Things to Do

The Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Don't lick the shot glasses at Urban Farmer's Fire & Ice Bar.
Don't lick the shot glasses at Urban Farmer's Fire & Ice Bar. Danielle Lirette
While restaurants around town will be crammed with couples trying to forget the spat they got into while trying to find a parking spot and make the best of limited menu options on Friday night, we've got choices that don't involve overpriced prix fixe menus. Here are four of our favorite happenings this weekend that don't rely on romance (unless you count your love for craft beer), plus more events through March 13. And if you're looking for a VD event, take a look at our picks that won't break the bank (or your heart).

Friday, February 14

Give Valentine's Day the finger by heading to the Dairy Block, 1855 Blake Street, to hang for perhaps the most unusual (and, frankly, mildly incomprehensible) event of the month: French Punk. Starting on Friday, February 14, every weekend will boast new events: an un-Valentine's drag show and a pair of drag brunches with performers from the unsettling and deeply entertaining Dragula on February 14 through 16; a French Punk disco and bazaar on February 21 and 22; and live music and a leap year party on February 28 and 29. Cocktail bar Run for the Roses will also be running a pop-up with presumably anti-establishment drinks (hopefully served at anti-establishment prices) all three weekends. A look at event planner Thrice's website raises more questions than it answers: Will there be mimes, will slam dancing be allowed, and just how punk can something on the Dairy Block really be? But that's where you can find event details and a link to tickets, which start at $65 for Friday's show and run the gamut for the rest of the events. One thing we are sure of: A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which works to end hate crimes and support the LGBTQ+ community. 

Where to take your sometime sweetie on V-Day if you can't quite decide how you feel about them? Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee Street, has the perfect event if you run hot and cold: the Fire & Ice Bar, open Friday, February 14, and Saturday, February 15, from 7 to 10 p.m. The restaurant's patio will be open for business with one side including a hot chocolate bar, fire dancers, fire pits (with free s'mores kits!) and, of course, hot cocktails; the other boasts an ice bar and ice shot glasses, ice sculptures, fur throws and frigid drinks. There's no cover to get in, so just show up with someone who won't make you want to camp out in the farthest reaches of the ice bar on a frigid February evening. And since the pop-up bar is sponsored by Yeti, the first 150 customers will receive a free Yeti Rambler insulated tumbler — to keep your home beverages as hot or cold as your romances.

click to enlarge This grilled cheese is so sexy it's NSFW. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
This grilled cheese is so sexy it's NSFW.
Danielle Lirette
Saturday, February 15
Had a lackluster Valentine's Day? Cheese and booze will never let you down, so forget your disappointing date and opt for a solo expedition to the Grilled Cheese & Beer Fest on Saturday, February 15; it's a lovefest in the form of crispy, crunchy sandwiches washed down by craft beer. Show up for unlimited bites from Blake Street Tavern, Maine Shack, Cheese Love Grill and the Brutal Poodle, among others; bottomless brews are courtesy of Horse and Dragon, Mockery, Spice Trade and Zuni Street. Tickets are currently on sale on Eventbrite or Facebook for $54 or $89 (the Big Cheese option gets you early entry and full-sized beers instead of samples), though prices are set to increase as the event approaches. Choose from the afternoon (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.) or evening (5 to 8 p.m.) session at Runway 35 Park, 8863 East 47th Avenue.

click to enlarge Pancakes + beer + coffee=true love. - BRIDGET WOOD
Pancakes + beer + coffee=true love.
Bridget Wood
Sunday, February 16
The Platonic ideal of a Sunday morning includes at least three things: pancakes, hair o' the dog and a jolt of caffeine. On Sunday, February 16, you can get all of those at Novel Strand Brewing Co., which is releasing its newest imperial coffee stout at 10 a.m. And because man cannot live on 8.3 percent beer alone, Ninja Ramen Mobile will be on hand serving up fluffy flapjacks until noon, while the folks from Queen City Collective Coffee, which shares the space at 305 West First Avenue with the brewery, will provide pours of the custom roast used to craft the beer. Visit Novel Strand's Facebook page for details about the brew (both the boozy and black varieties) as well as the Sunday morning happening.

Keep reading for more food and drink events to come....

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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation