Mango season is here, and it's time to pick up any homeless ones and give them a good home -- in your belly. We're partial to smoothies.
But if Miami's favorite fruit is not your cup of tea, there's plenty more to do this weekend for lovers of food and drink.
From a monthly beer garden at Gramps to a bar crawl around the Beach, you'll surely find excitement in something.
Gramps Beer Garden
Remember when Gramps first opened and it automatically became everyone's new favorite place? A lot like Wood, it's developed a deeply loyal following that comes for the small list of killer cocktails, bocce ball, and a chill vibe -- along with maybe a gravel pebble or two to take home. This great place is about to get better. From now until the end of this year, Gramps is hosting a beer garden from 5 to 8 p.m. during each Second Saturday Art Walk. This Saturday, the featured beer on tap is Duvel. But that's not even the best part: The first 75 people to show up will receive a supercool tulip-shaped Duvel beer glass -- AND the beer will be free. BUT WAIT, there's more! Sparky's Roadside Barbecue will be in the house offering free 'cue. Free booze, free food, and you don't even have to put out. Winning, Gramps! Winning.
Miami is the capital of Latin America. We're the center point of all things Cuban, Dominican, Venezuelan, Colombian, Brazilian, Argentine, and any other nationality that boasts beautiful women and delicious food. We're kind of the best. But every once in a while, we have to take a few steps back, put down the choripanes, and remember whose soil we're on. So in the spirit of the good ol' U.S. of A. (and her undeniable hospitality toward her wild-child city), Burger Beast and Tobacco Road are hosting a big ol' hot-dog festival. Because everyone loves a good wiener. Admission is free this Saturday from 2 to 7:30 p.m. There will be an "adult" slip 'n' slide, a hot-dog-eating contest, food trucks, and, of course, lots of franks. You'll be able to participate in various contests and raffles, and though there's no guarantee you'll win, you are guaranteed to have a great time. If not, admission is free -- tee hee!
Mango Man is, evidently, and actual thing. Like, a person. We're told he roams the city looking for people who love mango and polyester as much as he does. Frankly, we prefer cotton because it breathes, but to each his own. If you're hankering for some of the Big Mango's finest libations this Saturday, Finlandia Vodka and Mango Man invite you to join their informal bar crawl along Ocean Drive or Lincoln Road. There will be drink specials along the way, and if you happen to spot the
Miami yeti Mango Man, tell him how much you love his Saturday Night Fever-meets-Dumb and Dumber outfit -- he might buy you a drink for the compliment!
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Mango Festival at Fairchild
We're in the school of thought that buying mangos in this city is hogwash. Everyone and their mother knows someone with a tree in their backyard. Mango season should be a time to build communities. Turn to your left and hug your neighbor! Then kindly ask to pick up some of those ripe and delicious fallen fruits. The International Mango Festival at Fairchild is a great event to educate yourself on the variety and versatility of the fleshy fruit. From a Sunday brunch to chef demos to a growers' summit and even a mango wine and beer sampling, you're bound to get into the spirit. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6 to 17, and free for members and children 5 and younger. Discounts are available for anyone who walks, bikes, or takes public transportation to the festival. Brunch tickets cost $100 for members, $125 for nonmembers.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.