Houston Grocery Stores Open on Christmas Eve and Day

Categories: Season's Eating

Photo by appaloosa
Need a last minute dessert because you burned your gingerbread? We've got you covered
Whether you forgot an ingredient for your famous egg nog, can't fit in the shopping, or just really, really like to wait until the last minute, here's a list of the grocery/convenience stores that will be open this Christmas Eve and Day:

Note: All information is based on telephone checks with the stores or their websites, so please don't be mad at us if you show up somewhere and that individual store is not participating. Consider this a spirit guide to where you can start looking. And feel free to add any extra openings in the comments.

Central Market - Open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Closed on Christmas Day.
Holiday Hotline: 713-386-1785

Costco - Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Closed on Christmas Day.

CVS***Open both days! - All locations (including 24 hour stores) are open normal hours on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for front of store operations (pharmacy hours vary).

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Where to Eat This New Year's Eve in Houston

Photo by Sam Howzit
Ring in the new year in style.
Whether you want a quick bite before a New Year at home or an extravagant feast complete with overflowing champagne, here is your 2014 Guide to Dining Out on New Year's Eve:

Note: Don't forget to make your reservations quickly, as these spots are bound to fill up!

2040 W. Gray, 832-200-1492
21 Waterway, 281-367-1492

Ring in the New Year at one of these swanky Latin American hotspots, who are offering a 3-course meal for $67 per person. Feast on lobster corndogs, ceviche mixto, their infamous churrasco steak and more before finishing off the meal on a decadent sweet note. Choose tres leches, a chocolate delirium cake, or alfajores.

800 Bagby, 713-278-4782

Enjoy Latin beats from a live band alongside a 4-course meal featuring goat cheese salad, lobster chupe, churrasco steak, tres leches and more. Tickets ($145 per person) include a champagne toast, party favors, prizes, and 3 drink tickets. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

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Five Awesome Houston Treats to Bring to a Holiday Party

Photo by Deb Smalls
Chocolatier and owner Annie Rupani makes some of the most beautiful chocolates.
Whether you want to gift the host a special treat or bring holiday eats for the party to share, here are 5 Awesomely Delicious Local Treats to Bring to Your Next Holiday celebration:

Exotic Artisan Chocolates
Where to get them: Cocao & Cardamom, 5000 Westheimer

These luxury artisan chocolates will make any party goer swoon. Get them in unexpected flavors like Szechuan peppercorn, coco curry, and five spice praline. Less daring chocolate lovers will go nuts for the flavors like smores -- made with housemade roasted marshmallow, milk chocolate ganache and graham cracker crumbs; or Nutella banana. Boxes starting at $20.

Gourmet Holiday Scones
Where to get them: Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, 3701 Travis

At $6 per order, chef Monica Pope's scone dough is available in flavors such as sour cherry pecan, gruyere chive, and lavender fig. Each ball of dough yields 10-15 small scones that will make the perfect bite-sized appetizers. And hey, people may even think you made them yourself. Order at least four days in advance from now through the end of the month.

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Where to Eat This Christmas Eve & Day in Houston

Categories: Season's Eating

Photo by Joe Buckingham
Let go of the stress this Christmas.
We can feel it in the air -- Christmas is almost here! And while we do love a good homemade feast, sometimes it's easier to let the professionals do the cooking, especially on the holidays where all you care about is when you're getting your next glass of egg nog. Oh, and your family and friends and spreading cheer and love, of course. Those things too.

From casual options and brunches to fancy four-course affairs, here is your Christmas 2014 Dining Guide:

Note: Don't forget to make your reservations quickly, as these spots are bound to fill up!

On Christmas Eve:

60 Degrees Mastercrafted
2300 Westheimer, 713-360-7757

Join this upscale grillhouse for an elegant 4-course prix fixe dinner on Chrismas Eve. For $75 per person, enjoy housemade duck prosciutto, lobster bisque, Cajun turkey with giblet gravy, and more. A limited a la carte menu will also be available. Reservations are from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Arturo's Uptown Italiano
1180 Uptown Park, 713-621-1180

This Italian restaurant will be offering their regular menu alongside a lobster tail, filet mignon, and sea scallop Christmas Eve special.

Backstreet Cafe
1103 S. Shepherd, 713-521-2239

Head to this stunning restaurant to indulge in a three-course menu complete with live music, and complimentary amuse bouche and egg nog for $52 per person plus beverage, tax and gratuity. Feast on dishes like sausage-stuffed quail, seafood pot pie, and more.

Bistro Provence
13616 Memorial, 713-827-8008

This cozy French bistro will be open for a special three-course Christmas Eve dinner for $60 per person plus tax and gratuity. With open seating at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., feast on dishes like foie gras terrine, lobster tail à l'orange, herb-crusted rack of lamb, or seared duck breast. For dessert, choose between a lemon meringue tart with red berry coulis or a Christmas flavored chocolate mousse.

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Countdown Thanksgiving: Excellent To-Go Side Dishes and More

Categories: Season's Eating

Photo by Brandi Key
Punk's Simple Southern Food is offering a handy "fixins kit" to go with your Thanksgiving turkey.
So, you've got the turkey covered for Thanksgiving but you're still overwhelmed? Focusing on what you really want to cook at home and picking up the rest can save a lot of time and headaches.

