The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Despite what you may think, oatmeal is for breakfast, not just for beer.
Despite what you may think, oatmeal is for breakfast, not just for beer. Flickr/eren {sea+prairie}
This weekend boasts a wealth of events for every personality: There's walleye and wine on the menu (not the same menu) for down-to-earth types, a festival celebrating the humblest of breakfast foods for families, booze giveaways for bar-goers, and a poke pop-up for trendsters. Here are six of our favorite food and drink events in the days ahead.
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Leave your baby at the door and step inside the Kentucky Inn for a walleye dinner.
Mark Antonation
Friday, January 12
If, like the rest of us, you select your wine purely based on the price (under $12, please) and the appeal of the label, you may have noticed that strategy — while perfectly satisfactory for that bottle you're going to drink alone on Tuesday night — could be lacking when it comes to purchasing wine for special events. Little's Wine & Spirits comes to the rescue with a How to Read a Wine Label class on Friday, January 12. From 6:30 to 8 p.m., you'll be guided through the tangled thicket of French, German and enological terms by knowledgeable experts, all while tasting the wines in question, so you can get an idea of how those phrases play out on your palate. The classes will run you $25 (snacks are included) and takes place just down the street from Little's at John Holly's Asian Bistro, 2422 South Downing Street. Purchase yours at, and hurry, as there are just a few spaces left.

The Kentucky Inn, 890 South Pearl Street, reopened in December after an extensive remodel that transformed it from a comfortably crusty dive bar into a Midwest-inspired neighborhood bar and grill packed with parents, toddlers, bescarfed young men and women, Packers fans and a smattering of old regulars. On Friday, January 12, the Inn is returning to its proletariatian roots and kicking off a weekly Walleye Friday Fish Fry starting at 5 p.m. Beat the crowds and get there early for your basket of crispy fried fish, fries, tartar sauce and a lemon, as the joint is expecting to sell out quickly. Find out more at the bar's Facebook page.

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El Jefe is turning one this week.
Mark Antonation
Saturday, January 13
There's a food festival for everything these days: Beer (it's liquid bread, yo), burgers, bourbon, bacon, bourbon and bacon, tacos and brunch. But Lafayette has been taking the cake for years: Its oddly specific food celebration, the Lafayette Oatmeal Festival, is entering its 22nd year. As to be expected, it starts at the crack of dawn — 7:30 a.m. — on Saturday, January 13, when attendees will be able to choose from oatmeal and the traditional toppings, oatmeal pancakes or oatmeal muffins for breakfast. After you're done carb loading, a 5k race starts at 9:30 a.m., or you can test your skills on the Ninja Warrior Course starting at 8 a.m. (hint: The rock climbers always end up on top). Admission to the festival is just $8 (kids under two get in free — they can't eat much); race registration is $20. Various locations around town play host to the festivities, but the most important meal of the day will be served at Pioneer Elementary School, 101 East Baseline Road in Lafayette. See for complete details about the event.

While we don't often write about bar openings in this space, The Brutal Poodle, 1967 South Broadway, has made it hard to ignore its grand opening on Saturday, January 13. Doors open at 11 a.m., and raffle drawings with prizes ranging from concert tickets to skateboards to guitars start at 5 p.m. The biggest reason to show up, though, is the free booze: free Odell pours, cocktails and shots throughout the evening will immediately make the Poodle man's second-best friend. See the bar's very excited Facebook page for details of the day.

There's not much to celebrate in the long, cold stretch between New Year's Eve and St. Paddy's Day, so the good folks at El Jefe, 2450 West 44th Avenue, are kindly throwing a party to mark their first year in business on Saturday, January 13. As everyone knows, no Mexican birthday party is complete without a piñata (and a bouncy castle, but since it probably won't fit on the patio, we'll give the boss a pass), so show up for $5 margs, $3 shots and the opportunity to drink too much and beat the crap out of a multicolored ass. ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

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Profess your love for poke at Aloha Poke Co.'s pop-up on Sunday.
Linnea Covington
Sunday, January 14
End your weekend with the juice cleanse of food: poke. No meal will make you feel as virtuous as a delicious, trendy and seemingly healthy bowl of raw fish and rice, and on Sunday, January 14, Modern Nomad, 2936 Larimer Street, willl host a pop-up with Aloha Poke Co., a future Zeppelin Station tenant. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., DJ Trinimmatty will be spinning island tunes while you get your first taste of the Chicago chain's creations. And for those of you thinking, "Chicago?" just keep in mind, the Windy City is a lot closer to water than Denver. Find out more at Modern Nomad's Facebook page.

Keep reading for food and drink events worth planning for.

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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