This week in gluttony
The first Oktoberfest event of the season happens this week, and it’s a big one that starts with a fun run. This week also brings the 36th annual edition of the largest wine festival in the Southwest. Save room for pumpkin beer and pie — the latter in the form of an inaugural pie-eating contest.
Wednesday, September 14
Hispanic Heritage Month at Central Market
Are you really into comida? The Texas gourmet grocer will showcase top-rated Hispanic brands from around the world for this month-long festival that kicks off Wednesday. New and noteworthy items available for purchase are Spanish-tenderized octopus, Chorizo de San Manuel from Edinburg, Texas, pastel de elote with buttery corn bread, sweetened condensed milk and white corn, and Mexican wedding cookies. The festival will run through October 11.
Thursday, September 15
The largest wine festival of the Southwest returns for its 36th annual four-day run. Held in historic downtown Grapevine, GrapeFest features the best of Texas-grown wines, as well as guest wineries from the Sonoma Valley region in California and Sicily region of Italy. New this year is a cork shoot-off, charcuterie workshops, and VIP tasting experiences. Headlining acts include Texas country singer Jack Ingram (Saturday) and '80s pop star Taylor Dayne (Friday). GrapeFest opens at 11 am daily. Admission is free on Thursday and all day Friday until 5 pm. After that, adults are $10 ($5 for 62-plus and children 6-12). Note that admission does not include tasting experiences, including the popular People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, which is $25 per person (in advance) and booked in 90-minute increments throughout the weekend.
Saturday, September 17
Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5K
Now in its 13th year, the popular 5K race and post-party takes place Saturday morning right at the Rahr brewery. Registration includes an official race shirt, finisher medal, on-course whiskey shot by Acre Distilling Co., and finisher pint glass to be filled with three Rahr brews. Note that registration ($55) closes Friday at 5 pm and the race begins promptly Saturday at 8:30 am. The event will include stein-hoisting competitions, costume contests, and lots of live music.
Pumpkin Fest at Martin House Brewing Company
The Riverside brewery will drop three different pumpkin beers during this afternoon “almost-fall” festival. Go for face painting, pumpkin decorating, pumpkin chucking, kettle corn, food trucks, and live music. The $20 entry fee includes a pint glass and four pours. As always for Martin House Saturday events, kids are welcome.
Pie-Eating Contest at Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop
The Arlington outlet of this popular pie chain will host its inaugural pie-eating competition, where participants get to pick their pie. The entry fee is $7.50 per person ($8.50 for gluten-free pie, booked in advance). In a unique twist, a round will take place every 15 minutes and the number of participants in each round determines the size of the prize — which is more pie to take home. Large groups may book a time slot in advance. Rounds will run from 1-4 pm.