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If someone tells you there's nothing to do in Houston this weekend, obviously they are sadly mistaken. Being among the top five largest cities in the United States, Houston offers a lot of activities that saying "there's nothing to do in Houston", will never cross any person's lips again.

Then again, it's all about knowing what's happening around town and where to go. If someone doesn't know what's going on in their own backyards, most likely that will be the response heard each and every weekend.

We're here to provide a little assistance. With your knowledge of places to dine without breaking the bank and food-related events on the cheap, the cries of there's nothing-to-do-this-weekend will be a thing of the past.




Friday, November 18:



Happy Hour for a Cause

Good deeds will be rewarded at the First Annual Deeds & Good Deeds Cocktail Party at Sushi Raku. It's a fundraiser happy hour where guests are encouraged to donate money or canned goods that will benefit Houston Food Bank. Complimentary bites and happy hour specials will be available to all in attendance.


Cost: Free with 5 canned good donations or more
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Sushi Raku
3201 Louisiana
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 526-8885




Try a New Spot for Happy Hour

Blackfinn American Grille officially opened its doors yesterday. If you're looking for another happy hour hangout, this Midtown not only has a great happy hour menu but a spacious bar and patio to sip your specially priced beverages. On the menu are $6 appetizers and flatbreads. Choose from offerings like the Seared Ahi Tuna or Roasted Vegetable Flatbread, along with discounted select cocktails and beers. Happy hour is every weekday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.



Blackfinn American Grille also stays open late until 2 a.m. nightly. Feed that late night hunger with Crispy Calamari tossed with cherry peppers and garlic butter, a Saloon Burger topped with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, swiss, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onions on a kaiser roll, and other offerings under $11 from the late night menu. The menu is available at 11 p.m.


Cost: $6 and under
3 p.m. - 7 p.m.


Blackfinn American Grille
1910 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 651-9550



Wine Tasting / Release Party

Celebrate the release of Eaglefire Winery's Muscat Blanc. It's the follow-up vintage to their 2011 Houston Rodeo International Wine Competition gold medal winner. There will be free tastings as well as wines by the glass for $5. Light bites will be available.


Don't forget to check out wine, beer, and spirit tastings held weekly here.


Cost: Free

6 p.m. - 11 p.m.


Eaglefire Winery
3482 West 12th Street
Houston, TX 77008



Don't forget to check out these weekly wine, beer, and spirit tastings here.



Celebrate Houston Beer Week

Live out the days when the Katy brewery, No Label Brewing Co., offered free beer and a guided tour at Rockwell Tavern & Grill. Although no actual tour will be given, guests will be able to still learn about the brewery's beers and sample them for free without paying the recent $5 fee applied to the Saturday tours.


Cost: Free
6:30 p.m.


5 p.m. - 11 p.m.


Rockwell Tavern & Grill
12640 Telge
Cypress, TX 77429
(281) 256-9223



There's more events closing out the end of Houston Beer Week for under $20. One event to consider is a Samuel Adams tasting at The Ginger Man.




Saturday, November 19:



Brunch at Monica Pope's Green Plum Kitchen

Start the weekend with breakfast at former Top Chef contestant, Monica Pope's Green Plum Kitchen. Each Saturday, Pope takes fresh and in-season ingredients and transforms them into gourmet treats. Breakfast offerings include $1 deviled eggs, $3 scones, a leek, potato, goat cheese fritta for $6 , and more for under $10. Beverages on the other hand are pricey, but the best bang for your buck is the bottomless mimosas for $8.


Cost: $3 - $10

8 a.m. - Noon


Green Plum Kitchen / t'afia
3701 Travis
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 524-6922


Have a little extra money saved up to splurge? Try brunch at The Eat Gallery (4420 Almeda). Mobile food vendor (aka food truck), Green Seed Vegan, serves a breakfast and lunch that's good for the heart and soul. Beets and Brunch is every Saturday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. offers a buffet filled with healthy and gourmet breakfast and lunch entrees. Dine while enjoying the laid back sounds of the resident dj as you sip a mimosa.


Wine Tasting

When you can't take an impromptu trip to the vineyards of Napa or drive to nearby wineries in Texas, do the next best thing, go wine tasting within the city. Many wine bars, boutiques, and retailers offer complimentary wine tastings on Saturdays. Want to know where? Check out a few about town here. Also don't forget about a complimentary Beaujolais Nouveau tasting at Leibman's Wine & Fine Foods.


Take a tour of a brewery or distillery

The Greater Houston area is home to a growing number of breweries and distilleries. Get to know all about them by taking part in tours offered. For an extra bonus, samples are served at the end of tours:


Railean Handmade Texas Rum (341 5th Street, San Leon, TX 77539)

Take a trip to San Leon and take a tour of this handcrafted rum distillery. Free tours are offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. by reservations only. Guests of legal drinking age are served small samples afterwards. Call (713) 545-2742 to make reservations.

