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Liquor in the front, poker in the rear.EXPAND
Liquor in the front, poker in the rear.
Danielle Lirette

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Get crabs, get high, and enjoy tits and toast this weekend: Here are five of the best food and drink shenanigans around town from Friday, August 2, through Sunday, August 4. Can't get enough? Keep reading for more exciting excursions throughout the rest of the month.

Glendale's Jax Fish House boasts two great views for August: the food and the Front Range.EXPAND
Glendale's Jax Fish House boasts two great views for August: the food and the Front Range.
Courtesy Jax Fish House

Friday, August 2
Kick off the first weekend in August with a vengeance at Jax Fish House, 650 South Colorado Boulevard in Glendale, at the first of five crab boils this month. Starting at 3 p.m. every Friday from August 2 through August 30, the rooftop bar (one of our favorites in town) will be serving heaping helpings of blue crab (not pictured above; we know those are snow crab legs), corn, potatoes and andouille for $48; to add to the party atmosphere, there will also be live soul music on deck plus $3 beers and $7 glasses of wine. Add great views of downtown and the Front Range plus free parking (yes, Virginia, there really is free parking in Denver), and this is a summer event you'll want to make a tradition. Details are up on Jax's website.

Get cold drinks and even colder dessert at Concourse this weekend.EXPAND
Get cold drinks and even colder dessert at Concourse this weekend.
Courtesy Concourse Restaurant Moderne

Saturday, August 3
Take to the skies with a pairing sure to lift your spirits: Concourse's cocktail and ice cream pairing on Saturday, August 3. Chef Lon Symensma's Stapleton eatery at 10195 East 29th Drive is teaming up with neighbor Constellation Ice Cream for cold drinks (that don't contain a drop of rosé) and luscious, custardy ice cream from the folks behind Little Man. From 4 to 8 p.m., choose from one of three full-sized drink-and-scoop duos: the Very Superior Courvoisier cocktail served with Mexican chocolate ice cream; the vanilla-and-chocolate Harlequin with banana pudding; or Concourse's take on the Aviation, the Biplane, with lemon-lavender-poppyseed ice cream — or get mini versions of all three in a flight. Both options are $15. And parents with little ones in tow (as if there were any other kind of of Stapleton customer) can order a root beer float made with the ice cream shop's signature salted Oreo flavor to keep the little one occupied on the afternoon plane ride.

Beer and Buffalo wings are a classic combo, and they're even more delicious when you're supporting a good cause by consuming them. On Saturday, August 3, a pair of fundraisers are benefiting kids, so show up at one (or both, if you're feeling ambitious). Odyssey Beerwerks, 5535 West 56th Avenue in Arvada, is hosting Porter for Porter from noon to 11 p.m.; 10 percent of all beer sales will go to offset medical expenses for four-year-old Porter, a superhero fan and leukemia patient. There will also be an archery booth, food truck and magician on hand for entertainment. Meanwhile, Buffalo Wild Wings, 980 Sergeant Jon Stiles Drive in Highlands Ranch, is donating 10 percent of all proceeds to nearby STEM School Highlands Ranch, the site of a fatal shooting in May. The wing emporium is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., so you've plenty of time to stuff your face....uh, make a difference to your community.

Learn how to make laksa, noodles in a rich coconut curry broth, at Cook Street; this vegan version is from Hella Herbivore.
Learn how to make laksa, noodles in a rich coconut curry broth, at Cook Street; this vegan version is from Hella Herbivore.
Courtesy Hella Herbivore

Sunday, August 4
It's been while since we've pimped a burlesque brunch in this space, and oh, how we've missed the chance to make jokes about bottoms and bottomless Bloody Marys. Luckily, the Rackhouse Pub, 2875 Blake Street, is bringing booty back to brunch on Sunday, August 4, with its Rise and Grind brunch. Doors open at 10 a.m., when a mere $10 gets you an all-you-can-eat buffet; performances by Parker Go Peep, Bettie Belladonna, Annie Panties, Damien de Bauchery and other sultry folks begin at 11 a.m. Benedicts and boobs, muffins and moneymakers, pancakes and pasties will all be on the menu; get the details as wells as dancers' bios on the event Facebook page.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know Asian street food is big in Denver. Dumplings are pleated and steamed in seemingly every kitchen around town, noodles have never lost their cachet, and bao buns are being stuffed with every ingredient imaginable. Dip your toe in the waters of southeast Asian cuisine on Sunday, August 4, at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts' class on the region's casual dishes. For $89, you'll make (and eat!) Indonesian satay (chicken skewers), Malaysian laksa (rice noodles in coconut curry and tamarind), Laotian khao tom (sweet sticky rice) and more in the school's kitchen at 1937 Market Street. The class runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m.; pay your tuition and find the whole menu at Cook Street's website.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Safta is bringing its beautiful food outside for Bacchanal x Denver.EXPAND
Safta is bringing its beautiful food outside for Bacchanal x Denver.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, August 10
Chef Alon Shaya set Denver abuzz with the opening of his Israeli restaurant Safta last year — and now he's bringing another far-flung tradition to Colorado with Bacchanal x Denver. For Saturday, August 10, and Sunday, August 11, the original Source parking lot at 3300 Brighton Boulevard will be transformed into a Mile High version of the Big Easy's celebrated wine shop/cafe/all-day party Bacchanal Wine; guests can expect live jazz performances, extravagant charcuterie and cheese boards, more than 25 Old World wines, and fire-roasted dishes like broccolini with tahini and Manchego, and skirt steak with labneh, fried yucca and peach chimichurri. Entry is $15, with food and wine for sale inside, but bring your credit card: The event is cashless. In keeping with Bacchanal's garden vibe, seating will be casual, colorful and communal, making you feel as though you're relaxing at a friend's backyard party — a custom that's always in style, no matter where you're from. Find out more and nab tickets on Safta's Facebook page.

