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Nothing brings human beings together more than our love of food, and nothing can split up that newfound unity faster than seeing how another culture prepares that beloved food. It's a strange phenomenon scientists have dubbed "alieneatsitis"; you can love hamburger and be horrified by steak tartare, for example. One edible that escapes this syndrome is the mussel, perhaps because the mussel is off-putting enough on its own — there's not much you can do with it that makes it seem any weirder. So when discovering that the Dutch enjoy their mussels batter fried and the Chinese like 'em with a garlic-and-fermented-black-bean broth, one merely shrugs and hums the theme song to Diff'rent Strokes. Schlafly celebrates the little maritime snack in the Belgian fashion at its Belgian Beer and Mussel Mania blowout. From 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday (July 24 and 25) at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337 or you can stuff yourself with Penn Cove Mussels and then float them on a sea of Schlafly's Belgian-style beers. The Grand Cru, Tripel and Witbier are all on tap, and the Bière de Garde comes in bottles only (and it's absolutely worth that minor inconvenience). Admission is free, but you'll need to pay for food and beverages — don't be the creepy guy who stands around watching other people have fun.
Fri., July 24; Sat., July 25, 2009

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