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August 1, 2014 at 10:26am

Best of Tacoma 2014 is online

Read the 2014 Best of Tacoma online while munching on the Best Doughnut at Legendary Doughnuts on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue. Photo credit: Jason Ganwich

TAKE THE GRAND TOUR >>>

Hey folks, our yearly Best of Tacoma issue, in which your humble and helpful Weekly Volcano staffers – and readers – show some love for all the things that make the City of Destiny and surrounding Pierce County cities so nifty – is now online.

We appreciate all the voting participation. Keep those ideas coming – we're ready to mix it up big time in 2015.

Thanks for voting, and thanks for reading. Without further ado, click here

Filed under: Best of TAcoma, Tacoma,

July 24, 2014 at 11:18am

2014 Best of Tacoma on the street, readers' poll winner announced

The 2014 Best of Tacoma is on the street. Many thanks to photographer Jason Ganwich!

The time has finally arrived. The Weekly Volcano's annual Best of Tacoma issue is on the street. And once again it stands alone as the definitive user's guide – for urban explorers and bar stool wise-asses alike - to Grit City and Pierce County.

Maybe you filled out the Weekly Volcano's Best Of Tacoma survey and maybe you didn't. But either way the super-sized, all-powerful Weekly Volcano Best of Tacoma 2014 edition is now spread out on tables or the bottom of birdcages.

If you did vote, then probably you're anxious to discover if you won the random drawing for dinner for two at Lobster Shop and overnight stay in a Premium Suite at the Silver Cloud Inn on Tacoma's waterfront.

Drum roll please ...

Congratulations to Jim Konek of University Place. Our Steno Pool is tracking down Jim.

The 2014 Best of Tacoma will be posted online in a few days.

We thank our readers for their continued support, and our advertisers deserve a nod as well for their part in keeping the Weekly Volcano free and on the streets. Thank you!

Filed under: Best of TAcoma, Contest, Tacoma,

June 5, 2014 at 11:59am

Best of Tacoma 2014 - Vote Now!

Do it.

Put on your thinking caps, and tell the Weekly Volcano what you think makes Pierce County tick. Your answers will be disclosed in our upcoming Best of Tacoma 2014 special section, a guide that offers a savvy glimpse into the real lives of the real folks who live in the ever-changing Pierce County.

Think you know the best band, restaurant, politician, blog or thrift store? Want to help spread the word about the best bike shop, make-out spot or bar in our area? Cast your vote. Remember, our annual survey isn't just the city of Tacoma. If you say the best restaurant is in Gig Harbor, so be it. If the best villain is in Lakewood, then vote it so. Voting in the Weekly Volcano's Best of Tacoma Readers' Poll is a lot like participating in a national election: No bitching about the results unless you play the game. The results of our ultra-scientific survey will be published in the Weekly Volcano Best of Tacoma issue July 24.

THE PRIZE!

All ballots must be received by Sunday, June 29 at 11:45 p.m. Those that arrive before the deadline will be eligible to win dinner for two at the Lobster Shop and overnight stay in a Premium Suite at the Silver Cloud Inn on Tacoma's waterfront. The winning ballot will be chose at random.

Let's do this thing. VOTE NOW!

May 15, 2014 at 2:34pm

Throwback Thursday: Best Tacoma Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll in 2009

Alegra Thornsburg, the lead bartender at The New Frontier Lounge, prepares for another busy night. Photo by J.M. Simpson

The whole #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt hashtag phenomenon has truly resisted being cast off into the graveyard of tired and trite Internet fads like Doppelganger week on Facebook or planking.

And as much as Walkie Talkie enjoys seeing the baby pictures, this week we decided to drop some past Best of Tacoma moments. Below is a link to the "Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n' Roll" section from our Best of Tacoma 2009. (Our 2014 Best of Tacoma issue online readers' poll will launch in June.)

