Bangers & Lace

Wicker Park's Bangers & Lace hosts a hot dog eating contest this weekend. (RedEye File / July 8, 2011)

EAT

National Sandwich Month

Belly Shack 1912 N. Western Ave. 773-252-1414

Celebrate the last weekend of National Sandwich Month with—what else?—a tasty sandwich. Bill Kim cooks up an Asian pork meatball sandwich, a twist on a classic meatball sub stuffed with Japanese somen noodles, Korean chili paste and fresh mint. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday.

Holiday Clambake

Deuce's & The Diamond Club 3505 N. Clark St. 773-644-5554

Everyone—even your dog—is invited to this annual Labor Day clambake featuring bagged dinners ($25) that include crab, lobster and clams steamed together and served with fries and barbecue sauce. A cocktail hour (1-2 p.m.) features samples of Sailor Jerry's Backyard Lemonade. 1-3 p.m. Monday.

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Bangers & Lace 1670 W. Division St. 773-252-6499

Put your hot dog-eating skills to the test at this third annual competition. Entrance fee includes a T-shirt, beer and all the dogs you can eat. Last year's winner ate 27 dogs in just five minutes (that's more than five dogs per minute!). $25 to compete; free to watch. 2 p.m. Sunday.

Monday Brunch

Nico Osteria 1015 N. Rush St. 312-994-7100

Cap off the three-day weekend with an Italian brunch at the chic Gold Coast eatery. Brunch highlights for the day include the Nico Caesar salad with chicken, olives and cherry tomatoes ($22) and the Nico Burger, a classic burger topped with lobster salad and avocado ($25). Have a sweet tooth? Try the raspberry and pistachio oven-baked pancake ($15). 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday.

DRINK

Sake Tasting (Free!)

Lush Wine & Spirits 1412 W. Chicago Ave. 312-666-6900

Try tastings of four sakes, a Japanese alcoholic drink made from fermented rice. Samples range from the light and floral Kikusui Funaguchi to the smooth Nihon Sakari Gokun Honjozo (think flavors of toasted marshmallow and rice pudding). 2-5 p.m. Sunday.

Half Off Draft Beers

Bottlefork 441 N. Clark St. 312-955-1900

Enjoy half off all draft beers (regularly $7-$8), including the restaurant's collaboration with Begyle Brewing called Clark St. Tart, a saison made with more than 250 pounds of rhubarb per batch; as well as Temperance Escape Artist IPA. 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday.

Made In The USA Party

Casey Moran's 3660 N. Clark St. 773-755-4444

Celebrate the holiday in red, white and blue style with themed drinks including red and white sangria ($5), Fireball whiskey shots ($5) and complimentary spiked shaved ice cocktails at the door. Wear holiday colors for a chance to win a $100 gift card for the most patriotic outfit. 1 p.m. Sunday.

DO

Jazz with Erin McDougald Quintet featuring Dave Liebman

Green Mill 4802 N. Broadway 773-878-5552

Chicago's own jazz chanteuse Erin McDougald takes the stage at this Uptown club, followed by a post-set jazz party with the Sabertooth Organ Quartet. $15. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m.-midnight Saturday. Tickets: greenmilljazz.com

Beard and Mustache Contest

Kaiser Tiger 1415 W. Randolph St. 312-243-3100

Think you've got winning facial hair? Compete for a chance to win your weight in sausage (seriously) at this West Loop bar. Enter at 3 p.m. Contest at 4 p.m. Saturday.

REDEYE TIP OF THE DAY

It's the last weekend for Chicago beach season, so sand will be at a premium. Get out early to snag your spot: cpdbeaches.com

 

Kristin Larson is a RedEye special contributor.