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These cluckers ended up in chef Harshita Birdi's korma, which is popping up at Tessa Delicatessen this weekend.EXPAND
These cluckers ended up in chef Harshita Birdi's korma, which is popping up at Tessa Delicatessen this weekend.
Mark Antonation

The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Flex your baking muscles, get some Indian home cooking, hit the (sausage) links and more this weekend. We've rounded up five food and drink events you won't want to miss, as well as future happenings worth saving the date for.

Friday, August 21
If you know about the Hollywood handshake and the dreaded soggy bottom, then you'll want to sign up for a baking-themed trivia night from Geeks Who Drink on Friday, August 21. Knowing the basics of the Great British Baking Show doesn't mean you'll win, though. You'll want to know the main players in Bingate, who turned out the orange-glazed guglhupf in series five, what was behind Mary Berry's departure from the show, and what a "traybake" actually is. There are two start times for the virtual Zoom quiz, at 6 and 7 p.m., and teams of up to six people can enter at a cost of $6 per device. Find out more on the Geeks Who Drink Facebook page and get ready, set...baaaaaake!

The eponymous Wayne has already given away $20,000 worth of barbecue to front-line workers; on August 22, he's feeding the public for free.EXPAND
The eponymous Wayne has already given away $20,000 worth of barbecue to front-line workers; on August 22, he's feeding the public for free.
Wayne's Smoke Shack

Saturday, August 22
Never has showing up early for barbecue been more crucial than it will be on Saturday, August 22. That's because Superior (in both the qualitative and geographical sense) joint Wayne's Smoke Shack, 406 Center Drive, is giving away $5,000 worth of barbecue kolaches, starting at 11 a.m., thanks to the generosity of Kingsford Charcoal's website (Kingsford is picking up the tab for the kolaches). Buy lunch at the event to receive your free kolache, a baked bun stuffed with smoky meat. You can also nab a copy of owner/pitmaster Wayne Shelnutt's kolache recipe on the Kingsford website. The consistently excellent ’cue is sure to go quickly, so be prepared to arrive early and brave a line — we promise it'll be worth it.

Tessa Delicatessen, 5724 East Colfax Avenue, generally sticks to classic deli fare: lox on toast, tuna salad sandwiches, muffalettas, Reubens. But on Saturday, August 22, the restaurant's sous chef, Harshita Birdi, will be turning out her mom's Indian recipes — not restaurant food, but family favorites — from the narrow galley kitchen. From 4 to 7 p.m., you can get savory, succulent saag paneer, chicken korma and idli sambar along with sides like coconut chutney, yellow dal and roti paratha. Visit Tessa's Instagram page to see the full menu and pics of Birdi's food (as well as high-quality sandwich content). Reservations and pre-orders are strongly encouraged; make them by calling 720-746-9138. If you can't snag a table this week, never fear; Tessa intends to continue periodic pop-ups, which will also be announced on Instagram.

Chef Tom Coohill's namesake restaurant at 1400 Wewatta Street is perfectly positioned to take advantage of outdoor dining; its proximity to the bridge spanning the South Platte River has made it a popular destination for Beats on the Creek in previous years. While the 2020 concert series was canceled, diners can still sit under the stars on Saturday, August 22, at an al fresco wine dinner with seating set up on the bridge. Guests at the five-course dinner can expect a selection of six wines from around the globe poured alongside courses like lobster salad with duck breast and citrus-truffle emulsion; roasted guinea hen with porcini mousse, black mission figs and port reduction; and harissa-spiced lamb loin with dates and braised heirloom potatoes. Call 303-623-5700 or email events@coohills.com to reserve your spot for the 7 p.m. meal, which will run you $115.

Celebrate your golf simulation prowess with drinks and the view from the Park Tavern's rooftop.EXPAND
Celebrate your golf simulation prowess with drinks and the view from the Park Tavern's rooftop.
Mark Antonation

Sunday, August 23
Opportunities for recreation are fewer and farther between than they were this time last year. One notable exception? Golf. You can still hit the links in person at six City of Denver courses (City Park Golf Course is still closed for construction) — or, on Sunday, August 23, you can hit up the Park Tavern, 931 East 11th Avenue, for its inaugural Jobs Over Joblessness Over Kind Words Open. While the tourney name is a mind-bending mouthful, the details are simple enough: Get a foursome together and book a time slot from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to play the PGA National Golf Club course on high-end golf simulators. Proceeds from your entry fees ($250 for four people) will benefit Colorado Jobs With Justice, a coalition working to advance workers' rights. Reserve your tee time by calling 303-832-7667 or emailing theparktaverndenver@gmail.com. New chef Toby Prout (formerly of 12@Madison) has tweaked the menu to include dishes like a short rib dip with tomato jam, black pepper aioli and caramelized onions, and bartenders will be pouring drink specials from Tin Cup Whiskey and 10 Barrel Brewing, among others.