Acreage's expansive lawn will be the site of a second Colorado Heritage Fire event this summer.
Acreage's expansive lawn will be the site of a second Colorado Heritage Fire event this summer.
Danielle Lirette

Sunday, August 11
If you missed June's Heritage Fire event in Snowmass, you've got a mulligan, because on Sunday, August 11, the organizer, Cochon555, is hosting an encore presentation at Stem Ciders' Acreage, 1380 Horizon Drive in Lafayette. Whether it was the timing of the event or the your inability to get mountain lodging during Aspen Food & Wine that derailed your desire to feast on whole beasts roasted over open flame, you've got a second chance to enjoy expansive views and delicious food, wine and craft beer from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets ($150 to $200) are on sale now on Cochon's website, where the participating chefs should be posted soon. What we're hoping to see (in addition to the smoke that definitely signals fire)? Some of Colorado's skillful female chefs rounding out the all-male lineup that was our only complaint about the June event.

The steaks at Corrida will cost you a few bones, but you can get the Boulder steakhouse's version — along with other top chophouses' meat — for the same price at RARE.EXPAND
The steaks at Corrida will cost you a few bones, but you can get the Boulder steakhouse's version — along with other top chophouses' meat — for the same price at RARE.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, August 15
Denver was long considered a cowtown — if not by snooty coastal types, then affectionately and somewhat defiantly by its own denizens. While we've (mostly) left that moniker in the dust, there's no reason we should turn our backs on our heritage, particularly when it's so tasty. On Thursday, August 15, RARE: The Denver Steak Championships, unites over twenty of the top steakhouses in town (including Corrida, Guard and Grace, Citizen Rail, Hearth & Dram and Elway's) to fire up the grills and compete to sear the best steak in both traditional and creative categories; they're also hoping to win your vote by plying you with sophisticated cocktails designed to pair perfectly with meaty, medium-rare goodness. The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the site of the showdown from 6 to 10 p.m., and tickets ($130 to $150) are on sale on the event's Facebook page. So honor Denver's cultural history; it's as juicy as that steak you're about to sink your teeth into.

Tacos first, then a nap.EXPAND
Tacos first, then a nap.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, August 17
Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, for a fourth year on Saturday, August 17, from 4 to 7 p.m., celebrating food, art, music and culture. Join us in honoring that great Mexican invention, the taco, in its many forms as presented by thirty of the city's top cantinas (Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Los Chingones,  Kachina Cantina), taquerias (El Aguila Azteca, Antojitos La Poblanita, El Coco Pirata) and food trucks (El Moreno, Taco Block, Pico Arepa), and even the odd grocery store and sandwich shop (Carniceria Aaliyah, Torta Grill). Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at westwordtacolandia.com.

Forget the bread basket: It's brunch, so go on and fill up on doughnuts.EXPAND
Forget the bread basket: It's brunch, so go on and fill up on doughnuts.
Michael Emery Hecker

Sunday, August 25
Over 200 restaurants opened in Denver last year — and it seems all of them started serving brunch within a few months of opening their doors. For brunchophiles trying to work their way through all the restaurants in town serving the meal, that's a tall order. But on Sunday, August 25, you can make a significant dent in your to-brunch list at BrunchFest 2019. The McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, is the site of the boozy shenanigans, with over twenty restaurants serving brunch dishes, plus unlimited Bloodys and mimosas, from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets run $59 to $109, and you can pick them up, as well as see participating restaurants, on the event website.

Binchotan skewers from Ototo are almost certainly on the menu at the Den Corner Rooftop Party.
Binchotan skewers from Ototo are almost certainly on the menu at the Den Corner Rooftop Party.
Courtesy Ototo

Tuesday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 28
Den Corner knows how to throw a party, and its annual rooftop party and fundraiser only gets better with age. What started out in 2016 with a handful of chefs flown in from Japan has morphed into even more festivities, with twenty Japanese chefs hopping the pond to raise funds for Colorado's We Don't Waste and southern Japan's Kumamoto Castle Earthquake Relief Fund. This year, local chefs Carrie Baird, Ian Wortham, Caroline Glover, Dana Rodriguez, Elise Wiggins, Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly, Alon Shaya and more will join the shindig on August 27 and 28; beer, wine, cocktails and sake will be flowing, while ramen, hand rolls and Japanese street food will be plentiful. Tickets for the party, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. both nights on the roof of the Den Corner parking garage at East Florida Avenue and Pearl Street, are $90 (includes three drink tickets), $110 (includes five drink tickets), or $135 (VIP early admission at 5 p.m., plus five drink tickets), and can be purchased on Sushi Den's website, along with a complete list of participating chefs and menu details. As with everything manned by Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the party generally sells out, so don't delay in guaranteeing your entry.

Chef and Brew is returning for its eighth year of food and fun on August 28.
Chef and Brew is returning for its eighth year of food and fun on August 28.
Danielle Lirette

Wednesday, August 28
Brace yourself: Come Wednesday, August 28, you're going to need all your fortitude — intestinal and liver — to make it through the evening. That's because Chef and Brew, the sprawling summer bazaar of bites and booze, is returning to town. Starting at 7 p.m., Exdo Event Center, 1399 15th Street, will host a wonderland of sweet and savory bites and local craft beers. Forty dishes (two from each eatery) will be paired with forty different brews, so it's statistically impossible for you to leave without finding something to tickle your tastebuds. And more than honor is on the line here; cash prizes will be handed out, so chefs and brewers will be on their A-game. Tickets are $49 or $69 on the event website, where you can also find a complete list of participants.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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