FOR MANY, NOTHING shouts summer more than a fresh, farm-grown tomato. What you find in supermarkets just can’t compare. Oh, the tender flesh warmed by the sun. The savory delight of the tangy juice drizzling down one’s chin. Homegrown tomatoes bring us to our knees with their juicy flavors! BLT, anyone?
Just in time for the turn of the season, Hope Farms is boasting 40 varieties of the popular “love apple” in its fields. The urban farm, located minutes from Downtown Houston, has begun to harvest the dazzling variety of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, which are on offer at Saturday markets and through subscription farm shares. Proceeds from produce sales benefit Recipe for Success Foundation, which founded the farm in 2016.
“I L.O.V.E. tomatoes,” gushes Recipe for Success founder Gracie Cavnar. “They are the ultimate umami flavor to me. We usually grow about two dozen kinds, but this year, we are experimenting with some new varietals as well as offering our classics. From home cooks to our top chefs, everyone is waiting to get their hands on these lovelies, and they sell out early on Saturdays.”
Ever tried a Lemon Boy, Sunrise Sauce or Mr. Stripey? How about a Red Torch or Ella Bella tomato? The Hope Farms Tomato Tasting and Farm Walk on June 1 is your chance to learn about all the flavor and texture nuances and find your preference. Other varieties that Hope Farms has planted include Chefs Choice Bi-color; Celebrity, Sunny Boy, Big Beef and more. This crop was planted after Houston’s last winter freeze, a season which is typically ready for harvest in the late spring.
Donors to the Recipe for Success Annual Fund are rewarded with an invitation to the event, where guests can sample dozens of varieties and pick their favorite. (Here’s a link to becoming a donor and securing an invite!) Alternatively, from now until the heat knocks them down, tomato lovers can get their fill at one of the Hope Farms Market Days (9am-1pm on Saturdays; 4-7pm on the first Wednesday of each month) or through a Seasonal Farm Share, which is delivered weekly to subscriber’s homes. Don’t miss out on the short but sweet Texas tomato season.
Sungold tomatoes are one of 40 varietals grown at Hope Farms (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Sungold tomatoes on the vine
Saturday Market at Hope Farms
Houston Contemporary Dance Company Twirls Into Hobby Center, Miller Outdoor with New Summer Programming
WITH SPRING NEARLY over, Houston Contemporary Dance Company is ready to wow audiences with two performances before the summer officially arrives.
On June 4, HCDC teams up with the Institute of Contemporary Dance to present two performances at the Hobby Center of Moving Myths, a family-friendly, theatrical tour de force created by playwright Elizabeth A. M. Keel based on traditional, heroic myths from Chinese, Native American, Norwegian and Ethiopian cultures. The production utilizes props, costumes and set pieces in combination with sound and video design by Houston’s BEND Productions to inspire young audiences to take care of their families, stand up to bullies and show courage in the face of danger.
And fresh from April’s acclaimed Hobby Center premiere of Interplay/Overlay, a new work created by the company’s resident choreographer Robbie Moore in collaboration with multi-instrumentalists Suad Ihsan and Brigette Yawn (better known as the electro-ukulele duo Say Girl Say), HCDC will reprise the piece. Interplay/Overlay will take the stage at the Miller Outdoor Theater on June 17 as part of Proceed, an evening of new and signature works from the past three seasons.
“I saw Say Girl Say perform at Jones Hall for the SPA (now Performing Arts Houston) Houston Artist Commissioning Project and felt like they would be a great fit for the company and Robbie's style of movement,” says HCDC Founder and Executive and Artistic Director Marlana Doyle. “Robbie and I listened to their album, had a phone call with them, and then he started creating the world premiere off the playlist they agreed on.”
Yawn, who moonlights playing viola in Two Star Symphony, was one of the luminous stars of CityBook’s Spring music issue. In performance, Say Girl Say are onstage, fully visible to the audience, performing their alternately haunting and playful songs live on a large platform behind the dancers. The free Miller Theater performance also includes a world premiere by New York-based artist Eoghan Dillon alongside works by Ja’ Malik, Sean Carmon, Amaria Stern and Chip Abbott.
HCDC company photo
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IT’S OFFICIAL: THE long holiday that kicks off summer arrives this weekend. Getting hungry, thirsty, and ready for some R&R? Whether you want to grill at home, grab to-go, or hit a Memorial Day celebration to honor our veterans, we’ve got you covered.
