BEER & 'CUE — Ann Arbor's Weber's Restaurant will host the third in a series of special chef's dinners. The theme "Beer & BBQ," sounds certain to attract a hungry crowd. The casual event will pair their chef's barbecue creations with unique microbrewed beers from the Michigan Brewing Company of Webberville. It starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Weber's Restaurant (3050 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-769-2500); $35 per person plus tax and tip; call 734-665-3636 for reservations. Learn more about the series at webersinn.com.
HIGHER EATING — Authors Max and Eli Sussman will appear this week to sign their book Freshman in the Kitchen: From Clueless Cook to Creative Chef (Huron River Press, $17.95), described as a "hip, thoughtful, good-humored primer for novice cooks," inspired by Eli's experience as a student at Michigan State University helping his roommates prepare accomplished meals with ease on a budget. The event will include food and takes place at Book Beat (26010 Greenfield, Oak Park; 248-968-1190), 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24.
EAT THE PAGE
Jane and Michael Stern have chronicled hundreds of the diners and obscure "joints" that dot the American landscape. Now Pat Willard comes along to tempt us with America Eats!: On the Road with the WPA — the Fish Fries, Box Supper Socials, and Chitlin Feasts That Define Real American Food (Bloomsbury USA, $25.99). The book is a long-delayed project that was begun in 1935 by out-of-work writers affected by the Depression, not completed until Willard resurrected it by traveling the country, offering this delicious authentication.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Any true beer lover understands the center of the universe lies in the southeast German state of Bavaria. Besides being home to the largest beer bash in the world, Oktoberfest, it also claims the historic brewing city of Bamberg, where you'll find Mahr's brewery. Treat yourself to a half-liter bottle of their delicious unpasteurized pilsner. Creamy and full and skillfully balanced by local noble hops, it's full of depth yet extraordinarily drinkable. Find this small-batch, slow-brewed gem in the expanding beer and wine section of Ferndale's Western Market.
Squishy bowls don't sound particularly appetizing — but they are attractive and useful. Guyot Designs has come up with silicone "holders" that are more versatile than they seem. Put prepped ingredients in them for later use in recipes. The smaller size can be used for hot or cold drinks. Wash them by hand or put them in the dishwasher. Squish them into camping gear where space is always limited. They're unbreakable, thus good for little kids who drop them. Also a perfect portable water bowl for Fido. Check them out at amazon.com in several colors.