Culture / Entertainment

Getting Spicy With Chris Shepherd, the Botanic Garden’s Grand Return and Italian Food Mania — the Best Things to Do in Houston

Your Complete Events Guide

BY // 09.15.20

Can you believe it’s already (almost) fall? Is it just me, or are you catching wafts of apples, cinnamon and nutmeg in the air? Shudder.

I’m practically dragging my heels as Starbucks, Dunkin’ and other national brands dangle these rich autumnal flavors in front of my face.

If I’m being honest, seeing summer go is a sad, sad time. Sure the days may have been blazingly hot, unbearably humid and unnecessarily sweat-inducing at times (not to mention weird and sometimes frightening because of COVID-19) – but there’s a blissful nostalgia that makes me dread its end. Can I at least get some time to mourn its passing?

Still, there is time to capture the final official days of summer with Houston’s best events. Dine out, cook with celebrities, view some art. Just make the most of summer before it officially wraps up. Even if it feels like it’s already gone.

Astros vs. Rangers

Houston versus Dallas – the rivalry that will never die. Especially when it comes to sports.

Though fans can’t fill Minute Maid Park to cheer on the ‘Stros, they can still tune in on ATT SportsNet-SW and 790 AM to root, root, root for the home team. (Side note: listening to baseball games on the radio is highly underrated.)

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The three game series runs through this Thursday, September 17. Get some Crawford Bock and plenty of snacks to make the most of the viewing at-home home game experience.

The Houston Astros and Oakland A’s played the second game of a double header in Minute Maid Park, celebrating Jackie Robinson Day after walking off the field in protest of racial injustice
It is only cutouts for fans at Houston Astros games at Minute Maid these days. (Photo by F. Carter Smith)

Virtual Wine Dinner at Roma

Who doesn’t like Italian food? That’s rhetorical – everyone likes Italian food. Feed your love for cheese, breads, pastas, and wines with Roma Ristorante’s virtual wine dinner this Thursday night.

In this week’s virtual wine dinner series, the quaint Rice Village restaurant will Zoom in organic wine producer Emilio Fidora to discuss the hows and whys for organic wine production. The event will feature three bottles of wine, each of which will be complemented by a deliciously prepared savory plate (available for pickup at the restaurant just prior).

Tickets are $89 per person, $119 per couple.

Re-Opening of Houston Botanic Garden

The Houston Botanic Garden is slated to open back up this Friday, September 18, and this H-Town institution is wasting no time in getting events back on the calendar — socially distanced, of course.

On Saturday and Sunday, the garden will host the cultural event “Celebrating Latin America.” Learn all about the plants that have played a role in Latin American through the ages (like coffee and herbs) and how you can use them at home. You’ll also be able to enjoy a performance by the University of Houston’s Mariachi Pumas and bites from Popston and Tila’s Restaurante food truck.

Tickets are $15.

Cooking Class with Lior Lev Sercarz, Chris Shepherd and Matt Staph

Raise your hand if you’re a super chef super fan (both of mine are up). If so, this event will definitely be for you.

Chris Shepherd and Matt Staph are teaming up with New York City-based spice expert Lior Lev Sercarz to bring you a virtual cooking class like no other this Saturday, September 19. Assemble a refreshing watermelon and feta salad, cook up some lentils and seared fish, prepare lamb meatballs and whipped lebnah, and learn how to bake your own mishmish cake, all while discovering how spices can make a world of a difference in your cooking.

Tickets cost $150 per couple and include a Mini 5 Spice Set from Lior’s spice shop, La Boîte. Pickup for the ingredients will be at One Fifth the day before the event.

Chris Shepherd
Chris Shepherd

States of Mind: Art and American Democracy

The beloved Moody Center for the Arts is set to debut its newest exhibit State of Mind: Art and American Democracy this weekend, and you’re invited to stop by and take it in.

Meant to coincide with the upcoming 2020 election, the show is designed to promote conversations surrounding freedom and equality, voting access, immigration and gun control. It’s the perfect way to reflect and challenge your mind as you prepare for the upcoming presidential election.

The exhibition will be on view Sunday, September 19 through December 19.

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