This weekend you can feel good about your contributions to good causes — even if your liver feels really, really bad by Monday morning. Eat dessert to benefit kids, drink beer to benefit public lands, get high to help out Parkinson's patients...and watch naked ladies strut their stuff, just because. Here are a wealth of opportunities to do good and have fun this weekend, as well as a few events to plan for in the months ahead:
Ditch work early and head into the weekend with an Italian tradition that will satisfy your sweet tooth and perk you up for the late nights ahead: affogato. Pablo's Coffee, 7701 East Colfax Avenue, is selling scoops of vanilla ice cream doused in hot espresso for $6 on Friday, August 24, from 4 to 6 p.m.; proceeds will benefit the Denver Children's Home, which provides therapeutic, educational and community services to children and families who have suffered trauma. Not a fan of the combo? Get one or the other for just $3. Details are up on Pablo's Facebook page.
There's tomfoolery, shenanigans, monkey business and hijinks, but nothing holds a candle to a Culinary Hurly Burly. The fundraiser for nonprofit organization Can'd Aid is going down on Friday, August 24, at Denver's Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, 1624 Market Street, at 6:30 p.m. Five chefs (Top Chef contestants Brother Luck, Bruce Kalman and the very busy Carrie Baird; the Food Network's Duff Goldman; and the brewpub's own Jason Rogers) will cook up courses to go with house beers and Infinite Monkey Theorem wines. Tickets are on sale for $100 at candaid.org; don't miss out on this boozy brouhaha.
If you're always chasing the next big thing, the New Kids on the Block Festival is going to be your thing. Only breweries, restaurants and distilleries that are less than two years old will be participating in the gathering on Friday, August 24, which will give attendees the chance to sample unlimited spirits, bites and beer and determine if the newbies in attendance have the chops to stand up to the hype or just riding the coattails of Instagram influencers. The Lobby American Grille, 2191 Arapahoe Street, is hosting the action from 8 to 11 p.m.; get tickets for $45 at the Two Parts website.
Burlesque brunch is nothing new in the Queen City of the Plains, but it's hard to say no to half-naked ladies, even if you've seen them shimmy and shake plenty of times before. There..., at 3254 Navajo Street, is banking on the booty by kicking off its own version of the mouthwatering mid-morning meal on Saturday, August 25. This week (and the final Saturday of every month thereafter) will boast two seatings of boobs and Benedicts: one at 10 a.m., the second at noon. Pay $10 per show, or opt for the double feature (comes with DDs) for only $15; reserve your spot at Eventbrite.
The hard truth about the city of Denver is that no one moves here because it's a great city (though it is). People used to move here because of the mountains and low cost of living; now they move here because of the mountains and legal weed. Either way, the great outdoors is one of our state's biggest assets, and public lands are worth protecting (especially under this presidential administration). So support efforts to keep federally managed public lands from being sold in a most Colorado way: by drinking beer. Nonprofit organization Keep It Public is putting on a Summer Shindig at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, to benefit its advocacy efforts. Twenty local breweries will be pouring, and outfitters including Patagonia and Topo Designs will be on hand from 3 to 7 p.m. Find the brewery lineup and tickets ($35 to $55) at Keep it Public's website.
Pierogi, kielbasa, golabki, paczki, kremowka, kaszanka: With the exception of the first two items on the list, most of these dishes are unknown to Denver diners, even as we navigate huaraches, bun bo Hue, tteokbokki and karaage with ease. But at the annual Polish Food Festival, happening on Saturday, August 25 (noon to 9 p.m.) and Sunday, August 26 (noon to 7 p.m.), you can dip your toes in the waters of Polish cuisine and culture. Saint Joseph's Polish Catholic Church, 517 East 46th Avenue, will host folk singing and dancing, a children's playground, a dozen Polish beers, a table full of babcie selling pastries, and a pierogi-eating contest followed by a beer-drinking contest (God help you if you try to compete in both). Admission is free, with food and beer for sale; find out more at the festival's website. Twoje zdrowie!
One of our favorite spaces in Zeppelin Station is Namkeen, chef/owner Cindhura Reddy's ode to Indian street food, which serves up a spectacular spicy fried chicken alongside samosas and curries. And on Sunday, August 26, the fast-casual counter inside the food hall at 3501 Wazee Street is throwing a summer bash to benefit Shadhika, a nonprofit organization aiming to educate and empower girls in India. Show up between 1 and 4 p.m. for Namkeen-style barbecue (tandoori naan rolls stuffed with grilled meat and veggies), henna tattoos, special drinks mixed by co-owner Elliott Strathmann (the force behind sister restaurant Spuntino's bar program) and a silent auction. Find out more at Facebook.
A fair number of cannabis pairing dinners rely on the relative novelty of sitting down at a community table and smoking your way through a few lackluster courses to justify their prices. Not so with the Highbrow Dinner on Sunday, August 26: John Harry (Hearth & Dram) and visiting chefs Clay and Lucy Inscoe are teaming up for an eight-course dinner (with optional pairings) that includes ingredients like preserved bergamot crème fraîche, sourdough bread from a century-old starter, pine ice cream with enoki mushrooms, and nasturtium chimichurri. Invisible City, 1545 Julian Street, is hosting the meal, which benefits the Parkinsons Association of the Rockies.
There are just a few tickets left at Eventbrite; use the code HIGHBROW99 to get your seat at the table for just $99.
Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.
We're well past the days when beer wasn't considered fit for pairing with high-end food (that role was, ridiculously, reserved for wine), but it's still common to see more thought put into wine lists than tap handles at restaurants around town. That won't be the case on Wednesday, August 29, though, when Chef and Brew will pair bites and beers from kitchens and brewing operations around town. Exdo Event Center, 3500 Walnut Street, hosts the fun from 7 to 10 p.m., as guests and judges alike vote on the best dish, best beer and best pairing. Find the entire lineup and tickets ($49 to $69) at Chef and Brew's website.
MCA Denver has a habit of hosting excellent food and drink events — and its Sown Together Beer Tasting on Saturday, September 22, will be no exception. The museum, at 1485 Delgany Street, is tapping into the zeitgeist yet again by bringing in breweries whose stated goal is to use local ingredients, suppliers and producers. From noon to 4 p.m., Colorado outfits Goldspot, Horse & Dragon, Our Mutual Friend and TRVE will be joined on the rooftop patio by Indiana's Upland Brewing Co., Illinois's Scratch Brewing Co. and Texas's transcendent Jester King Brewery, which puts out the Lone Star State's second-best export (the first being barbecued brisket, of course). Get your tickets, $35, at eventbrite.com before the event sells out.
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; last year's dinners each focused on meat and produce from a particular region in the state. While the 2018 lineup hasn't yet been announced, be prepared to pounce on tickets once they go on sale in September (previous years have sold out in just two weeks). In addition to great food and good company, all the festivities of the week will benefit EatDenver and the GrowHaus. 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 protected].