Small Bites: Houston Food & Drink Specials for the Week of May 20, 2024

Wine and sushi at Aiko

Houston’s food scene always has a lot going on, but not every bit of news that we get qualifies for a full article. However, that does not mean that it’s not useful. We often hear about deals, events such as wine dinners, limited-time menu items, culinary classes and new dishes. “Small Bites” rounds up these tasty little morsels to keep you on top of what’s going on in Houston.

This Week

Sip on Texas Whiskey & Rum With a Master Distiller on Thursday, May 23

Meet Blanco-based Andalusia Whiskey Co. master distiller and co-founder Ty Phelps at Rosewater Clear Lake for happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. The elevated cocktail bar, located at 1606 Clear Lake City Boulevard, recently doubled in size, having taken over the space next door at the beginning of this year, and added a food menu that includes smash burgers, falafel and loaded fries. The event features complimentary tastings of Andalusia’s lineup of single malt, rum and brandy, as well as specialty cocktails crafted by Rosewater owner Pasha Morshedi and his team.

Saturday, May 25: Enjoy Wine Deals at Houston Restaurants

May 25 is National Wine Day, so some of Houston’s best restaurants are offering deals on nature’s perfect grape juice by the glass or bottle.

  • Aiko, 1902 Washington Avenue: chefs Patrick Pham and Daniel Lee’s sushi restaurant is offering half off all wines by the glass from noon to 3  p.m. and 5 to 11  p.m. The wine selection offers just about anything an aficionado would want: sparkling, white, rosé and red. A few choices that caught our eye include Schramsberg ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Brut, Baskoli Txakoli Bianco, Bürklin-Wolf Riesling Hommage à Luise and Passionate Winery Montesco ‘Piefranc’ Cabernet Franc
  • H Town Restaurant Group: The best thing about this promotion is the word “all”, as in, all of Tracy Vaught’s and Hugo Ortega’s Houston restaurants — Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s, Caracol, Xochi and URBE  —  are offering 25% off all bottles of wine all day long. Sounds like a great time to finally order that intriguing bottle you’ve had your eyes on.

Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month On Saturday, May 25

The lounge area at Koffeteria
The lounge area at Koffeteria. Photo by Carlos Brandon.

Koffeteria, the popular East Downtown bakery and café from chef Vanarin Kuch, is sharing its pastry case for one day only with chef Nina Fonte for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It will be offering Beef Kare Kare Puff Pastry and Bibingka Danish Salted Egg and Cheese made in partnership with Fonte, which showcase her modern take on Filipino comfort food. Pre-orders will go live on the website starting Friday, May 24 at 5 p.m. If you are unable to make the event, check out our list of delicious AAPI Heritage Month foodie events happening throughout Houston.

Grab a $5 Cocktail Deal on Saturday, May 25

Through June 29, Austin-based burger joint Hopdoddy is offering $5 cocktails on Saturdays. The featured cocktail will change each Saturday, and for this first one, the deal is on frozen margaritas. The flavor choices are traditional lime, strawberry, peach or passion fruit. The offer is valid all day on Saturdays during normal business hours.

Hang Loose at a Sunday Pig Roast on May 26

Luloo’s Day & Night, located at 1223 West 24th in Stomping Grounds, is getting into the summer spirit with a Luau Party in collaboration with sister restaurant Blood Bros. BBQ on Sunday, May 26 starting at 3 p.m. The special menu includes Roasted Kalua Pork with chili water, Spam and Grilled Pineapple Fried Rice and papaya salad in addition to drink specials and a musical set from co-founder DJ Seek. The event will run until sellout.

Next Week

Sink Your Teeth Into International Burger Day

The Star Sailor Smash Burger. Courtesy photo.
The Star Sailor Smash Burger. Courtesy photo.

Tuesday, May 28 is International Burger Day, and this year, Star Sailor, located at 1710 West 18th, is kicking it up a notch by releasing a new specialty smash burger each week as part of a month-long “Battle of the Burgers”. During the last week of May, the restaurant will be offering a “Smash Burger Smash-Off” menu with all four burgers available including the Wake-N-Bake Smash with a ham, hash browns, pepper Jack and American cheese, jalapeños, peppers and onions, runny egg, housemade ketchup and sriracha mustard, All-American Smash with house-cured bacon, American cheese, grilled onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato and Stellar Sauce, Cowboy Chili Smash with American and cheddar cheese, cowboy chili, jalapeños, Stellar Sauce and crispy onions and Mamma Mia Smash with provolone, crispy salami, pickled cherry peppers, lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar.

