I love Houston. I love everything about this city. I love this city so much that I actually felt emotion writing “I love Houston”. One of the many reasons that I love Houston is because of our hugely awesome food scene. In fact, this year a Houston chef won the Best Chef Southwest at 2016 James Beard Awards for only the third time in the history of the awards! Once a year for four weeks hundreds of participating restaurants create menus for brunches, lunches and dinners at set prices. A portion of each of meal total is donated to the Houston Food Bank; this is known as Houston Restaurant Weeks.
Aside from the philanthropic results one of the main reasons that I love Houston Restaurant Weeks is because this is a great opportunity for Houstonians to try incredible 3-4 course meals at restaurants that they might not typically try for various reasons (cost, location, etc.).
Here is a breakdown of meal price, donation amounts and meals generated:
Although the Houston Restaurant Weeks lasts for an entire month I was only able to make it out to two participating restaurants. I tried to take pictures of all of our dishes but with low lighting and crowded tables it wasn’t as easy as it sounds!
This dinner was $35 per person and Punk’s Simple Southern Food donated $5 per meal to the Houston Food Bank.
SWEET CORN HUSHPUPPIES*
served with spicy remoulade
*the hushpuppies were not on the Houston Restaurant Weeks menu but we had heard such good things about their hushpuppies that we couldn’t pass up this opportunity
DEVILED EGGS & PIMENTO CHEESE
with b&b pickles, mustard, mayo, smoked paprika, ritz crackers, celery sticks & carrots
The deviled eggs were perfectly creamy and crunchy and tangy and smoky. The pimento cheese did not stack up to the rest of this dish. I would have added salt but there wasn’t any on out of any of the tables… what’s up with that?!
GOOD OL’ BOY GUMBO
braised chicken, andouille sausage, and rice
I could have bathed in this gumbo it was so freaking good! Perfectly southern with a dark and creamy roux that seemingly took hours to get just right. I’ll also add that there wasn’t too much rice in the gumbo. I cannot stand getting gumbo that is 3/4 rice and 1/4 gumbo goodness.
all beef meatloaf with tomato sauce and onion served with horseradish mash & brown gravy
If you ever find yourself at a restaurant with the word “southern” in the name and you see meatloaf on the menu you ORDER IT! No questions asked. Y’all this meatloaf and mashed potato dish was EVERYTHING. The only change that I would make to this dish would be to add a scoop of corn to the plate. There weren’t any fresh veggies like ma would have actually served. Also, mixing corn into mashed potatoes and gravy is basically as American as apple pie.
banana-vanilla pudding, nilla wafers, fresh banana, cream cheese whipped cream
Banana pudding can go wrong real quick but after having ma’s meatloaf I knew that Punk’s wouldn’t disappoint with their banana pudding. And, of course, I was right. The wafers on top were crispy, not soggy. The bananas in the pudding were thick and chunky. The cream cheese whipped cream was obviously (in a good way) homemade. And this pudding was served COLD. Not cool. Not room temp. No, it was COLD. And perfect.
This dinner was $35 per person and Urban American Kitchen donated $5 per meal to the Houston Food Bank.
crispy bites of risotto, Parmesan cheese, hand breaded and served with marinara sauce
I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to get when I ordered this dish because the description is very vague but I have three words for you: DEEP FRIED RISOTTO. I will definitely be making a homemade version of these with my Easy Mushroom Risotto recipe!
coated with panko bread crumbs stuffed with cheese and pico de gallo, with a roasted garlic cilantro dipping sauce
I also wasn’t totally sure what my sister would be getting when she ordered this dish because, again, the description is very vague. I have four words for you this time: DEED FRIED AVOCADO BALLS! Y’all these were the bomb.com. The inside was cool and creamy while the outside coating was hot and crispy. R and I are definitely going to try making these at home as well!
6 OZ PETIT FILET
served with sautéed spinach and urban potato
R is very much a meat and potato man. The flawless grill marks seemingly helped this filet cook perfectly to a medium rare for my man. Although R never complained about his dish I would have liked to have had a description for the “urban potato”. I am not a big sweet potato fan so this would have annoyed me.
pan seared chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella cheese and topped with a champagne cream sauce
Anything with the words “champagne cream sauce” in the description will be ordered by me. Every time. I love that the chicken was served over the mashed potatoes because, let’s be honest, I would have mixed it all together anyways.
served with homemade dulce de leche
I am going to be very honest with you on this dish, these donut holes were such a disappointment. I wanted to like them so bad but they had zero flavor and were dryer than the Sahara. Maybe if the dulce de leche was an actual dipping sauce rather than a design on the plate then they would have tasted different. Unfortunately, I will never know.
Crispy on top and creamy on the inside. Yum, yum, yum!
Were you able to make it to any restaurants during Houston Restaurant Weeks?
Until next time,