Keep reading for future food and drink events....

Spuntino's dining room is still closed to guests, but it's outdoor tent is so homey, you won't miss the indoors.
Spuntino's dining room is still closed to guests, but it's outdoor tent is so homey, you won't miss the indoors.
Danielle Lirette

Tuesday, August 25
Last July, Italian restaurant Spuntino teamed up with Bo Porytko (formerly of Rebel Restaurant, currently of Misfit Snackbar) for a Yucatán-inspired dinner that transported diners to a Mexican beach. On Tuesday, August 25, the pair is reviving that meal for a much-needed respite from life in the U.S. of A. Technically, you can still hop on a plane and disembark south of the border, but do you really want to take that chance? The next best option is a four-course meal under Spuntino's comfortable and spacious outdoor tent at 2639 West 32nd Avenue. The current menu includes grasshopper elotes with mint crema and and spicy chapulines; suckling pig roulade in arbol chile adobo with chicharrones, chorizo and cashews; and a plate of dueling tacos, with Porytko and Spuntino's chefs, Cindhura Reddy and Austin Nickel — both James Beard Award nominees this year — each turning out a heretofore unknown taco in the interest of friendly competition. Spaces for the 8:30 p.m. seating are still available for $90 per person on Spuntino's website.

AshKara's muhammara, made with walnuts and roasted red pepper, will soon be your favorite pita accompaniment.EXPAND
AshKara's muhammara, made with walnuts and roasted red pepper, will soon be your favorite pita accompaniment.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, August 29
Everyone needs a little extra help these days — restaurants, nonprofit organizations, your neighbors, your own damn self. The Denver Box, a new project launched by the Lion Project, aims to spread the love around. Each month, the organization teams up with a local restaurant to create a meal that feeds four. Think of it as an elevated boxed lunch, with the money you pay for the meal ($100) split equally between participating restaurants and nonprofit organizations. The debut Denver Box has been put together by Ash'Kara and includes the Israeli eatery's housemade pita with a quartet of dips (hummus, muhammara, baba ganoush and labneh), salad with avocados and za'atar dressing, saffron rice, veggie and chicken kabobs, and the intriguing Golden Colada cocktail (rum, pineapple, lime, turmeric yogurt and ras al hanout simple syrup). Order your box on the Lion Project's website for pick-up on Saturday, August 29 at Morin, 1600 15th Street, and $50 each will be given to Ash'Kara and the Spero Recovery Center, a rehab center serving folks who are uninsured or otherwise unable to afford the high cost of residential treatment.

If you're looking to get boozy seltzer sprayed directly into your mouth from six feet away, Seltzerland is the event for you.EXPAND
If you're looking to get boozy seltzer sprayed directly into your mouth from six feet away, Seltzerland is the event for you.
Seltzerland

Saturday, September 19
As event producers cautiously dip their toes back into the murky waters of large-scale gatherings, they're forced to be creative about how to ensure that safety, social distancing and summer fun are all on tap in a single afternoon. Seltzerland, a traveling hard-seltzer fest that's landing in Denver on Saturday, September 19, is taking an approach as intriguing as any: Vendors and guests will tee off on Erie's Colorado National Golf Club, 2700 Vista Parkway, for nine holes of drinks. Leave your clubs at home (long metal sticks are generally frowned upon at any gathering where booze is the main attraction) for your walk along the fairway with a cohort of up to fourteen other attendees. Entry is timed in ten-minute intervals, and social distancing is required between groups as well as between vendors. While we're not sure how you'll get your seltzer samples if you're maintaining six feet from the seltzertender (is that the right word?), you're promised more than fifty different beverages and ninety minutes of fresh air and drinking with friends. Tickets are $29 for general admission, which runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. (participants are given an entry time in ten-minute increments during that window), or $65 for VIP, which goes from 11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. and includes one cocktail, a full can of seltzer, free parking and bites in addition to samples. Visit the event website for details and to purchase tickets.

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

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