During the final week, guests can vote for their favorite with the winner earning a permanent place on the menu, alongside the Star Sailor Smash Burger which is one of our 10 Best New Burgers to Try Now in Houston.

New Ice Cream Flavors To Try on May 31

Lick Honest Ice Cream’s new summer ice cream flavors are coming out soon. These include Cherry Limeade made with cherries from Northwest Texas, Cilantro Lime, Strawberry Basil (made with Texas strawberries), Orange You Glad It’s Pride (an orange and vanilla concoction with rainbow sprinkles), vegan Coconut Cream Pie and Grapefruit Paloma made with Dulce Vida Tequila, fresh lime, grapefruit and a touch of salt. Top anything you want with the seasonal Texas strawberry sauce.

Coming Soon

Start Your Week With Award-Winning Dumplings On Monday, June 3

Niki Vongthong with Wagyu Dumplings
Try chef Niki Vongthong’s award-winning Wagyu Dumplings at an upcoming pop-up. Courtesy photo.

Since stepping away from Hidden Omakase in March, The 2024 Truffle Masters winner chef, Niki Vongthong, has been partnering with restaurants across Houston for special, one-day only menus. The next collaboration is taking place on Monday, June 3 at 93 ‘til, located in Montrose at 1601 West Main. The event starts at 5 p.m. and will run until everything is sold out. The menu includes Lao sausage for $5, grilled pork jowl with spicy sauce and sticky rice for $18 and tom yum noodles with crispy pork belly, ground pork, shrimp, poached egg, wood ear mushrooms in a broth cooked with shrimp heads for $20, with the option to add A5 wagyu for $10 more. It also includes her winning dish from this year’s Truffle Masters: Wagyu Dumplings with caramelized wagyu and salted radish garnished with fried garlic and freshly-shaved truffles which cost $11 for three dumplings, with the option to add shaved truffles for $10. For dessert, there is Pandan Sweet Rice with coconut custard and salted coconut cream for $10.

On June 5, Eat a 300-Pound Tuna (With Some Help)

On Wednesday, June 5 from 6 to 9 p.m., you can watch chefs Jimmy Kieu and Marcos Juarez Cara carve a 300-pound bluefin tuna into all its delicious parts at Hidden Omakase, located at 2715 Bissonnet. Then, you’ll get to experience the flavors and textures of different parts of the fish during a 15-course dinner. The cost is $300 per person, and the experience is limited to 22 attendees. Drinks are not included, but sake, wine and cocktails will be available for purchase through Hidden Bar, which is adjacent to the restaurant. Tickets are available online.

Free Doughnut With Drink Purchase on Friday, June 7

Doughnuts at Tim Hortons
Doughnuts at Tim Hortons. Courtesy photo.

June 7 is National Donut Day, so Tim Hortons locations are giving customers a free donut with any drink purchase. That even applies to the seasonal beverages, which include Cookie Butter Cold Brew and Cookie Butter Iced Capp. Limit one free doughnut per customer.

Drink Pink On The Patio On Saturday, June 8

Artisans, chef-owner Jacques Fox’s French restaurant at 5745 Westheimer, is celebrating National Rosé Day from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. It is offering a complimentary glass of rosé and hors d’oeuvres along with live music outside on its new patio, which happens to be one of our picks for best restaurant patios in Houston. The restaurant suggests wearing your best pink and white attire for the occasion. No RSVP is required. 

Half-Priced Specialty Iced Tea on Monday, June 10

Iced teas at HTeaO
Iced teas at HTeaO. Courtesy photo.

HTeaO, which started in Texas and has five locations in the greater Houston area, is offering half-priced cups of tea for National Iced Tea Day, which is on Monday, June 10. The company has 26 flavors of sweetened and unsweetened teas. The selections range from basic iced tea to adventurous flavors such as Sweet Almond Green and Unsweet Peach Ginger.

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