anyone else patient enough to navigate around closed streets.
In the shadow of Houstonians filling out FEMA forms, volunteering their time and donating supplies, some restaurants are stepping their civic engagements up a notch. Driven by owners, chefs and staff that love this city, they’ve rolled out a series of fundraisers to help Harvey victims – and those ideas for helping others are as diverse as the city itself.
Fundraisers That Will Assist Houston’s Hospitality Community
Southern Smoke : As covered in our feature article, the HOUBBQ Collective is redirecting funds from the big, annual party at Underbelly and neighboring businesses to help Houston’s hospitality community. Tickets are onsale now and donations are also accepted via text message.Text SouthernSmoke4Harvey to 243725 to donate. Many nationally famous chefs and pitmasters are serving small bites at the event and there will be plenty of grownup beverages, too. Check out our article for full details.
Houston Hospitality Relief Fund: This fundraiser, aimed to assist employees affected by Hurricane Harvey, was announced on September 15 and should soon be accepting both donations and applications for assistance online. Specifically, it will be “used to assist hospitality and tourism related employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey and who perform services of any nature within the industry including hotels, restaurants, theaters, arenas, stadiums, attractions.” It’s a joint effort of Visit Houston, a division of Houston First, Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston (HLAGH) and Greater Houston Restaurant Association (GHRA).
Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employees Relief Fund: The Louisiana Restaurant Associati on and Ti Martin, co-proprietor of New Orleans’ beloved Commander’s Palace joined forces with the Greater New Orleans Foundation to create the Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employees Relief Fund. It will offer individual grants to hospitality workers in need. The initiative is a return favor, after Houston’s Alex Brennan-Martin of Brennan’s of Houston launched a similar effort for Louisiana hospitality employees following Hurricane Katrina. Donations may be made online.
Anvil Bar and Refuge 1424 Westheimer
Better Luck Tomorrow 544 Yale
Nightingale Room 308 Main
The Pastry War 310 Main
Tongue-Cut Sparrow 310 Main
Bobby Heugel began rallying the cocktail corps on Facebook last week, encouraging bar owners not only in Houston but around the country to come together to help Hurricane Harvey victims. His idea was simple: make Harvey Wallbangers and donate portions of the sales to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s hurricane relief fund. Go to any of Heugel’s bar concepts and order this kicked-up screwdriver combination of orange juice, vodka and Galliano, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the drink will go to the Greater Houston Community Foundation relief fund.
Backstreet Cafe, Caracol, Hugo’s and Xochi: Order a Houston Strong Margarita at any of the restaurants operated by restaurateur Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega and generate a $1 donation to the Houston Food Bank.
Brasserie du Parc, 1440 Lamar and Étoile, 1101-11 Uptown Park: Beverage manager Kimberly Paul has a creative cocktail menu year-round, but has an especially compelling list of fundraiser cocktails this month. Each costs $9 and $2 of that goes to the Greater Houston Community Foundation fund (aka “The Mayor’s Fund”). The three fundraiser drinks are “A Real Hurricane (not a flood)” with Flor de Cana seven-year rum, housemade passion fruit liqueur, Papa Pilar aged rum, lemon juice and a flamed caramelized turbinado sugar cube; Enlightened Bastard (a riff on the suffering) with Monkey Shoulder scotch, Citadelle gin, housemade ginger beer and mint and the inevitable Harvey Wallbanger with Reyka vodka, house made orange spiced syrup, Galliano and mint served on top of a crushed ice ball.
NEW—Camerata at Paulies, 1834 Westheimer: Wine Above Water, a fundraising event on Sunday, September 24 from noon to 8 p.m., encourages lovers of the vine to get out of the house and bid on tempting auctions, all while indulging in rare bottles. Tickets are $100 each and onsale now. (The fair market value is listed as $50, which means guests will get a charitable donation receipt for $50 as well.) Popular restaurants such as Coppa Osteria, Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, Benjy’s and Ritual are all serving small bites.
