Wedding Talk: What Houston Foods Would You Want at Your Dream Cocktail Hour?

Photo by This Pilgrim's Progress
I've been engaged for quite some time now...and I haven't planned a damn thing for the wedding. No date. No venue. No flowers. No dress.

I'm a bad bride, I know. It just doesn't excite me all that much. Well, except for the food (err, and the man, that too); The food, I can dream about that all day.

So I've dreamt up a cocktail hour filled with five of my favorite bites in Houston. From the city's best sliders to East Coast-West Coast wings, here's what I'd love at my un-fancy affair:

5. A Reef's Sliders & Oyster Bar

What guest wouldn't love a Reef's slider, I ask you? No guest of mine.

The salted, crisp and buttery grilled bun; plump, juicy as hell hunk of ground beef; mound of sweet, melt-in-your-mouth caramelized onions; and the drizzle of creamy Sriracha rémoulade dripping down your chin. Add on fresh Gulf oysters-on-the-half-shell and you have yourself a lifetime of happiness.

While we're at it, maybe I'd just make the whole thing a Reef happy hour and include the jumbo shrimp shooters, too. Now that's true love.

Photo from Voice Places
4. Italian Station from Coppa

People like stations at cocktail hours. I think. Well, I do. And it's my fake wedding, so I do what I want.

This Little Italy-inspired station would include a feast of Coppa's best: baratta arancini -- little deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with creamy mozzarella and served with shaved parmigiano cheese and fresh marinara; fritto misto -- piles of fried calamari, shrimp and fennel; freshly made escarole and Caesar salads (because we need at least some greens); and made-to-order pastas and brick-oven pizzas, obviously.

3. A Miniature El Rey Taqueria

For my Cuban/Mexican station, I'd have the guys from El Rey Taqueria slinging out a few of my favorite tacos -- ropa vieja, tacos al pastor, grilled fish tacos, carnitas, and chicken and steak fajita. Then, of course, there'd be all the fixin's -- fried plantains, charro beans, Mexican rice, grilled onions, shredded cheeses, sliced cabbage, fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, habanero mayo and some cilantro for good measure.

Photo by Brooke Viggiano
2. Chicken Wings for Days

Including but not limited to: Max's Wine Dive's jalapeno-and-buttermilk-soaked fried chicken (served with the jalapeño corn cakes and maple syrup, of course); Mai's salt and pepper fried chicken wings with pepper and onion relish; and for shits and giggles, Goro & Gun's ODB & Biggie wings.

We'll see where our guests' loyalties truly lie.

1. An Underbelly Carving Station

Who else to trust with the carving station than Mr. Houston himself, Chris Shepherd?

I'd let him choose the cuts of the day, but I'd make sure they were served alongside freshly baked loaves of Slow Dough bread and farmer's market sides like smoked corn puree, heirloom tomato and pepper chow chow, and hand-pulled Caprese salad. Then, also whatever else Shepherd thinks is best. I trust him. I do. (See, I can say it!)

With drinks (read: Jäger-bombs) flowing and these Houston favorites along for the ride, this is one wedding cocktail hour I'd actually want to have. A girl can dream, can't she?

What kind of cocktail hour would you dream up?

Location Info

Goro & Gun - CLOSED

306 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


2600 Travis St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Coppa Ristorante Italiano - CLOSED

5555 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Max's Wine Dive

4720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mai's Restaurant

3403 Milam, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

El Rey Taqueria

910 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

I'm going to have to jump on the Underbelly train and go with the Pork Dumplings. God, those are good!

freenyona 1 Like

I had Gatlin's BBQ cater my wedding, and it easily could have been one of the best ideas I made about the entire affair (aside from the decision to marry my husband, of course).


Two things - pate from L'Olivier and fried chicken livers from Haven --

Now Trending

From the Vault