Upcoming Events: Houston Jazz Festival 2011

Rachelle Farrell

Yet another shining star for the arts in Houston, the 2011 Houston Jazz Festival is just around the corner.  This will be the fourth year for the event hosted by Jazz Education Inc., a 501 C3 non-profit whose mission is to educate and instill a passion for jazz to Houston youth.

21st Annual Houston International Jazz Festival
Schedule

Friday, August 5, 2011
House of Blues – 1204 Caroline
8:00 pm Kick-off Party
Featuring: Kyle Turner w/ Joe Carmouche
Advance Tickets $20/Door $25Saturday, August 6, 2011
Discovery Green Park – 1500 McKinney
4:00 pm Gate Open
5:00 pm SJW
6:45 pm Texas Brass Band w/ Frank Lacy
8:30 pm Four PlaySunday, August 7, 2011
Wortham Theater – 610 Preston
11:00 am – Kroger Mayor’s Scholarship Jazz Brunch
Featuring: The Summer Jazz Workshop All-Stars w/Special Guest

Discovery Green Park – 1500 McKinney
4:00 pm Gate Open
5:00 pm Theresa Grayson
6:45 pm Mindy Abair
8:30 pm Will Downing

Discovery Green Advance Tickets:
General Admission $25.00/Reserved Seating $35.00

Discovery Green Gate Tickets:
General Admission $30.00/Reserved Seating $40.00

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Food Truck Tours: It’s A Wrap!

No, our series on food trucks is not over….we’re talking about the name of another great gourmet truck in the city called “It’s A Wrap!”  I found them today at Inversion Coffee House.  The only standing date they seem to have is Saturdays at Inversion on Montrose from 11-2, so if you’re trying to find them on any given day, just check out their Facebook or their Tweets at ItsAWrapTruck.

OK, so here’s the skinny….I tried the Jerk Chicken wrap.  The chicken was perfectly seasoned and cooked, and no “funky chicken pieces” were to be found…yeah!!!  They highlight this wrap with a tangy and fresh mango salsa, a little cilantro and a spicy mayo with an excellent kick to it.  I don’t like lettuce on my hot sandwiches as it grosses me out to eat hot, wilted lettuce and forgot to tell them to hold the lettuce.  I don’t know how they did it, but the lettuce was nice and crunchy adding a great crisp to the texture.  Overall, I give “The Jerk” a perfect score.  I also tried the fried Mac ‘n Cheese ball.  I would call it the perfect carb nugget, even though I’m not typically a Mac ‘n Cheese fan.

The menu selection was a bit slim as compared to some of the other trucks:  only four wraps being offered, plus the Mac ‘n Cheese ball.  It looks like the change around the daily menu some as their card shows about six options and two other “appetizers.”

Spring is here! Join us, Thirsty Thursdays at Market Square Park!

Come join the fun at Market Square Park’s Thirsty Thursdays outdoor concert series, kicking off March 25!  Bring the blankets and lawn chairs, kick back, enjoy great food and drinks from Niko Niko’s, and listen to the sounds!  “Austin Rock” RULES with native Patrice Pike (Patrice Pike Trio) kicking off one of Houstonians’ favorite spring traditions.

Check out the full calendar of events for Market Square Park here.

Here’s the 411 on parking:

There is an abundance of on-street parking in downtown.  Metered on-street parking is available Monday-Saturday and is free after 6 pm and all day Sunday.  Make sure you feed the meter when applicable and always pay close attention to City signage.  Never park at a red meter or if the street  has red markings.  Milam and Travis streets along the park are also considered mobility lanes so you cannot park there from 7-9 am or 4-6 pm.

$5 parking is available daily at Market Square Garage at 300 Milam which is conveniently located across the street from the park.

This is a dog-friendly, family friendly, get-out-and-enjoy-Houston place to be!   Come catch the buzz….

Wabash Feed Store-“A Little Bit of Country in the Heart of the City”

I LOVE a good dichotomy.  When you see this place, you won’t believe you’re in the heart of Houston.  Living in the area of the Wabash myself, I had driven by so many times without even knowing it was there.  The Wabash Feed Store has been in business since the turn of the century (20th, that is…not 21st).  Don’t let the name fool you…you need to drop by and just experience this quirky little place located in the booming Washington corridor, across the street from El Tiempo Mexican Restaurant.  Even if you don’t have cattle or horses to feed, or don’t really dig on garden art, there are lots of things to see and buy.

This is such a great place to take the kiddos, too.  They have a huge array of animals from standard fare dogs and cats, to chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and more!  Personally, I love the chickens and miss hanging out with them like I used to on my sister’s farm, so Wabash is a great place for me to spend time with my poultry pals.  The Wabash also features a farmer’s market every Sunday from 11 to 3 and a good enough reason to go to the market is that Slow Dough Bread Co. sells their wares there!

ASIDE:  If you’ve had to-die for bread at a Houston restaurant, there is a good chance it came from Slow Dough.  They DON’T have a retail storefront, so your only chance to buy it direct is at one of the Farmer’s Markets that Slow Dough participates in…like the Wabash on Sundays.

With all of the great restaurants now in the Washington area, you should swing by after your meal and just take a look-see.   Once again, I manage to tie in food to a blog….surprise, surprise.

Some seriously cool boots for Rodeo!

So, if you read my recent post on The Texas Junk Co. and were turned off at the prospect of wearing someone else’s hand me down kickers, then the upcoming Rocketbuster Boots Trunk Show may be right up your alley, um, er, corral.  Pinto Ranch Fine Western Wear at 1717 Post Oak will be hosting the event this Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Rocketbusters  is a Texas institution, located in El Paso, Texas.  All designs are entirely original and amazing.  You will get noticed wearing these!  Each pair is stitched and assembled by hand, resulting in only 500 pairs being produced each year.  It can’t hurt that proud owners include Tom Petty, Sharon Stone, Billy Bob Thornton, and the “Big O”.

Even if you’re not in the market for boots, definitely go check out the Rocketbuster trunk show!

Upcoming Events: Cirque du Soleil’s oVo

Coming March 10 and running through April 3, Cirque du Soleil’s touring production of OVO represents “An immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects.”  What a great way to kick off spring with or without kids!  Go here to get ticket information and check out the cool trailer:

Want a new hobby? Check out “Leisure Learning”

Want to brush up on your Spanish?  Learn to cook?  Get better at social networking?  Whatever your interest, chances are Leisure Learning has a class for it.

From arts and crafts to computers,to business skills, cooking and sports, Leisure Learning offers reasonably priced classes to help you gain the knowledge or skills that you want to have.  Plus, going to a class is a great way to meet people who share your interests!

Check out the link on the right hand of this blog to find out more about classes offered.