It's an exciting week on the national food scene: Foodies from coast to coast will be honoring both root beer floats and zucchini. (Thank god National Mulled Cider Day isn't until the end of September — it's just too damn hot right now to entertain the thought of knocking back a steamy beverage). There are a few other events to fill the days in between; here are five of the most interesting happenings, as well as a few to mark on the culinary calendar in the coming months.
Monday, August 6
Hot on the heels of National Oyster Day comes National Root Beer Float Day. While the preponderance of fake food holidays reaches its zenith (nadir?) in August — we're celebrating chop suey (August 29), julienne fries (August 12) and trail mix (August 31) — it's hard to pass up the fizzy, messy, ice-cold dessert you probably last slurped when you were seven years old. On Monday, August 6, Sheraton Denver Downtown, 1550 Court Place, will be scooping and serving floats from noon to 2 p.m. For a $2 donation to Children's Hospital Colorado, you can get your fingers sticky and spike your blood sugar before heading back to the office. Enjoy it while it lasts; you'll soon be preparing for the relative austerity that is National Zucchini Day (August 8).
Tuesday, August 7
What do you normally do on Tuesday night? If you're tired of the same old, same old (settling in to watch a demoralizing episode of Bachelor in Paradise, taking out the recycling, business time) do something different at Shake it Up: Cocktails and Cuisine, a fundraiser for the Flatirons Food Film Festival. From 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7, the rooftop of Boulder Brands offices, 1600 Pearl Street in Boulder, is hosting bites and beverages from Emmerson, Blackbelly, Bramble and Hare, Oak at Fourteenth and more. Enjoy tart barbecued pork and beans with chili oil and vinegar mellowed by a mezcal, prickly pear and pineapple cocktail — or if that's not your thing, opt for corn, crab and saffron salad with a gin cocktail accented by celery and fennel simple syrup. Find tickets ($75) and a complete menu at Eventbrite.
Wednesday, August 8
We warned you it was coming: National Zucchini Day is upon us. Make it through the long, hard week by treating yourself to the most phallic of vegetables on Wednesday, August 8. Noodles & Company makes the ubiquitous summer vegetable fun with its Zoodles, and today you can get a free upgrade to zucchini noodles in any entree. Perhaps you'd like a meatball gently nestled into a bed of firm, al dente zucchini instead of limp pasta noodles — done! Or maybe you'd like to substitute long, elegant strands of the veggie for short, stubby penne — the world is your oyster! Don't screw around and miss out on the chance to get a bite of the green giant this week.
Thursday, August 9
Conservation Colorado, an advocacy group dedicated to preserving Colorado's natural resources, has found a foolproof way to engage residents in the fight for clean water: draw a direct line between water and beer. Without water, you'll be dehydrated, but not because you've been sipping on delicious suds — you'll be dehydrated and sober, the worst of all possible worlds. Contribute to the cause at Save the Ales, a fundraiser for the organization, on Thursday, August 9, from 7 to 10 p.m. Nearly thirty breweries, including Bruz Beers, Westbound and Down Brewing Co. and Renegade Brewing Co. will converge on Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue, to pour unlimited brews for just $35; VIP tickets get you in an hour early and include extra swag. Find a full list of participating breweries and nab your ticket at the event's Facebook page.
Friday, August 10
There's always ice cream at a one-year-old's birthday celebration — but on Friday, August 10, you can skip the toddler and head straight for the good stuff at La Chupaflor. The nevería at 11 East Louisiana Avenue is discounting everything in the case by 25 percent all day — every cone, milkshake, malt, sundae, banana split and coffee. Doors open at 11 a.m. and stay open until 10 p.m., so there's plenty of time to visit, enjoy some Mexican ice cream, maybe grab a mezcal next door at Palenque, and then head back over for seconds. And from 4 to 7 p.m., the kids can get in on the fun as balloon artist and face painter Miss Pickles will be on site. That's a birthday party we'll definitely RSVP for.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, August 11
How long has it been since you've been to Cherry Creek for dinner? Given the massive construction and minimal parking in the neighborhood, chances are it's been a while. But on Saturday, August 11, the Cherry Creek North Food and Wine festival is an ideal way to explore the area's many bars and restaurants on foot, getting a breadth of bites without having to make numerous trips to the belly of the beast. More than twenty establishments will line Fillmore Plaza, at First Avenue and Fillmore Street, between 6 and 9 p.m.; our favorites include Hedge Row, Quality Italian, Blue Island Oyster Bar, Del Frisco's Grille and the ever-popular Enstrom Candies. Get your early-bird tickets, $65 or $85 (VIPs enter at 5 p.m.), at cherrycreeknorth.com; ticket prices increase on July 9.
Sunday, August 19
Westword's Tacolandia returns to Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, with more than forty of Denver's favorite Mexican restaurants and taco joints serving their takes on street tacos (or as they're known to non-hipsters: tacos). Enjoy unlimited samples and lots of live entertainment. For complete information, go to westwordtacolandia.com. This isn't a competition, it's a celebration — so come hungry and get ready for a wide variety of great Mexican eats, from the smallest mom-and-pop shops to the city's most popular cantinas.
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. In addition to great food and good company, all the festivities of the week will benefit EatDenver and the GrowHaus. Tickets always go fast; 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.