Comfort Food Fest, International Comfort Food Festival, North of the Border beeer and cheese tasting and the Wide World of Beer.
It's no coincidence there are two festivals celebrating comfort foods this week. After all, isn't February the month of stuffing yourself silly in order to survive frigid weather and cabin fever? First up is the International Comfort Food Festival at Reading Terminal Market Sat., Feb. 23, which showcases comfort foods from different cultures cooked by market merchants. There's also a "souper bowl" in which merchants compete in soup-making. If you haven't had your fill, on Wed., Feb. 27, there's the Comfort Food Fest at Cescaphe Ballroom in NoLibs, where chefs like Matthew Levin from Lacroix, Todd Fuller from Tangerine and Cary Neff from Coquette will cook using questionable foodstuffs like Rice-a-Roni and Manwich as base ingredients. There'll be samplings of the chefs' creations, booze tastings and free parking. Both events are free, but you have to call and reserve tickets for the Comfort Food Fest. >> International Comfort Food Festival, Sat., Feb. 23, 10am-4pm. Free. Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch sts. 215.922.2317. www.readingterminalmarket.org; Comfort Food Fest, Wed., Feb. 27, 6-9pm. Free, reservations required. Cescaphe Ballroom, 923 N. Second St. 215.627.1060
Since Philly Beer Week is nearly upon us, it's no surprise that even the most oenophiley of oenophiles are plunging headfirst into a foamy mug of the finest liquid nourishment on the planet. Case in point: The Wine School of Philadelphia will offer a primer on craft brew titled The Wide World of Beer on Fri., Feb. 22. You'll learn things beery and get to sample some international brews. Or you could pick up tickets now for the North of the Border beer and cheese tasting Feb. 29 at Di Bruno Bros. Canadian fromager Denis Cottin will pair Quebecois cheeses with Quebecois craft beers from Unibroue brewery, which happens to produce one of my favorite beers in the world, the totally quaffable �ph�m�re. It smells like crisp apples, is dry as a bone, goes down like champagne, and is a dream with cheese. >> Wide World of Beer: Fri., Feb 22, 7:30-9:30pm. $37.99. Wine School of Philadelphia, 2006-2008 Fairmount Ave. 800.817.7351. www.vinology.com; North of the Border: Fri., Feb. 29, 6-8pm. $45. Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St. 215.665.1659. www.dibruno.com