Hash Over: More Barbecue Cook-offs, Samar Celebrates a Birthday, Brackets is Coming Soon, and Seasons 52 is Now Open

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We told you once and we'll tell you again, any season is barbecue season. Sure, you might need to trade in your swim trunks for snow boots at some point, but we're sure they'll look good with the "Kiss the Chef" apron you're wearing.

This Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, will be the 27th Annual International Bar-B-Que Cookers Association Cook-off at Traders Village in Grand Prairie. The cook-off will feature over 100 participants preparing 600 or more samples for guests to judge. Contests include the Obie-Cue Backyard BBQ Championship, International Bar-B-Que Cookers Association Invitational, Traders Village/I.B.C.A Jackpot Series Championship cook-off for Pork Spare Ribs, and a kid's boneless pork chop cook-off.

The entry fee for the Obie-Cue Backyard BBQ Championship, which is $25, will be donated to the Kash for Kids charity. The event is free, but there will be a $3 parking fee. Barbecue cook-off organizers are also encouraging attendees to sign up to judge one of the many competitions.

For more information, visit www.tradersvillage.com or call 972-647-2331.

Also going on this week....

Samar by Stephan Pyles will be turning one this week, and they've decided to celebrate by offering drink specials and live entertainment on Friday, October 8. From 5-11 p.m., guests can enjoy a complimentary amuse bouche with dinner, half-priced well drinks, half-priced wines by the glass, $5 Samartinis and sangria, and half-priced hookah. There will also be special belly dancing performances and fortune teller readings. For more information on the event, visit www.samarrestaurant.com.

If you are a weekly reader of our dining newsletter Hot off the Grill (if not, then we suggest signing up), then you know a new sports-themed restaurant and bar will be making a Dallas debut soon. Brackets will be opening up this fall at the Hotel Palomar, and Jay Jerrier of Il Cane Rosso will be on pizza detail. Also featured at Brackets will be games like table tennis, shuffle board, billiards, darts and Wii. Stay tuned for this one to open up, City of Aters.

Seasons 52, a fresh grill and wine bar, officially opened its doors at The Shops at Legacy this week. The restaurant's menu changes four times a year, along with the seasons, and doesn't list any dishes with more than 475 calories. The Plano location will be the first in Texas, and the kitchen's celebrating with a few regionally-inspired creations, including a buffalo chili made with Texas pecans and Shiner Bock beer. For more information on the new restaurant, visit www.seasons52.com.

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