As fall inexorably inches closer, this week is all about comfort food in Denver. We're not talking about overpriced fried chicken and mac and cheese; we're talking about the food you crave after a hard day in the office dealing with idiots. Burgers, beer, dumplings of all kinds, pizza and even some cozy, filling dishes for you vegans out there: Here are the five of the most satisfying food events from Monday, August 27, through Friday, August 31, plus a few more to plan for in September and October.
Monday, August 27
You probably don't expect to see a burger on a menu at a sushi restaurant, but Bamboo Sushi, 2715 17th Street, doesn't do things by the book; from its selection of modern sushi topped with tiny ingredients designed to enhance the flavors of the fish to its foray into brunch earlier this summer, the restaurant has brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to Denver's seafood scene. And this week, you can take advantage of Bamboo's iconoclastic nature with not quite half-price Sumo-style burgers: a half-pound Wagyu patty topped with cheese, caramelized and tempura onions, bacon, an egg and togarashi shallot rings for just $10 (normally $18) with the purchase of any drink. The special runs from Monday, August 27, through Sunday, September 2; hurry down to grab a seat on the serene patio and enjoy one of the best (or at least biggest) burgers in town.
Tuesday, August 28
Is there anything better than food filled with other food? Think about it. So many of the world's comfort foods are essentially proteins stuffed into an edible container: the arepa, the pierogi, the turducken. Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street, has your number; it's basing an entire class on the idea on Tuesday, August 28. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., students will make empanadas, samosas, bao buns, jalapeño poppers and the ever-popular crab rangoon, all with a drink in hand. Book your spot for $75 at stirtolearn.com and be sure to show up with an empty stomach — all the better to be filled (and possibly turned into haggis).
Wednesday, August 29
We're well past the days when beer wasn't considered fit for pairing with high-end food (that role was, ridiculously, reserved for wine), but it's still common to see more thought put into wine lists than tap handles at restaurants around town. That won't be the case on Wednesday, August 29, though, when Chef and Brew will pair bites and beers from kitchens and brewing operations around town. Exdo Event Center, 3500 Walnut Street, hosts the fun from 7 to 10 p.m., as guests and judges alike vote on the best dish, best beer and best pairing. Find the entire lineup and tickets ($49 to $69) at Chef and Brew's website.
Thursday, August 30
Venerable Boulder bar, burger and pizza joint The Sink, 1165 13th Street, has famously hosted all stripes of celebrities, chefs and politicians — even a sitting president — as well as CU students for 95 years. On Thursday, August 30, it's welcoming visitors of a different sort: a camera crew from the Travel Channel's Food Paradise, which will be filming from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. If you're in town, drop in to see if you have the looks or personality to make it onto the small screen (if Guy Fieri can, you've almost certainly got a shot). Just don't expect to get a pizza named after you. Get more info on the restaurant's Facebook page.
Friday, August 31
With the almost total dearth of vegan restaurants in our veggier-than-average city, vegan food trucks have become big draws around town. This Friday, August 31, Scam Likely will be camping out at Fort Greene, 321 East 45th Avenue, from 6 to 10 p.m. Chef Spencer Caine will be turning out potato rosti with caramelized onions topped with red pepper-cashew cream and an umami bomb of smoked mushrooms, roasted celeriac, radish sprouts and quinoa, among others. Vegans who want a night out without having to go to Watercourse (again) will want to hit the bar early; happy hours ends at 7 p.m. See Baby's So Vain's Facebook page for the full menu and details.
Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.
Monday, September 10
Just a day after after the hungry-for-victory Denver Broncos open their season against the Seattle Seahawks, the team is opening Mile High Stadium, 1701 Bryant Street, to Denver diners hungry for food, booze and NFL stars. On Monday, September 10, Taste of the NFL welcomes more than thirty of the town's top eateries (Mister Tuna, Beast + Bottle and Stoic & Genuine are just a few), which will take the field from 7 to 9 p.m. to offer unlimited food and drinks to ravenous diners. Current and former players will be mingling (and resignedly accepting your sports analysis and coaching advice); cheerleaders and chefs will also be on hand. Tickets start at $100 and benefit Food Bank of the Rockies. Get yours on the Broncos' website.
Saturday, September 22
MCA Denver has a habit of hosting excellent food and drink events — and its Sown Together Beer Tasting on Saturday, September 22, will be no exception. The Museum, 1485 Delgany Street, is tapping into the zeitgeist yet again by bringing in breweries whose stated goal is to use local ingredients, suppliers and producers. From noon to 4 p.m., Colorado outfits Goldspot, Horse & Dragon, Our Mutual Friend and TRVE will be joined on the rooftop patio by Indiana's Upland Brewing Co., Illinois's Scratch Brewing Co. and Texas's transcendent Jester King Brewery, which puts out the Lone Star State's second-best export (the first being barbecued brisket, of course). Get your tickets, $35, at eventbrite.com before the event sells out.
Sunday, September 30
It's never too early to start planning for Feast, Westword's annual celebration of Denver's restaurant scene. This year's party returns to the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, on Sunday, September 30. There will be unlimited bites from over forty local eateries, live entertainment, unlimited drink samples and unlimited merriment from noon to 3 p.m., especially if you opt for VIP tickets, which get you in an hour early and include an open VIP bar. Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now at westwordfeast.com.
Sunday, October 7, through Thursday, October 11
The ninth annual Harvest Week, hosted by EatDenver and the GrowHaus, will run Sunday, October 7, through Thursday, October 11. Each night, six chefs will come together to create a one-of-a-kind pop-up dinner at the GrowHaus, 4751 York Street; last year's dinners each focused on meat and produce from a particular region in the state. While the 2018 lineup hasn't yet been announced, be prepared to pounce on tickets once they go on sale in September (previous years have sold out in just two weeks.) In addition to great food and good company, all the festivities of the week will benefit EatDenver and the GrowHaus. Find out more at eatdenver.com or thegrowhaus.org.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.