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No Holds Barred Chili Cook-Off

This weekend is full of food events, whether you want to travel or stay close to home. The annual Texas Renaissance Festival is in full swing already, with more turkey legs and steins of ale than you can swing a mace at. But if that's not your thing, we've got a few more events right here in town.

This Sunday is the Adobo Hoedown, which we mentioned on Monday. Not only will you get to try the national food of the Philippines -- a delicious pork stew called adobo -- you'll get to judge it too. And your $10 admission fee goes to benefit the needy typhoon victims in Manila and other hard-hit parts of the Philippines. Don't forget to grab a few tasty pastries while you're horking down adobo and jamming to Filipino music and DJs. Important note: Adobo Hoedown has been moved to DiverseWorks, at 1117 East Freeway, due to space constraints -- which means more food and fun!

Also running this weekend is Festa Italiana, which starts today at 11 a.m. and runs through 6 p.m. on Sunday. The annual festival is now in its 31st year and features an Epicurean Stage for the food lovers. Most of the food activities are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, so don't fret if you can't get over to the University of St. Thomas today. But you won't want to miss the olive oil and wine tastings, the cooking demonstrations or the pasta eating contest. Word to the wise: bring extra cash, since many of the food activities have an extra fee associated with them outside of your $6 admission fee.

If big festivals and hoedowns aren't your thing, head over to famously relaxed Heights bar Shady Grove on Saturday afternoon for the 3rd annual No Holds Barred Chili Cook-Off. A $5 ticket gets you a bowl, a spoon and a vote, and you'll be able to enjoy your chili while watching the Red River Shootout. Even better? A portion of the beer sales go to benefit Young Professionals for Children.

What food activities do you have planned for the weekend, readers?
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