Each week, The Social Eater picks a handful of filter-friendly, tweetable, social media-shareable foodie events in and around the city. No #struggleplates allowed.
• There might be something better than free food, but I haven’t figured out what that is yet. Smashburger is opening at Cotswold Shopping Center and giving away free burgers. You can, of course, buy anything on the menu if you want to venture beyond the “classic” set of toppings, and you probably should. $1 from every purchase goes to local charity Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids. With regional specialties like the Carolina Chili burger (complete with Duke’s mayonnaise and slaw) and milkshakes made with Häagen-Dazs ice cream, you really can’t lose. Want a year’s supply of burgers? Instagram your burger with the hashtag #SmashRoadTrip and you might actually win. #summeronsmash Free “classic” burgers, other menu items available July 16, free burgers from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Smashburger, 4400 Randolph Rd. (Cotswold Village Shops)
• Newly opened shop The Beer Growler hosts this month’s South End Social, a bimonthly drop-in for residents, business owners and employees. Sample what’s new on the still-shiny taps and nibble on eats from Crispy Crepe while you mix, meet, greet and mingle with the neighbors. Who else is going to water your plants while you’re away? #betterthantheburbs Free July 17, 6-7:30 p.m. The Beer Growler, 1427 South Blvd. RSVP here.
• I admit, I was late to the kombucha wave. If you asked me a couple months ago, I’d have told you kombucha tasted vaguely of sweaty feet with pine straw undertones. But my life got flipped and turned upside-down when I tried Lenny Boy Elite Beet for the first time. I actually learned on a tour of the facility that because of the fermenting process, everyone’s brew tastes totally different! Since then, I’ve been a super-fan of the micro-brewery’s kombuchas, “wild ales” and beers … they do it right. For the first time, Lenny Boy is opening up its South End taproom on a Friday night and tapping all its flagship beers together, plus flights of kombuchas and ales. Isaac Gay will provide live music from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. and a food truck will be on hand to soak up those tasty suds. July 18, 4-9 p.m. Lenny Boy Brewing Co. Taproom, 2224 Hawkins St. Learn more about Lenny Boy at www.discoverlennyboy.com.
• Even if you can’t name all the moons of Uranus, a trip to Discovery Place is always enlightening. This time, leave the kids at home for Science on the Rocks, an after-hours night at the museum made just for adults. Explore the newest exhibition, Alien Worlds and Androids, while sampling liquid nitrogen wine slushies and bites from Community Café. Learn some of the secrets behind aerial silks and trapeze with Caroline Calouche & Co, play catapult beer pong, or get in on the museum-wide Nerf gun battle. This sounds infinitely more fun than that sleepover you went on in third grade. #spacejams $8 in advance (purchase tickets here), $10 at the door. Cash bar. July 18, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon St. 21+ only, photo ID required. More details and info here.
• This is a little bit out of Charlotte (precisely one hour) but the Pageland Watermelon Festival is pretty happening. Where else but the Watermelon Capital of the World® (the world, Craig!) can you experience a rodeo, a 5K, amusement park rides, and a watermelon seed spitting contest — possibly the only athletic pursuit your 90-year-old grandma can and will probably win — in the same damn place at the same damn time? Nowhere but Pageland. No time but now. Gas up the car and get your life. #spitgame July 18, 3 p.m.-10 p.m. July 19, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Downtown Pageland, South Carolina (near the intersection of McGregor and Pearl Streets)
• Ever had a Bloody Mary with celery and tomatoes on the side? It’s not that farfetched when your farmers market is in a bar. Evening Muse/Daily Press is the new home of the Noda Farmers Market, a collaboration with Atherton Food Hub. The operation is small for now but will undoubtedly grow as word spreads. Roll your night crawling into day squeezing all in the same place. #bushelsandpecks July 19 (and every Saturday) 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. Follow Dani’s gastronomic wonderings and wanderings kinkythought.com. Got a suggestion for a foodie-do? Tweet her up @kinkythought.