Free Ice Cream for Everyone, Cinnabon Adds a Sweet New Addition, Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen Hosts a Wine Dinner, While 8.0's Goes the Beer Route

We were just thinking the other day that there should really be more free stuff available for the public. What if Steve Jobs set up shop on a street corner one day and just started giving away free computers and iPods? Or if Donald Trump decided it was a good day to rent a hot air balloon to fly over Dallas and dump millions into the hands of people waiting happily below. We're pretty sure both scenarios would never happen, so we'll settle for free ice cream from Ben & Jerry's.

This Tuesday, March 23, is Ben & Jerry's Annual Free Cone Day from 12-8 p.m. at all three of their local scoop shops located in Plano, McKinney, and Highland Village. Why are they doing this? To show their undying love and appreciation to their customers for helping them stay in business another year.

In addition to getting free ice cream. Ben & Jerry's has selected the American Red Cross-Dallas area chapter as its honorary charity. Red Cross volunteers will be on hand at each location to help scoop and hopefully collect cash from generous customers. Also helping out with the scooping at the Plano location are local celebrities such as Kent Rathbun (chef and owner of Abacus, Jaspers and Blue Plate), Nikki McKibbin (top finalist in season one of American Idol), and others. For more info, visit www.benjerry.com.

Also going on this week....

Everyone's favorite cinnamon roll shop at practically every mall, Cinnabon, is celebrating 25 years of business by introducing cupcakes to their menu. Starting this month, Cinnabon will be selling cinnacake classic, chocolate passion, vanilla bliss, and 24-carrot cake cupcakes to their customers. It's starting to look like cupcakes are all the food rage. Again.

Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen will be hosting a wine dinner this Tuesday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. For $75, you can enjoy a four-course dinner paired with the appropriate wine from Barrel 27 Wine Company. A few dishes on the menu are wood-grilled clams, black pepper duck breast, and blackberry-lemon cornmeal crisp. For more info, visit www.kentrathbun.com.

If you'd rather enjoy beer with your meal, then try 8.0 Restaurant & Bar next Monday, March 29, for their beer dinner featuring Kansas City's specialty brewer, Boulevard Brewing Company. The dinner will have pairings like Boss Tom's Golden Bock paired with calamari with sweet and spicy dipping sauce, Irish Ale paired with a brown sugar-brined pork chop, sweet potatoes and mustard greens, along with a few others. The event will start at 7 p.m. and is $40 per person. You can visit www.eightobar.com for information.

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