Top 14 food & drink events in Houston this month: July 2016

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Photo courtesy of Koreatown: A Cookbook

Summer is in full swing, and just as the sun is scorching the pavement, so are Houston’s hottest culinary happenings scorching our minds.

Also in July 2016

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Now is the time to take refuge from the heat and cool off with an ice-cold beverage (good thing there’s a beer festival) or spend a hot summer’s night heating things up with your sweetheart (date night cooking class anyone?). Let’s take a look at the deliciousness July has to offer.

Top 14 Food & Drink Events in Houston this Month

  • Blended Burger Project at Bernie’s Burger Bus, Harold’s, and Craft Burger Food Truck | Through Sunday, July 31 – All month long, 3 local spots will be participating in the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project, a nationwide initiative to encourage restaurants to create a burger that blends beef with at least 30% mushrooms, thus making a healthier, more sustainable options. During the month, customers can try the creations and vote online to send their creator a chance to compete at the famed James Beard House in NYC. Houston competitors include Bernie’s Burger Bus, who has combined an in-house ground blend of brisket and chuck with local Kitchen Pride crimini mushrooms, then topped it with goat cheese, oven-dried tomatoes, baby arugula, crispy shoestring potatoes, and a charred green onion aioli. Harold’s Restaurant, Bar & Terrace made their burger with fresh mushrooms from Indian Creek Farms, fresh beef from 44 Farms topped with Texas cheddar cheese and served on Oak Hollow Farms herb salad along with an egg from Ole Dad Farms. Lastly, food truck Craft Burger has crafted a Greek-style burger using ground lamb, oyster mushrooms, a salad of marinated olives, red onions, cucumbers, feta cheese, and roasted garlic tzatziki. Times vary with participating restaurants.
  • Date Night Cooking Class at Brennan’s | Friday, July 1 – Date night at Brennen’s means you’ll be learning the techniques to cook up a romantic Creole-style dinner, then eating said dinner with your partner in crime. Each cooking class features a demo from the chef, hors d’oeuvres, and a three-course meal with paired wines. This time, the menu will include a sumptuous Louisiana soft shell crab tomato bisque with charred tomato and deviled crab boulettes; Creole spiced Black Hill Ranch pork tenderloin with cast iron grilled corn maque choux potato salad, Acadiana rum, and blueberry molasses BBQ sauce; and Tessa’s Blueberry Cobbler with streusel and vanilla bean ice cream. Cost is $150 per couple, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 713-522-9711. 6:30pm.
  • Guest Chef Dinner at Bramble | Monday, July 11 – Chef Randy Rucker and team are excited to announce the first of their Guest Chef Dinner Series, kicking off with renowned James Beard Semifinalist Chef Matt McCallister of FT33 and Filament in Dallas. As a chef, McCallister enjoys playing with new techniques and flavor combinations, always remembering to balance the familiar with the unexpected. Reserve your spot for what is sure to be a one of a kind dining experience. Cost is $85 person (not including tax and gratuity), and $55 person for optional wine pairings. 6:30pm.
  • Houstonia Burger Bash at Uptown Park | Wednesday, July 13 – The 3rd annual #Burgerbash from Houstonia is guaranteed to be a good time, as 16 of Houston’s best restaurants are bringing their burger A-game for one mouth-watering night. This year’s competitors include Rico’s, Burger Joint, and D&T Drive Inn. Two winners will be crowned that night: one by the judges, and one by you. Guests can also expect wines, cocktails, live music, a dipping sauce challenge, and a photo booth. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $55 for VIP. 6pm.
  • Houston Chef Series at Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks | Wednesday, July 13 – As part of the Landry’s, Inc. Signature Group’s exclusive summer Houston Chef Series Dinners, Chef Jose Parada will be treating guests to an intimate tasting, featuring 5 courses with an intermezzo and a wide variety of paired wines. Highlights include specials from the Raw Bar, fresh Alaskan halibut en papillote with light garlic buerre blanc, and filet mignon beef Wellington with Pontchartrain sauce. Cost is $95 per person ($80 for members) and reservations are required. Call 713-840-7190. 7pm.