NEW—Cane Rosso, 4306 Yoakum: More details are to come, but it’s not too early to mark your calendar for September 27 from 5 to 10 p.m. That’s when Cane Rosso’s Montrose location is hosting a “Party On The Lawn.” All sales that evening will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.
NEW—Harold’s, 350 West 19th: Owner Alli Jarrett of Harold’s in the Heights wants to care for some adversely affected Houstonians close to home. Through October 31, 15-percent of sales from Harold’s popular Big Nasty Biscuit (stuffed with buttermilk fried chicken and topped with cheddar cheese-sausage gravy) is going to employees at various stores along 19th Street who suffered personal losses during Hurricane Harvey.
Houston Restaurant Weeks (various locations): This annual fundraiser for the Houston Food Bank has been extended through September 30—and it is a given that Houstonians are going to heavily rely on the charity and affiliated food pantries across the city for food support. Check the Houston Restaurant Weeks website for participating locations.
Kenny & Ziggy’s Delicatessen Restaurants, 2327 Post Oak and 5172 Buffalo Speedway are donating five percent of proceeds from all sales in September and October to flood relief efforts being carried out by the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. In addition to sales from the dining rooms, the initiative also includes proceeds from catering orders and special events for the upcoming Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur holidays.
Killen’s Barbecue 3613 East Broadway Pearland and Killen’s Burgers 2804 South Main Pearland aren’t offering restaurant fundraisers, but Ronnie Killen is challenging Houston area diners to give to those in need. Killen contributed $50,000 to provide 3,500 meals for hurricane evacuees and he’s now launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $200,000 in order to provide 30,000 meals. Make your donation at https://www.gofundme.com/wf75ku-feed-harvey-evacuees.
NEW—Moving Sidewalk, 306 Main: On Wednesday, September 20, there’s a special Sazerac Happy Hour benefiting the Greater Houston Community Foundation from 5 to 8 p.m. Cocktails are $10 with the exception of a particularly top-shelf Sazerac. The high end selection is $25, generates a $5 donation and uses 2014 Vintage Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye. (The spirit is part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and the cheapest price we found for a bottle online was $400.) All other happy hour cocktails are $10; $2 from each of those will be donated. The $10 cocktails include a Buffalo Trace “Old Fashioned” and a Manhattan variant named 1792 Small Batch “Suburban” with 1793 Small Batch Bourbon, Manzanilla sherry and Angostura.
Perry’s Steakhouse (multiple locations) has a special three-course menu available in September, with part of the proceeds going to Houston flood relief. Available at all the Houston locations (with participation from Dallas, Austin and Perry’s spots around the country), the menu includes a choice of wedge, kale or Caesar salad; eight-ounce bacon-wrapped surf and turf filet, 14-ounce prime rib, Perry’s seven-finger-high pork chop or grilled seabass; and dessert selections including the dessert trio or the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Bar. $49.95 with $5 going to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
NEW—Radio Milano, 800 Sorella Court: Three prominent Houston chefs are joining forces on Sunday, September 24 to raise money for the Houston Hospitality Relief Fund. Chef Jose Hernandez (of Radio Milano as well as forthcoming Hotel Alessandra’s Lucienne), chef Giancarlo Ferrara (Amalfi), and chef Victor Pucha (of soon-to-open Maison Pucha Bistro) are guiding guests through a five-course meal of French and Italian dishes. The menu includes pistachio-crusted rack of lamb and souffle made with both white and dark chocolate. All proceeds will benefit the fund. The cost of this five-course dinner is $90; call 713-827-3545 to reserve.
The Tasting Room 1101 Uptown Park Blvd and 818 Town and Country Blvd are offering a special menu Saturday and Sunday all month long, with proceeds benefitting Houston flood relief. Every weekend, from 1 to 4 p.m., enjoy food and wine selections and know that your dining is helping those in need. The menu is $40 and 25 percent of every purchase is donated to the relief effort.
Yauatcha 5045 Westheimer joins its sister restaurants around the world in offering a selection of menu items that will have portions of the proceeds donated to the American Red Cross. Special cocktails, dim sum and dessert selections will be on offer from now through October 1.