This week a few much maligned and misunderstood creations find their way onto the menu: puppets, Hot Pockets, sherry and veggie burgers. Take a chance on at least one of them this week; here are the best seven (only four of them are weird, we promise) food and drink events over the next five days, as well as a few to mark on your calendar calendar for the weeks to come.
Monday, July 30
Sherry has unfairly suffered from a reputation as an old ladies' drink, and generations of drinkers have spurned it due to its association with cheap cooking wine. But now it's time to pay attention, youngsters. Your Nana is actually pretty cool — and so is sherry. Want proof? NYC transplant, the hipper-than-thou cocktail bar Death & Co., 1280 25th Street, is hosting a night of sherry cocktails on Monday, July 30. The ostensible occasion is the announcement of the finalists for this year's sherry-based Lustau Solera Standout Cocktail Competition; the real reason to show up is to imbibe last year's winners in the swank surroundings. So show up between 7 to 10 p.m. to reflect on the fact that your grandma was a party animal long before you showed up on the scene, and raise a glass to Nana.
Tuesday, July 31
The Modern Eater kicked off a series of summer beer dinners earlier this month, and so far they've proven immensely popular, selling out regularly. But tickets are still available for the Tuesday, July 31, dinner helmed by chef Daniel Asher (of Boulder's River and Woods and our favorite Lafayette farmhouse, Acreage). For $100, guests will enjoy a five-course dinner paired with beer from Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project. And for a change, Denverites won't have to travel to Boulder County to get their hands on Asher's food; BBQ Supply Co., 2180 South Delaware Street, is hosting dinner. Reserve your seat at the community table and find out who's cooking for the rest of the summer at the Modern Eater's website.
If Oprah Winfrey likes something, Cherry Creekers are sure to give it the thumbs-up too. The celebrity, actor and media mogul recently threw her financial clout behind True Food Kitchen, one of which is located at 2800 East Second Avenue. Experience what Oprah finds so extraordinary at the restaurant's Taste & Toast to Summer Community Dinner on Tuesday, July 31. Executive chef Chase Wilbanks will harness the season's bounty in a five-course tasting of off-menu dishes. The dinner, at $60 per person before tax and tip, runs from 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.; make your reservation by calling 750-509-7661.
Wednesday, August 1
If ever there was an apt name for a vegetarian (and mostly vegan) restaurant, it's Superiority Burger. And on Wednesday, August 1, Boulderites can explicitly acknowledge theirs at Pizzeria Locale, 1730 Pearl Street in Boulder, when the kitchen is put into hands of New York City chef/restaurateur Brooks Headley, owner of Superiority. The East Village chef will serve his veggie versions of burgers and Sloppy Joes so diners can feel simultaneously satiated for chowing down on what Pete Wells called "Shake Shack for vegetarians" and smug for avoiding animal products. The supremacy starts at 4:30 p.m.; find out more and make your reservation at localeboulder.com.
The Mixed Taste lecture series is making good on its name by bringing a trio of food-related lectures to the Seawell Ballroom, 1050 13th Street, this summer; Wednesday, August 1, marks the second of these with an ode to incorrupt saints (religious icons so holy their bodies don't decompose after death) and Hot Pockets (microwaveable frozen pastries that are pumped so full of preservatives that they, too, are rejected by nature). While the idea of hearing about the long-deceased corporeal relics of Catholicism might be enough to put you off your appetite, consider that the ingredient list on a reduced-calorie concoction of chicken and broccoli is likely to do the same, so fill up on snacks before the 7 p.m. lecture at the 5:30 p.m. garden party. Tickets, $20, are on sale at the DCPA's website.
Thursday, August 2
Playwright Sean Patrick Cassidy describes his latest work, "No Strings Attached" as "Toy Story, if it were set in Russia." And while it's not clear whether Vladimir Putin's control over the Donald was the inspiration for this tale, it's hard to ignore the parallels. Decide for yourself whether the rat symbolizes obviousness on Thursday, August 2, when Burns Family Artisan Ales, 2505 West 2nd Avenue, hosts a performance of the tale of a pair of puppets trying to escape from a domineering overlord (don't expect any Being John Malkovich allusions; actors will be portraying the puppets). While the taproom isn't officially open, brewing is in progress, and a limited selection of Burns' ales will be available for purchase during the performance (cash only). Find out about future performances and purchase your ticket's at GypsyBuffalo Theatre's Facebook page. Here's hoping this story has a happy ending.
Friday, August 3
Mo' food trucks, mo' problems. This month, First Friday at the Art District on Santa Fe will be doing double duty as both an art and food event. From 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 3, Santa Fe Drive between 7th and 11th avenues will host the third installment of Truck Stop, the summer food truck rally that's been making its way to locations around town. The Budlong Hot Chicken, Cheese Please, Cirque Kitchen, Baba's Falafel and Holy Crepe are just a few of the trucks where you can get a bite in between perusing paintings, sculptures and other art installations up and down the strip. Our advice is to get to the neighborhood early; First Friday plus food and drinks galore equals big crowds and limited parking.
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. Over 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.
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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 go on sale starting July 14 at westwordfeast.com.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.