FAT TUESDAY IS NEXT WEEK
March 4 is Fat Tuesday, the traditional last food-and-drink hurrah before the beginning of Lent. Some people will party with paczki -- round, overfilled, rolled-in-sugar Polish doughnuts that are available at many local bakeries, but usually only through Tuesday.
Read more about these pastries on The Forks blog at pgplate.com.
Then on Wednesday, the fish fries begin. Still the most comprehensive list around is published by the Pittsburgh Catholic; you can read the newspaper's just-published 2014 "fish fry supplement" at pittsburghcatholic.com/FishFryReaderSpreads2212014b.pdf.
Many restaurants and other eateries are marking the season with events.
Hofbrauhaus will serve the traditional fasching doughnuts at its Fat Tuesday celebration, which starts at 6 p.m. that night and is to include live music, a costume contest and other fun.
The Pines Tavern is holding a Fat Tuesday tasting of six Weyerbacher beers for $12 from 6 to 8 p.m. that day.
Lidia's Pittsburgh is offering a taste of how Italians celebrate Carnivale, or Mardi Gras, with a five-course, $60 dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 11.
If you're planning to give up beer for Lent, you can get it out of your system this weekend at the winter Pittsburgh Beerfest, which takes over the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Friday and Saturday. You can sample more than 300 different beers, buy foods from local eateries, listen to live music. Saturday is sold out, but tickets were still left at presstime for Friday for $40 and $50 (VIP) or $50 and $60 on the day of (pittsburghbeerfest.com).
If you're really into craft beer, you probably don't want to give it up during Lent, because there are a lot of festivals and other events coming up, including Beers of The Burgh on April 12 (at 97 40th St. in Lawrenceville, organizers announced this week; beersoftheburgh.com).
Also that day, the eighth-annual Erie Micro Brew Fest presents 30 small-batch brewers at that city's historic Brewerie at Union Station (new this year is a craft whiskey tasting; wqln.org).
EAT WITH MICHAEL POLLAN
Tickets are on sale for an interesting event:
Big Burrito's chef Bill Fuller interviewing University of California-Berkeley professor and best-selling food writer Michael Pollan ("Food Rules," etc.).
"A Conversation With Michael Pollan" will happen at the Hillman Center for the Performing Arts, Shady Side Academy, Fox Chapel, at 7:30 p.m. May 10. Tickets are $55 (412-968-3040).
Get the "exclusive VIP 'Locavore' Supper Ticket Package" for $175 and you also can eat with Mr. Pollan after the show, as he "curates a farm-to-table reception with five of Pittsburgh's award-winning visionary chefs," including Mr. Fuller, Kevin Sousa (formerly of Salt of the Earth), Justin Severino (Cure), Trevett Hooper (Legume) and Brian Pekarcik (Spoon). They'll be pouring Wigle Whiskey, Engine House 25 wines and Church Brew Works beer.
Learn more and buy tickets at shadysideacademy.org.
-- Bob Batz Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @bobbatzjr). Read more food and drinks news on The Forks blog at pgplate.com.