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by Brian Clarey

Another lull in the local food scene hit this week as restaurants prepare for Valentine’s Day, one of the biggest restaurant nights of the year. More on that next week.

But if you want to get a jump on things, take part in the Big Eat, downtown Winston-Salem’s initiative to make the first few months of the year suck just a little bit less. Area eateries offer signature dishes at half price every Tuesday night.

This week, Bib’s Downtown offered pulled-pork egg rolls with hushpuppies and a side for just $4.50. No telling what they’ll have in store on Tuesday night, but it’s likely to include some swine.

In fast-food news, Pizza Hut has added a new menu item, Big Pizza Sliders, in all its stores. It’s not exactly earth-shattering innovation — they’re just tiny pizzas measuring 3.5 inches across — but they look pretty tasty.

And Hardee’s introduced a grilled fish sandwich this week, making it the first national chain to offer a nonfried fish sandwich. How bad could it possibly be?

More: Friday is National Cookie Day, as proclaimed by the Girl Scouts of America. They ask that you celebrate by buying more cookies.

Side note: Put your Thin Mints in the freezer and thank me later.

All weekend long, Total Wine & More pours tastings of indiscriminate categories at all three Triad locations.

In local news, Krankies Coffee holds Pies & Pour- Overs, a coffee and pie potluck, at the Winston-Salem location on Saturday. It starts at 2 p.m. Bring a pie.

Also on Saturday, the Greensboro Whole Foods Market holds a Sweet Soiree intended to introduce its customers to all manner of fabulous candies in preparation for Valentine’s Day. The event begins at 1 p.m., and prizes are promised. And the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market holds a heart-healthy cooking demo and heath screening. No more info is available on the website, but I’ll go ahead and say it starts at 9 a.m.

On Tuesday, Winston-Salem’s Whole Foods holds the first meeting for its Engine 2 dieting group at 6:30 p.m.

Or you can just take part in the Big Eat and worry about dieting in the spring.

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