Well, we've made it one-twelfth of the way through 2015. Let's celebrate! Seriously -- Mardi Gras shenanigans are on this weekend, plus it's the Super Bowl. Or, indulge your sweet tooth in a whirlwind tour of super cute Maplewood. Continue on for our food-related recommendations.
Friday (Jan. 30):
Yes, Mardi Gras festivities are already starting. Sample more than 50 wines, beers and whiskeys. Industry experts -- including a Jack Daniel's assistant master distiller -- will be on hand, plus live music and complimentary barbecue from Bogart's, Pappy's and Salt + Smoke. From 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $50, available here or at the door.
Raise money for Operation Food Search with some delicious soup. With a $15 donation ($5 for kids), you get to choose a bowl handmade by a local artist and fill it with Whole Foods' bean, triple green, tomato basil or chicken noodle soup. You'll also get a side salad and bread. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Call ahead to reserve your spot at 636-527-1160.
Saturday (Jan. 31):
"Tour charming downtown Maplewood whilst satisfying your sweet tooth craving. Several of Maplewood's small businesses have created special drinks, cakes, cupcakes, pies, doughnuts, coffees and other treats just for the tour. Hit Kakao Chocolate, Foundation Grounds Coffee, the Living Room, Penzey's Spices, Larder and Cupboard, Mystic Valley, Schlafly Bottleworks, Great Harvest Bakery and La Cosecha Coffee Roasters, Traveling Tea, Strange Donuts, Pie Oh My, Vom Fass and Encore Baking Co." Word is that tickets are sold out, so lucky you if you've already got them! From noon to 5 p.m.
"While our favorite sudsy beverage tastes magical, like it was made by wizards or something, we really have science and humans to thank for beer. To learn about how the principles of chemistry impact each pint, bottle and can, sign up for Science on Tap. Not only will you get an education, but you also will have the opportunity to sample more than 80 (!) beers -- from the likes of Perennial Artisan Ales, Ferguson Brewing Company, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company and Heavy Riff Brewing Company -- as well as hear live music, taste foods that incorporate beers (brats, pizza, you name it) and try out some beer-goggles challenges (some organized and some of your own making, no doubt)." From 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $50-$60, available here.
Ring in February with the first-ever Vices & Virtues Mardi Gras Ball to benefit the Soulard Alliance. There will be an open bar, silent auction, live music, a tarot-card reader and a psychic, fire throwers, costume prizes and the crowning of royalty. Full costume/black tie is required. The dinner is already sold out, but you can catch the party at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $50, available here.
The festivities continue with the annual Cajun Cookoff. Chefs from Half & Half, Peacemaker, Molly's in Soulard, Juniper, Mission Taco, Element, Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, Urban Chestnut, Dressel's Public House and Joe Buck's will be competing for the title. There will be an open bar with Bud Light, Southern Comfort hurricanes and soda, plus complimentary po'boys and jambalaya. There will also be live music and prizes. From noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $45 available here or at the door.
Sunday (Feb. 1):
"To celebrate its new line of sour beers, Alpha Brewing is offering a series of classes on the unusual brews. Derrick Langeneckert will give you a tour of the brewery followed by a tasting of at least five sours brewed in-house. He'll be able to answer any questions you have. You'll also get a special tulip glass to take home. Sour and regular draft beers will be available for purchase following the class. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Registration is $20 per person, available here."
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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