French food and Fried Green Tomatoes, doughnuts and donations, a booze battle and the return of Slow Food Nations are all on the menu this week in Denver, as the days get hotter and the food gets tastier. Here are seven savory events over the next five days; keep reading for future food and fun, too.
Monday, July 15
You may be so blinded by Voodoo Doughnut's garish pink decor that you've failed to notice that every three months the business selects a nonprofit organization to partner with for its quarterly giving campaign — but now that you know, you may be inclined to cut the Portland pastry purveyor some slack for taking over the space vacated by Famous Pizza at South Broadway and Bayaud Street. Now through September 30, both Denver locations of the shop (98 South Broadway and 1520 East Colfax Avenue) will be giving $0.25 of each $3.25 Cherry Time doughnut purchase to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, an organization run by and for autistic individuals. So the next time you're standing in Voodoo's monumental line pondering what to order, make it easy on yourself and opt for the cherry jelly doughnut with vanilla icing, lemonade powder and yellow sprinkles — for a good cause.
Bistro Vendôme, 1420 Larimer Street, screens a variety of movies on its Monday Movie Nights, but on July 15, it's showing a film that combines three of our favorite things: feisty octogenarians, national treasure Kathy Bates and fried green tomatoes. The 1991 classic Fried Green Tomatoes has Bates picking up a sledgehammer (thankfully — because you'll be watching it over dinner — she puts it to a different use than she did just a year earlier in Misery) and hilariously portraying the rage of the middle-aged woman. A three-course, prix fixe menu will be served during both screenings (5:30 and 8:15 p.m.); no word on whether the title dish will show up on your table. Call the restaurant at 303-825-3232 to reserve your spot for $55, and visit its website for details about the film.
Tuesday, July 16
It's brutally hot in Denver this week, so what better way to cool down (or at least keep your mouth occupied so you can't complain about the heat) than keeping it full of beer? Ratio Beerworks has a two-pronged approach to keeping you comfortable and quiet on Tuesday, July 16. At noon, the taproom at 2920 Larimer Street is releasing its seasonal Rooftops Mexican Lager, and at 7 p.m., Luche Libre & Laughs will put on a free show. So you can fill your beerhole with crisp, clean, cold brews all afternoon, then laugh at the luchadores and comics who are putting on the free show. You can also thank Dios you aren't wearing one of those masks in ninety-plus-degree heat. Visit the brewery's Facebook page for more info.
Wednesday, July 17
Hot days mean hot dogs, and on Wednesday, July 17, all Dog Haus locations in Denver, Centennial and Colorado Springs are giving away free wieners in honor of National Hot Dog Day. You'll have to download the chain's app, but once you get there, no additional purchase is needed — just flash your phone and prepare to chow down on the over-the-top creations loaded with everything from arugula to pineapple and served on King's Hawaiian rolls.
Thursday, July 18
Do you care about how your meat was raised and how far your carrots had to travel to your plate? Or are you consumed by just one single question: Does it taste good? No matter what kind of restaurant-goer you are, there's a dinner for you on Thursday, July 18. Eric Skokan's organic Black Cat Farm, where he raises sheep, pigs and heritage turkeys and geese as well as all the produce used for his Boulder restaurants Black Cat and Bramble & Hare, is the starting point for a Boulder county tour and farm dinner. Guests will meet at Black Cat Farm, 9889 North 51st Street in Longmont, for drinks at 4 p.m. before touring Skokan's land as well as the nearby McCauley Family Farm. Then it's time to sit down for a four-course meal accompanied by biodynamic wines and a discussion of sustainable farming practices. Tickets for both the tour and dinner are $160 on Eventbrite, or you can opt for just the tour (then head home to cook up your own garden greens for dinner) for just $30.
Less ideologically inclined diners can partake of TAG's Beer vs. Wine dinner as they attempt to answer a much simpler question: What tastes better? Starting at 6:30 p.m., the restaurant at 1441 Larimer Street will be serving five courses (including burrata with peaches, guanciale and chili oil; pork belly with a yuzu-blackberry glaze; and rabbit with fermented Olathe corn and Taleggio cheese), each accompanied by both a beer and a wine pairing. You can drink both and decide which you prefer, but it's also the perfect dinner for pairs whose preferences don't align: Couples can swap drinks so she can enjoy her beer and he can sip wine. Find the full menu and buy tickets ($75) on TAG's website.
Friday, July 19
Slow Food Nations appeals to everyone (except, perhaps, unrepentant fast-food aficionados). The international food fest kicks off its third year in town on Friday, July 19, and will run nearly forty chef demos, lectures, workshops, parties and dinners — plus the enormous Taste Marketplace, with over 100 vendors hawking their wares and handing out samples — through Sunday, July 21. About half the events taking place around town (but mainly around Larimer Square at Larimer and 14th streets) are free, but the rest require tickets, which start at $20. Visit the Slow Food Nations website to see the whole weekend's schedule and make sure you nab tickets for your can't-miss events.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, July 20
If you think the Colorado beer scene was born when Boulder Beer started pouring in 1979, there's still time to straighten yourself out at Beer Here! Brewing the New West exhibit, which runs through August 9 at History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway. The show explores Colorado's brewing history, addressing how and where mining towns (and therefore saloons) sprung up during the Gold Rush, why Colorado went dry four years before Prohibition was enacted nationally, and how Coors has influenced the state's economy and culture. Artifacts including a Prohibition-era bottle breaker (travesty!), historical brewing equipment and the country's first aluminum beer cans are also on display. But if you're more of a kinesthetic learner, don't miss the Historic Styles Brewfest on Saturday, July 20. More than twenty local breweries — both old- and new-school — will be on hand to "educate" you by re-creating historic recipes and long-gone craft-beer favorites. General admission tickets, $35, are still available on the museum's website, where you'll also find more information about the exhibit.
Saturday, July 27, and Sunday, July 28
If you're vegan, you won't be limited to salad this weekend — at least not if you attend VegFest Colorado, which is putting on its annual two-day affair at Broomfield's 1STBANK Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, on Saturday, July 27, and Sunday, July 28. Nearly 150 food, home and clothing vendors will be there, as well as lectures by authors, medical doctors, chefs and even an appearance by Patrik Baboumian, who held the title of "Strongest Man in Germany" in 2011, the same year he went vegan (so not the guy you want to be around when you wear your "Meat is murder — tasty, tasty murder" T-shirt). The expo runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and tickets are available on the VegFest website for $10 (they're $12 at the door).
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.
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 the city's top cantinas, taquerias and food trucks, including Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Antojitos La Poblanita, Carniceria Aaliyah, Kachina Cantina, Los Chingones, Lucha Cantina, Mariscos El Rey 2, Los Mesones, Taco Block, Torta Grill, Yareth's, El Coco Pirata and more. Tickets, $25 for general admission or $55 for VIP, are now on sale at westwordtacolandia.com.
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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.
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.
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