So let's take that stroll through 2009 memory lane when the Nightgowns were gigging, Hell's Kitchen was on Sixth Avenue and The New Frontier Lounge was new: CLICK HERE

Filed under: Best of TAcoma, Music, History,

January 13, 2012 at 3:40pm

Valentine's Day in Tacoma

In 2011 Tacoma was rated the "Most Romantic City" in the country, over places like Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, Calif., New Haven, Conn., and El Paso, Texas. Let's just let that sink in for a moment. Tacoma, the most romantic city in America... Seriously?

According to an equation based off of the number of Internet searches on all things "romantic" divided by number of searchers, Tacoma is Number One. While most of us have a hard time believing that, you can find some delightful Valentine's Day gifts and date ideas while roaming about the dreamy city of Tacoma.

If you're looking for something fun to do, London Couture is sponsoring an event called Sweet & Spicy: A Valentine's Day Burlesque at Theatre on the Square and Studio II. The event includes a dessert buffet, wine, shopping and performances by Kim Archer, as well as two of the greatest burlesque troupes you'll see in the Northwest, Gritty City Sirens and Tush! Burlesque. Sweet & Spicy will benefit two causes, the YWCA of Pierce County and the Broadway Center. Tickets are $40 and it's ages 21+. Find more info at BroadwayCenter.org.

Speaking of London Couture, if you want to find something classy yet sassy for your Valentine, definitely take a step inside this boutique on Broadway. I could spend hours in there trying everything on; it's all so unique! Plus, London Couture carries Tokyomilk, a line of lovely smelling soaps, lotions, candles, bubble baths and perfumes. London Couture is on 746 Broadway in downtown Tacoma.

Want to be a little more traditional? Farley's Flowers to Go on Sixth Avenue does a rose bouquet, teddy bear and chocolate bundle all for $100. Or, if you'd rather go for just the roses, it'll cost you $75. Farley's has been around for over 70 years. It's classic Tacoma romance.

Willow Spa on 21st Avenue has a few specials going, including an hour-long facial and a brow wax for $60 or a foot and hand massage with a brow wax for $30. Nothing says romance like the gift of an eyebrow wax.

In years past, Dwell Home Decor (also on 21st Avenue) has done a special Valentine's Day shopping event. And while Dwell isn't holding one this year, there are still lots of cute gifts inside. Some Valentiney, some not; it doesn't matter, it's all great. There is not one thing in there that wouldn't make a fabulous gift.

To keep with our Tacoma-love theme, stop by Brown & Haley on 26th and Pacific for some almond, cashew, mocha or macadamia Roca. Locally made, delicious and packaged in one of those adorable heart-shaped boxes - you can't go wrong!

Still no idea what to get for your dreamboat? Just walk into Sanford & Son at 743 Broadway and be prepared to explore - three floors, 20 shops and zillions of things. Seriously. It's impossible not to find something in there. Sanford and Son has everything from 1950s magazines and books, to antique furniture pieces, to vintage dresses and shoes. Unique, fun, and very Tacoma.

A classy place for dinner is Pacific Grill. The restaurant starts its love fest a day early with a Valentine's special on both February 13 and 14.

Whether you want to believe it or not, you're spending Valentine's Day in Yelp.com's "Most Romantic City" of 2011, Tacoma. Congratulations. Mazel tov. Snaps. Start planning and shopping. And spread the love around this "romantic" town. 

August 13, 2011 at 8:17am

Have the Best day

The Fucking Eagles will rock The New Frontier Lounge Tonight. Photo credit: Patrick Snapp

SNIPPETS FROM OUR SUPER BEST OF TACOMA ISSUE >>>

Hey South Sound! Want to have the Super Best day ever? The Weekly Volcano has hand-crafted your day with picks and suggestions from this year's Super Best of Tacoma issue. Enjoy.

