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Cougar Paws Are Houston’s Food of the Moment as UH Gears Up for Its First Sweet 16 Game Tonight

A Food Network championship dessert is on the menu at Musaafer, a new immersive baseball experience hits Katy, and more intel

Rows and rows of doughnuts on display.
Cougar Paws are available at 10 Houston-area Shipley’s locations.
Shipley Do-Nuts

There is lots to celebrate as the University of Houston men’s basketball team gears up for its first NCAA Sweet 16 game against the Miami Hurricanes tonight, including the sweet surprise that Shipley’s Do-nuts has renamed its iconic bear claws to “Cougar Paws” in honor of the occasion. Cougar Paws are , and are large enough to share... if you’re feeling generous. Only 11 Houston-area Shipley Do-Nut locations are serving up Cougar Paws, including the Scott Street outpost near U of H, but for Houstonians who can’t tear themselves away from the tube, orders may be placed for delivery directly through Shipley’s website.

A Cougar Paw are dusted with cinnamon, fried, and dipped in Shipley’s signature vanilla glaze.
Cougar Paws are dusted with cinnamon, fried, and dipped in Shipley’s signature vanilla glaze.
Shipley’s Do-nuts

Musaafer’s winning Food Network dessert will be on the menu through Easter

After taking home top honors on Season 3 of Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship this week, Musaafer’s executive pastry chef, Ruchit Harneja, is giving guests a chance to try his winning honey-glazed ham-inspired dessert, which will remain on the restaurant’s menu through April 9. The one-of-a-kind pastry features a hickory-smoked honey cake, pineapple and clove peeps, cherry pâté de fruit, and a ham crumble, serving as a sweet interpretation of the savory Easter tradition.

Home Run Dugout opens next week in Katy

The immersive sports and dining craze continues, as Home Run Dugout, an entertainment venue, featuring indoor soft-toss baseball, combined with a sports bar and restaurant, is opening at 1220 Grand W. Blvd. on Thursday, March 30. The 46,000-square-foot venue boasts 12 indoor Batting Bays — batting cages without the cage — fitted with state-of-the-art pitching technology and augmented reality, allowing batters to simulate their play in any MLB stadium, including Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Players can find sustenance after they play at the onsite restaurant, which features a menu of elevated ballpark fare, including flatbreads, smoked chicken wings, and crispy chicken sliders, while the hot dog grill serves up four different styles of dogs.

Navy Blue sets date for first collaborative dinner with Austin chefs

Navvy Blue owner Aaron Bludorn, along with executive chef Jerrod Zifchak and pastry chef Marie Riddle are teaming up with Austin chefs Fermin Nunez (Suerte, Este) and Rick Lopez (La Condesa) for Noche at Navy Blue, a collaborative dinner benefitting World Central Kitchen, Chefs for Ukraine on Tuesday, April 11. The 5-course dinner will combine Nunez’ and Lopez’s Mexican cooking and Navy Blue’s Gulf Coast eats with dishes like tamale Veracruzana, tostado de carreta, and cochinita served family-style. This isn’t the first time this group has gathered together in the kitchen — Nunez and Lopez also participated in Bludorn’s first collaborative dinner back in 2021.

Houston Zoo’s Mr. & Mrs. Pickles birth three tortoise babies

Dill, Gherkin, and Jalapeño Pickles have entered the chat. The Houston Zoo announced that its most senior tortoise, the 90-years-young Mr. Pickles, a radiated tortoise who helms from Madagascar, and his 53-years young partner welcomed three tortoise hatchlings last week. The birth sparked national attention, as the critically endangered species is not commonly known to produce offspring, and furthermore, in Houston’s unpredictable climate. The Pickles family is resting comfortably, with the little ones being monitored within the Reptile and Amphibean House until they are ready to reunite with their parents. Houston’s food community, along with the rest of Eater nation, offers a heartfelt congrats to the Pickles family.

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