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If all goes to plan, the "Battle of the Heights" Pie-Eating Contest this Saturday at Pie in the Sky (632 West 19th) will look nothing like Stephen King's Great Tri-County Pie Eat. But wouldn't you rather go watch just in case? Four of the Heights' "civic and business leaders" will be competing against one another starting at 4 p.m. to see who can eat the most pie. That is not a euphemism; this is a family-friendly outing.

Meanwhile, the Kemah Crawfish Festival will already be in full swing, and it's not too late to purchase a three-day pass for $12 or one-day passes for $5 each. The festival kicks off every day (April 15 to 17) at noon and winds down at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. on Sunday. The big draw here ain't the crawfish races; it's the morbidly obese mudbugs that are a mere $2 a pound. We'll be there; will you?

The rest of the month is all wine and cheese. Not that you'll hear us complaining.

Next Wednesday, April 20, you'll have to choose between two equally fine wine dinners: Meeker Winery at Mockingbird Bistro and Wines of Batasiola featuring Piero Selvaggio at Valentino.

The Meeker Winery dinner will feature an aperitif followed by four courses and I already love the idea of dishes like grilled baby octopus, bay scallops and jumbo lump crab salad and seared rare tuna mignon with roasted foie gras and purple Peruvian potato risotto. The Meeker dinner is $125 a person and reservations can be made by calling 713-533-0200.

At the Batasiola Vineyards dinner, five wines will be served along with Piero Selvaggio's input on each (Selvaggio is the founder of the Valentino restaurant group). Three courses and five wines are only $55, a pretty good deal for dinner at Valentino. Reservations can be made by calling 713-850-9200.

And the weekend after next, fans of fromage will be flocking to Urban Harvest's 1st Annual Cheese Fest on April 30. Starting at 8 a.m. and running through noon (the market's regular hours), five local cheese vendors will be spotlighted along with their wares: Pola Cheese, Blue Heron Farm, Mia Bella Farm, Swede Farm and Hammond Farm along with butter, yogurt and cream from Way Back When Dairy. There will also be milking and cheese-making demonstrations, so get down to 3000 Richmond early that Saturday to take it all in.


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