Did I say the diet started August 1?
The entire month of August is Houston Restaurant Weeks, benefiting the Houston Food Bank, and it’s a foodie’s dream. This year there are about 150 restaurants participating. Each restaurant offers a 3-course dinner menu for $35, $5 of which goes to the Houston Food Bank (some restaurants also offer a $20 lunch menu). Last year the program raised over $800,000, and by the crowds at the restaurants we’ve been to so far, I’m guessing the program will raise even more this year. So far we have enjoyed thoughtfully prepared, outstanding meals at Bistro des Amis [CLOSED], Branch Water Tavern [CLOSED], Americas, and Indika — and we’re not even halfway through the month! It is a great time to check out a new restaurant or visit an old favorite.
On Thursday, I happened to look out my window and I saw a food truck right in front of my house:
No gourmet hot dogs, artisan grilled cheese, or bulgogi on this truck. Nope, this is one of the original food trucks, serving up simple hot food, drinks, and snacks. Whenever there is construction on my street, which is always, the food truck makes its way over, and the construction workers flock to it. Next time I see it, I’m going to chase it down and buy something.
On Thursday, we went to a fundraiser for Foodways Texas at the St. Arnold Brewing Company. Foodways’ mission is to preserve, promote, and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas. The event was called Low & Slow: An Evening of Smoked Food & Film, and it featured two short films by Austin filmmaker Keeley Steenson. You can see the first one about Vencil Mares and the Taylor Cafe, entitled “Vencil Lives Here,” on the Foodways website. The second one was about Mama Sugar, and will be on the website when it’s completed. During the showing of the films, we were treated to Vencil’s smoked sausage and Mama Sugar’s legendary beans. We got to meet Mama Sugar, and she was charming and fascinating and man, can she cook beans!
But wait — there’s more! There was also “barbecue-inspired small bites” from some of Houston’s top restaurants and purveyors — Backstreet Cafe, Haven [CLOSED], Hugo’s, The Pass & Provisions, Reef, Revival Market, Himalaya, Down House, and The Grateful Bread. I have never seen such huge “small bites” — it was the first time that I actually had to fold before trying everything. All the food was amazing but two of my favorites were the beautiful watermelon and pickled rind salad from Bryan Caswell and Reef:
and the soft serve sorghum ice cream (I think it was sorghum), with popped sorghum seeds, peaches, and some other things I can’t identify from Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrance Galvan of the eagerly-anticipated Pass + Provisions:
This was the first time we’ve been to a Foodways event, and you can be sure we won’t miss the next one!
But perhaps the highlight of my week was coming home last night and finding this on my doorstep:
If you read my Friendship Blueberry Muffins post, you’ll appreciate that this a bag of starter and bacteria from the kitchen of my friend Patricia (and yes, she is my friend on FB and we do exchange Christmas cards).