Feeling chili? — When the weather turns cold, it must activate some sort of a switch in our chili gene. People just start going bonkers for the official state food of Texas. For evidence, look no further than Royal Oak this weekend, where the Fifth Annual South Oakland Chili Cook-Off will take place. Not only will guests see the drama of chefs from leading restaurants battling it out for chili supremacy, trying to curry favor with a panel of judges for such honors as spiciest, best vegetarian, and most original, you'll be able to lend your spoon for the "People's Choice" award. There will also be a silent auction, local beer, children's activities and live music. The fun heats up from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 22, at the Royal Oak Farmers Market; admission is $11 in advance, $13 at the door, children 12 and younger free. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of South Oakland County and the Royal Oak Jaycees. For more information, call 248-457-5292.
Thanksgiving solutions — It seems fewer and fewer people want to buy, unwrap, wash, stuff, and roast a turkey for the holidays. That said, more and more restaurants are stepping up to offer not just dining in for the holiday, but turkeys — and often an array of sides — to go. Among them this year is Beau's Grillery in Bloomfield Hills. They'll host a Thanksgiving dinner noon-8 p.m. at the restaurant, but they're also offering a menu to go that sounds like it'll take care of a group as large as you like. It includes rotisserie turkey breast ($12 a pound), whole rotisserie turkey ($7 a pound), and sides large enough for eight to 10 diners, including stuffing with walnuts and dried cranberries ($32), buttermilk mashed potatoes ($32), candied yams with brown sugar and marshmallow ($30), green bean casserole ($30), creamed corn with crispy onions ($30), baked apricots ($30), and gravy ($8 a quart). Pick up is 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at Beau's, 4108 W. Maple Rd., Bloomfield Hills; 248-626-2630; beausbloomfield.com.
Talking turkey — About two months ago, the restaurant formerly known as Jeremy's, out in beautiful Keego Harbor, has been completely redone as a barbecue joint called Yardbird Smoked Meats, and that's quite a change. The formerly upscale casual restaurant now serves such appetizers as beef chips, Parmesan tots, and pig cakes. What's more, this week the eatery will finish taking orders for its signature honey-brined smoked turkeys just in time for this year's Thanksgiving holiday. There's still time to act: Orders can be placed via phone or at the restaurant now through Sunday, Nov. 23; turkeys will be available for pickup from 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26. You can have your bird brined in honey and chef Jeremy Grandon's "top-secret" mixture of herbs and spices, smoked to perfection for four hours — and let your guests think you did all the work. Birds are $64 and comfort sides are also available for purchase. Yardbird Smoked Meats is at 1978 Cass Lake Rd., Keego Harbor; 248-681-2124; yardbird.cool.
Helping the needy — Here's an unusual promotion: At 7-Eleven, you can purchase two Del Monte bananas for $1 and donate them to the homeless — and 7-Eleven will donate another 10 percent of that dollar to local food banks. Yes, it's unusual, but anything that helps food-insecure folks during that special time of year can't be all that ... bananas. Offer runs until Dec. 2.
Know of any upcoming food or drink events? Let us know! Email [email protected].