Upcoming Events: Downtown Hoppy Hours and Italian Stallions

Everyone loves The Orange Show -- but the non-profit Center for Visionary Art needs your help to keep providing Houston with amazing public art displays like the annual Art Car Parade and concerts at the Orange Show monument itself. To that end, Saint Arnold is sponsoring the 2012 Foamraiser tomorrow, November 10, from 7 to 11 p.m.

This year's Foamraiser at the Orange Show will feature music from Thunderado, samplings of Saint Arnold special brews and street food treats from the Ladybird food truck. All proceeds from the event will go to fund the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art's ongoing programs. Pre-sale tickets are $20 and tickets at the door will be $25.

Speaking of excellent craft beer, our next Craft Beer Hoppy Hour at Phoenicia's MKT Bar is coming up next Friday, November 16, in which we spotlight local microbreweries and pair their brews with food. This Friday's Hoppy Hour series will feature Karbach Brewing Company. Sample their wares with $7 craft beer and food pairings, or grab something different from the bar: MKT is offering $4 select drafts and $5 wine. Music will be provided by the Kelly Doyle Trio from 4 to 7 p.m. and DJ-spun tracks by Bagheera from 7 to 10 p.m.

In other beer news, Houston Beer Week is about to kick into high gear. The week-long event starts tomorrow and ends Saturday, November 17 with The Draft -- a charity beer festival -- at Guadalupe Park in the East End. But before The Draft arrives, head out to The Hay Merchant on Friday, November 16 for its all-day Real Ale Total Cask Takeover.

All five of The Hay Merchant's cask engines will be kicking out Real Ale cask-conditioned beers until they're gone. The line-up includes Katz Coffee Porter 2012, 4-Squared, Brewers Cut Signature Series Hop, Lost Gold IPA and the amazing 15th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout.

Do you have a special veteran in your life? Treat them to a nice meal at McCormick & Schmick's. Every location of the surf-and-turf chain will recognize U.S. military veterans this Sunday, November 11 with a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée -- a tradition they've honored since 1999. Reservations are highly encouraged for Veterans Day, as tables fill up quickly.

You may have heard Andrea Bocelli is coming to the Toyota Center on Wednesday, November 28 -- and you may have even already splashed out for the ultra-expensive tickets. If so, this dining deal is just for you: A few short blocks away, Quattro at the Four Seasons will be offering a special three-couse dinner from executive chef (and fellow Italian) Maurizio Ferrarese for only $39. And that's not all: The dinner also includes free valet parking (which allows you to leave your car at the Four Seasons during the show) and a complimentary glass of wine at Vinoteca -- the wine bar next door to Quattro -- after the concert is over.

The planned three-course "Bocelli Menu" includes shared appetizers for the table, a main-course selection of salmon with broccolini, brussels sprouts, carrots and Houston "Sutton Sweet" tomato relish or Texas Akaushi beef lasagna with ricotta cheese along with the restaurant's own house-made gelato for dessert. After the concert, return to Vinoteca (just next door to Quattro on the third floor) and enjoy a free glass of wine by showing your concert ticket. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Although it's not until next year, mark your calendars now for Urban Harvest's annual fruit tree sale on Saturday, January 19. The 13th annual sale will bring together the largest stock of fruit trees and berries in the United States and invites anyone interested in planting and harvesting their own fruit to come out, learn about the various trees and take a few home.

The 2013 Fruit Tree Sale will feature oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, limes, kumquats, calamondin, pumelo, satsumas, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, pears, apples, persimmons, pomegranates, pecans, grapes, muscadines, jujubes, blueberries, blackberries, avocados, starfruit, Cherry of the Rio Grande, dragon fruit, bananas, figs, olives and more. In addition, "Fruit Tree Professors" will be on-hand to answer questions and help customers select their trees. There will be handouts on how to care for the trees, and Dr. Bob Randall's book, Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro Houston, will be available for sale.

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