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May 14, 2013 at 7:51am

Today In Genius: Fried avocado

Peanut sauce Thai's fried avocado is crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. Photo credit: Adrienne Kuehl

If you drive by too fast, you might miss it. Tucked away in a strip mall near the Tacoma Mall is Peanut Sauce Thai Cuisine, a culinary gem located among fast food and chain restaurants. With one of the most extensive Thai menus in Tacoma, as well as having the largest Thai vegetarian and vegan selection, it is worth a visit.

On a recent visit, I was pleased to find two appetizers I haven't seen too often on other Thai menus in town: fried avocado ($6.99) and garlic spareribs ($6.50). You read that right - fried avocado. I don't know how they do it, but it's genius. Crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, this dish is served with a sweet chili sauce and ready for dipping. The pork spareribs were a little tough, but still a nice bite to nibble on.

When deciding between my favorite Thai restaurants, I always order the same dishes at each one to compare the different flavors and techniques. For me, good baseline comparison dishes are pad thai ($7.50) and pad kee mao, or drunken noodles ($7.50). Their pad thai was the perfect balance of sweet and sour, and one of the best I've tried. Although a bit dry, the drunken noodles had good flavor and fresh vegetables.

If the reasonable prices, friendly staff and excellent service don't keep you coming back to Peanut Sauce Thai, come for the endless selection of new dishes to sample.

PEANUT SAUCE THAI CUISINE, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 5003 Tacoma Mall Blvd., Tacoma, 253.475.4889

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma, Genius,

February 7, 2012 at 2:43pm

World's youngest person born Sunday at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital

Behold the former "Youngest Person on Earth."

BREAKING >>>

Usually on a Tuesday afternoon, with the Volcano's print deadline looming, I wouldn't be making time for a Spew blog post.

But gold like this only arrives in your inbox every so often. When it does, it's best to pounce.

Straight from MultiCare Media Relations Coordinator Cole Cosgrove:

World's Youngest Person Born

TACOMA, Wash. -- The youngest person on Earth was born Sunday morning at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.

Immediately upon entering this world, Grayson Dale Burlingame held the prestigious title of "World's Youngest Person" for approximately 4.2 seconds - until an even younger person was born somewhere else on this planet. On average, a baby is born every 4.2 seconds, according to world population statistics.

In 2011 at Tacoma General Hospital, 3,048 newborns claimed the title of "World's Youngest Person," at least for a few seconds. 

Grayson, who weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, was born to Tacoma residents Lisa Patterson Burlingame and her husband Jeff Burlingame, who beamed with pride over their son's accomplishment at such a young age. The parents attribute their son's remarkable youthfulness to diet, avoiding cigarettes, and the fact that he just now emerged from the womb.

Grayson himself didn't have the words to describe what it feels like to be so young. During the nearly 5 seconds that he reigned as the "World's Youngest Person," Grayson spent most of that time adjusting to the light while staring lovingly at his parents

The world's oldest person, Besse Cooper of Monroe, Georgia, couldn't be reached for comment. She was born Aug. 26, 1896 - a date when she briefly held the title of "World's Youngest Person."

###

Cosgrove says he's always wanted to do such a press release, calling it a "light-hearted counterbalance to the recurring ‘news' story ‘World's Oldest Person Dies.'"

I just call it pure brilliance.

November 11, 2011 at 9:43am

NEW GARFUNKEL & OATES: Save The Rich

THINGS TO WATCH INSTEAD OF DOING WORK >>>

The layout of our blog kind of requires I stick some words in this space before posting a video. It's unfortunate. Because sometimes I just want to post shit like the new Garfunkel & Oates video for "Save The Rich" that I stumbled upon last night (read: found on The Stranger's blog), and not be forced to come up with something to say about it. But if I just post the video it looks funny. So what you end up with is pointless paragraphs like this one simply to fill the space before the video goodness follows below. Like I said, it's unfortunate.

But still, "Save The Rich."

Filed under: Music, Genius,

November 13, 2010 at 9:13pm

Yo Gabba Gabba Live! review

The delirium of Yo Gabba Gabba!, or: How to try (and fail) to not look like a creep at a children's show >>>

Upon my arrival at the Tacoma Dome, I immediately felt woefully out of place. A giant line wrapped its way around the sidewalk as hordes of adorable children and their equally adorable, 30-year-old, bearded parents waited for admission into the hippest kids' show around. I speak, of course, of Yo Gabba Gabba!-otherwise known as the clearest intersection between children and those most obsessed with children's culture: hipsters.

