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The Eleven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Quiero Arepas...and hallacas.EXPAND
Quiero Arepas...and hallacas.
Lucy Beaugard
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This week brings the beginning of Hanukkah, so keep reading for places where you can get latkes, sufganiyot, Hanukkah cookies and full spreads if you don't want to so much as heat up the oven. We've also got a trio of places to visit on Colorado Gives Day where you'll be putting your money toward a good cause in addition to good food. And if ever there was a year better suited to the...er...unique Festivus mindset than 2020, we sure don't want to live through it.

Keep reading for details on these and other happenings in the days to come.

Monday, December 7
Tamales are a traditional Christmas specialty in many Spanish-speaking countries, and Venezuela is no exception. Currently, Denver fave Quiero Arepas is taking pre-orders for hallacas, tamal-type (only much bigger) bundles of corn masa and meat (or vegan) filling that are wrapped in banana leaves and boiled. The traditional carnivorous version comes stuffed with a combo of chicken, beef, pork, peppers and olives; the vegan hallaca contains potato, mushrooms, peppers and olives. Visit Quiero's Instagram page for details, then order online for pick-up from Monday, December 14, through Wednesday, December 23. Pick-up locations are Quiero Arepas's standalone eatery, 1859 South Pearl Street in Denver, or Avanti Boulder, 1401 Pearl Street in Boulder.

Get some Osaka Ramen for you and a first responder this Colorado Gives Day.EXPAND
Get some Osaka Ramen for you and a first responder this Colorado Gives Day.
Katie Knoch

Tuesday, December 8
You know what Tuesday means: tacos! And you know what December 8 means: It's Colorado Gives Day! The two (happily) collide on Tuesday, December 8, when theater company Su Teatro offers free drive-through tacos at its theater, 721 South Santa Fe Drive. Show up from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch or 5 to 6:30 p.m. for dinner to nab what is perhaps the perfect handheld food. And while Su Teatro is providing free tacos to all, its goal is to raise $15,000 through donations and matches that will replace a portion of lost revenue because of COVID restrictions in 2020 — so don't be a pendejo: Donate to the cause on Colorado Gives Day's website before December 8 or make your donation in person.

Osaka Ramen, 2611 Walnut Street, is also celebrating Colorado Gives Day by matching any gift card purchase of more than $10 on Tuesday, December 8, with the same amount of food for a first responder. And with COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, you know all emergency personnel could use a steaming, soul-satisfying bowl of ramen more than ever. Purchase a gift card in person when picking up your takeout or by calling 303-955-7938. 

Another local eatery worth attending on Tuesday, December 8, is one of our all-time favorites, Comal Heritage Food Incubator. The nonprofit culinary training program has been bringing exceptional Mexican food (and sometimes Syrian and Ethiopian, too) to RiNo for years now. On Colorado Gives Day, the outfit is celebrating the return of two alumnae, Vian Al-nidawi and Sara Nassr. The mom-and-daughter duo will be serving baklava at 3455 Ringsby Court for just one day. Pre-order on Toast, and $5 of your order of four sticky-sweet pieces ($13) will go directly to Focus Points Family Resource Center (the nonprofit that operates Comal) — though we recommend opting for the order of fifteen pieces for $45, which includes a donation of $10. 

The Rosenberg family — Lauren Feder Rosenberg and Hosea Rosenberg (co-founders of Sophie's Neighborhood), Sophie and the unnamed, hairiest Rosenberg — want you to do your holiday shopping in the ’hood.EXPAND
The Rosenberg family — Lauren Feder Rosenberg and Hosea Rosenberg (co-founders of Sophie's Neighborhood), Sophie and the unnamed, hairiest Rosenberg — want you to do your holiday shopping in the ’hood.
Gaelle Pet Photography

Thursday, December 10
Chef Hosea Rosenberg is the proud papa of two restaurants (Boulder's Blackbelly and Santo), but his real love is his daughter, Sophie, who was diagnosed early this year with MCTO, a skeletal disorder so rare that only thirty people in the world have been diagnosed with it. So Rosenberg co-founded Sophie's Neighborhood, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research on an effective treatment or cure. From Thursday, December 10, through Saturday, December 12, the organization is hosting an online auction with items that are perfect for gift giving (or keeping): one-on-one cooking lessons with Rosenberg and other Top Chef alumni; booze packages (including high-end bottles of wine); cookware; local meat; and more (including ski apparel, art and getaways). Visit the auction website (or text "Sophie" to 243725) to preview the catalogue; new items will be added until the auction begins.

Hanukkah begins Thursday, December 10, and because the only sure things this year have been COVID, taxes and political incompetence, we urge you to plan ahead by pre-ordering the carbiest, sugariest, most comforting Hanukkah sweets you can find, immediately. There's still time to visit the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center's (JCC) website now to place your order for a pint of Bob's Babka, an olive oil ice cream with chunks of babka (a sweet, eggy, yeasted holiday bread) swirled in. High Point Creamery is producing the pints, which go for $10 each (includes tax and credit card fees) and will be available for pickup on December 10. Walk-up sales won't be offered this year, so make sure you get your order in before 12 a.m. Thursday. Plus, both locations of Olive & Finch (1552 East 17th Avenue and 3390 East First Avenue) are offering Hanukkah cookie kits for the family that come with a dozen sugar cookies, five different colored frostings, decorations and a tote bag. Order your kit on the cafe's website (mention "JCC Denver" at checkout, and 10 percent will be donated to the JCC), and pick up your haul between Tuesday, December 8, and Thursday, December 10.

