The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Stay hydrated at The Big Eat.
Stay hydrated at The Big Eat. Danielle Lirette
It's going to be a hot one this weekend, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees. But you can cool off with cats, ’cue, comedy and cacti at bars and restaurants around town. Here are six of the best food and drink events over the next few days, along with upcoming events to mark on your culinary calendar.
click to enlarge Au Feu's Montreal-style brisket with veggies. - MARK ANTONATION
Au Feu's Montreal-style brisket with veggies.
Mark Antonation
Friday, July 6
Ever gone to a music festival and thought, "If only there was a way to spend more money here today"? Behold! The LoHi Bazaar BBQ is here. Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 6, West 32nd Avenue between Zuni and Tejon streets will be taken over by this music fest, cookout and outdoor market mashup. And while there will be plenty of places to spend your pennies (Barbecue! Bars! Baubles!), entrance to the event is free. Pit masters from Au Feu, Rolling Smoke, GQue, Pepperbelly and more will be selling their smoked meats alongside a weekend-long lineup of bands, so go early and often; the fair runs Saturday (noon to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (noon to 6 p.m.) Find out more at the Denver Bazaar website.

click to enlarge An imperfect lattice is the first sign of a great cherry pie. - FLICKR/BENNY MAZUR
An imperfect lattice is the first sign of a great cherry pie.
Flickr/Benny Mazur
Saturday, July 7
Hudson Hill, the cozy coffeehouse and bar at 619 East 13th Avenue, is one of the best joints to have opened its doors in the last two years — and it also makes one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in town. On Saturday, July 7, though, the menu will have a different flavor, when Axes, a new Middle Eastern caterer in town, takes over the reins. From 3 to 9 p.m., za'atar fries, garlic labneh cheese, hummus and the alarmingly exciting falafel tots (seriously, why is this the first we're hearing of this fantastic-sounding creation?) will be served alongside creative cocktails. We'll be requesting eleven orders of those tots.

If you're not a fan of cherry pie, we can't blame you; most are made with sickly sweet canned pie filling that ends up the texture of tapioca while imparting a slightly metallic tang.  But the real thing — made with tart Montmorency cherries — is a joy. Because Colorado isn't famous for cherries, it may surprise you to learn that Loveland once had the largest orchard west of the Mississippi river, with 10,000 acres dedicated to the fruit and three canneries in town. Denver's northern neighbor is still dotted with cherry trees, and on Saturday, July 7, the town is hosting its annual Cherry Pie Celebration from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Loveland Museum/Gallery, 503 North Lincoln Avenue. Get a slice of sweet-tart pie and ice cream for just $4, and hear music from Danielle Ate the Sandwich (not pie, Danielle? It's delicious!). Ambitious bakers can even enter their own creations; find out more at the Museum's website.

Do you like beer? Of course you do. Do you like having a pet who glares at you balefully while knocking your beer glass off the table? Apparently lots of you do. And now you can pay for the privilege at the Denver Dumb Friends League's Catwalk on Saturday, July 7. From 6 to 9 p.m., the shelter at 2080 South Quebec Street will be turned into a beer garden, with guests sampling brews from Comrade Brewing Co., Brew on Broadway, Copper Kettle Brewing Co. and Westfax Brewing Co. Food trucks will be on site as well, and there will even be a wine tasting for, wine people. Tickets are just $20 and are on sale now at the League's website.

Mark Twain and Rebel Restaurant have something in common: Reports of their deaths have been greatly exaggerated. Our favorite place in town for head, Rebel, at 3763 Wynkoop Street, is still in business and has been running its monthly Rebel Yell comedy shows for just over a year. But all good things must come to an end, and Saturday, July 7, is the final installment of the free showcase. At 10 p.m., comics Katie Bowman, Harris Alterman and Caitie Hannan will take the stage while the kitchen turns out its excellent (and also once-monthly) chicken wings. Can't stay up that late? Then squeeze in a nap that day, because there's no telling when you'll get those wings again.

Sunday, July 8
On a scale of one to ten, how hipster is planting a succulent garden while you're drinking craft beer? That's right: eleven. But you know what? Beer is great and succulents are adorable (and hard to kill), so we're all for Plant Nite at Skyline Beer Garden on Sunday, July 8. From 3 to 5 p.m., fans of aloes and ales alike will gather at 1601 Arapahoe Street to create a miniature garden with help from a professional. Tickets, $60, include instruction and all materials — though not beer, which is probably wise since the class is suitable for kids over seven. Find out more on Plant Nite's Facebook page, and if you miss out on tickets for this event, take heart: There are an additional four sessions through September.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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