Boasting connections with a collection of some of the coolest musicians and artists of past and present (including Mark Mothersbaugh, MGMT, Biz Markie, Of Montreal, Paul Scheer and others), Yo Gabba Gabba! actually manages to deliver on the promise of other children's shows - by entertaining the parents as much as the kids.

The touring production of Yo Gabba Gabba! was subtitled "There's a Party in My City!" Host DJ Lance Rock (in all his orange-covered, uber-enthusiastic, messianic glory) did his due diligence by frequently complimenting Tacoma on being so smart and fun to be around.

"There's a Party in My City" was comprised largely of popular songs from the television show, and they were met with enthusiasm by the audience of very young people. The formula can effectively be boiled down to: DJ Lance Rock encourages people to dance, espouses the virtues of hugging and eating, and more than once has to cheer up his perpetually depressed green monster friend, Brobee.

Every now and again, confetti and streamers are jettisoned into the crowd. Balloons rain from the ceiling. Swarms of glow sticks are bandied in the dark. At times, Yo Gabba Gabba! resembles a kiddie bacchanal.

Without question, show highlights include the various guest appearances we were treated to. Multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams utilized a looping pedal to create his backing track, freeing him up so he could demonstrate how much he loves hula-hooping. Chris Ballew (of the Presidents of the United States of America, and his own children's music project, Caspar Babypants) dropped in to teach everyone a new dance and exited the stage with the hilarious non-sequitur, "Bye guys! Gotta go write a song about a marshmallow." Biz Markie taught kids how to beatbox...more or less.

In the end, "Yo Gabba Gabba: There's a Party in My City" was a fun-albeit unexpectedly short and tragically expensive-time had by all. Now if only watching Yo Gabba Gabba! didn't make me feel like such a weirdo ...

November 13, 2010 at 10:37am

PETTY QUESTIONS: Ready to start

Petty Questions: A weekly advice column about pet peeves and trivial matters

Hi! Welcome to Petty Questions - a new advice column about trivial things. Let's get started.

QUESTION #1

My brother sometimes uses BBQ sauce and I really don't like the smell. Help!

-C

We can't choose our family, in most cases. Orphans have a unique advantage in this regard.

But all kidding aside, it's time you found a new brother.

Here is a list of places loaded with extra brothers: Rose of Sharon Organization, Milton Hershey School, The Palmer Home for Children, St. Joseph's Village Rockleigh, Covenant Ranch, Stephen Wiggins Home for Boys, to name a few. If you're looking for a more international sibling - a lil' pip with zest - may I suggest: The Bishop Judith Craig Children's Village (Sierra Leone), God's Littlest Angles (Haiti), Ban San Faan (Thailand), Orphanage No. 12 (Ukraine), or Chongqing Children's Welfare Institute (China). You can find information for these homes and more on the Internet, a place full of links. You can find anything online.

But let's say you can't replace your current brother with a newer, quieter one. What do you do?

You could plug your nose with a clothespin, but this hurts and it damages you. Breathing out of the side of your mouth farthest away from your brother's BBQ sauce? That's one of the tricks of the trade I use as a germophobe, so normally I would wholeheartedly recommend it. However, you're probably sitting with votre frère and his hog sauce because you guys are eating dinner, family-style. If you're trying to breathe out of your mouth while you're chewing and swallowing, well, I've got some bad news for you. You're probably going to choke and die of brain problems.

Not to mention how gross you are for eating with your mouth open. Can you imagine how people would feel when you mash up all that food matter, smelling your saliva enzymes as they waft through the entire house? Why would you do this? What kind of a person are you? I feel like I've created a monster.

Look, you're brother isn't going to give up smearing BBQ sauce all over his spaghetti. I know how he feels. I personally love pouring ketchup over everything. My hamburgers and curly fries get so soggy I have to eat them with a fork and knife, like some stupid gentleman. But I'll never give it up: any Wednesday night you will find me in my favorite diner, drinking ketchup. That's the way it'll be ‘til the day I die of Type-2 diabetes.

The take-away is that, if I know the two of us (and to be clear I do not), no one's forfeiting his sauce anytime soon. My advice? Sit on the other side of the table! That way you can stare into your brother's eyes and have a meaningful conversation with him. Remember the summers you two spent idling away the days? Memories well up, hours wasted rock-skipping and tire-swinging on Lake Castawoganon. The famous last words of F. Scott Fitzgerald appear out of thin air, wisps of smoke hazing in and out of view:

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

This is the part where you steal all his BBQ sauce. Now you can eat in peace. Or you can sell the stuff back to him-for twice as much gold.

