Wow! This weekend is chock-filled with festivals and parties and it's your choice. Whether you've got a major sweet tooth or beer's your thing, there's a party (or a fiesta) for you. From Sprung! to Calle Ocho, here's your weekend guide.
Fried Fish for Lent at Latin Burger & Taco
Fat Tuesday's debauchery is over and now it's time for Lent. That means many of us will give up something naughty, decadent, or just pleasurable until April 1 -- like beef. Back in the day, families gathered 'round the Friday dinner table to tuck into a meal of fried seafood. Latin Burger & Taco's Jim Heins remembers Fish Fry Fridays fondly, telling Short Order that his father used to serve the family fried catfish every week. In honor of that tradition, Latin Burger is offering a Fish Fry every Friday during Lent. For $12.75 you'll get a platter of golden fish filets, fries and a drink. The offering changes weekly; today it's grouper. Draft beers are four bucks (you're already giving up beef - you don't need to sacrifice on the beer, too).
Giant Jenga. Cornhole. Human bowling. 150 beers. On Saturday, March 8, Coconut Grove's Peacock Park will have all the ingredients for an epic afternoon of spring break-related fun -- only without the expensive and time-consuming flight to Cancun. Sprung!, now in its second year, is the lighter counterpart to Grovetoberfest, which focuses on dark autumn ales. This beer bonanza focuses on summer wheats, shandys, and lighter porch pounders. So make those pretzel necklaces and get your beer goggles out for a day of Sprung!
General admission tickets are $40 and get you all the beer sampling you like from 4 - 7 p.m.; Beer Socialite tickets are $70 and include entry from 3 to 7 p.m., a backpack and souvenir pint glass. Five hundred VIP tickets will be sold at $90, which includes entry at 2:30 p.m., a meet and greet with the brewers, access to VIP lounge with specialty beers, complimentary appetizers, and air-conditioned bathroom with attendant. Tickets are available now at igotsprung.com/tickets. GA tickets at the gate are $45.
Fine Beverage, Chocolate, & Food Show
Pinecrest Gardens turns into Wonka-ville this weekend for the Fine Beverage, Chocolate, & Food Show. The show runs March 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and promises to have many improvements over last year, including a room solely dedicated to desserts, an area for food exhibitors, and a craft beverage area.
Vendors include Illegal Bakery, Giraffas, Jose Cuervo, Miami Club Rum, McCormick Distilling (the spice brand actually distills their own vodka), Zoltons Sauces, Wicked Jack's, and Donut Divas, to name a few. and the event is super-affordable at $10 for kids, $20 for adults. A VIP ticket includes food, beverage, and valet for $95.
The show will also feature a separate pop-up event. The Miami Smoke Affair will cater to cigar lovers, with a number of cigar producers sampling their wares. Tickets to the Miami Smoke Affair are $95 and includes admission to the chocolate show and a special swag bag with 20 different cigars inside. Tickets are available at miamifinefoodshow.com.
UM Wing Fest
Chicken wings and sporting events. They go together like, well, beer and sporting events. Or chicken wings and beer, for that matter. Anyhoo -- what we're saying is that there is nothing more glorious then spending a Saturday afternoon partaking in wings, beer, and a game. Hence, the UM Wing Fest.
On March 8 from noon - 2 p.m. at BankUnited Center, feast to your heart's delight on glorious chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings, Sports Grill, Bru's Room, Kings Creek Village, Chicks N Wings, Bokampers and more restaurants. The wings will also be judged by a panel of chefs and athletes including chef Adrianne Calvo, Channing Crowder and Alex Donno.
Then, stay for the game at 2 p.m. as UM takes on Wake Forest. Tickets are $22 and includes both Wing Fest and basketball. Visit hurricanesports.com and use code "wing" to buy online; or call Brad Matthews at 305-284-6743.
Wieners meet Nuts at Calle Ocho
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On Sunday, March 9, about a mile of Calle Ocho turns into one giant fiesta with dozens of live musical acts, dancing in the streets, and hundreds of vendors selling everything from beer to empanadas. But we're going for the epic showdown that's bound to occur when the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and the Planter's Peanuts Nutmobile meet each other at Calle Ocho.
Will the Nutters take on the Hotdoggers in a grueling death match? Or will they realize there's room for both iconic foods and adorable (if not slightly phallic) vehicles in this big, wide, kitschy world we live in? The Planter's Nutmobile parks in the El Dorado parking lot in Little Havana (corner of SW Eighth Street and 25th Avenue) on Sunday, March 9 from noon to 5 p.m., while the Wienermobile is at the same location from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wieners meet nuts. It's on like Donkey Kong!