Let's begin the day with yoga

A dream come true for lovers of hot yoga, Expand Yoga in downtown Tacoma offers original, 26-pose hot yoga and hot Vinyasa yoga in a heated studio overlooking a tree-filled park. Bonus: the studio has shower facilities. The 60- to 90-minute classes are more than affordable. At $5 and $7 a pop, skip a latte or a cocktail and you've got the cash for a class. Sharing the belief that yoga changes people's lives, Expand Yoga's owners set a goal of providing  "awesome, affordable hot yoga to everyone and anyone who is interested." Goal achieved. - Jennifer Johnson

[Expand Yoga, 1015 Pacific Ave., 2nd Floor, Tacoma, 856.472.9642]

Then grab a late breakfast

Old Milwaukee Cafe on Sixth Ave is unassuming, tucked into a corner building just daring you to drive on by. But don't do it! Go inside and get the Wild Huckleberry Pancake; get two if you're feeling crazy. Each pancake takes up an entire plate and is just as much huckleberry as it is pancake, which just about made me bow down to worship this breakfast concoction. Each bite will make you swear increasing loyalty to all huckleberry kind. The pancake pairs nicely with a side of chicken sausage. One bite of pancake + one bite of sausage = breakfast bliss. - Kristin Kendle

[Old Milwaukee Cafe, 3102 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.761.2602]

Then go get a new hairdo

There aren't many hair salons where you can get a piercing or a tattoo the same day you get your faux hawk. You can do just that at Supernova Hair and Tattoo. Head hairstylist and owner Jana Lencioni has about two decades of hair mastery behind her, and other stylists specialize in cuts, color and the great hair beyond. While Supernova can do normie hair, this is especially the place to go if you want something unique and edgy. Kick back and enjoy the music (don't expect any elevator tunes here) and get ready to knock the socks off your hair salon expectations. - KK

[Supernova Hair and Tattoo, 817 Division Ave. #A, Tacoma, 253.428.8288]

Buy new old clothes

Your closet is full of amazing clothes you haven't worn in ages because, well, you're tired of them. UrbanXchange has a solution: its in-store buyer will pay you for unique, in-fashion-now clothing, shoes or accessories. It's how the store stocks its shelves with awesomeness. You get a voucher for store credit or cash. Shopping here means chances of someone wearing the same dress as you at a party are slim. True story: I once bought my own shirt back. - JJ

[UrbanXchange, 1932 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.2280]

Time for a late lunch

There. Now it's in print: STINK has the best restaurant name ever, so haters please move on. Stop writing nasty letters and spewing vicious comments about what has now been declared the best restaurant name ever. From this day forward, society will embrace what is delicious and delightful inside STINK and forgo the bitter jealousy that rages within over the fact that you didn't come up with an awesome name like STINK for your own imaginary cheese and meat restaurant. - Steph DeRosa

[STINK Cheese and Meat, 628 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.426.1347]

Kick back in a park

Built by Jacob Fjelde as a commissioned work for the Norwegians of Tacoma, this public sculpture was dedicated May 17, 1913, to commemorate the 99th anniversary of Norwegian Independence. Henrik Ibsen is most noted for his play A Doll House. He is also credited as a father of Modernism. His realism revolutionized theater, moving the medium from being purely entertainment to being regarded as art. Today the sculpture serves as a talking point for English and drama majors who happen by, or any transient sleeping in the park. - Joshua Swainston

[Wright Park, 316 S. G St., Tacoma]

Then hit a happy hour

How do you fill seats at a restaurant? Offer a creative, innovative menu with product-appropriate pricing. If there was a book on winning locally in the food game, Pacific Grill's owner, Chef Gordon Nacarrato, would be the author. The chapter on happy hour would consist of one page and one rule only: "Happy hour is about showing appreciation for your guests' patronage by giving something back; make the drinks less expensive and say ‘Thank you' with discounted menu items." Pacific Grill offers non-stop happy hour all day every day in the bar with 50 percent off the bar menu. That's one tasty thank you. - JJ

[Pacific Grill, 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.3535]

