This is a week of podcasts, pinguinos, pork, pita and Pride. Stay loud and proud while being full and fabulous at the seven best food and drink events from Monday, June 11, through Friday, June 15.
Monday, June 11
Making it a decade in the restaurant game is a real feat, especially for a curious little restaurant like Beatrice & Woodsley. Its unassuming entrance, tucked between brighter shops at 38 South Broadway, was a revelation for Denver diners when it opened ten years ago with its creative menu and rustic interior. And while some of the dishes on that long-ago opening menu have since become ubiquitous (Brussels sprouts, anyone?), others still grab your attention (savory pimento cheesecake, halibut cheeks, sweet corn pot de creme with horchata foam). Stop in any time from Monday, June 11, through Friday, June 15, for throwback food and drinks from the 2008 menu — details are on the eatery's Facebook page — and take a trip down memory lane to the days you got really excited about food (and Facebook).
Tuesday, June 12
Brighton Boulevard construction has felt like a nearly endless slog of lane closures, road dust and dudes in day-glo-yellow vests. Street construction is nearly done, as is work on the soon-to-open Source Hotel (3350 Brighton Boulevard). One of the restaurants that will fill the hotel's ultra-modern interior when it launches later this summer is Safta, an Israeli eatery from New Orleans chef Alon Shaya, who is so stoked to open that he wants you to try his food now. Come to the Source (next door to the hotel, in case you've been hiding in a cave for the past four years) from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, for a pop-up preview of Safta, where you'll able to eat wood-baked pita (pulled from an on-site mobile oven) and a variety of different loaded hummus options. Tickets are available for $50 on Eventbrite, which includes a signed copy of Shaya's cookbook, Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel.
Wednesday, June 13
PrideFest is this weekend; strap on your highest heels, paint your face all the colors of the rainbow, and get ready to party. But first: You need sustenance to build your strength — it's carb-loading for the queer community. Old Major, 3316 Tejon Street, is on the case with Plates for Pride on Wednesday, June 13. Starting at 5 p.m., $45 ($70 with wine) will get you four delicious courses, with proceeds from the event going to local nonprofits One Colorado and The Gender Identity Center of Colorado. And with a belly full of great food, you'll be ready to take over the world (or at least Civic Center Park) for an epic bash.
If you've never heard of the magazine Cherry Bombe, you're forgiven. The beautifully minimalist, glossy biannual publication on women and food isn't exactly accessible, ringing in at a staggering $20 per issue. For that price, the magazine had better be hand-delivered by a Julia Child impersonator who immediately sets to work spatchcocking chickens with one hand and stirring a martini with the other, all while busting out the Hamilton soundtrack. Luckily, listening to the podcast Radio Cherry Bombe is significantly more accessible (i.e., free) and it's coming to The Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard, to record a live episode on Wednesday, June 13. Tickets to the taping, $30 at cherrybombe.com, include apps and wine, as well as a discussion about the future of food.
Thursday, June 14
Maria Empanada, 1298 South Broadway, celebrates all things Argentinian — and that includes soccer (or football, if you're intent on establishing your international cred at the expense of being likable). For this year's World Cup (which runs from Thursday, June 14, through Sunday, July 15), Maria will be showing games every day during regular hours — and opening early for all of Argentina's games that happen before 7:30 a.m. Since neither the U.S. nor Canada made the cut, show up to cheer on Mexico, the lone North American representative. Trump, of course, will be cheering for Russia, so do a good deed and tag @realDonaldTrump with a picture of you brandishing el Tricolor.
There's no doubt that Austin, Texas, is hip right now. Whether it's hipper than the Mile High City is debatable (we have better beer and legal weed), but you can make up your own mind at Señor Bear, 3301 Tejon Street, on Thursday, June 14, when Austin chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph teams up with the Bear's Blake Edmunds to create some Austin-inspired dishes alongside music from the Wild Now. The free event runs from noon to 2 p.m.; RSVP at Eventbrite.
Friday, June 15
Frisco's got a quarter-century of good ’cue in the books, and this year's Colorado BBQ Challenge promises to be another smokin' weekend. The fest kicks off on Friday, June 15, at 11 a.m. and runs through Saturday, June 16, at 6 p.m., with more than seventy competitors vying for supremacy in categories like chicken, pig parts (shoulders and ribs), brisket, sauce, sides and desserts. There will also be the Bacon Burner 6K race, a firefighter cookoff, Breckenridge distillery tours and of course the famous pig races. Admission is free, though you'll have to cash in your greenbacks for hogbacks if you want to sample the goods, and the race and distillery tour will cost you some of that bacon you brought home. Find out more at townoffrisco.com and get ready for one of Colorado's most beloved barbecue traditions.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, June 16
If you're curious about the luxury food festival Cochon555 but the prospect of being packed into a hotel ballroom so tightly your drink spills every time someone next to you takes a deep breath makes you itch, you might fare better at Heritage Fire Snowmass, Cochon's outdoor version of the whole-animal competition. Chefs from all over the country will set up camp at Snowmass Base Village, 120 Carriage Way, to cook more than 3,000 pounds of beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, duck, fish and goat over open fires on Saturday, June 16, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy the fresh air, smell of woodfire and unlimited food and drink. Snag your tickets ($150 to $200) at cochon555.com before they're gone.
Sunday, June 24
Those who don't mind the crowds and revel in seeing and being seen at the summer's hottest food event won't want to delay in buying their tickets for Cochon555, the pork-centric food festival happening on Sunday, June 24. Competitions started in NYC in January and have been popping up in major food cities across the country and will wrap up here at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street. Competing chefs Brother Luck (Four by Brother Luck), Adam Brantz (Ultreia), Cindhura Reddy (Spuntino), Kyle Foster (Julep) and Nate Singer (Blackbelly Butcher) will each create the most delectable and luxurious bites using a heritage-breed hog, while winemakers and bartenders keep the booze flowing. Tickets, $130 to $200, are on sale now at Cochon's website.
Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27
If ever there was a culinary power duo that could pull off a bash with an all-star lineup and sellout crowds on a Tuesday, it's Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the chef and owners of Izakaya Den, Ototo and Sushi Den. This year's rooftop party is expanding to two days: Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27, on the roof of Sushi Den's parking garage at 1501 Pearl Street. From 6 to 10 p.m., visiting Japanese chefs will be cooking up yatai, street food commonly found at festivals, while Denver chefs Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly and Troy Guard will join the fun by making their own interpretation of those dishes. Find out more about the party at sushiden.net and pick up tickets, $90 or $110, at Eventbrite.
Thursday, June 28
If it's summer in Colorado, there must be a taco festival just around the corner. Celebrate the world's perfect food (compact, handheld, delicious) at Top Taco on Thursday, June 28. This year, the fiesta is moving from RiNo to Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, where unlimited tacos, booze and parking await attendees (okay, the parking won't be unlimited, but it will be a hell of a lot better than previous years). Tickets are $75 to $135 at eventbrite.com; snap yours up before the event sells out.
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Thursday, July 12
How much would you pay for bites from 65 of Denver's top restaurants? Could you even fit 65 bites into your belly? Now's your chance to find out; on Thursday, July 12, the Big Eat returns to the Denver Performing Arts Complex at 14th and Curtis streets for a food festival of epic proportions. For just a buck per bite — that's right, $65 — guests will get food from Denver's best as well as unlimited drinks. Bar Helix, the Bindery, Tavernetta and Low Country Kitchen are just a few of the restaurants making an appearance at this blowout. Go to eatdenver.com for a complete list of participating restaurants and tickets.
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.
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