The Weekend Playbook: Eat an entire cow & fly at Flugtag

Freebie of the WeekThe James Beard Foundation’s Taste America tour rolls into town with a cocktail dinner and star-studded chef lineup at Union Station, Friday at 9p. There'll be a cocktail reception by the Violet Hour and a menu created by Top Chef All-Stars’ Richard Blais and local James Beard Award winners Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) and Gale Gand (Tru)

We’ve got two tickets to give away today by 5p for the Night Bites after party at Union Station. To enter, follow @ThrillistChi on Twitter, then tweet us with the restaurant that has the best menu item in the Midwest here -- bonus points for adding #JBFTasteAmerica. The dinner’s theme is “A Journey through the Great Lakes”, so show off those foodie chops and be sure you have your proper cocktail attire pressed

Thursday, September 19thStop by Porkchop to pay your proper respects to National Bourbon Month with a bourbon-tasting featuring Chicago’s own Koval Distillery, 7-9p. Tip it on back

Friday, September 20thUberX, Uber’s new ride-sharing program, has partnered with over 100 local Chicago businesses to offer riders discounts and deals. This weekend only, all UberX rides are free with a special promo code. Get the code here

Saturday, September 21st Watch Wright Brother wannabes test their flying machines at Red Bull’s annual Flugtag, stationed at Burnham Park. The first (attempted) flight takes off at 1p. Watch Darwinism at its finest

Enjoy food truck grub, restaurant vendors, live music, and local chef demonstrations at Chicago Food Social’s all-day affair at Kendall College, 11a-10p. Vendors include Endgrain, Big Star, Husky Hog BBQ, and more. Keep on truckin'

The 26th Annual Apple Fest kicks off in Lincoln Square, and features dozens of vendors pushing all things apple, including cider doughnuts, apple pie, apple pizza, and bushels of fresh apples, 9a-5p. How do you like them apples?

Sunday, September 22ndMiss last week’s epic Bacon Takedown? Lucky for you, Tavernita and Baconfest have teamed up to bring you bacon-y eats, drinks, and party favors at their Gimme Bacon Brunch, 1130a-330p. The bacon awaits you

Welcome the Autumnal equinox with the tapping of more than fifteen dark beer offerings and haunting music by DJ Grimsbørg at Jerry’s Dark Harvest III, 7p–2a. Step into the darkness

Hopleaf is cooking a cow spit-style for their special Whole Cow #2 event. The spread will include all sorts of beefy deliciousness and brews from Solemn Oath, noon-5p. Where's the beef?

Some of Chi’s top sausage chefs will be pitted against each other in Deca's OktoberFest-Off. Vote for your competition favorite while sipping local beer from Half Acre and Revolution, 3-6p. Finally, a sausage fest worth attending