MALK Offers All-Natural Plant-Based Milks to Houston

Categories: Local Spotlight

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Photo by Molly Dunn
You can now get MALK at Urban Harvest during the Saturday farmers market.
Alternative milks, such as soy, almond and coconut, have become a lot more popular over the years. Those who are lactose intolerant or don't eat products from animals have opted for plant-based products, such as the aforementioned variations on milk.

August Vega has been making alternative milks for years. After starting a job that made it difficult to make her own almond milk at home, she began purchasing the milk from grocery stores, but quickly realized that the ingredients used in store-bought almond milk is not something she wants to put in her body or her family's. Seeking an alternative to these products, Vega and her family decided to go into business together and make plant-based milks. The family launched MALK about a year and a half ago in Houston.

"First of all, we try to avoid anything that doesn't contain a word that's difficult to pronounce because if you can't pronounce it [and] you don't understand what it is, it's probably not something that you want to put in your body -- that's our philosophy," Vega says.

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The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Fielding's Wood Grill Celebrates Its First Year Anniversary

Categories: Edible Events

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Photo courtesy of Brennan's of Houston
Commander's Palace's executive chef Tory McPhail will cook alongside Brennan's executive chef Danny Trace during a collaborate Creole dinner.
Cooking Class with Tory McPhail @ Brennan's of Houston
Friday, 6:30 p.m.
3300 Smith

Brennan's of Houston will host Tory McPhail, executive chef of Commander's Palace, tonight at 6:30 p.m. for a special cooking class demonstration along with Brennan's executive chef Danny Trace. The duo will prepare a three-course meal for $150 per couple. For the first course, guests will watch McPhail and Trace prepare barbecued Vegetable Salad complete with a tasting of slow-smoked and grilled vegetables atop spicy farm greens and goat cheese all tossed in barbecued lemon vinaigrette. Next, guests will savor in Louisiana Tur-duck-hen featuring layers of turkey, duck and chicken with smoky tasso and brie; it's all encased in a crispy crust. For dessert, both chefs will prepare Candied Texas Tomato Galette featuring MoonDog Farm tomatoes with strawberry sangria, balsamic caramel and elote ice cream.

Bayou City Outdoors Farmers Market Bike Ride @
Onion Creek

Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon
3106 White Oak

Hop on your bike and ride around Houston this Saturday with the Bayou City Outdoors crew and visit local farmers markets. Everyone meets at Onion Creek by 8 a.m., then the group of bikers will start peddling down to the first stop. Bring a backpack to fill up with all of the items you buy at the markets (you will visit two or three) and don't forget a bottle of water because this is a 12-15 mile bike ride that lasts for approximately three hours. But, don't worry, you won't be racing around town; it's a leisurely ride to get produce and local products at the farmers markets. After the ride, stick around for lunch at Onion Creek.


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Upcoming Events: Corn Tamales Are Now at Hugo's

Categories: Edible Events

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Photo courtesy of Paula Murphy
The corn tamales at Hugo's are made fresh in-house.
Hugo's now has corn tamales, but it's only for the month of September. Chef Hugo Ortega is using fresh corn from Mexico, where it is harvested every year, to make these traditional tamales. Each order is made with masa, rajas (sliced poblano peppers), queso fresco, crema and tomatillo salsa and costs $9. These corn tamales will be gone as soon as October 1 arrives.

Your last chance to get a 91-cent Original Coney at James Coney Island and JCI Grills will be Thursday, September 18, as it is the last offering during the 91st anniversary of the Houston hot dog establishment. Get your Original Coney topped with mustard, chili and onions all day at any location in Houston; you can even upgrade to a Cheese Coney for 30 cents more if you so please. Next year, the coney special will be 92 cents due to it being the 92nd anniversary.

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Openings & Closings: Tout Suite is Finally Open in EaDo

Categories: Restaurant News

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The Pappas Bar-B-Q located at 3814 Little York burned to the ground early in the morning on Sunday, September 7. The restaurant was closed during the time of the fire and no firefighters were injured while responding to the two-alarm blaze. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but Christina Pappas, Director of Marketing for Pappas Restaurants, Inc., provided this statement to the Houston Press:

"We want to thank The Houston Fire Department for their bravery at our location on Little York. We are very thankful that all of our employees and all firefighters are safe. We are working to relocate our staff to other locations. The Little York location will be closed until further notice."

Pappas continues by saying, "Our current priority is relocating all of the Little York employees to other Pappas locations until we are able to reopen."

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Chef Chat, Part 2: Amalia Pferd of Good Dog Houston

Categories: Chef Chat

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Amalia Pferd of Good Dog Houston

Food trucks are awesome. They're also a challenge to run and sometimes even finding a stable location to park and do business is problematic. Good Dog Houston still has its truck, but they've successfully made the transition from being on the road to being a traditional restaurant in the Heights.

