Things To Do

This Week's Best Food Events: A Food Truck Derby, a Doughnut Dash and Pappy Van Winkle

Kathy Tran
For once, your love of doughnuts and your love of running do not have to be mutually exclusive pursuits.
The first annual Unicorn Lake Ale Fest is just around the corner. Admission is free, but you’ll want to fork over $20 for 10, 3-ounce sample tickets and a Drunken Donkey Bottle Opener. Five breweries — Audacity, Armadillo Ale Works, Shannon, Deep Ellum and Rabbit Hole — will showcase their beers, including seasonal and limited releases. Additional sampling tickets will also be available, should you still not see unicorns after your first 30 ounces.

What it be: Unicorn Lake Ale Fest

When it do: 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26

Where dat is: 3350 Unicorn Lake Blvd., Denton


Make like Oda Nobunaga and head to Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar for an evening of cocktails and samurai education. After you grab a cocktail from the bar, head upstairs for an after-hours tour of the Samurai Collection of Japanese armor. The cost is $10 per person; tickets may be reserved online.

What it be: Samurai Cocktail Tour

When it do: 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26

Where dat is: 2501 N. Harwood St.


Will La La Land beget a sparking white or a rosé? Join Dallas film critic Gary Cogill and sommelier Hayley Hamilton Cogill at the Dallas Arboretum for an evening of film and wine. The Cogills will lead a discussion on this year’s Oscar nominees, pairing each film with a complimentary wine. Tickets are $59 for Arboretum members or $65 for nonmembers.

What it be: A Night of Wine and Oscars With Gary and Hayley Cogill

When it do: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26

Where dat is: 8525 Garland Road


Here’s your chance, Pappy Van Winkle fans. The King of Whiskeys will be featured at a special four-course dinner at Henry’s Majestic. Executive chef Adam Kovac designed a menu to showcase Old Rip Van Winkle 10-year, Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-year, Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15-year and Pappy Van Winkle’s Special Reserve 20-year. Such an experience doesn’t come cheap: The dinner costs $385 per person. Reservations are required for this limited seating event; call 469-893-9400 to secure your spot at the table.

What it be: Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey Dinner

When it do: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26

Where dat is: 4900 McKinney Ave.


Become intimately acquainted with the Scoville scale of spiciness at ZestFest 2017. This three-day festival celebrating all things spicy will include food tastings, celebrity chef appearances and, of course, an obligatory atomic wing eating contest. Admission on Friday is $12 ($11 online); a weekend pass is $33.

What it be: ZestFest

When it do: 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29

Where dat is: 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving


Noble Rey Brewing will host a pop-up dinner this Friday in conjunction with Maple & Motor’s Jack Perkins. Each course will be paired with a Noble Rey beer. Tickets are $75 per person.

What it be: Pop-Up Beer Dinner

When it do: 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27

Where dat is: 2636 Farrington St.


Pass the borscht at Hotel St. Germain’s Russian-centric dinner. The dinner will feature tasting plates, from hors d’oeuvres to desserts, of dishes that call Mother Russia home. Each course will be paired with vodka and wine, and the cost is $95 per person. Call 214-871-2516 for reservations.

What it be: Russian Winter Festival Dinner

When it do: 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27

Where dat is: 2516 Maple Ave.


What comes to mind when you think of running a 5K? Is it a sense of accomplishment at achieving a goal or pride in taking an active role in your health? Is it the feeling of belonging that comes with participating in a communal activity? Nah. We know you. For you, it’s all about the strategically located doughnut hole stations. In what has got to be the most Homer Simpson-approved physical activity of all time, Hypnotic Donuts is holding their fifth annual 5K and 1-mile fun run this Saturday. Adults can register for the 5K for $30.

What it be: Hypnotic Donut Dash

When it do: 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28

Where dat is: 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd.


It’s time to elevate your barbecue game. Not that burgers and hot dogs aren’t great — they just aren’t barbecue. Join Heim Barbecue’s Travis Heim at Collective Brewing Project (CBP) as he shares techniques on turning out exemplary smoked meats and sides. You’ll enjoy lunch, three pours of CBP beer and the knowledge that this Independence Day you won’t be stockpiling Oscar Mayer. Tickets are $99.

What it be: BBQ Pit Master Class with Travis Heim

When it do: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28

Where dat is: 112 St. Louis Ave., Fort Worth


Hub Streat, the culinary entertainment center in Plano, will preview their food truck park with a free neighborhood block party. The park itself is expected to open in the spring, but you can get a taste of what’s to come with the party’s live entertainment, craft beer garden and of course, food trucks. Participating trucks: Gandolfo’s New York Deli, Yummy Spiedies Truck, Ssahm BBQ, The Butcher’s Son, Easy Slider, The Guava Tree, Press Waffle Company, Ruthies Grilled Cheese, Sandy Sue BBQ and Chez Flo.

What it be: Food Truck Derby

When it do: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28

Where dat is: 1212 14th St., Plano


Girl Scout cookies and craft beer: a pairing so indulgent it’s sure to make even the most lenient dietitian cringe. LUCK’s pairing extravaganza is back this year with a flight that’s sure to earn them some brownie point. Pairings include Thin Mints with Armadillo Ale Works’ Quakertown Stout, Samoas with the Manhattan Project Beer Co.’s Inception Belgian Brown Ale, Savannah Smiles with Legal Draft Beer Company’s Hung Jury Hefeweizen and S’mores with HopFusion Ale Works’ Feisty Blonde. To better manage the crowds, discounted tickets ($12) will be pre-sold online for time-slots throughout the day.

What it be: Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing Flight

When it do: Sunday, Jan. 29, through Friday, Feb. 3 — see website for times.

Where dat is: 3011 Gulden Lane