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Big Dinner Series at Underbelly; St. Pat's Day at El Big Bad

El Big Bad
El Big Bad
Max Burkhalter

DOWNTOWN— El Big Bad is hosting a St. Pat's party all day Saturday (March 15) beginning at 11 a.m. with special drink specials and $1 oysters. Since Zorro was Irish (who knew?), anyone who shows up in a Zorro costume will get happy hour pricing all night. More info here. [Eaterwire]

PIZZA WIRE— Pizza Week 2014 is this close—it launches Monday and runs through next Friday—and Eater is still taking your suggestions for Houston's iconic pizzerias here and for your pizza delivery horror stories over here. [Eaterwire]

MONTROSEMarch 23 will mark the beginning of an exciting dinner series organized by Underbelly's Chris Shepherd. The Chronicle's Greg Morago writes that Shepherd will bring together the best in the local food scene for a "collaboration among London Sizzler restaurant, chef Richard Knight and wine wiz Antonio Gianola," among other notable names. Tickets for each dinner are $100 per person and proceeds will benefit the Underbelly Scholarship at the Art Institute of Houston. Below is the complete schedule with quotes from Shepherd:

Sunday, March 23: London Sizzler, Richard Knight and Antonio Gianola (on sale now)
"Two of my favorite Brits and one of my favorite wine guys. The Patels at London Sizzler took me in as part of their family. I learned Indian food from them. Richard is one of the most exciting chefs on the Houston scene today. Feast was brilliant, and I have no doubt his upcoming Hunky Dory will be the same. Antonio has been such an inspiration for me-he pairs wines perfectly. Plus, he's probably the only person in the city who goes to London Sizzler more than I do. This one is going to be good."

Sunday, April 13: Randy Evans, Mark Holley and Atkinson Farms (on sale March 24)
"Mark, Randy and I go way back. Mark was one of my first bosses and became a mentor to both Randy and me when we worked for him. He taught us to support local farmers, and Randy and I have both been working with Mike Atkinson for years. This dinner will be a celebration of old friends and bright futures."

Sunday, May 18, 2014: PJ Stoops and Asia Market (on sale April 14)
"Asia Market is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the city. Before I opened Underbelly, I spent a week in the kitchen learning from the ladies at Asia Market, and I've put so many dishes on the menu inspired by what I learned there. PJ's knowledge of Thai cuisine and his ability to find and teach me about Thai ingredients make him a perfect fit for this dinner. I plan to be a regular at Foreign Correspondents, the Northern Thai restaurant he's opening soon."

Sunday, June 8, 2014: HK Dim Sum, Mala Sichuan and Rice Box Food Truck (on sale May 19)
"I love HK Dim Sum. So much. Every time I have dinner there, I go into the kitchen and learn something new. They love to teach me. Mala Sichuan is the most exciting, true to form Sichuan restaurant in the area. Expect only the best from them, because that's all they know. The Rice Box is one of the quintessential food trucks on the Houston streets today. Owner John Peterson, called the Golden Doomba by people who know him, has a vast knowledge of Chinese culture and cuisine."

Sunday, July 13, 2014: Saigon Pagolac and Ryan Pera (on sale June 9)
"Ryan knows so much about Vietnamese food-I love eating with him. Saigon Pagolac is one of the most authentic Vietnamese restaurants in Houston. They offer 7 Courses of Beef-you cook it yourself on the table and roll your own spring rolls. Ryan can roll a mean spring roll (and incredible pasta at his new restaurant Coltivare)."

Sunday, August 3, 2014: Gatlin's BBQ, Feges BBQ, Underbelly BBQ (on sale July 14)
"Barbecue is a staple in Texas, and Gatlin's BBQ does it right. They have a mean smokehouse, and Mama Gatlin makes the sides with a lot of love. Patrick Feges was one of my cooks at Underbelly, and he is one of the up-and-comers of the Houston barbecue scene. The rest of the kitchen staff at Underbelly will try our hand at barbecue, too-maybe we'll do some Korean barbecue. Or Chinese barbecue. We'll surprise you."