Second Servings, a food rescue nonprofit on a mission to fight hunger and end food waste in Houston, is conducting the inaugural Fight Hunger. End Waste. Food & Beverage Series the month of April 2021, in honor of Stop Food Waste Day on April 28.
From April 1-30, 15 of Houston’s favorite restaurants will showcase a zero-waste dish or cocktail to raise awareness of food insecurity and food waste, as well as support Second Servings’ mission to fight hunger and end waste in the community. Each featured menu item will be priced by the participating restaurant with a small donation attached going to Second Servings. This fundraising method allows the food & beverage industry to also benefit during trying times.
“We created this program to, not only, drive awareness to two very pressing needs: food insecurity and food waste, but to also support the food & beverage industry,” Second Servings Communications Specialist Kristen Torrez said. “This program gives restaurants the opportunity to help Houstonians in need and gives the community the opportunity to support restaurants.”
For every dollar donated, $50 worth of food is delivered to a local charity through Second Servings’ food rescue efforts. The restaurant that raises the most donations will receive a special award and be given the opportunity to deliver food to a nearby charity of their choice with Second Servings. To further support the food rescue nonprofit, visit https://secondservingshouston.org/donate-now.
Participating restaurants’ dish and/or cocktail descriptions include:
93’ Til (cocktail)
Item Name: Fermented Tomato Water Bloody Mary
Description: The New Montrose record bar and lounge, 93’ Til, pushed the envelope with its innovative Fermented Tomato Water Bloody Mary. Bar Manager Tina Marie Brackett decided to ferment the tomato water to produce more product, while using every bit of the tomato. The tomato water is made with roma tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots, jalapeños, basil and fish sauce. After the water is drained, they dehydrate the leftover byproduct and blend it with salt and pepper to make the rimming powder. This light and refreshing bloody mary is mixed with lemon and your choice spirit, then garnished with cucumber skin, olives and chives.
Price: $14 (donation: $1)
Bayou & Bottle (cocktail)
Item Name: Framtida
Description: The Bourbon Stewards at Bayou & Bottle, the chic bourbon bar located in the lobby of Four Seasons Hotel Houston, created the Framtida. Swedish for “future,” the Framtida is a fun twist on a classic whiskey sour cocktail that is composed of house-made lemon simple syrup and dry shaken with aquafaba (leftover liquid from chickpeas) as a vegan substitute for egg whites to create a foamy top. From the fresh-squeezed lemon juice to the lemon sugar and candied lemon peels for garnish, the entire lemon is used for the making of this sustainable cocktail.
Price: $15 (donation: $1)
Dozier’s BBQ (dish)
Item Name: Brisket Debris Po’Boy
Description: Dozier’s BBQ, the popular smokehouse located in Fulshear, TX, is featuring the Brisket Debris Po’Boy, which includes Dozier’s famous shredded brisket that is simmered in a brown gravy made from brisket drippings and served on a French baguette with sriracha mayo and coleslaw. This plate from pitmaster Jim Buchanan will come with a side of potato salad and will be available Thursday-Saturday through the month of April for the Fight Hunger. End Waste. Food & Beverage Series.
Price: $13.95 (10 percent of proceeds)
Item Name: Italian Chicken and Rice Bowl
Description: The chefs over at Eighteen36 found a way to create a delicious meal using unused ingredients from other menu items. The Italian Chicken and Rice Bowl utilizes chicken trimmings, white rice and sauteed with marinara that is typically used for their meatballs.
Price: $11 (donation: $2)
El Topo (dish)
Item Name: Funky Brussels
Description: El Topo, the trendy New Western neighborhood spot nestled in West U, created a new side dish called Funky Brussels. Owner Tony Luhrman and his team have found a way to extend the lives of fresh brussel sprouts by marinating them in Japanese White Shoyu, then vac sealing them. This creates more in-depth flavor and is a great food waste prevention tip. The brussel sprouts are then baked with a spicy glaze and topped with candied pistachios and scallion grass.
Price: $12 (donation: $2)
Guard and Grace (dish)
Item Name: Squid Ink Ebi Yakisoba
Description: Ebi—Japanese for shrimp—is the true star of this beautiful, sustainable dish. Created by Guard and Grace Executive Chef Adam Stephens, the Squid Ink Ebi Yakisoba includes a reduced shrimp head and shell stock with aromatics and a paste of fermented vegetable stems and stalks to create a highly condensed flavorful sauce to toss with house made squid ink ramen noodles. The noodles then get placed on a basil stem oil and topped with Texas gulf shrimp and serrano chilis for spice.
Price: $18 (donation: $6)
Hando + Kanpai Club (dish + cocktail)
Item Name: Dish: Chickpea Harumaki; Cocktail: Gin-za Fizz
Description: Popular Heights hand roll sushi bar, Hando, and the new intimate cocktail bar next door, Kanpai Club, created a multi-use zero-waste dish and cocktail. As an egg white substitute, Kanpai Club uses “aquafaba” (the liquid from chickpeas) in their cocktails to create a foamy topper. Hando Executive Chef Man Nguyen created the Chickpea Harumaki, which is a traditional Japanese spring roll, using the chickpeas strained from the aquafaba. The chickpeas are mashed with ginger and garlic puree, then stuffed in crispy dumpling skin and topped with chili threads. The aquafaba is be used in the Gin-za Fizz available at both Hando and Kanpai Club. This refreshing cocktail also includes gin, calpico, genmaicha, citrus and ramune.
