Miami's Best Eats and Drinks This Weekend: Miami Marathon, Miss Universe, and National Pie Day

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The Miami Marathon is this weekend, with tens of thousands of runners preparing to do the ultimate in sightseeing -- take in 13.1 or 26.2 miles of the city on foot.

If you want to cheer on the runners, you'll find a course map at themiamimarathon.com. As a marathoner, I know firsthand how great it is to see crowds of people at the race.

Besides the marathon, there's a ton of events this weekend, from a three-day festival of chocolate in the most beautiful setting in South Florida to the Miss Universe Pageant (right in Doral). Oh, and today is National Pie Day.

Weekend starts now!

Free Champers at Cypress Room for Shopaholics

The Design District has now become the hot spot for high-end shopping, and after spending the equivalent of a mortgage payment on a Louis Vuitton Alma or a Rolex, you'll need a drink -- if you can still afford one, that is. It's all good, because Michael Schwartz wants to pick up the tab. Just enjoy lunch or dinner at Cypress Room and show your server the receipt(s) from your Design District shopping frenzy. You'll receive two complimentary glasses of champagne. The offer is good through the end of February, so shop till you drop, and drink up!

Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for Choholics

Chocolate may be the most-craved edible on the planet, and this weekend, Fairchild feeds the obsession with three days of chocolate sampling, cooking demos, educational talks, and kids' activities. Learn how chocolate is made from bean to bar at the "Living History of Cacao and Chocolate" exhibit; then see real cacao pods growing on trees at the tropical fruit pavilion. Of course, there will also be chocolate to eat. Artisan chocolatiers

will offer samples of their best stuff and make it available for purchase. Chefs will also demonstrate how to cook with chocolate. Hankering for a cold one? The beer-sampling garden will pair beer and chocolate. The festival is open Friday, January 23, through Sunday, January 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, and admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6 to 17, and free for Fairchild members and kids 5 and under.

Drink to the Miss Universe Pageant

Even though it's called Miss Universe, Sunday evening's event is all about the Earth's most beautiful women (unless some beauties from Mars or Venus decide to show up). In any event, Miss Universe is here -- in Doral! That's something to drink to. BLT Prime at Trump National Doral has made a special Miss Congeniality cocktail to celebrate. Made with Hangar 1 Citron, juiced cucumber, lemon juice, and Agave 15, this is a smooth, beautiful, and cool drink. And, just like the actual Miss Congeniality, everyone will love this cocktail ($15).

Carb Up for the Miami Marathon at Scarpetta

The Miami Marathon will see more than 25,000 runners take to the streets of the Magic City and Miami Beach for a 13.1 or 26.2 race around town. Before you can get to the starting line, you need to prepare. Months of training helps, but what a runner really needs is a good carbo load the night before the race to store enough energy to get to the finish line. If you're gonna eat carbs, why not eat them in style at Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach? The restaurant has a special $39 "Carb-Up" prix fixe menu, available Friday, January 23, from 6 to 7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday, January 24, from 6 to 7 p.m. The meal includes burrata with broccoli rabe pesto, arugula salad, or creamy polenta with fricassée of truffled mushrooms for starters. Then, choose Scarpetta's famous spaghetti with tomato and basil, tagliatelle with wild mushroom, or duck and foie gras ravioli. End the meal with coconut panna cotta or Amedei chocolate cake.

Fireman Derek Has You Covered on National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day, and the best way to celebrate this auspicious occasion is at Fireman Derek's Famous Pies. Derek Kaplan is prepared for the holiday with a ton of pies, including s'mores, cherry, key lime, pecan, chocolate pecan, coconut custard, and more. Did we mention the candy bar pie? Slices cost $5 to $6, and pies run from $25 to $30. If you're looking for something savory, try an individual chicken potpie ($7.50) or a pizza (pie) on naan ($10 to $12). Fireman Derek's is open today from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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