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The summer heat is on in full force here in the Greater Houston area, Dear Readers! I have been out visiting a number of the newer local craft breweries I had not visited in the past, sampling their wares over the past several weeks. And yes, I brought the old Drunk Pork Chop known as Uncle Tex along! I have been to a few media previews and menu previews. I have also been teaching a bunch of Economics classes at Lone Star College--to some very motivated students who are taking the course in a concentrated dose as summer semesters tend to be. And have been going places with the family, such as NASA and Space Center Houston recently (Note: if you have not been in the past 5 years or more, it is a good idea to go back again and see what's been added.) Between work, travel, and actually experiencing some of our great Houston area food, writing has been put on the back burner for a little bit. However, as those of y'all who follow me on Instagram, Facebookand Twitteralready know, I'm still sharing food insights in bits and bytes online! I have a couple of reviews and previews already in the queue and some of my top recommended newer breweries on the block as well. But in the meantime, let's get this round-up for July going! (Cue: "Let's Get It Started" by the Blackeyed Peas.

Peli Peli Cinco Ranch to Open July 24th
Folks in Katy who love Peli Peli can expect a much shorter drive before the end of July. This is good news for It’s been in the process of coming together for over a year. The Crews secured a lease in the former Kenzo Sushi Bistro space at La Centerra Last May, setting the count of Peli Peli’s third “full-fledged” restaurants to three. For co-owner Thomas P. Nguyen, this makes a lot of sense as he is a resident of Katy! The South African-inspired menu is diverse and diners will be happy to see Chef Paul Friedman in and out of the kitchen at the new location. Yep, no more long drive if you're craving a Steak, Chicken or Pork Belly Espetada! The new location's address is 23501 Cinco Ranch, suite R140.

Del Frisco’s is Upgrading
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, located in the Galleria at 5061 Westheimer Road, is remodeling. Beginning June 30th to July 9th the restaurant will be closed for only one week and will remain open as the remodeling continues. It’s expected to be completed by mid-September. The elegant two-story dining room space will have new carpet, new ceiling tiles and new lighting throughout and the addition of an opulent spectacular crystal chandelier. New dining chairs and re-upholstered booths will be added. The first and second floor bars will have new bar fronts and bar tops. The restrooms will have new vanities, sinks, faucets and toilet partitions. Everything in Texas is bigger, better and bolder so Houston’s favorite steakhouse is being upgraded to match. As someone who's eaten at Del Frisco's more than a few times, and considers them one of the nicer steakhouses in town, this is pushing it to 110% from where I sit and I for one will pay them another visit after the remodeling is done!

Houston Black Food Truck Fest July 15th
Houston is the home of a bunch of a bunch of great food trucks owned by all kinds of folks. A significant number of popular food trucks are owned and operated by African Americans and this Feston July 15th is to focus on these great entrepreneurs and the food and the role they play in our great city. The Fest will be held at the Houston Shrine of The Black Madonna located at 5309 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Houston, Texas 77021. This Fest will be Showcasing the city's Premiere Black-Owned Food Trucks, featuring the finest cusines sure to please any pallette. Cajun, Caribbean, BBQ, Vegan, Pastries, Desserts, and more! Come out for an afternoon of food, fun, and family! Local vendors, pop-up shops, games and entertainment will be available as well.

Please Note: ticket price is admission, not food. Food trucks will set their own prices and menus.

Smith & Wollensky Adds a Great Summer Wine Pairing Menu
The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Inc.,is answering the siren call of summer with the return of their wine and appetizer pairing special, “Summer’s Calling,” which features wines by The Calling and two of Smith & Wollensky’s most popular starters. Available beginning June 28th through August, Smith & Wollensky locations in the following cities will feature a complimentary appetizer selection of Ribeye Carpaccio or Tuna Tartare for every two glasses of The Calling’s wine ordered: Boston, Chicago, Houston and Miami Beach.

Sourced and made from some of the most prestigious vineyards and winemakers in Sonoma County, The Calling is a wine owned by Emmy award-winning CBS Lead Sports Commentator Jim Nantz, who has called the greatest sporting events of his generation, and Peter Deutsch of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. “At Smith & Wollensky, in addition to our top-quality USDA Prime Dry Aged steaks, we pride ourselves in featuring seasonally inspired dishes that showcase freshness and quality." said Richard Cheshul, national wine program director for Smith & Wollensky.

The Calling’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are exquisite matches for Smith & Wollensky’s classic Ribeye Carpaccio (dry-aged Double R Ranch Prime rib cap, arugula, parmesan, lemon oil) and Tuna Tartare (avocado, cucumber, ponzu, lotus root chip). Impeccably light and approachable, each wine is delicate enough to accompany the elegant nature of the tuna while retaining a level of complexity to provide a strong backbone for the robustly flavorful ribeye. Perfect for happy hour with friends on one of Smith & Wollensky’s picturesque patios or as a first course in a steak dinner for two, guests can enjoy the Summer’s Calling pairings for a limited time this season.

Cane Rosso Montrose Recently Launches Brunch
Back on June 18th, Cane Rosso, the award-winning restaurants known for their authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pies, has begun serving Sunday brunch at its Montrose location in Houston. Hearty fare along with traditional Italian favorites and a selection of brunch cocktails round out the new brunch offerings.

The new brunch offerings, developed by newly welcomed Chef Jonathan Jones, include options such as:
Eggs in Anguish – three eggs baked in spicy salsa verde, ghost pepper guanciale, H. Gristmall cheesy polenta, and crostini;
Dirty South Hash – fire roasted sweet potato, BHR breakfast sausage, mushrooms, pickled greens, salumi broth, and a poached egg;

Mushroom Frittata – baked omelet, fire roasted mushrooms, peppers and onions, tomato sugo, and sottocenere truffle cheese; Breakfast Pasta – breakfast sausage, ghost pepper guanciale, egg, black pepper, and pecorino;
Black Hill “Bacon & Eggs” – salsa verde, salumi greens, crispy porchetta, and a fried egg;
Breakfast Hoecake – jalapeno cheese corn cake, sorghum butter, green onion, and fried eggs;
The Devil’s Shrimp – gulf shrimp, Calabrian red chile, white wine, ghost pepper guanciale, tomato sugo, pecorino, and a poached egg.

Special drink options include $1 Mimosas and $3 Bloody Marys and Micheladas. Brunch Hours are 11 AM to 3 PM Every Saturday and Sunday at Cane Rosse Montrose. Address is 4306 Yoakum Blvd. Houston, TX 77006.

Boxing it Up To Go
Well this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Watch this space for more updates and July Food Events. Until next posting Dear Readers...

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!

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