QUESTION #2

Why dose DT Tacoma not have a world class concrete bowl or skatepark??? With all the vacant lots and so called Parks you really cant skate anything in Tacoma with out getting some flack.... It would be sick to have one on the waterfront.....

-M

I agree, M! It would be rad to have a nice, multi-layer, trans-Commencement Bay roller-skating arena. Kickflips, toe-drops, ossies, back-slaps-bum a 450, Chet! We could have an area for battles and settle disputes of honor properly. Get in touch with the City Council!

Just another little brief thing, M. Hope this doesn't seem too nit-picky on my part:

 "cant" = can't. Come on, Cormac!

Hope this helps!

Coming up next week: Creeping Doubt. Personal insecurity or material insecurity? Joy Division or New Order? New Order or ELO? Shh...it's supposed to be a secret.

Please direct questions to: askpettyquestions@gmail.com

June 8, 2010 at 12:10pm

Junk in Your Trunk

OH NO THEY DIDN'T >>>

Stop rifling through your couch's cushions for pocket change: there isn't any, and the act of scavenging is rather unbecoming. Yes, I know - times are tough. When you opened your most recent mortgage statement it actually mocked you. But still, scouring the nether regions of your furniture for stray nickels is an act reserved for college students and meth heads, so really, back away from the sofa.

If you need a little payday, you might try looking closer at the stuff you've amassed over the years. You've always been curious about the history of your thrift store finds and family hand-me-downs; you suspect some of them might be bona fide collector's items. Start rummaging through your stuff for Sprinker Recreation Center's Junk In Your Trunk garage sale July 10.

Yes, Pierce County Parks is calling it Junk In Your Trunk. Their press release explains why:

Here's a new twist on the old garage sale.  Load up your trunk and sell your stuff from the back of your vehicle.  You bring the junk, we bring the people, July 10 at Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 S. C St, Parkland/Spanaway.  The fee per vendor is $15 for a car/truck/van and $25 per RV/Camper.  Each vendor will be assigned one parking stall for parking and one stall to set up tables.  The event runs rain or shine between 9:00am-4:00pm.  Pre-registration required.  For more information call 253-798-4177 or www.piercecountywa.org/parks

So If your closet is bursting at the seams with dust-collecting clothes that fit 20 pounds ago, Junk In Your Trunk is a simpler way of getting dough for your duds than advertising them on eBay or the sad shrubbery in front of your apartment building.

May 13, 2010 at 3:14pm

The Skoog, Tacoma's original speakeasy?

INTERESTING TIP OF THE DAY >>>

When I arrived at work today there was an email waiting in my inbox from Deborah Bach, editor and co-founder of Three Sheets Northwest - an online boating magazine based out of Seattle.

Apparently, true to her job title, Bach recently boated to Tacoma to explore some of our city's "grit" - and dive bars.

To make a medium sized story short, Bach Googled "Tacoma Dive Bars" and came up with this - The Skoog.

According to The Skoog's Web site, it's "Tacoma's original speakeasy" or "blind pig."

Furthermore:

Evidence suggests it was established in 1916 when prohibition began and probably served local mill workers into the 1930's. After the repeal of prohibition in 1933, The Skoog closed its doors and was sealed off by the home owner at the request of Mayor M.G. Tennent. Little else is known of its history. ...

The Skoog was all but forgotten until 2007 when a plumber working on a major home remodel accidentally uncovered evidence of a hidden room below a bathroom. A wall in the basement was knocked down and a 15' x 40' room was revealed. The Skoog was rediscovered, untouched for over 70 years. Though covered in cobwebs and dust, the 14' bar was intact and some furniture and wall decor were still in place. ...

The Skoog's original bar is serving again and features a wide variety of spirits and beers. True to its origins, all beer is refrigerated in bottles and cans as there was no system for kegs in this underground bar. As The Skoog cannot legally sell or distribute alcohol, it maintains its blind pig status in its undisclosed location near Puget Gulch. If you can find The Skoog and you know the secret password, maybe you can experience Old Tacoma's original dive bar for yourself ...

Bach was emailing to ask me, and by default every other empoyee stationed at Weekly Volcano World Headquarters, if I'd ever heard of The Skoog. Sadly, I had not. Even more baffling, neither had anyone on the Volcano's staff of infamous alcoholics.

The Skoog - myth or reality? I'm not sure what to make of it, but it's an interesting thing to think about on a day when you're stuck inside your cubicle. Do you know the location, and secret password of The Skoog? Maybe you do. ...

LINK: The Seattle Weekly picked up on the baffling mystery of The Skoog this morning.

Filed under: Food & Drink, Genius, Tacoma,

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