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Best Weekend Food Events: Burgers, Wine on Wheels, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Dinner

Fleishers Craft Butchery Pop-Up
Northern Spy Food Co. (511 E 12th Street)
Friday through Sunday 

Fleishers Craft Butchery will host a burger-filled weekend in the old Northern Spy Food Co. space. Guests can grab three different kinds of burgers, including a classic hamburger, a 100 percent grass-fed burger, or a bacon, egg, and cheeseburger. The menu also includes beef-fat fries, kale salad, and drinks. Dishes range from $6 to $15. The pop-up will be open on Friday (5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.), Saturday (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.), and Sunday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Thai Restaurant Week
Multiple locations
Friday through Sunday

Take advantage of the final days of Thai Restaurant Week for Songkran (Thai New Year) with lunch and dinner deals. Participating locations — which offer a variety of special off-menu regional dishes — include the Williamsburg and Time Square locations of Qi, and Room Service. Select dishes include spicy papaya salad with crispy salmon, and Chiang Mai curry noodles. The full lineup of restaurants (and offerings) is on the Songrkan Thai Restaurant Week website.

Alice in Wonderland-Themed Dinner
Court Tree Collective (371 Court Street, Brooklyn)
Friday, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Break out your best top hat or pinafore for an Alice in Wonderland-themed dinner ($77.87). Dishes include mock turtle soup, pork pie, and fried whiting. There will also be plenty of wine, cake, and — of course — tea. Don’t be late for this important date.

Wine on Wheels
City Winery (155 Varick Street)
Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Wheeling Forward will host its annual Wine on Wheels event with Yannick Benjamin, where guests can enjoy a three-hour wine tasting featuring over 200 wines. More than sixty New York-based sommeliers will attend and help educate guests on varietals, with five seminars planned throughout the evening. Seminar topics include the art of the blind tasting, sake, and natural wines. Tickets start at $95 for the grand tasting. Reserve your spot here.

Brooklyn Mac and Cheese Takedown
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (514 Union Street, Brooklyn)
Sunday, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Sample Brooklyn’s best mac and cheese recipes (or make your own for a chance to win culinary prizes) at this all-you-can-eat affair. Contestants must make two trays of an original mac and cheese recipe. Those interested in participating can find more information here. Tickets are $20 for all the mac and cheese you can stomach. Get yours here.

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Best Weekend Food Events: Hot Chocolate Festival, Pig Party, and Tiki Night


Valhrona Hot Chocolate Festival, Multiple Locations, Saturday through January 31

Discover new and under-the-radar hot chocolate creations during this week-long celebration. A selection from New York’s best bakeries include a salted caramel hot chocolate at Baked, Doughnut Plant’s tres leches white hot chocolate, and a raspberry and orange blossom version at François Payard. Fifty cents from each hot chocolate purchased will be donated to City Harvest.

Chelsea: Comparative Brew Method Demo, Blue Bottle Coffee, 450 West 15th Street, Saturday, 2 p.m. 

Learn the art of coffee brewing methods including French press, Aeropress, Chemex, and pour-over at this free workshop. Students will learn the different purposes and history surrounding each brewing technique, with tastings for each style included too.

Pinot Days, City Winery, 155 Varick Street, Saturday, 12 to 8 p.m.

Grab a glass and enjoy over 100 examples of pinot noir done right. Pinot from regions including Russian River Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands will be open. VIP tickets include early access and seated small group tastings with the winemakers. For those interested in food pairings, a dinner featuring fifteen wines and a three-course Mediterranean style menu will take place starting at 4:30 p.m. General admission tickets start at $75 and can be reserved here.

Cochon 555, Weylin B. Seymour’s, 175 Broadway, Brooklyn, Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m

This pork-centric national tour makes its New York stop this weekend, with five chefs creating over 30 dishes using nothing but a whole pig. The nose-to-tail competition includes chefs from Upland, Vic’s, and Hecho en Dumbo. The event includes five winemakers suggesting pairings for each dish. General admission starts at $130.95 and can be purchased here.

Tiki Night, Wallflower, 235 W 12th Street, Sunday, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Mace and Miracle on Ninth Street head honcho Nico De Soto is making a guest appearance at Wallflower for a tiki-themed party. Drinks include a riff off the zombie, while a special Polynesian-themed menu with dishes like papaya salad and arroz caldo will be offered by the kitchen.

