The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Get this bad boy for just $1.25 on Saturday.EXPAND
Get this bad boy for just $1.25 on Saturday.
Santiago's Mexican Restaurants

Pick your pumpkin, scarf your Santiago's and race for Rosenberg's this weekend: Here are six savory events from Friday, October 11, through Sunday, October 13. Then keep reading for a pair of parties you won't want to miss later in the month.

Pose with pumpkins and pick your own at Chatfield Farms.EXPAND
Pose with pumpkins and pick your own at Chatfield Farms.
Linnea Covington

Friday, October 11
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the costumes are getting skimpier — Halloween is almost here! Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road in Littleton, is embracing the season with the opening of its Pumpkin Festival on Friday, October 11, at 9 a.m. The family favorite includes perusal of the ten-acre pumpkin patch (purchase your perfect gourd for an additional cost); pony rides; face painting; and a miniature corn maze for little sprouts. Fall fair food (funnel cakes, roasted corn, barbecue and burgers) as well as beer will be for sale, so bring your wallet and make a day of it; last entry is at 4 p.m. The festival continues through Sunday, October 13; get the details and your tickets ($4 to $8 in advance) on the Gardens' website.

Good girls get to go to Barks & Brews this weekend.EXPAND
Good girls get to go to Barks & Brews this weekend.
Courtesy Barks & Brews

Saturday, October 12
One of the best things about living in Denver (other than our vaunted 300 days of sunshine and even more vaunted weed) is the breakfast of champions: the foil-wrapped breakfast burrito, a flour tortilla insulated in aluminum and stuffed with eggs, potatoes, cheese and green chile (at the very least). Even the Hancock administration knows what side its burrito is buttered on, and for the third year in a row has declared an official Breakfast Burrito Day. This year, it falls on Saturday, October 12, and to celebrate, all Santiago's locations are practically giving away the iconic breakfast item for $1.25 — the same price on its menu when doors first opened in 1991. The deal runs all day, and you're limited to five burritos (which should be more than enough, but if you're extra-hungry or hung over, be sure to grab a couple of buddies to go with you). In addition, 3 percent of your purchase will go to Santiago's Charities.

Need to buy a winter coat this weekend? Visit the Outlets at Castle Rock, 5050 Factory Shops Boulevard in Castle Rock, for your shopping needs on Saturday, October 12. No, there are no bargain basement deals happening — but the shops are welcoming your four-legged family members for its Barks & Brews event. From noon to 3 p.m., you and your furry friend can enjoy drinks, live music and samples from pet vendors including Chuck & Don's Pet Food and Aussie Pet Mobile. Just a $5 donation to Humane Society of the South Platte Valley entitles you to a brew from Breckenridge or 105 West, and your doggo can get a free Starbucks puppucino just for looking adorable. Bonus: Fido is an ideal shopping companion — he'll never tell you that outfit makes you look fat. Details are up on the shopping area's website.

September has passed, but if you're not quite ready to give up on Teutonic-themed eating and drinking opportunities, you'll want to hit up a pair of events on Saturday, October 12. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Choctoberfest will draw chocolatiers from across the country to the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds (25690 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora) for a super-sweet celebration of all things cocoa. You can sample candy, cakes, truffles, brownies, fudge and cookies; bowl with pumpkins; attend a beer and chocolate pairing; and watch drag queen Chocolatina, Queen of the Dessert, belt out Truffles: The Musical. Admission is $10, with twelve tasting tickets going for an additional $10 at the event's website.

Meanwhile, the Table, an organization that employs neighbors' backyard gardens to grow organic veggies for distribution to Denver food banks and citizens, is celebrating Croptoberfest from 4 to 7 p.m. Show up at the Table's garden at 923 East Mexico Avenue for a pig roast, live music, brews from Platt Park and Grandma's House, urban hayrides and lawn games. The event is free, though donations are requested (as they'll be matched up to $10,000). Get to know your gardening neighbors and learn about the project; more info is available on the Table's website.

Shake your bacon at Sunday's bRUNch Run.EXPAND
Shake your bacon at Sunday's bRUNch Run.
Kenneth Hamblin III

Sunday, October 13
Runners who prefer to carb-load after a race are in luck on Sunday, October 13, as the bRUNch Run returns to Stapleton Central Park, 8801 Martin Luther King Boulevard, with a 5K/10K course (which you can walk or run) and a post-race food fest serving brunch dishes from Denver Milk Market, Rosenberg's Bagels, Punch Bowl Social, DC Pie Co., the Whiskey Biscuit and more. And, as with any brunch, the meal isn't complete without bottomless beverages, so Bloody Mary and mimosa bars, Stem Ciders, Allegro Coffee and plenty of other drinks (of both the boozy and hydrating varieties) will be on hand, too. Advance registration is available for $50 (with discount code) on the race website, but same-day registration, $60, begins an hour before the 9 a.m. start. Find details on the Brunch Running website.

Keep reading for future food and drink fun.
Thursday, October 17
Project Angel Heart delivers medically tailored meals to people fighting life-threatening illnesses alon— and on Thursday, October 17, the nonprofit organization wants to provide you with delicious food from Denver's top restaurants at its annual fundraiser, A Taste for Life. Starting at 6 p.m., the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, will be the site of bites from over twenty popular eateries, including Death & Co., Uchi, Tavernetta, the Inventing Room and Hop Alley. There will also be free-flowing drinks, a silent auction with piles of great items, and a live auction (which can tend toward the boisterous, thanks to those free-flowing drinks). Tickets, $150, are available now on Project Angel Heart's website, along with a full list of participating eateries.

Matsuhisa sushi at Feast.EXPAND
Matsuhisa sushi at Feast.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, October 24
Feast, Westword's annual celebration of the Denver restaurant scene, will make its delicious return to the McNichols Building on a new day and time: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday evening. As always, though, Feast will be a true feast for the senses, with music, beverage samplings and dishes from more than thirty favorite restaurants. Among those already signed on to sample their food are Turtle Boat, Snooze, Uchi, Rose & Thorn, CRUSH Pizza & Tap, La Fillette, Latke Love, Neighbors Wine Bar, Sushi Cup, Jackdaw, The Veggie Whisperer, Roaming Buffalo BBQ, 5280 Burger Bar, Aloy Modern Thai, Big Daddy's Burger Bar, El Coco Pirata, Esters Neighborhood Pub, Yuan Wonton, GQue BBQ, Lucky Mary's Baking Company and Little Man Ice Cream. This year, VIP ticket-holders will again be treated to a special menu, courtesy of the world-renowned Matsuhisa. Bites from Matsuhisa will include spicy tuna crispy rice, chicken gyoza, black cod miso in limestone lettuce, and more, as well as special VIP cocktails to complement the menu. VIP tickets also include early entry into the event at 6 p.m. and a VIP gift bag. Buy tickets and get more info at westwordfeast.com; see the complete lineup of restaurants serving here.

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

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