Denver's culinary scene owes a lot to our neighbors south of the border: From mariachi and Mexican art to Mexican-inspired beer and nationally televised tacos, this weekend is full of events that wouldn't exist were it not for our hermanos mexicanos. Here are six of our favorite food and drink events over the next few days.
MCA Denver's final Black Sheep Friday of the season takes place on Friday, January 19, and it's sure to be a tuneful and tasty sendoff to one of the arts scene's most innovative events. At Hibachi Mariachi, guests can enjoy a live performance from a Colorado Youth Mariachi Program-trained band while perusing the MCA's collection and munching on grilled treats from strategically placed hibachis. The first hundred guests (21 and over) will also receive a complimentary brew from Ratio Beerworks, so we recommend arriving promptly at 5 p.m. at the museum, 1485 Delgany Street. The event also represents artsy Denverites' last opportunity to check out the Saber Acomodar exhibit. Museum admission is $5 (free for members), but there's no additional charge for Hibachi Mariachi. Visit mcadenver.org for more details.
Everybody loves a Yeti. Denver's own imperial stout has been around for years and keeps turning out delicious variations: chocolate, vanilla, chai, barrel-aged. At noon on Saturday, January 20, both of Great Divide Brewing Co.'s taprooms (1812 35th Street and 2201 Arapahoe Street) will be tapping the newest iteration of its hairy beast, Mexican Chocolate Yeti. The cacao and coffee beer is modeled on champurrado, a steaming-hot chocolate beverage thickened with masa and spiced with cinnamon, anise or cloves. The beer is part of the brewery's Local Knowledge line, and as such will only be available at the taprooms, so get over there before this elusive creature vanishes into the wild.
One of our favorite upscale taquerias in town, Dos Santos, 1475 East 17th Avenue, is getting some well-deserved recognition on the national level; Travel Channel's homage to culinary excess, Food Paradise, stopped by last year to talk turkey (er...chicken) with the taco joint. The resulting episode, "Lots of Cluck," will air on Saturday, January 20, at 2 p.m., so tune in for a look at Dos Santos's tinga taco. Don't have cable? Just go to the restaurant and experience the decadent, piled-mile-high creation for yourself. Doors open at 11 a.m., and happy hour — the only time you can score the $4 chicken tinga chips — runs from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Mile High Swappers ride again! No, it's not that kind of swap, you pervert — this endeavor is strictly a homemade, homegrown trade. The Denver Food Swap is scheduled for Saturday, January 20, and is the place for gardeners, bakers, homebrewers, avid cooks, chicken ranchers and mad food scientists of all kinds to exchange their creations with others who are interested in bartering for handcrafted goodies. Register for the swap at eventbrite.com, then show up at Huckleberry Roasters, 4301 Pecos Street, at 2 p.m. with at least five portions of your delicious victuals. You'll meet like-minded folk and head home with new foodstuffs to enjoy and spark your own creativity. Find out more about the Swappers' monthly get-togethers at milehighswappers.com.
You need a little sour with your sweet — both in life and in food. Baere Brewing Company, 320 Broadway, is sagely applying this principle to its Truffle and Beer Pairing on Sunday, January 21. Instead of relying solely on the classic stout and chocolate combo (though there are some of those, as well), the four-course pairing will include a more unusual Berlinerweisse with woodruff ganache in white chocolate and boysenberry table sour with a berry truffle. Copia Confectionary is providing the tasty and beautiful chocolates, and will have additional sweets for sale in the taproom. The pairing will be available from noon to 8 p.m. (or until supplies run out) for $18. Details are posted on Baere's Facebook page.
We're deep in the depths of winter (such as it is — thanks, global warming), and there's nothing as comforting during long, dark nights as hearty German grub. Uncorked Kitchen, 8171 South Chester Street in Centennial, will make you a prince of pretzels and a wizard of Wiener schnitzel at its Taste of Germany cooking class on Sunday, January 21. Grab your freundin or freund for a Deutschland date night, where you'll whip up a pretzel-wrapped sausage with mustard sauce, Wiener schnitzel with black-pepper spaetzle, roasted cabbage with crispy ham and Black Forest whoopie pies. Class runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and will cost you $210 per couple (you can't put a price on true love or really good pan-fried dumplings). Find out more at Uncorked's website.
Keep reading for upcoming events on the culinary calendar....