This handy guide includes suggestions from Houston Press readers and staff. Some of what's listed here have become new traditions for my own Thanksgiving table.

When a restaurant is noted, it is extremely important to contact them immediately. They all have a cutoff time when they are no longer able to take or fulfill orders.

See our other holiday food and drink suggestions:
Dine Out on Turkey Day: Where to Eat This Thanksgiving in Houston
These Houston Area Grocery Stores Are Open on Thanksgiving Day
10 Things Your Mother Didn't Teach You About Thanksgiving Wines

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A Thanksgiving Wish: My Dee Dee's Pie Shop Still Needs Help

Categories: Season's Eating

Photo by Mai Pham
Help is needed if more pies like these are to make their way into Houstonian hands.

Almost exactly a year ago, My Dee Dee's Pie Shoppe on West Gulf Bank burned to the ground. Owner Bella-Katherine Curtis's home was connected to the shop as well. It was not insured. Out of 8,000 square feet, 5,000 burned.

Looters quickly ransacked the place, taking anything they could that was portable and of any value.

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Triniti's New Seasonal Menu a Lovely, Leisurely Taste of Fall

Photos by Christina Uticone
Tomato soup with pimento kolache and eggplant jam is the opening dish on Triniti's new Vegetarian Tasting Menu.
Every meal at Triniti makes an impact. From a dinner with coworkers, to cocktails with girlfriends, to an anniversary brunch with out-of-town family, each meal exceeds the last in both beauty and flavor. We've never left the table at Triniti without a newcomer commenting on the lovely décor, and welcoming atmosphere. So when Chef Ryan Hildebrand added a seasonal tasting menu to the mix--one featuring fall's best vegetables--the invitation to preview the dishes couldn't be passed up.

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Dine Out on Turkey Day: Where to Eat This Thanksgiving in Houston

Photo by Rachel Bohanan.
This Thanksgiving, let Houston restaurants take care of the fuss.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner -- and if you aren't planning on burning your house down with a turkey fryer (again) or you just don't feel like cooking, you're going to need some ideas on where to eat. Well you've come to the right place, friends.

From casual options and brunches to fancy five-course affairs, here is your Thanksgiving 2014 Dining Guide:

Note: Don't forget to make your reservations quickly, as these spots are bound to fill up!

024 Grille
945 N. Gessner, 281-501-4350

Head to this modern American eatery from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to enjoy an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Day feast ($55/adult; $45/senior; $25/child age 6-12). Along with complimentary mimosas, indulge in pastries and muffins, seasonal fruits, made-to-order omelets, eggs benny, roasted butternut squash soup, an assortment of fresh greens, turkey and prime beef carving stations, smoked chicken and cornbread stuffing, goat cheese whipped potatoes, French green bean casserole, smoked gouda mac', and more. And we didn't even get to dessert. A chocolate fountain, honey bourbon pecan pie, and bananas foster bread pudding (among others) help round out the affair.

2040 W. Gray, 832-200-1492
21 Waterway, 281-367-1492

Both Américas locations will being serving Thanksgiving Day brunch buffet -- featuring Cordua classics alongside holiday favorites with Latin flair -- from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. ($49 adults; $15 for children age 6 to 12). Enjoy dishes like pumpkin and chorizo empanadas, maple glazed pecan ham, loaded mashed potatoes, aji-pepper-rubbed roast turkey, and pumpkin spice tres leches; Then wash it all down with some cinnamon-spiced cranberry sangria (additional charge) for good measure.

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Whole Foods Market: Your One-Stop Shop for Pumpkins This Fall

Photos by Molly Dunn
Whole Foods Market has a plethora of carving pumpkins, along with more you can eat.
Take one trip to any grocery store around town and you'll quickly realize that pumpkin season has arrived. But, there's more types of pumpkins than just the bright orange round ones you carve into Jack-O-Lanterns and set outside on Halloween night. Pumpkins come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors; and just because one is good for cooking, doesn't mean another can be used in the same exact way.

It's always fun to take the family out to a nearby pumpkin patch to sit on gourds, snap some photos and take a few home with you to carve and possibly eat. But, if you're just looking for a quick place to buy pumpkins without it being an all-day ordeal, then stop by any Whole Foods Market in the city. This year, the specialty grocery store offers nearly 27 different pumpkin and gourd varietals -- all of the pumpkins are local and edible. To help you decide which one is right for you, we have broken down the list of available pumpkins at Whole Foods Markets in Houston into two categories: best for carving/decorating, and best for baking/cooking.

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10 Comforting Recipes to Make This Fall

Photo by Molly Dunn
This fall, we're making French onion soup.
Ah, fall season. A time for cooler temperatures and heartier meals. Some of my favorite meals in the fall center around a warm, comforting dish usually while watching a football game. Unfortunately, everyone gets to celebrate the autumnal seasonal sooner than our portion of Texas does, but that doesn't mean we can't plan out our fall meals in advance. We've compiled ten stick-to-your-ribs recipes that you should definitely make when the cooler temperatures arrive.

When that time comes, grab a blanket and cozy up to any of these dishes for a relaxing, enjoyable meal.

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