Mix and mingle with some French brewers--and French mussels--at Hopleaf. (Brian Cassella/Chicago…)
Ditch the Diet
Delightful Pastries Chicago French Market 131 N. Clinton St. 312-234-9644
Fat Tuesday also means it's Paczki Day, and you can feast on the traditional Polish doughnut treats in varieties such as plum butter ($2), strawberry and custard ($3) and rose petal jelly ($2). Want to go all out? Try a Drunken Paczki ($3), available in flavors such as Patron Cocoa XO with chocolate custard or vodka with vanilla bean custard. 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Hopleaf 5148 N. Clark St. 773-334-9851
Nine French craft beer dignitaries—including Armelle Sialelli of Brasserie Pietra and Audrey Saint-Leger of Brasserie Jenlain—arrive in Andersonville for Meet the Brewers, where you can say hello and sample $5 drafts from each of the nine houses. 7 p.m. No cover.
Rockit Bar & Grill 22 W. Hubbard St. 312-645-6000
Rock your happy hour at a Mardi Gras-themed benefit bash—sponsored by Rock for Kids, which offers music education programs for Chicago Public Schools students—featuring cocktails, passed appetizers, DJ beats by Bstarr and a live music performance by electronica duo Glass Lux. 6-8 p.m. $20. Tickets: rockitbarandgrill.com.
(Free!) Tasting and Toasting
Fado 100 W. Grand Ave. 312-836-0066
Raise a glass with other whiskey lovers at A Night of Irish True, where Tullamore Dew national brand ambassador Tim Herlihy hosts tastings of the Irish whiskey varieties and dishes about about how Irish spirits are made. 6-8 p.m. RSVP required: Shannon.Gable@momentumww.com; subject line: Chicago RSVP.
Crawfish for Charity
Cactus Bar & Grill 404 S. Wells St. 312-922-3830
Competitors consume three pounds of crustaceans—as quickly as possible—at the third annual Crawfish Eating Contest, where winners take home Cactus gift certificates and partial proceeds from entry fees and seasonal specials benefit the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. Watch the action with $5 Abita Restoration pale ale, $5 hurricanes and a $12 crawfish boil or seafood gumbo ($5-$7). 6:30 p.m. $25 to compete; no cover to watch. RSVP to compete: dontdrinkandtrade.com.
REDEYE TIP OF THE DAY
It's Women's Day at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show with special programming and half-price ($6) admission for ladies: chicagoautoshow.com.
Julia Borcherts is a RedEye special contributor.