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The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Pick a card, any card.EXPAND
Pick a card, any card.
Courtesy EatDenver
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Latkes, gingerbread houses, hot cocoa, stocking stuffers and Elf: Guess what time of year it is? If you guessed "A day that will live in infamy," you win a gold star. If not, just keep reading for five happier (and more contemporary) events on the food and drink calendar this weekend.

Friday, December 7
If your food-loving friends and family have been nice this year, show them your appreciation with the 2019 EatDenver Dining Deck. Instead of losing your money at the poker table, this deck of cards will save you ten bucks at 52 Denver eateries, including Bar Helix, Ace Eat Serve, Leven Deli and the legendary Piper Inn. If you're lucky, the recipient of your largesse may even invite you along to a few joints. You can order the deck for $55 at eatdenver.com, and if you want a little something for yourself, too, pick up the Dining Deck at the Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea between December 14 and 16 and you'll also snag a $15 gift card for any Crafted Concepts restaurant (Ultreia, Stoic & Genuine, Rioja, Bistro Vendôme or Euclid Hall). One for you, one for me — that's how to do holiday shopping right.

After a week at work, your soul has probably been sucked dry. Rehydrate and get a dose of holiday cheer from 3 to 5 p.m. each Friday in December at the Curtis Hotel, 1405 Curtis Street. Have a seat in the hotel lobby to watch a screening of Will Farrell's neo-classic Christmas movie, Elf, while enjoying piping-hot chocolate topped off with candy canes, sprinkles or marshmallows (or Baileys, bourbon or Kahlua, if that's your thing). The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be collected for the Tennyson Center for Children, a nonprofit organization providing treatment for children who have suffered severe abuse, neglect or trauma, so donate as enthusiastically as Buddy the Elf welcomes Santa to the department store.

If you're a regular reader, you already know how we feel about the ubiquitous beer-and-dessert pairing. Beer and cookies! Beer and doughnuts! Beer and popcorn! They all get to be a little too much (the only one to escape our ennui: beer and pie, because pie). But how about beer and rock opera? On Friday, December 7, local band Lost Walks is staging Wolf, Woman, Man paired with beer samples from TRVE Brewing and Ratio Beerworks. The songs tell the story of a couple who move into a remote wilderness, only to come face to face with a menacing animal and their own demons; the brews are thematically tied to the songs. LFX Filmworks and Events Space, 1701 31st Street, is hosting the show, which starts at 8 p.m. and benefits Rocky Mountain Wolf Project. Find details and tickets ($25) on the event's Facebook page and hear the music at the Lost Walks website.

Get ambitious with sugar structures at a pair of classes this weekend.EXPAND
Get ambitious with sugar structures at a pair of classes this weekend.
Flickr/Ari Helminen

Saturday, December 8
Gingerbread might be the iconic aroma of the season; nothing says cold weather like the warm, spicy scent of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven. And gingerbread houses might be the perfect winter decoration. Unlike that giant inflatable Santa in your tacky neighbor Janet's front yard, they're compact and, most important, they're edible (at least while you're making them). If you're looking to practice your building (but not baking) skills, there are a pair of workshops happening on Saturday, December 8. From 10 a.m. to noon, Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 West 38th Avenue, will hold a class for $25 (all materials included); register at Eventbrite. Hashtag, 10155 East 29th Drive, is catering to weary parents with its 4 to 6 p.m. event, which includes a gingerbread house to decorate and dinner for one parent and one child, plus bottomless wine (for the parent only) for $74. If you can't make it to Saturday's event, additional dates are scheduled for December 7, 9, and 14 through 16; call 303-993-6896 or email jesse@tag-restaurant.com to reserve your spot; details are up on Hashtag's website.

We're sure latkes (like these from the Bagel Deli) have a major role to play in world peace.
We're sure latkes (like these from the Bagel Deli) have a major role to play in world peace.
Courtesy The Bagel Deli Facebook

Saturday, December 9
Potato pancakes know no borders; the fried patties are found across Europe as well as Iran, where they're known as kuku sib zamini, and Korea, where they're dubbed gamja-jeon. The Jewish version of the dish, the latke, is perhaps the most familiar to Americans, and on Sunday, December 9, the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center at 350 South Dahlia Street is hosting a latke demo with chefs Jessica Nowicki and Liliana Meyers, both of Safta, where you'll get to taste the iconic food and take home their recipe. The event is free, but you must register at jccdenver.org to attend. Space is limited, so sign up before it fills up — because if there's anything that unites people of all faiths, it's a fried potato.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

2017's Denver Beer Festivus found everyone in the holiday mood.
2017's Denver Beer Festivus found everyone in the holiday mood.
Danielle Lirette

Saturday, December 15
Is it too early to be training for the Feats of Strength? Not if you want to crush your family and friends (physically and emotionally) at this year's Festivus. Nor is it too early to start planning for this year's Denver Beer Festivus, which takes place on Saturday, December 15, at the Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway, from 3 to 6 p.m. Over fifty Denver breweries will be pouring brews to take the edge off all that family time; our favorites include Black Project, the unique Dos Luces and brand-new Liberati. Tickets are on sale now for $40 or $65 at denverbeerfestivus.com; get yours quickly, or you'll be the subject of your drinking buddies' Airing of Grievances.

Monday, December 17
You may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but the same can't be said for people experiencing homelessness. With the holiday season comes freezing temps and (thanks to Denver ordinances that increasingly penalize the homeless) limited spaces for people without shelter to eat, sleep and simply exist. But on Monday, December 17, the Crafty Fox Taphouse & Pizzeria, 3901 Fox Street, is inviting all homeless individuals to enjoy a free meal from 5 to 7 p.m. for its inaugural Christmas at Crafty. The restaurant is preparing for up to 500 guests, and needs volunteers to help put on the dinner. So instead of bemoaning the return of the work week, take a few hours that evening to ensure that everyone who wants to can enjoy one of life's simple pleasures — a hot meal. Email info@craftyfox.beer for more info and to sign up.

Friday, February 22, through Sunday, March 3
Denver Restaurant Week is coming, so clear your calendar from February 22 through March 3; you'll want to visit a different eatery every day. Hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for three tasty prices ($25, $35 or $45) during the fifteenth year of the wildly popular week. Stay tuned to Visit Denver for a list of participants and menus, and book your first choices right away, before someone else nabs your table.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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