Show off your burger-crafting prowess just like the top chefs. Bludorn’s at-home burger kits are back by popular demand, just in time for the weekend. Each dry-aged beef burger kit ($85) serves four and includes ground Angus beef patties, redneck cheddar, caramelized red onions, skewered cornichons, frisee, scratch-made dijonaisse, and buns, as well as cooking instructions. Orders must be placed on the website before 3pm May 25, and can be picked up on Saturday, May 28, at Bludorn between 10am and 3pm.
Feel like firing up the grill this weekend? Look like a pro and pre-order “BBQ In Bulk” at both Spring Branch andGreenway Plaza, complete with reheating instructions. Don't want to cook but still channel the holiday spirit? Pick up hot, ready-to-eat barbecue from its Spring Branch location, and grab some bottles – or a case! – of wine while you're there.
This handy Heights market wants to be your one-stop shop for Memorial Day prep. Choices include the charcuterie board; Revival bratwurst four-pack; beautiful garlic-and-herb-marinated pork chops; Revival sausage sampler; and the44 Farms flank steak marinated in-house and ready to grill. To drink, choose the “sangrina” or mimosa kit.
Whether you are picnicking by the lake or in your own backyard, Loro has the fresh and hearty Memorial Day To-Go Package (serves 4-6, $99) ready to kick off summer. Included: Smoked bone-in half pork loin with madras curry, cumin rub, smoked peach chutney; charred broccolini with walnut bagna cauda; fried potato salad; kale and Asian pear salad,and gingersnap banana pudding. Most dishes are allergy-sensitive; inquire regarding details.
Treat a veteran to lunch on Memorial Day, and Picos will buy your lunch. Stop by with your Veteran guest anytime between 11am and 3pm on May 30, and Picos will cover your lunch entrée up to $16 as a thank you for honoring our service members. To top it off, Picos celebrates happy hour all day on Mondays, with $8 select cocktails and margaritas, $4 beers and various new authentic bar bites.
Space Cowboy, a tropical take on the classic hotel bar at the Heights House Hotel, will continue its summer concert series on May 28 in partnership with Wonky Power. DJ Squincy Jones servesas the opening act for headliner Bayou City Funk. On May 29, Space Cowboy is offering tickets for a Memorial Day Pool Party edition of its weekly Sunday Funday. Festivities include bottle service, games, live music and a brunch menu from executive chef Adriana Maldonado – think chicken fried steak and eggs; bananas foster French toast; fried chicken biscuits; chilaquiles; breakfast tacos and more.
In honor of the national day of remembrance, all Dish Society locations will host a Monday brunch 8am-3:30pm. Treat your favorite service member to farm-fresh picks like shrimp and smoky gouda grits, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, the Houston Hot Chicken Sandwich or 44 Farms chimichurri steak tacos for dine-in, pick-up, curbside or delivery.
The Memorial Day party celebration on May 29 features all-you-can-eat crawfish and live music, plus a build-your-own bloody Mary bar. On Memorial Day, May 30, Revelry is offering a steak night special with two sides and a pint of beer ($25).
Kick back with your favorite Tex-Mex plates and happy hour pricing on Molina's margaritas: $6.50 all day, Saturday through Monday. Featuring 100 percent agave tequila, Triple Sec and fresh lime, shaken or frozen, it's a small way to raise a toast to veterans. Gathering at home? Molina’s offers fajita packs to-go, paired with margaritas by the gallon, half-gallon or glass.
Banh mi at Yelo (photo by Kimberly Park)
As a special thank you, active and retired service members with valid military ID will receive 20 percent off their entire order placed in person on Memorial Day. New menu items like banh mi, Hong Kong-style curry fish balls, Chinese dumplings, one noole soup (featuring braised beef shank and one six-foot noodle!) and youtiao (Chinese doughnuts) are available for dine-in or to-go.
Van Leeuwen (photo by Alex Montoya)
Memorial Day just wouldn’t be complete without ice cream! Serving a bountiful menu of vegan and dairy ice creams, such as recently announced new CORE flavors Raspberry Layer Cake and Black Cherry Chip, all locations will be open Memorial Day for dessert lovers to discover something decadent. Ice cream pints are available to-go ($12 each) – get more info by visiting this link.
Come hungry for a Memorial Day party with all-you-can-eat crawfish for just $40. All-day live music will start at 2pm!