No Label Brewing Co. (5373 First Street, Katy, TX 77493)

$5 beer tours are offered from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. (free for attendees under 21). No reservations needed.

Karbach Brewing Co. (2032 Karbach Street, Houston, TX 77092)

Tours are offered between noon and 3 p.m. for $7. Save on admission by donating non-perishable food items to receive a $1 off entry. Items collected will be donated to Houston Food Bank. Free samples available at the end of the tour. Make reservations in advance online.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company (2000 Lyons Ave., Houston, TX 77020)

Take a tour of Saint Arnold's brewery for an up-close view on how their beers are made. Tours are $7 and are available at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. Children are encouraged to come. Admission is free for kids under 15. Samples of beer at the end of the tour for adults of legal drinking age, and root beer for the kids. No reservations needed but early arrival is highly suggested.



Take a Trip Around the World with Beer

As Houston Beer Week comes to a close, end it with an International Beer Festival at Cedar Creek in the Heights. Although it's not an official event for Houston Beer Week, it's a fun way for beer lovers to their week long beer fest.


Cost: $25

2 p.m. - 10 p.m.


Cedar Creek Cafe, Bar, & Grill
1034 West 20th
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 808-9623



Attend a Chili Cook Off

Stats Sports Bar and Grillis hosting a Charity Chili Cookoff benefitting The Rose. The Rose Foundation is a local charity helping with the prevention and care of breast cancer. Eat all the chili you can handle prepared by teams competing for the best chili. Winners will be selected by a panel of local celebrity judges that include Cleverley Stone, Maria Todd of 96.5 and more.


Cost: $5

11 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Stats Sports Bar and Grill
10850 Louetta
Houston, TX 77070
(281) 257-8287


Don't forget The 8th Annual Houston Championship Chili Cookoff at Trader’s Village held on the same day. Sample up to six chili bowls for $5 while supporting the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Go Texan Committee.



Roll with the Wagon

Having withdrawal from the temporary closing of Moon Tower Inn? Take it to The Meat Wagon. It's the newest food truck to hit the streets of Houston and it's owened and operated by the very same people behind Moon Tower Inn. Get your wild game fix via burgers as the truck makes it debut this weekend. Find out where to find the food truck by liking their Facebook page.



Test Dive a Mini-Cooper & Houston's Food Truck Scene

Get in the driver's seat during the Mini Drive Experience presented by Mini USA and Houston areal Mini Cooper dealers. Test drive BMW Mini Coopers and play a round of mini golf while raising funds that will benefit World Aids Day in December. Be sure to bring cash. Various food trucks will be in attendance serving food.


Cost: Free

2 p.m. - 9 p.m.


Jones Plaza
601 Louisiana
Houston, TX 77002


Don't forget to step outside the box and attend a cooking demonstration at One Street Green, a art crawl in the Warehouse District, and an anniversary party for Hudson Lounge where complimentary beverages and/or bites will be served.



Celebrate the Grand Opening of NABI: Neighborhood Restaurant

Welcome NABI: Neighborhood Restaurant to the neighborhood as the Montrose restaurant celebrates its grand opening. Guests can sample select complimentary items from the Asian-inspired menu that include Braised Brisket Potstickers, Roasted Suckling Pig, Mini Bahn Mi, Fried Chicken Skewers, and a few other treats. Select specialty cocktails will be available for $5 all evening.


Cost: Free

7 p.m. - 11 p.m.


NABI Houston
1517 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 526-8866



Glisten at CITYCENTRE

Sleighbells ringing and lighting gleaming are signs the holidays are almost upon us. CITYCENTRE is getting in the pre-holiday spirit with the second year of its "winterland" celebration, Glisten. Watch a live performance of an ice craver creating an ice sculpture, snow flakes, and live music spreading holiday cheer. Participating restaurants will have specials during the event too.


Cost: Free

7 p.m. - 9 p.m.


CITYCENTRE
800 West Sam Houston Parkway North
Houston, TX 77024




Sunday, November 20:



Attend the Ferrari Festival at Highland Village

Spend your Sunday viewing Ferraris and other rare cars at the annual Ferrari Festival at Highland Village. The festival benefits Texas Children's Cancer Center. While you're envisioning yourself behind the wheels of the cars on display, there will be complimentary nibbles provided by Escalante's Mexican Restaurant, Up Restaurant, Sprinkes, and other participating restaurants located within Highland Village.


Cost: Free

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.


Highland Village Shopping Center
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 850-3100







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