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HOLY WATERS

About 15 minutes into Female Trouble, Divine, in all her voluptuous glory, is hurling her mother into a Christmas tree after not getting the cha cha heels she asked for. Pink Flamingos, Polyester, and Hairspray sound like the makings of one truly demented holiday in South Florida. The logic is simple: John Waters has always had that knack for making a garish show of dysfunctional families, and nothing brings out the dysfunction like Christmas. Yes, this is the yuletide spectacular we’ve been praying to Satan for. Tonight “The Pope of Trash” will take the stage in A John Waters Christmas, sharing his most twisted holiday traditions, perverted presents, and other twinkling horrors of the season. Sing along to his signature carols like “Here Comes Fatty Claus” and spend the cold winter’s night under a warm, cozy blanket of smut.

Sun., Dec. 14, 8 p.m., 2014

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THE X FACTOR

Formed in 1977 by singing poet Exene Cervenka, her bassist-soulmate John Doe, enigmatic rockabilly guitarist Billy Zoom, and pile-driving drummer D.J. Bonebrake, X is arguably the greatest punk-rock group still performing with its original membership. Beginning tonight, they’ll perform their four earliest albums – Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun, and More Fun in the New World – in their entirety over as many evenings. Produced by Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, X’s songs about Californication, jealousy, death, and decay suggested a lineage that cut diagonally through hippie culture back to the Beats and Woody Guthrie’s populist idealism. X also delivered probably the best line to come out of the SoCal punk ethos: “We’ll crawl through your backyard/ And whack your yappin’ dog!”

Aug. 22-24, 6 p.m., 2014

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Matthew Sweet

This ’90s alt-rock demigod was one of the first navel-gazing singer-songwriters to come up with more than amplified lint, enlisting iconoclastic guitarists Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd to channel the bone-dry cynicism of breakout album Girlfriend, galvanizing a generation looking for a viable alternative to whatever else was out there. In preparation for his first album of original material in four years, Sweet and his regular touring band will perform choice tracks from his extensive catalogue, up through 2011 release Modern Art. For die-hard Sweet fans, the forthcoming project’s as-yet-unfunded Kickstarter offers a $10,000 live house concert and a limited edition bronze casted cat sculpture. With Tommy Keene. LEVY

Fri., July 18, 8 p.m., 2014

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STRANGE FOLK

Chances are you know Suzanne Vega from 1990’s “Tom’s Diner,” her originally a cappella track that skyrocketed to radio ubiquity after British producers DNA set it to a dance beat. But it’s hard to understate Vega’s importance outside of that song: The intimate, accessible folk of her 1987 platinum breakthrough, Solitude Standing, opened up commercial avenues for female singer-songwriters like Sinead O’Connor, Fiona Apple, and the Indigo Girls. Though Vega’s popularity was arguably superseded by those that followed — especially after producer and ex-husband Michael Froom took her ’90s efforts in a more experimental direction — there’s no question that her wryly observational lyrics and pop-friendly arrangements are just as compelling now as they were 20 years ago.

Sun., May 4, 8 p.m., 2014

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Cowboy Junkies

Toronto’s Cowboy Junkies prove that Canadian country and blues can be just as achy breaky as the American varietal. Instead of insistent honky-tonk or cowboy influences, though, Cowboy Junkies rely on the more languid, ethereal end of the spectrum. At the heart of the group are three Timmins siblings — Michael, Peter, and lead singer Margo — and it was covers like their rendition of the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” that got them radio play. Reaching peak popularity in the ’90s, the Junkies continued to release albums well into the late 2000s. Expect bristly, alt-country melodies with Margo’s ghostly alto floating above.

Wed., March 5, 8 p.m., 2014

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Habib Koité

The sweet ‘n’ smooth Mali guitarist brings his new band to town for the first time. Gone is amazing balafon player Kélétigui Diabaté; newly onboard is Issa Kone, a guitarist who doubles on banjo. Koité’s new album, Soô, meaning home, was recorded in his living room and has a vibe to belie Mali’s chaotic political situation. Best of all, though, Koité has switched from nylon to steel strings, a crucial difference in both sound and attitude.

Thu., March 6, 8 p.m., 2014

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Michael Nesmith

Hey hey, he was the prickliest Monkee. A film producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Nesmith also recorded a dozen-plus solo albums ranging from country rock with the First National Band to 2006’s Rays, a heady musical travelogue through the south. He returned to touring in 2012 with what he calls “movies of the mind,” a show that combines an intriguing catalog, performed by a crack band, with anecdotes aplenty.

Sun., March 16, 8 p.m., 2014

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Steve Earle

Due in part to formative relationships and influence from Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle has been one of the formative members of roots and blues since the 1980s but continues to expand and revitalize Americana in a number of different mediums. In 2011, for instance, he both released his 14th solo studio album, I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, and published his debut novel of the same name. Last year, he teamed with his road band Dukes and Duchesses to release The Low Highway. Expect plenty of guitar-pickin’, longing lyrics, and a side or two of blues.

Wednesdays, 8 p.m.; Feb. 21-22, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 5. Continues through Feb. 19, 2014