Houston Restaurant Weeks: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema -- Vintage Park

Photo by Molly Dunn
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the first movie theater to participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks.
What they're up to for Houston Restaurant Weeks: This is the first year Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has participated in Houston Restaurant Weeks, and it's the first movie theater to join the HRW lineup. The Vintage Park and Mason locations both serve the same HRW dinner menu for $35 featuring three courses; the meal also includes a movie ticket for that evening plus a return movie ticket when given the check at the end of the meal. So, that's two movies plus a three-course meal for $35 -- not too shabby. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will donate $5 to the Houston Food Bank for every meal sold during HRW.

Service/Atmosphere: If you want to be able to see your food before your movie, then get to your seats quickly and select your courses right away. But, if eating in the dark doesn't matter to you, then hold off until the previews start to place your order. It's a nice change of pace to eat an HRW dinner at a movie theater; you don't have to worry about the kitchen being slammed.

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The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Unlimited Spaghetti & Garlic Bread at Alamo Drafthouse

Categories: Edible Events

Photo courtesy of Olivia Luisa Garcia
Houston welcomes its first urban ice cream truck.
Food Truck Friday @ Houston Press
Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
2603 La Branch

Kurbside Eatz will be parked outside of our offices from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. to serve lunch during Food Truck Friday. Swing by our offices in Midtown and get something scrumptious to eat, like the Kurbside fries and the pork belly buns -- how can you say no to slow-braised pork belly stuffed inside a deep-fried bun? You also can't deny a crispy pork belly taco.

Grand Opening of Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats @ East End Studio Gallery
Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
708 Telephone, Suite C

Get a first look (and taste) of the new urban ice cream food truck, Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats, tonight from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the East End Studio Gallery. Chocolate Wasted carries a variety of the old-school, classic ice cream treats, such as Bomb Pops and various animated character pops. Customers can also nosh on Ben & Jerry's ice cream or sip on a root beer float made with Saint Arnold Root Beer and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. The launch party coincides with the art show, Just Ink 4, a pen and ink art gallery show.

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Upcoming Events: Do You Know How to Spatchcock a Chicken?

Categories: Edible Events

Photo courtesy of Edible Earth Resources
Support Planted: Houston at the Food-as-Medicinal Experience on Monday, August 25.
Discover why local foods matter during the Food-as-Medicine Experience at
Sparrow Bar + Cookshop Monday, August 25 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Chef and owner Monica Pope along with Ali Miller of Naturally Nourished, will teach guests about the medicinal qualities of foods, and demonstrate how to include these in recipes for food and drink. For $85, each person will enjoy food-as-medicinal cocktail pairings, listen to a lecture from Miller and watch Pope demo recipes; a panel discussion on the importance of local foods is included as well. Proceeds from the event will benefit the urban farming project Planted: Houston.

Treat your special someone to a date night cooking class at Brennan's of Houston on Friday, August 29, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the class cost $150 per couple and include a three-course meal plus wine. Executive chef Danny Trace will demonstrate how to prepare Creole cuisine with an African twist. The first course includes gumbo with beaucop greens, okra and sassafrass. Next he will prepare a version of Texas shrimp and grits made with coconut curry, parsnips, charred peppers and summer greens. Finally, Trace will show guests how to make sweet potato beignets topped with peanut butter icing and Porier's cane syrup ice cream.

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Openings & Closings: More Tex-Mex, Please

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Francisco Montes
Sandy Witch Sandwich Company has officially closed.
Anthony Calleo, owner of Pi Pizza Truck and Sandy Witch Sandwich Company, announced this week on Twitter that his sandwich shop has officially closed. Sandy Witch, located inside Grand Prize Bar, was Calleo's second food endeavor. Calleo tells Phaedra Cook in part two of this week's chef chat that running Sandy Witch from within another restaurant created many difficulties and challenges for him.

"Yeah, it's hard as shit. It's hard for me and I treat it like a business," Calleo says. "It's not for fun or a hobby or every once in a while. It's a business and it still HARD. I thought about so many things for the sandwich shop before I did it, but the one question I failed to ask myself was "How are people going to react to a business inside of a business in Houston?" In New York, it happens all of the time. It's no big deal. It's a challenge for Sandy Witch."

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Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats Truck Hits The Houston Streets Friday

Photo courtesy Olivia Luisa Garcia
Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats will open for business Friday, August 22.
Remember when you were a kid and would hear the jingle of the ice cream truck coming down the street?

Nowadays, we tend to get our ice cream and popsicles from either the grocery store or one of the various ice cream shops around town. Yes, these are great, but what happened to the right to your neighborhood experience that traditional ice cream trucks provided? And again, that jingle?

A new updated version is about to hit the streets of Houston. Susan Sahwani-Garcia, owner of Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats, originally wanted to open a homemade ice cream mobile eatery, but as she began developing her project and realized how expensive that would be, she decided to start her business as a traditional ice cream truck selling all the classic treats and local products.

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Chef Chat, Part 2: Anthony Calleo of Pi Pizza Truck

Categories: Chef Chat

Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Anthony Calleo in front of the Pi Pizza Truck

NEWS UPDATE: at 9:15 am this morning, Anthony Calleo has announced that Sandy Witch, his second food endeavor located inside of Grand Prize Bar, has closed. This closely followed an announcement on their Facebook page of a collaborative brunch with Bernie's Burger Bus. The brunch was to be on August 31st, but it sounds like that's not going to happen now. In this Chef Chat, Calleo relates some of the difficulties associated with Sandy Witch and gives some insight on why it failed.

In Part 1, of our Chef Chat with Anthony Calleo, we learned about how he left social work and a career as a real estate broker to come back to the profession he started in: the pizza business. In Part 2, we talk about giant orders, the pizzas near and dear to Calleo's heart and fans that love Pi Pizza so much that they are willing to get permanent tattoos.

EOW: What's the largest pizza order you've ever gotten?

AC: That was definitely at Papa John's in the Medical Center--175 large pizzas. I delivered all of them in three trips.

EOW: Whaaat? Oh my gosh. That's stacks and stacks of pizzas!

AC: It was so hot in my car that my mirrors kept fogging up with the windows down in August. My trunk, backseat and floorboards were all full.

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Polonia Houston's Best and Only Polish Restaurant? Sounds Right.

Categories: On the Menu

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Potato Pancakes, Sour Cream, Apple Sauce

Polonia says it's the only restaurant in Houston serving authentic Polish food. Don't waste your time, however, on determining the relative veracity of this claim if you're in the mood for pierogi, stuffed cabbage, barszcz, bigos, etc. Theirs are amazing and your time is better spent eating than searching further.

Like many of Houston's best restaurants, Polonia possesses lackluster signage and a nondescript location. Its warm, almost kitschy interior adorned with provocative art and knicknacks is a delightful contrast, and once seated in the smallish dining space, flanked by an equally diminutive bar area, it's easy to stay

The facilitator for lingering at Polonia (which actually boasts swift service) is the delectable array of Polish comfort food classics such as over-sized potato pancakes, whose savory starch texture gets sweet and sour inflections from accompaniments of applesauce and sour cream, respectively.

This story continues on the next page.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Montrose

Photo by Troy Fields
Grab a seat at Eleven Eleven's bar or patio for happy hour cocktails.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all.

First up: Montrose.

Note: For the purposes of this list, Montrose is defined as the area west of Taft, south of Allen Parkway, east of Shepherd, and north of 59. Since many of the neighborhoods cross over each other, you may see some of your favorites on another list.

Honorable Mention: $3 selects and reverse happy hour at The Hay Merchant; $3 margs and $5 apps at Pistolero's; and the early bird happy hour at Lowbrow (food specials until 2 p.m.; drink specials until 6:30 p.m.).

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Get the Empanadas at Siphon Coffee

Photo by Molly Dunn
Look at that beautiful golden, flaky crust.
There's no denying that the beverages at Siphon Coffee, be it the cappuccino, Americano, cortado or siphon for one, are excellently executed. But, you can also say the same for the West Alabama coffee shop's pastries, breads and scones.

After seeing a friend on Facebook comment about the empanadas she had at Siphon Coffee this past weekend, I made it my priority to try the Argentinian pastries for breakfast. Now I know why she was so excited about Siphon's empanadas.

The morning treats located within a small glass display case look so delightful that you might be tempted to choose one of each...just to see how each tastes. I guess that's the nibbler in me coming out.

Two men ahead in line ordered slices of banana bread, while someone else opted for a bacon cheddar cheese scone. Each of these looked enticing, but I had to stick to my plan and order what I came for -- the empanadas.

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Videos of the Week: Watch Houston Area Chefs and Restaurants Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Mark Gabriel Medina and Tai Nguyen of Soma Sushi

It's become something of a badge of honor for people around the country -- chefs, celebrities, whole restaurants -- to be nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. A viral social media campaign meant to bring awareness to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, the challenge is to dump a bucket of ice water over yourself or donate $100 to ALS research at www.ALSA.org (most people do both).

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, progressively causing total paralysis while the mind remains fully lucid. The prognosis is dire for those who are diagnosed, who have a life expectancy of two to five years.

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