Enjoy dinner with a view

With a sweeping view of our gritty city, Stanley and Seafort's is an ideal locale for romantic wining and dining. The twinkle of city lights, an illuminated view of the Dome and glimpses of the Puget Sound - a view doesn't get much better. But let's admit it: this glorious view is best seen from the lounge. Luckily, the vantage point is a perfectly good excuse to indulge in a happy hour beverage of the adult nature while you take it all in. Doesn't get much better than that, now does it? - Jackie Fender

[Stanley and Seafort's Steak, Chop & Fish House, 115 E. 34th St., Tacoma, 253.473.7300]

End the day rocking out to the Fucking Eagles

The evolution, over the past few years, of the basic punk-meets-old-school-rock of the Fucking Eagles into a many-limbed punk rock behemoth with members totaling at around eight, give or take, seems to have happened gradually and relatively organically. As I meet with the band at their practice space - all of the members and I crowded into a small room - the drummer, Stu Linkert, jokes that more members were added to fill out the stage and make the group seem more impressive. What with all the guitars, backup singers, tambourines and harmonica that now fill out the band, the Fucking Eagles have started to resemble a bastardized, incredibly noisy interpretation of Spector's Wall of Sound. Read the full story here. - Rev. Adam McKinney

[The New Frontier, Fucking Eagles, Girl Trouble, DJ Melodica, (happy birthday Wade!)Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 p.m., no cover, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020]

LINK: Super Best of Tacoma issue

Filed under: Tacoma, Best of Tacoma,

August 8, 2011 at 10:50am

Damn good sandwich for lunch

Rosewood Cafe owner Barry Watson fights crime with delicious sandwiches. Photo credit: Patrick Snapp

SWIPED FROM OUR SUPER BEST OF TACOMA ISSUE >>>

Dedicated to Rick Price, a firefighter based in the Key Peninsula town of Home, Rick's Dip honors the friend and supporter of the Rosewood Café.  Few sandwiches can compare. Roast Beef is the foundation. Sautéed onions are done to perfect, soft, caramelized sweetness. Horseradish mayo: a subtle complement that would be noticed more if it were not there. Havarti: Yum! Rustic roll: great balance between chewy and soft. Rosemary au jus: Dip away. The Rick's Dip epitomizes the savory balancing act done by geniuses. 

[Rosewood Café, 3323 N. 26th St. Tacoma.  253.752.7999]

LINK: Super Best of Tacoma issue

August 2, 2011 at 11:34am

Captain Planet and the Planeteers

Captain Planet and the Planeteers pose outside the Super Best of Tacoma Party last Thursday.

ARE YOU READY TACOMA? >>>

Arriving fashionably late to the Super Best of Tacoma Party Thursday night at the Varsity Grill, eight individuals calling themselves Captain Planet and the Planeteers made an entrance as if they were superheroes.

Apparently, they are.

Planeteer Stephanie McCallum, a bigwig at Umpqua Bank in downtown Tacoma, came clean on the group via email:

Captain Planet and the Planeteers is an animated environmentalist cartoon that ran from 1990-1992. Gaia (Aja Pound), the spirit of the Earth, is awakened from a long sleep by human activity threatening ecosystems, taking place across the globe. Realizing that the damage is extensive, Gaia sends five magic rings, each with the power to control an element of nature and one controlling an extra element, heart, to five chosen youths across the globe. These five are dubbed the Planeteers (Stephanie McCallum, Sopang Men, Andie Farias, Alicia Carter and Kate Burrows) and given the task of defending the Earth in the case of the greatest of disasters and making effort to keep others from happening. Gaia uses her "Planet Vision" to discover where the most devastating destruction is occurring and sends the Planeteers to help solve the problem. The Planeteers use transportation (usually a flying machine called a Geo-Cruiser) based on solar power to avoid causing pollution themselves. In situations that the Planeteers cannot resolve alone, they can combine their powers to summon Captain Planet (Aaron Bryan), a magical entity who possesses all of their powers magnified. Dr. Blight (Morgan Strom) is mad scientist Eco-Villain who represents the dangers of uncontrolled technology and unethical scientific experimentation.

