Good Shrimp, Bad Shrimp

Learn to tell them apart on Sunday, Feb. 27, at Shrimposium!, a co-production of FORKS and the Mangrove Action Project (MAP). Shrimp farming for export has devastated coastal environments all over Southeast Asia, and drag-netting for wild shrimp is just as destructive in its way. Hear MAP's Alfredo Quarto describe the situation and ways you can do something about it. Also: snack on impeccably PC shrimp prepared by host Bill Stewart while enjoying the sounds of Correo Aereo. The whole affair's a benefit for FORKS and MAP: $40 ($30 FORKS members) 5–8 p.m. at Agua Verde Cafe, 1303 N.E. Boat St. (foot of Brooklyn Avenue) in the U District. Information at 206-200-2851 and www.earthisland.org/map. Where's There's Not Smoke . . .  As part of its Secondhand Smoke Community Assistance Project, Washington's Department of Health (DOH) has launched a Web site listing approximately 5,000 smoke-free eateries around the state, from Asotin County's 19 to literally hundreds in King County. Searchable by name, county, city, and (most helpfully) ZIP code, the restaurants—in which smoking is banned "throughout the entire establishment"—get on the list by submitting their contact info and undergoing a verification process, which includes a phone interview with representatives from the appropriate county health department and the DOH. Compiled over several months, the list will be updated quarterly; visit www.secondhandsmokesyou.com to find smoke-free places in your neck of the woods. Collector's Item? Cracking open a can of Anheuser-Busch's new BE (you're meant to pronounce it as initials, not a verb) and inhaling briefly before your first sip, the old Reese's commercials come to mind. Hey! You got your Red Bull in my Budweiser!—only the combination is a good deal less wonderful than the peanut-butter-and-chocolate one. Indeed, whose idea was it to combine the Flintstone vitamin–like snappy, sugary "fruit" of an energy drink with the light-bodied (watery?) hops and malt of Budweiser? And who needs caffeine, ginseng, and guarana in their Bud, anyway? It seems the folks at Anheuser-Busch think that an older, austere drinker might need it; the look of the 10-ounce can is decidedly frill-free and, well, boring. If BE, which was quietly introduced in 55 cities, is supposed to compete with drinks like Sparks, the citrusy rocket-fuel malt liquor with its racy orange-and-silver can and practically universal under-35 appeal, it might consider redesigning the package—if not the taste. This is no fancy Belgian raspberry beer, and our SW taste testers panned it. But, if you've ever double-fisted a ginger ale with a Miller Lite, well, you might like it. Otherwise, the best thing we can think to do with a sixer of BE is to save it. Ten years from now, it might just have as much kitsch value as that liter of Crystal Pepsi. Big Brewzers A beer lover's dream is coming to Pioneer Square. This weekend (Saturday, Feb. 19–Sunday, Feb. 20), the Collins Pub will present the "Real Strong" Beer Festival. The 16 beers and barley wines (beers with a higher concentration of barley and hops resulting in a more flavorful taste than your average out-of-the-can late-night pit stop bubbly) will range from an alcoholic content of 7.5 percent to an 18 percent brew from the Dog Fish Head Brewery in Delaware known as Worldwide Stout, which tops 20 percent. A festival menu includes homemade butterscotch ice cream and duck breast doused in (what else?) a beer sauce among several other once-in-a-lifetime dishes. The brews will be on tap from 11:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. both days for a mere $4 per 8-ounce glass, $6 for three "tasters." Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at food@seattleweekly.com.

 
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