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Houston Restaurant Weeks' Record Year; Renaissance Festival Announces Campground Changes

GIANT CHECKAGE—Houston Restaurant Weeks 2011 may be gone, but it certainly won't be forgotten. This year's tally for fundraising: a record-breaking $800,000, handed over to the Houston Food Bank ceremoniously last night at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in the form of a giant check. [Culturemap]

PLANTERSVILLE—All you Rennies planning on camping out at the Texas Renaissance Festival this year take heed. A decree has been issued by the festival that ye olde open flame barbecue pits, heating devices, Colman-style fueled lighting devices, fireworks and bon fires (basically anything with a flame) are not allowed due to the extreme drought. Smoking will be allowed in designated areas only as well. [Eaterwire]

AUSTIN—Vegetable lover/chef Justin Yu is headed to Austin alongside Anvil's Bobby Heugel and the yet-to-open Blacksmith Coffee Bar's Ecky Prabanto to put on a dinner inside Foreign & Domestic in Austin. Yu's goal for the guest appearance is "to strengthen the synergy between Houston and Austin as two vibrant food communities, as well as to celebrate the products of Texas by putting on a Vegetable-focused dinner using products from farms close to both of our towns." Details: October 9th, 2 dinners (5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.), $75/person, beverages included, email eatdrinkjustins@gmail.com for reservations. [Eaterwire]

MUSEUM DISTRICT—The Menil Collection, a gem of the Houston art scene and the museum district, is getting a food-truck inspired cafe. This time, the inspiration is applicable to the architecture and design of the cafe itself, no word on the menu just yet. Construction is set for spring of 2012, with an opening date a year later. [Art Attack]

Photo: Ye Olde Pickle Vendor at the Texas Renaissance Festival. [MarkScottAustinTX/Flickr]

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