Restaurants can't offer indoor dining, but they're serving up many other tasty options.
On the menu this weekend: free meals for laid-off food and and beverage workers, cocktails to go, DIY gift wrapping (without having to purchase any supplies), a Nordic cooking class and the return of the ugly holiday sweater.
Friday, December 18
Nonprofit organization Friends & Family Colorado and podcast The Modern Eater are joining forces with local chefs to ensure that furloughed restaurant workers get square meals at least a couple of days a week. On Wednesdays and Fridays from Friday, December 18, until further notice, out-of-work industry folks can request a meal (sign up here), then swing by 490 Decatur Street between 2 and 4 p.m. to pick up a meal kit, which consists of a main dish and two sides prepared by chefs including Troy Guard (TAG, Guard and Grace and others) and Jared Leonard (AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q, The Budlong Hot Chicken). Details about the event are scattered across the Internet like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs, but we've rounded them all up: You'll need to visit Modern Eater's Facebook and Instagram pages plus its website for complete info. And if you're in the enviable position of being able to give help instead of needing to receive it, donate to the effort's GoFundMe campaign.
Holidays just go better with booze, whether you're mixing cocktails to share joy (even it's just Zoom and FaceTime joy this year) or washing away those awkward years when your teen self hated everything about Christmas except your cool aunt's unusually potent nog. Englewood Grand, at 3435 South Broadway, leans toward the cheery side, for sure, and even though it's closed for day-to-day-drinks, the bar is shaking and stirring up something tasty to take home this Friday, December 18, through Sunday, December 20. Swing by from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday or noon to 5 p.m. Sunday for drinks to go, and while you're there, cross off some of your gift-shopping needs by picking up a box that includes a soft blanket, two rocks glasses, two bottled cocktails and an ornament, all for $100. See Englewood Grand's Instagram post for details. Your tipsy, eggnog-tippling aunt will thank you.
Saturday, December 19
For the past several years, we've bemoaned the continued existence of the holiday trend that just will not die: the ugly sweater party. But this year, the annoying and passé custom seems downright quaint compared to the the new tradition we've established in 2020 (not having any holiday parties at all). So what the hell — enjoy your ugly sweater party on Saturday, December 19, at Dry Dock Brewing Co. Both locations (15120 East Hampden Avenue and 2801 Tower Road, both in Aurora) invite you to show up for an outdoor party (because they know those polyester sweaters get toasty) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Show up in your fugliest and get a free gift with any beer purchase. See Dry Dock's Facebook page for details.
Sunday, December 20
One thing hasn't changed about 2020 (and just one thing): Procrastinators are gonna procrastinate. Now that it's a mere five days until Christmas Day, mid-level procrastinators (those who have finished their gift buying but haven't started gift wrapping) can get an extra boost of motivation to finish the job at Number Thirty Eight, 3560 Chestnut Place, on Sunday, December 20. From 1 to 2 and 5 to 6 p.m., the space will provide all the wrapping supplies you need to dress up your gifts, plus festive carolers. And, of course, you can get tacos, ramen, fries and bao buns along with oodles of booze from the bar's all-Colorado selection. Reservations are required; make them on the venue's website. Pro-level procrastinators (those who haven't even begun shopping yet), you're on your own.
If the only Scandinavian food you've had has been in a furniture store, you're missing out. Learn how to make Swedish meatballs that don't taste like cardboard on Sunday, December 20, in Cook Street's Nordic cooking class. Enroll for $50, and you'll get an ingredient kit, two hours of instruction (from 6 to 8 p.m.) and the skills to turn out meatballs in a wheat and farro sauce, as well as pancakes with savory pine nuts and lingonberry compote. Sign up on Cook Street's website.
Wednesday, December 23
Dos Luces Brewery, 1236 South Broadway, is serving a takeout beer dinner in conjunction with Four Directions Cuisine on Wednesday, December 23. The entirely gluten-free grub can also be made vegan and includes three courses: a winter squash salad; quinoa "bibimbop" bowl of greens, quinoa, squash, heirloom corn and beans and a pickled egg with salsa verde; and thumbprint cookies. Each course comes with a bottle of chica, pulque and hard agua fresca for $40; you can add on a bottle of aged imperial chicha with pomegranate for an additional $20. Order on the Dos Luces website by Monday, December 21, and pick up your meal on December 23, between 4 and 6 p.m.
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