Lompoc Chowder Challenge, Fifth Quadrant, 3901-B N Williams, Sat Oct 21, noon-7 pm

Teams from the Lompoc empire compete against other local restaurants (including the Horse Brass Pub, Mother's Bistro & Bar, and Huber's Restaurant) for the holy grail of soup: the People's Choice Chowder Cup. Other categories include Most Authentic, Most Flavorful, and (of course) Best with Beer. A beer garden and live music round out the day's festivities, so come slurp down some chowder and cast your vote. AH

Apple Tasting, Portland Nursery, 5050 SE Stark, Fri-Sun, Oct 20-22, 10 am-4 pm, canned food donations accepted

What better way to celebrate fall than by chowing down on some of the season's most delicious bounty? Join Portland Nursery for their annual celebration of apples and pears: With over 40 varieties of fruit to taste, plus music, cider press demonstrations, and face painting, this sweet little event offers something for everyone. AH

Family Supper at Valentine's, Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny, Mon Oct 23, 7 pm, $18, reservations at valentines.yes@gmail.com or call 248-1600

Join Jonathan Kraska of L'Astra for a scrummy, family-style dinner geared toward chasing away the fall blues. On the Spanish-themed menu, you'll find roasted lamb, chickpea salad, and a pear and plum tart, among other treats. AH