Think Thanksgiving is slowing down the food and drink scene in November? Think again. There’s plenty to do this month all across Alexandria, so get after it.
Rustico Novemberfest, Nov. 4
Removed a few weeks from the usual Oktoberfest activities, Rustico on Slater’s Lane is hosting its sixth annual Novemberfest celebration on Saturday, and all food- and beer-lovers are invited. Eighty beer and cider options are on the menu at the annual block party, and the restaurant’s kitchen will be working overtime to serve up turkey legs, BBQ pork sandwiches, and more in short order. Kick back and listen to some live bluegrass, and bring the kids for some family-friendly games and activities. Noon-5 p.m., 827 Slaters Lane. Tickets $25.
Port City Tidings Release Party, Nov. 4
It’s become a hallmark of the holiday season: Port City Brewing launches its annual Tidings winter seasonal this weekend. The spiced Belgian-style blond ale tastes just like the holidays with hints of cinnamon and cardamom subtly below the surface. Help the brewery welcome winter back to Alexandria with a tasting, a tour — and maybe a six-pack to take home. Noon-9 p.m., 3950 Wheeler Ave.
Virginia Cider Festival, Nov. 18
Who knew there was such a thing as Cider Week? Blessedly, there is, and this year Alexandria’s Lloyd House serves as home base for the Virginia Cider Festival, which caps off the week in style. More than a dozen Commonwealth cideries are represented at the event, which also features live music and autumn-themed fun. 2-6 p.m., 220 N. Washington St. Tickets $45 in advance, $55 at the door.
Empty Bowls Alexandria, Nov. 18
Where else can you enjoy dinner, help those in need, and bring home a souvenir? ALIVE – Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically – is partnering with local artists and restaurants to host its third annual Empty Bowls event at the Durant Arts Center, where guests will choose a handmade bowl and then fill that bowl (or plate in its place) with a simple supper. Take the bowl home as a reminder of the event – and a call to action to continue filling bowls throughout the community to alleviate hunger. 6-8 p.m., Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St. Tickets: $40 and up.
Saturday Street Food Festival, Nov. 18
Neighborhood newcomer Sunday in Saigon joins forces with DC’s Himitsu to host the restaurant’s first “SSFF” – Saturday Street Food Festival – outside the North Old Town establishment on St. Asaph Street. Enjoy a hearty sampling of Asian street food and beer pairings from Bell’s Brewery. And feel good about eating well: A portion of the day’s proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Noon-4:30 p.m., 682 N. St. Asaph St. Tickets: $50 early bird, $60 general admission.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.