Price: Chickpea Harumaki: $6 (donation: $1); Gin-za Fizz: $12 (donation: $1)
Local Foods – Heights Location (dish)
Item Name: Zero-Waste Shrimp Caesar Salad
Description: Simple, delicious and waste-free is the name-of-the-game at Local Foods. Houston’s favorite healthy eatery is presenting a Zero-Waste Shrimp Caesar Salad. In effort to utilize every item in the kitchen, the chefs are using the backend of Romaine heads that ordinarily turn brown and are bringing the lettuce back to life through the acidity in the Caesar dressing. In addition, the unneeded stale bread trim is being used to make the perfect crouton, as stale bread is actually preferred and holds more flavor when making croutons! The salad is then topped with blackened Yucatan shrimp. This April special will be available at the Heights location only.
Price: $14 (donation: $1)
One Fifth Southern Comfort (cocktail)
Item Name: Sazerac
Description: Underbelly Hospitality Spirits Director Westin Galleymore knows a thing or two about waste-free cocktails. At One Fifth Southern Comfort, Westin is highlighting their signature Sazerac. The spirit-forward cocktail is comprised of frozen rye whiskey, peychauds, absinthe and honey. To add more in-depth flavor, Once Fifth caramelizes the honey, which darkens the flavor cutting out the need for spices or other flavor enhancers that would normally be strained off and wasted. A lemon peel garnishes the cocktail, but rest easy, all peeled lemons are saved for juicing the next day.
Price: $13 (donation: $1)
Roots Wine Bar (dish)
Item Name: Fish Dumplings
Description: Roots Wine Bar, the hot new self-serve wine bar in Eado, doesn’t just serve wine, but also offers a rotating menu of locally sourced seasonal gulf coast eats. Scraping the meat off the bones of the fish of the day, Executive Chef JD Fouche uses the remaining fish to prepare Fish Dumplings. To create a flavorful base for the stock, the leftover carcass is charred with bacon, tomato consommé and cipollini onions, minimizing all waste. Prepared in a bowl with poached heirloom cherry tomatoes and watercress onions, the broth is poured over the dumplings at the table. This will be available beginning April 5.
Price: $12 (donation: $1)
Ristorante Cavour (dish + cocktail)
Item Name: Full Zero-Waste Menu
Description: Highly acclaimed Chef Maurizio Ferrarese of Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca has curated a full zero-waste menu to enjoy in their gorgeous indoor dining space or outdoor patio. The menu includes the Daily Catch Seafood Stew (Cacciucco), Five Onion Soup using a collection of different onion types from other preparations, Anti-Waste Risotto with parmesan crusts and lemon, Tuscan Pappa Al Pomodoro with burrata cheese and Braised Short Ribs. The luxury hotel is also offering Benito’s Zero-Waste Signature Cocktail featuring your choice of gin or vodka.
Price: Included on menu; donations vary
Sticky’s Chicken (dish)
Item Name: Spicy Chicken Nuggets & Rice
Description: Patsy Vivaras, owner of Sticky’s Chicken, hates seeing good food go to waste, so she created the Spicy Chicken Nuggets & Rice to utilize remaining star ingredients from other hot menu items. Crispy nuggets are dipped in Sticky’s famous hot chicken sauce and served over delicious garlic rice, then drizzled with house ranch and scallions. This combination may find a permanent home on the menu!
Price: $12 (donation: $1)
Tacos A Go Go – All Locations (dish)
Item Name: Taco de Lengua
Description: Tacos A Go Go Owner and Chef Maribel Gomez says none of the animal gets wasted in Mexico! That said, she is excited to introduce her signature Taco de Lengua, also known as a beef tongue taco. The beef tongue is boiled with spices for a few hours, then peeled, diced and placed back into the seasoned liquid to enhance tenderness and juiciness. This flavorful taco is topped with onions, cilantro, queso fresco and avocado jalapeno salsa. Each order comes with two (2) tacos and is available beginning April 6.
Price: $4.99 (donation: $1)
Woodshed Smokehouse (cocktail)
Item Name: La Paloma
Description: Using leftover ingredients from other cocktail recipes and menu items, the bartenders at Woodshed Smokehouse put together a La Paloma. Cucumber ends that ordinarily get tossed and a surplus of basil (often used for kitchen marinades) are muddled, then mixed with fresh grapefruit juice, Campari, tequila, prosecco and agave. This tequila cocktail not only helps reduce waste but is the perfect refreshing spring cocktail to enjoy on the Woodshed patio located at Levy Park.
Price: $12 (donation: $2)
Second Servings is Houston’s only prepared and perishable food rescue organization. Since 2015, the nonprofit has been picking up unsold and unserved food from food businesses, such as distributors, retailers and manufacturers, and delivers it the same day, for free, to more than 90 local shelters, soup kitchens, low-income housing and many other charities. Second Servings of Houston has rescued more than five million pounds of food, valued at more than $50 million, from more than 400 food donors and delivered it to charities in need.