Top 13 food & drink events in Houston this month: March 2017

World Championship Bar-B-Que Contest at NRG | Photo courtesy of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

This month brings great weather, the turn to Spring and plenty of tasty, thirst-quenching happenings.

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March may be widely known as “Rodeo Month” in Houston, but there are excellent things to eat and drink outside of giant smoked turkey legs and deep-fried-bacon-wrapped-everything (though you may want to get in on some of that rodeo deliciousness while you can). The month also brings a slurry of oysters, crawfish, and margaritas, too.

Top 13 food & drink events in Houston this month: March 2017

  • Oysters-on-the-Half-Shell Month at Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen | All month long – To celebrate the salt-water bivalve mollusks that have made the Gulf Coast and Galveston Bay famous, Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen will be offering raw oysters-on-the-half-shell for $1.50 during the entire month. The kitchen also has an entire oyster menu, ranging from wood-grilled oysters with garlic butter and parmesan (starting at 4 for $10.99) to Oysters Bucaniere, baked and topped with crab, cracker crumbs, and remoulade (starting at 4 for $15.99).
  • Edible Houston’s Local Hero Awards at Prohibition Supperclub & Bar | Wednesday, March 1 – Join Edible Houston as it announces the winners of its second annual Local Hero Awards. Guests will celebrate with local brew, wine, live music, and appetizers. Tickets are on sale for $40 ($30 for EH Insiders) for general admission and $50 for VIP, which include three drink tickets, two raffle tickets, and 30 minute early entry. 6pm to 9pm.
  • World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest at NRG Park | Thursday, March 2 through Saturday, March 4 – Kick off the rodeo festivities with this three-day barbecue contest and festival. More than 250 teams will compete to win the crown; and while most tents are invite-only, there are some great open-to-the-public venues, including The Garden, Rockin’ Bar-B-Que Saloon, and the Chuck Wagon. Plus, the carnival is open, for wild rides and fun games. Tickets can be purchased for $15 ($5 for children 3 to 12) and include one day admission into NRG Park, a complimentary sliced barbecue beef sandwich plate, access to live music areas, and admission to the carnival. Thursday 5pm to 11pm; Friday noon to 11pm; Saturday 9am to 11pm.
  • Taste of Italy Houston at Omni Houston Hotel | Monday, March 6 –  Now in its third year, Taste of Italy Houston will host more than 60 Italian winemakers and food producers who will be presenting and offering samples to media (11am to 6pm), wine and food trade and restaurant professionals (noon to 6pm), and consumers (3pm to 6pm). This year’s event, open to the public for the first time, will also feature four break-out events: two wine tastings and seminars organized by the Vinitaly International Academy (a component of the annual Italian wine trade fair held each year in Verona); a wine tasting to be moderated by celebrity sommelier David Lynch, author of Vino Italiano (Clarkson Potter); and a Carbonara seminar moderated by Houston food writers J.C. Reid (Houston Chronicle) and Jeremy Parzen (DoBianchi). The Carbonara panel will also include Houston chefs Paul Petronella and William Wright, who will be preparing the celebrated dish especially for the occasion. 11am to 6pm.
  • Lenôtre National Symposium on  Pastry Arts with Chocolate Competition at the Culinary Institute LeNôtre | Monday, March 6 – Chefs, professionals, partners, and friends of the industry will assemble to celebrate Pastry Arts by sharing their knowledge and new ideas. The full day event will showcase the talent and experience of participating pastry artists with an ACF Chocolate and Sugar Décor Competition, open to both professionals and students. General admission is $85 and includes access to all symposium events plus breakfast, lunch, and dinner reception meals. Panels 9am to 6:30pm. Awards dinner 7pm.
  • Krewe of Cajuns & Cowboys 12th Annual Spring Crawfish Boil at Irish Cowboy | Saturday, March 11 – Suck down mudbugs for a cause; This 12th annual crawfish boil benefits Texas Children’s Hospital. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, with free crawfish and beer while supplies last. Tito’s Vodka will be providing bottles for sponsors/VIP tables and are also donating $1 for every Tito’s drink ordered at the bar. 11am to 5pm.
  • The Woodlands Margarita Festival at Town Green Park | Saturday, March 11 – Take yourself all the way to Margaritaville at this tequila-soaked outdoor fiesta. Guests can experience over 15 margarita flavors—ranging from peach mango and coconut to chocolate and pumpkin spice, alongside tequila tastings, live music, and festival grub from a variety of vendors. Tickets are $40 for general admission and $75 for VIP. Noon to 8pm.
  • Butchery Demo at Revival Market | Tuesday, March 14 – Learn how co-owner Morgan Weber butchers a whole hog, head to tail. Guests will be treated to a selection of charcuterie upon arrival, a family-style dinner midway through the class, and a take-away a selection of Revival salumi. BYOB is strongly encouraged. Tickets are $125. 6:30pm to 9pm.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day Party at Lucky’s Pub | Friday, March 17 | Free to Attend – All locations of Lucky’s Pub are throwing down for the 10th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party. The biggest party is at the Downtown location, where party goers can expect live bands and DJs, leprechauns and bagpipers, and a live broadcast from 94.5 The Buzz.
  • Celebr8tion of Beer at 8th Wonder | Saturday, March 18 – 8th Wonder is celebrating its 4th birthday with a rain-or-shine throwdown. Tickets include beer and will grant you admission to the festivities, which will feature live music, food trucks, and plenty of fun. The amount/selection of beer, and the accessibility to the venue depends on the ticket, with a general admission ticket ($35 in advance or $45 day of) getting you four beer tokens and a limited edition pint glass. 2pm to 10pm.
  • “Dinner with My Friends” at Fluff Bake Bar | Monday, March 20 Chef Rebecca Masson’s playful dinner series continues with chef David Uygur of Lucia, a game-changing Italian restaurant in Dallas. Each dinner, which takes place the third Monday of most months, features a guest chef who creates a six-course dinner for 24 people. There is an opening reception and each course is paired with a beer or wine. 10 percent of all proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program, an important cause for Masson. 6:30pm.
  • 8th Annual Keels & Wheels Uncorked at Mercedes-Benz of Houston Greenway | Thursday, March 23 – This 8th annual event will honor legendary news anchor Dave Ward, as guests mingle alongside Ward and Master of Ceremonies Radio Host Sam Malone for an elegant evening of fine wines and exceptional food presented by some of Houston’s top restaurants. Participating restaurants include Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar, Brennan’s of Houston, Carmelo’s Italian Restaurant, Corner Table, and Mister French’s Gourmet Bakery, with more to be announced. Each restaurant will be assigned a classic automobile to pair with a wine and custom hors d’oeuvre. Attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on exclusive items in the live and silent auction while viewing several classic automobiles on display. Tickets are $75 per person in advance or $100 per person at the door. 7pm.
  • 5 Year Anniversary “Made in Louisiana” Festival at Constellation Field | Saturday, March 25 – Now in its fifth year, the Taste of Louisiana Festival celebrates the food, music, and culture of Louisiana; and this year, it’s paying tribute with a special “Made in Louisiana” theme. From crawfish and Cajun spices to Creole specialties and baked goods, you’ll want to come hungry to this one. Tickets range between $5 to $15. 1pm to 9pm.
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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 .