Rosenberg's Hanukkah spread is sure to light up your winter nights.
Rosenberg's Hanukkah spread is sure to light up your winter nights.
From the Hip Photo

All three locations of Rosenberg's (the bagelries at 725 East 26th Avenue in Denver and 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora and Rosenberg's Kosher at 942 South Monaco Parkway) are busily gearing up for the Festival of Lights, and will be accepting pre-orders for latkes and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) from Monday, November 30, through 5 p.m. Monday, December 7. Latkes ($18 per half-dozen) come with applesauce and sour cream and can be picked up at either bagel shop (but not Rosenberg's Kosher) on December 11 through 13 and December 15 through 18. (While you're there, pick up vibrantly decorated Hanukkah cookies!) Sufganiyot are $3 each and can be retrieved at Rosenberg's Bagels on the above dates, plus Rosenberg's Kosher on December 10, 11, 13 and 18. Pre-order based on your pick-up location. For either bagel shop, visit Rosenberg's catering page (it's yellow) and for Rosenberg's Kosher, make sure you're ordering from the blue page

Hanukkah meals are also available from Boulder's River and Woods, 2328 Pearl Street, for $100 for two or $180 for four: The spread includes matzoh ball soup, latkes and toppings, shawarma-style chicken, short ribs with apricot demi, Brussels sprouts, sufganiyot and chocolate lava torte. Wine, of course, can be added on starting at $20 per bottle (it's several steps up from Manischewitz). Pre-order on Tock no later than Monday, December 7, for pick-up between Thursday, December 10, and Saturday, December 12.

In addition, catering company TBD Foods is offering spreads priced at $50 per person for pickup at 1740 East 17th Avenue from Thursday, December, 10, through Friday, December 18. Choose from proteins including brisket, Colorado lamb or salmon; sides like latkes, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, mashed sweet potatoes and kugel; and desserts including apple cake, chocolate babka, challah bread pudding and truffles. See the full menu and order on the TBD Foods website.

Punch Buggy Waffle Pop flavors include s'mores, churro, birthday cake, peppermint, chocolate, strawberry and build-your-own.EXPAND
Punch Buggy Waffle Pop flavors include s'mores, churro, birthday cake, peppermint, chocolate, strawberry and build-your-own.
Neige LaRue

Summer is long gone, but that doesn't mean you can't find food on a stick (the least-known food group) in the depths of December. On Thursday, December 10, you can scratch that itch at Louisville's Punch Buggy Shave Ice, 640 Main Street, which is branching out into waffles on a stick. Pre-order flavors such as churro, peppermint or s'mores on Punch Buggy Waffle Pop's website; the stick-ified treats will be available from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, December 20.

Vegetarians, don't despair: the veggie Denver Box from Work & Class is just as succulent.EXPAND
Vegetarians, don't despair: the veggie Denver Box from Work & Class is just as succulent.
Courtesy the Denver Box

Friday, December 11
Everyone needs a helping hand these days: people with paying their mortgages and keeping food on the table, small businesses with keeping the lights on, and nonprofit organizations with helping out both of the above. Even the most fortunate among us need more help than usual with dinner — because you can no longer go out at the last minute, and you know better than to order via predatory third-party apps, don't you? Luckily, you can address every single one of these things by ordering the Denver Box. The meal kit includes a meal for four from the fine folks at Work & Class (either porky carnitas or the vegetarian, gluten-free Spanish cazuela with roasted veggies, rice and cheese) for $100, with boozy or zero-proof drinks included (you can take on an additional four drinks for just $30). Half of the purchase price will go to the restaurant, and half will go to the nonprofit Denver Rescue Mission. To pick up the kit at Work & Class, 2500 Larimer Street, on Friday, December 11, or Saturday, December 12, order on Denver Box's website no later than Wednesday, December 9. For pick-up on Friday, December 18, or Saturday, December 19, the order deadline is Wednesday, December 16. 

And plan ahead:

Wednesday, December 16
"I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're gonna hear about ’em!" This year's Airing of Grievances is going to be epic. Bigsby's Folly, 3563 Wazee Street, is kicking it off with a virtual Festivus celebration on Wednesday, December 16. Order a three-course meal of wild mushroom soup, turkey tetrazzini and M&M chocolate cake, along with a pint of wine, for $49, and pick up the spread at the winery between noon and 7 p.m., then get on Zoom, where you can forget to mute yourself, talk loudly over everyone else, spill wine on the keyboard and otherwise do your best to make this execrable year feel like a normal December dinner. Find out more on Bigsby's website, then book your seat on Tock.

Know of an event or activity that belongs here? Send information to cafe@westword.com. 

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