Things to Do

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Celebrate Citizen Rail's anniversary with some of its excellent dry-aged steak for a fantastic price.
Celebrate Citizen Rail's anniversary with some of its excellent dry-aged steak for a fantastic price. Danielle Lirette
Denver's food and drink calendar celebrates Mexico, Munich and dry-aged meat this weekend, plus all-you-can-eat pizza, a picnic in a city alleyway, and coffee-themed porn. So dig in to these seven culinary happenings from Friday, September 13, to Sunday, September 15, then check out six more upcoming events.

Friday, September 13

Citizen Rail, 1899 16th Street, is turning two this month and inviting all the younger kids in the neighborhood to the party. From Friday, September 13, through Sunday, September 22, you can celebrate with two-week dry-aged duck breast or lamb, or 28-day dry-aged New York strip steak. For just $45, you'll get a three-course prix-fixe dinner with your choice of house-aged protein, starter and dessert. And while we rarely recommend opting for the upcharge, it's worth it in this case, because for a mere $10 more, you can add four ounces of 365-day dry-aged strip to your plate to compare directly with its month-old cousin. Find the full menu on Citizen Rail's Facebook page, then visit the restaurant's website for reservations to ensure that you don't miss out on this fantastic birthday deal.

There's a significant amount of the population that can't start the day without a steaming cup of coffee. There's a smaller proportion of people who can't start the day without a steamy helping of smut. If you're in the center of this lopsided Venn diagram, you won't want to miss the Drip release party on Friday, September 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. Awakening Boutique, the city's hippest sex shop, at 2936 Larimer Street, is hosting sexy shenanigans to celebrate the release of the zine by and for horny caffeine addicts. Tickets ($15 on Eventbrite) include a copy of the porny publication plus a raffle ticket; if you can't make it to the event, order your copy on Drip's website.

And so it begins: Oktoberfest celebrations are appearing all over town with the regularity of a cuckoo popping out of an elaborately carved Teutonic clock. On Friday, September 13, at 6 p.m., Union Station's Feier kicks off with a long list of Munich-style Colorado brews (we trust the beer list at Terminal Bar, reliably excellent, won't disappoint, with bartenders slinging such stalwarts as Dry Dock, Odell, Left Hand and Denver Beer) and music by the Polkanauts, Denver's premier astronaut-themed heavy-metal polka band. Admission to the bash is free; find out more on the Bar's Facebook page.

click to enlarge Crush Pizza & Tap's Chicago-style pie will be at Pizza Palooza. - COURTESY CRUSH PIZZA & TAP
Crush Pizza & Tap's Chicago-style pie will be at Pizza Palooza.
Courtesy Crush Pizza & Tap
Saturday, September 14
First, Denver was a cowtown. Then it was a beer town. Then came craft cocktails, but soon the people grew tired of waiting twelve minutes for a fussy $15 drink. So after that, we became a pot town, and, apparently, Denver is a seltzer town, because on Saturday, September 14, Fizz Fest, the nation's first hard-seltzer fest, is debuting. Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, is hosting two sessions of the bubbly bash (noon to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.), with nearly forty sparklers available for tasting. If the sound of that doesn't make you want to White Claw your eyes out, snag tickets, $30 to $50, on the event Facebook page.

When it comes to pizza in the Mile High City, there are two kinds of folks: First are the self-righteous transplants, who can be located by triangulating their screeches of "That's not real pizza!" every time we post a pic of a slice that doesn't fit their definition of NYC/Chicago/New Haven pies (seriously, New Haven, lay off the public-relations plants); on the opposite end of the spectrum are the good people who love the combination of crust, melty cheese and an infinite variety of toppings in whatever form it occurs. The second group is cordially invited to Pizza Palooza, Denver's inaugural pizza festival, on Saturday, September 14, at the Industry building, 3001 Brighton Boulevard. During one of two sessions (2 to 4:30 p.m. or 6:30 to 9 p.m.), you'll be able to stuff your pie hole with samples from Crush, Denver Pizza Co., High Society, Infinitus, Marco's Coal Fired, Marquis, Hops & Pie, Anthony's, Fat Sully's and more; there will also be an open bar to help you wash down all those tasty slices. Tickets ($49 to $95) are still available on Eventbrite.

Summer's slowly (very slowly) giving way to fall, but you can still sip in the sunshine on Saturday, September 14, at Run for the Roses' Run for the Rosé Garden Party. The Dairy Block Alley, 1800 Wazee Street, plays host to the late-summer soirée, with food from Kelly Whitaker's upcoming project Brutø and bubbles from Chandon, from noon to 4 p.m. Get your tickets ($35 gets a single entry, passed apps and a glass of wine, but pair up with a friend for $90 and get a full bottle, plus a picnic board) on Tock, where you'll also find more details.

Bites from Super Mega Bien will be at Mexico in a Bottle. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Bites from Super Mega Bien will be at Mexico in a Bottle.
Danielle Lirette
Sunday, September 15
While some Denver bars celebrate Cinco de Mayo like it’s a national holiday, May 5 isn’t a big deal in Mexico. But Mexican Independence Day is, and more and more spots in the Mile High City are recognizing that. On Sunday, September 15, Athmar Park will host a Taco Fiesta from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., while Stanley Marketplace will hold a bash on Monday, September 16. But the big fun will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 15, when Finn’s Manor hosts Mexico in a Bottle, the Denver debut of a tribute to mezcal that’s grown to showcase a craft-beverage scene in Mexico that includes rum, whiskey and wine. At this bash, not only will some of those liquid assets be available alongside more than 100 mezcals and agave spirits, but there will be bites from local restaurants, including Adelitas, Dos Santos and Super Mega Bien. Finn’s is located at 2927 Larimer Street, and tickets are $70 on Eventbrite; find out more at

Keep reading for future food and drink events.
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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