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The Four Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

This bull has just learned what he'll be turned into.
This bull has just learned what he'll be turned into. Brandon Marshall
The excitement of the holidays is over — cue the winter blahs. What's there to do in that winter wasteland between New Year's Day and St. Patrick's Day? Plenty, it turns out, particularly with the National Western Stock Show heading into town. We've rustled up a few food and drink this week, plus plenty of future foodie fun in the coming months.

Tuesday, January 2

If your New Year's resolution was to be more cultured (whose wasn't?), start by going to the theater. The King and I kicks off its run at the Buell Theatre on Tuesday, January 2, and Range, 918 17th Street, is taking advantage of its close proximity to the theater by introducing its Theatre Cocktail series. The restaurant has created an Asian-inspired margarita, the Bangkok, with fresh pineapple, Thai pepper and lemongrass, to pair with the classic musical. The cocktail — and the show — run through Sunday, January 14, so there's no time to waste. Future installments in the series are Tommy's Tea with Pimms and Tekoe tea (for The Who's Tommy) and the Oscar with Lillet Blanc and elderflower-ginger liqueur (for Les Misérables). Attendees of the show — or hell, anyone — gets free valet parking with dinner, making Range the perfect place to start your night of dining, drinking and indulging (in, ahem, culture).

Wednesday, January 3
Morrison is getting in on the Stock Show action early with its own mini-cattle drive down the town's Main Street at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3. The guest of honor is a Longhorn bull named Star; he isn't so miniature, weighing in at 2,250 pounds. Star will make the trek down Main Street to the classic Morrison Holiday Bar, 403 Bear Creek Avenue, where he and his six-foot-wide horns will be maneuvered through a three-foot-door to spend the evening posing for photos, which are sure to be oh-so-Instagrammable. Star will be on site until 9 p.m., so you'll have plenty of time to make an appearance yourself and start cultivating your own Stock Show aesthetic for the month.

Thursday, January 4
January in Denver means the Stock Show, and the Stock Show means the city's restaurants are overrun by beef and cow punchers alike. To kick off the three weeks when Denver truly is a cowtown (and damn proud of it), a herd of Longhorn cattle will be driven down 17th Street on Thursday, January 4, as part of the official Stock Show Parade. While the parade leaves from Union Station at noon, you can camp out at the Wells Fargo Center, 1700 Broadway, starting at 11:30 a.m. to nosh on some barbecue and see the parade finish. Meal tickets are $10 (they benefit the 4-H) and include music (both kinds, country and Western) and a Western fashion show. Find out more at nationalwestern.com.

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Tap handles at Samples.
Samples Facebook page
Friday, January 5
Love him or hate him, Guy Fieri continues to inspire strong emotions as he crosses the country shoving oversized burgers into his gaping maw (guess what side we're on?). And last September, Fieri hit Samples, 370 Main Street in Longmont, for a poutine burger and Korean barbecue sandwich. That episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives will air at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 5, and the beer bar and eatery will hold a viewing party to celebrate. If you're not a Fieri fan? Go anyway: Samples has a fantastic beer list, and part of its mission is to employ physically and intellectually challenged people in Boulder County at a living wage, providing benefits and paid time off. Get some good food (c'mon — poutine burger!), drink some good beer and have a good old-fashioned party. Find out more — and reserve your spot — at the Samples Facebook page.

And here are a few additional events in the coming weeks...
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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