In this final part of our Chef Chat with Amalia Pferd, (part One was yesterday) find out more about the restaurant, their new retail program that lets you have a Good Dog Houston experience at home and how they focus on using local products both in their dishes and behind their bar.

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EOW: At what point did you decide, "The truck is no longer working. We really do need a storefront."

AP: A few months before we opened here we stopped with our regular routines. It's just Danny and I, so we needed to focus on getting the restaurant opened. We were paying rent and you just try to get it going as quickly as possible. We felt like slowing down on the truck would really help us push and get the restaurant open.

EOW: Was the storefront always the goal or did you realize there was only a certain point you'd get to with the truck?

AP: The storefront was a dream. I remember the first week we were on the truck and I was like "Where's my walk-in??" because we were out of butter. It's the sort of thing you don't think about when you're a line cook. I said right away, "This isn't going to work." It was a real dream that we'd get something bigger and more permanent. Throughout our time [on the truck], we were working on building a fan base and a business plan that would be successful as a brick-and-mortar.


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Seeking More Houston-Based Food Freelancers

Categories: Our Staff

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The Houston Press is looking for a few more freelance food writers to help our readers sort through what the Houston area had to offer in food and restaurants.

Applicants need to not only know about food, but are willing to interview other people about it.


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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Midtown

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Photo by Troy Fields
Make your way to Sparrow Bar + Cookshop's sleek bar for classic treats with a twist.
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. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving on to the bar-and-resto-packed hood of Midtown, where there are almost too many awesome spots to name. While happy hours at laidback bars like Little Woodrow's, The Dogwood, Saint Dane's, and Celtic Gardens don't disappoint, we've put an emphasis on the places with the best bang for your buck.

Honorable mention: Free finger foods at Piola's bar and $6 to $8 teasers and elixirs at Mr. Peeples.

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7 Seasonal Brews to Kick Off the Fall Season in Houston

Categories: Brew Blog

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Photos by Molly Dunn
Try these seven fall brews to welcome the fall season.
You know fall is almost here when Starbucks starts selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Oktoberfest beers start popping up all over the place. Too bad it's still hot as ever outside. We're almost halfway through September and the grocery store beer aisles are already filled with a multitude of fall brews. So, which ones should you buy?

We scoured the beer aisle at the H-E-B on the corner of West Alabama and Dunlavy, and found seven seasonal brews you are sure to love. Plus, we've got the scoop on the next wave of seasonal beverages coming from these breweries.

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How Did Restaurants Do During Houston Restaurant Weeks 2014?

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo courtesy of Houston Restaurant Weeks
HRW is over, but some Houston restaurants are sounding off on their experiences this year.
Houston Restaurant Weeks came to a close on Monday, September 1. The total amount of money raised from the approximately 165 participating restaurants has not been announced yet, but we spoke with a few restaurant general managers/owners about their experience during HRW this year to get some feedback from the restaurant-side in terms of customer traffic, work load in the kitchen, profits for the restaurant and if they would consider participating next year.

Kata Robata (a frequent participant), Radical Eats (newcomer to HRW) and Eleven:Eleven (a second-year participant) provided us with some similar comments about the restaurant's experience, and some strikingly different opinions from the general managers/owners.

Kata Robata has participated in HRW for about five years. General manager Blake Lewis says that Kata Robata is already busy during August, so adding HRW traffic definitely can clog things up in the restaurant. Lewis says about 980 customers dined on the restaurant weeks menu at Kata this year.

"We did a few hundred less than we did the year before," Lewis says. "I just think that there were so many more restaurants doing it this year that that might have been the reason why we didn't see as many as we have in the previous years. We just get guests that wouldn't normally come to Kata because they are afraid of the menu or just think it's too expensive, or whatever have you. We get a lot of first-timers here during restaurant weeks which we are obviously happy about. But a lot of them don't always return just because they end up not appreciating what we do here."

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Dinner Lab: Curated, Members-Only Experiences Arrive In Houston

Categories: Edible Events

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
The first Dinner Lab in Houston was held in the Maker Space warehouse on the East side.

Pop-ups are fairly common events in Houston, where a variety of chefs (often in conjunction with bartenders and sommeliers) band together to throw a one-time meal. Pop-ups have been used as fundraisers, helped chefs launch restaurants and functioned as creative outlets that allow chefs to cook different meals than what is normally served at their own restaurants.

Dinner Lab puts a few twists on the pop-up idea, bringing in out-of-town chefs to execute meals based on personal stories and backgrounds. (Local chefs may be featured as well and then invited to show off their talents in other cities.)

The meals are not held inside traditional restaurants. Dinner Lab instead opts for eclectic venues. In other cities, dinners have been hosted in abandoned churches, museums, motorcycle dealerships and boxing gyms. One dinner was held on a helipad.

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