OK, sounds good.

August 2, 2011 at 7:48am

Super Best of Tacoma is online

BEST FREESTYLE: EvergreenOne / Photo credit: Patrick Snapp

TAKE THE GRAND TOUR >>>

Hey folks, our Super Best of Tacoma issue, in which your humble and helpful Weekly Volcano staffers – and readers – show some love for all the things that make the City of Destiny and surrounding Pierce County cities so nifty – is now online.

Thanks for voting, and thanks for reading. Without further ado, click here. 

July 29, 2011 at 11:19am

LAST NIGHT: Super Best of Tacoma Party in pictures & words

Last night's Super Best of Tacoma party at Varsity Grill

TODAY IN HANGOVERS >>>

For those of you who have been living under a damp rock, the Weekly Volcano's Super Best of Tacoma issue was released yesterday. Ipso facto, last night was the Weekly Volcano's Super Best of Tacoma Party.

Half issue release party, half general celebration and fun dress up time, the Super Best of Tacoma Party went down at the Varsity Grill without a hitch. Costumes of all kinds crowded the Varsity Grill, from the not-so-surprisingly frightening Sarah Palin to the always-cute Batgirl. Dartboard Man mingled with Tricycle Man.  Kris ‘Save Our Sonics' Brannon (more of a lifestyle than costume) hit it off with the Magical Genie.   Emcee John Munn kept the crowd entertained with comic book trivia questions. DJ dAb spun vicious ‘80s tracks that had the Gritty City Sirens burlesque troupe dancing the night away. Drinks were flowing and the food was D-lish. Sometime during the night, we even managed to give away some awards for Best of Tacoma.

(Melanie Rushforth and Damon DeRosa enjoy the paper)

(As does Doug Mackey)

(John Munn emcee)

(NWCZ Radio's Darrell Fortune)

(Sarah Palin was in attendance. She can see Tacoma from her house.)

(Batgirl or Volcano food and lifestyles scribe Jennifer Johnson?)

And before we were all stuck to the bar like flies around Sarah Palin (the real Sarah Palin, not the pretty costumed one) we chatted with a few party goers and got their take on the night's festivities. 

Un-costumed blonde girl couple Harli and Louise said they, "left their costumes at home, but were wearing them in spirit." Spirit, appropriately, because the say their favorite costume of the night had to be the Magical Genie guy.

"I can't give you a reason why other than he's real tall," said Harli. "I guess I like the burlesque girls, too."

(Magical Genie Guy)

Burlesque girls in costume? Isn't that just their work wear?

(Gritty City Sirens give some face time to the crowd)

Tricycle Man said he came to the Costume Party for one reason and one reason only: to sue the Swarner Brothers.

"You know why I'm dressed as Tricycle Man?" asked Tricycle Man. "Because I have a thick scar on my leg because of Ron Swarner."

(Alan Gorsuch as Tricycle Man)

Apparently, Ron Swarner convinced Tricycle Man to ride in a downhill tricycle race. A couple of beers were downed before said race. Beers, that may or may not have contributed to Tricycle Man's disfiguring, 30-MPH fall taken during the race.

Like any good super villain, Tricycle Man emerged from the wreckage horribly disfigured and with a vengeance for blood. Swarner litigation blood.

Lawsuit or not, a great night was had by all. Sarah Palin, Captain Planet and Construction Girl came away with best costume awards. Editor Matt Driscoll came away with biggest hangover.

See you next year, Tacoma! Just kidding. We see you every day. 

(Old Milwaukee Cafe owners Patricia "Pat" and Chad Kerth)

(Jaime Kay Jones)

(CJ Johnson Bail Bonds won Best Bail Bonds)

PHOTO CREDIT: J.M. Simpson

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