Top 5 Things to Eat and Drink This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

The Upper East Side Big Band at The Farm at South Mountain Saturday, December 21

Enjoy our region's comfortable winter weather this weekend when The Upper East Side Big Band, Arizona's premier jazz big band, comes to perform at The Farm at South Mountain. Attendees are invited to bring a blank to listen to the music while eating lunch from The Farm Kitchen, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The band will be playing classic Christmas songs with a blues, jazz and bebop twist from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The event is free and dogs are welcome. For more information visit The Farm at South Mountain website.

12 Beers of Christmas Saturday, December 21

This Saturday World of Beer Tempe is celebrating the season with 12 Beers of Christmas with Mudshark Brewery. The lineup of limited edition beers includes Hinkles Magic eggnog flavored cream ale, Arizona Snow Day white chocolate ale, Snowy Ale mint chocolate porter, Nutcracker holiday nut blend, Coal in Your Stocking bacon smoked porter, and Mrs. Clause ginger stout. For more information visit the World of Beer Tempe Facebook page.

Gingerbread House Cooking Class Sunday, December 22

Building gingerbread houses is a holiday tradition -- unfortunately though it can be a pretty difficult one to pull off. Baking cookie walls and then constructing a precarious abode out of them is best left to the pasty professionals, which is why this class is such a genius idea. Join pasty chef Duc Thang at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn as he helps you design and decorate your dream cookie house. Food and beverage will be provided. The class, which runs from noon to 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, costs $40 per gingerbread house. For more information visit the Lon's website.

Free Calas at TEXAZ Grill

All month TEXAZ is serving free traditional New Orleans-style Calas dessert pastries as an amuse-bouche or pre-meal snack. The pastries have been described as "like beignets, only better" and are made with deep-fried rice and sweet egg batter that's dusted with powdered sugar. Calas date back to the 18th century when African slaves brought Louisiana would sell them in the French Quarter of New Orleans. TEXAZ Grill chef/owner, Steve Freidkin, who comes from a long line of Louisiana delicatessen owners, will be frying up fresh Calas for every guest who come in during the month of December.

Pork Belly

If you're stressed because of all that holiday shopping you still have left to do except that you can't find at parking spot at the mall and once you do it's so crowded you feel like you can't breathe...take a deep breath, and indulge. And there are few dishes as decadent and satisfying as pork belly. Luckily we've also done the work of finding the ten very best pork belly dishes in the Valley, which include all-American sandwiches and barbecue ethic eats. We're no doctors, but if we were we'd prescribe one dish for every hour spent at the mall this weekend.

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