by Mabel Suen
Summer's so close, we can taste it. Find out exactly what flavors lead into the season at events such as Rib America Festival and the Third Annual Rib-Off at Iron Barley during the extended holiday weekend.
Friday (May 27):
Rib America Festival @ Soldier's Memorial Sample tons of ribs done by the pros, with plenty of concessions to follow and live music to keep it all going. Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. Admission is free before 5 p.m. Friday and prior to 1 p.m. all other days; after-hours admission is $7. Brew and Q Pork Steak Championships @ Schlafly Bottleworks Head over to Maplewood for even more bands, beer and barbecue. See who gets crowned World Pork Steak Champion while throwing back some beers straight from the maker. Admission is free. Friday, May 27 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 from noon to 10 p.m.
Saturday (May 28): "Learn the Basics of Gluten-Free Cooking" Class @ Whole Foods-Brentwood Learn how to make healthful, simple, affordable gluten-free fare to spice up your recipe repertoire including an easy breakfast dish, quinoa salad and a baked treat. Free. Register online. 10 to 11 a.m., noon to 1 p.m. or 2 to 3 p.m.
Union of European Football Associations Champions League Final @ International Tap House Find the missing sports fan in you by enjoying discounted Spanish beers and Samuel Smith bottles while viewing a match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona. Get there early to grab a seat before it fills up. 1:45 p.m.
Annual Memorial Support the Troops Bash @ Spokes Pub and Grill Head over to this Farmington establishment for live music; a cooking competition featuring ribs; a Fisher House fundraiser auction; eating contests featuring meatballs, strawberry pie and Spokes' three-pound burger; and more. 2 p.m. to midnight.
Sunday (May 29): Guy Fieri Book Signing @ Left Bank Books Fans of television program Diners, Drive-ins and Dives have the opportunity to meet Guy Fieri himself during this one-hour book signing to celebrate his new book, Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It. Tickets are $29.99 and can be purchased here. Noon to 1 p.m.
Guy Fieri Food Tour @ Blanche Touhill Performing Arts Center Follow the Food Network star down to the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus for a live show featuring interactive cooking demonstrations and more. Purchase tickets for $35-250 here. 8 p.m.
Rooftop Music @ Vin de Set Spend your summer evening on Vin de Set's beautiful rooftop, rain or shine. Dine in and listen to musician Aaron Logan live. 4 to 7 p.m. Monday (May 30):
Memorial Day Buffet @ Mount Pleasant Estates Load up on braised short ribs, agave flank steak, beef bratwursts and sauerkraut, grilled corn on the cob, triple mac'n'cheese and more at this all-you-can-eat barbecue dream come true. $15 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Third Annual Rib-off @ Iron Barley Twenty-five participating restaurateurs come together to smoke up some tummy tickling ribs, with proceeds to benefit a former marine in need. Come for the ribs and stay for drink specials and a kid's cooking contest, too. $20 buys a drink, rib samples all day, and lots of live music. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.