  • H-Town Beer Fest at Jones Plaza | Saturday, July 16 – You can expect dozens of the most exciting breweries in Texas to be on hand for Houston’s premiere beer festival, along with an excellent lineup of rock ‘n roll, punk, soul, funk and indie bands. Tickets are $25 for general admission, which comes with a souvenir wristband and cup. You will have access to all drinking booths that will be selling beer and other adult beverages. Full servings of beer will be $4 to $7. All sales will be cash only. $15 for designated driver tickets also available. 2pm to 10pm.
  • 2nd Annual Alcohol Infused Festival at Galway Hooker Irish Pub | Sunday, July 17 Tipsy Dessert Bar presents this second annual festival, where party goers can experience liquor in a new way and get Ice Cream Wasted. Enjoy live music, drinking games, boozy bites and plenty of fun. Tickets for a Boozy Bites Pass costs $25 and includes samples from the vendors plus a Mini Tipsy Dessert Ice Cream-Tini. VIP tickets are also available. 2pm to 10pm.
  • Wicked Wine Dinner of Oz at Max’s Wine Dive (Fairview) | Monday, July 18 – With the hit broadway show Wicked coming to Houston, Max’s Wine Dive is throwing an especially wicked wine dinner. Come with friends and enjoy a four-course meal prepared by Chef Shay, with wine pairings and prizes for those that come dressed in the best costume. Tickets are $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 713-528-9200 or visit the Fairview location to reserve your spot. 6:30pm to 10pm.
  • Houston Chef Series at La Griglia | Wednesday, July 20 – Continuing Landry’s, Inc. Signature Group’s exclusive summer Houston Chef Series dinners, Chef Luis Rubio has created an authentic Italian menu featuring 5-courses and wine pairings, with dishes such as homemade pasta stuffed with lobster, porterhouse Fiorentina, and soufflé with Bananas Foster. Cost is $95 per person ($80 for members) and reservations are required. Call 713-526-4700. 7pm.
  • Wines of Summer Tasting at Hunky-Dory Tavern | Thursday, July 21 – Join Michael Peltier and his sommelier team on the Hunky Dory Patio for Wines of the Summer paired with small bites from Chef Richard Knight and live music from Fire NR Bones, an original jazz-funk-fusion trio. Cost is $35 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
  • Galveston Island Brewing Pub Crawl in Galveston | Saturday, July 23 – If you’ve been looking for an excuse to bar hop around Galveston, this is it. In its second year, this fun-filled day will start at The 1888 Toujouse Bar (The Tremont Hotel lobby bar, where crawlers can pick-up their punch card between noon and 2pm before making their way to bars including Brews Brothers, Murphy’s Irish Pub, and Fuddrucker’s. The final stop/after party is at Yaga’s Café, where those who have filled the punch card will receive their prize: glory and a commemorative pint glass. 2pm to 7pm.
  • Koreatown: A Dinner at Underbelly | Sunday, July 24 – For two years, chef Deuki Hong and writer Matt Rodbard gathered recipes, stories, in-the-moment photos and interviews from Korean American neighborhoods all across the United States to craft Koreatown: A Cookbook. The authors of The New York Times bestseller will be joining Chef Chris Shepherd and team in cooking up a Korean-inspired feast at this special event. Tickets are $125 and include a signed copy of the cookbook. 7pm.
  • Houston Chef Series at McCormick & Schmick’s (Uptown Park) | Wednesday, July 27 – Closing out July’s Houston Chef Series dinners from Landry’s, Inc. Signature Group is Chef Andrew Oliver, who has created a 6-course wine paired menu, featuring seared sea scallop with foie gras and yellow cauliflower purée, Wild Alaskan halibut and Gulf shrimp in a Brazilian seafood stew broth, and kumquat panna cotta. Cost is $95 per person ($80 for members) and reservations are required. Call 713-840-7900. 7pm.
  • Peli Peli Kitchen Takeover at Lincoln Bar Houston | Sunday, July 31 | Free to Attend – The popular South African fusion Peli Peli restaurants, with locations in both the Galleria and Vintage Park, will be taking over the Lincoln kitchen to offer an amazing brunch and lunch menu. It will be the first ever public tasting of the food that will launch when their first PPK opens in the fall. Entrance is free with RSVP, with RSVPs getting priority seating (the food will be available for purchase a la carte). Because of the huge turnout this will bring, tables will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Guests can also expect DJs and drink and Mimosa specials all day long. Doors open at noon.
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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .