Where: 4701 Point Fosdick Drive N.W., Gig Harbor, 253.514.6703
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Cuisine: American diner fare on steroids
Scene: Casual, order-at-the-counter, family-friendly dining room and 21+ bar area with table service
Drinkies: Microbrews, wine, bottled beer, cocktails. Fountain, Henry Weinhard's and Jones sodas, Citavo organic coffee
ANNOUNCER: Lit up like Costco? Check. Flat screen televisions everywhere you turn? Check. Ninety-nine percent of the appetizers deep-fried? Check. Just under twice as many desserts as salads? Check. Gluttony-minded portion sizes? Check. Welcome to Blazing Onion, Gig Harbor's newest restaurant at Uptown, the city's answer to upscale shopping and dining. Blazing Onion is a burger bar on steroids, offering 25 creative varieties with unusual toppings - olive tapenade, Thai peanut sauce or fried egg, anyone? - and more than 16 beers on tap.
JAKE: Ugh, I hate ordering at the counter. I feel pressured to make up my mind the minute I walk in the door.
JASON: Exactly why we grabbed a table in the bar. It's odd; the restaurant folks have fast-food style counter ordering, and bar people get servers. That's backward, isn't it? Anyway, you got your face time with our server; you asked your 40 bazillion questions. I kept it simple with a strong Arrogant Bastard beer as a liquid pre-appetizer. How was your French onion soup?
JAKE: You're grumpy because we got the funny server instead of the hot blonde counter girl. You're so transparent. The soup was good. I was relieved it wasn't too salty - such a common mistake. I could have just eaten a bowl of the parmesan-provolone cheese topper soaked in broth. So good. Wait? Pre-appetizer? That sounds like Taco Bell's fourth meal bullshit. Stupid. It's just a beer, and you like it only because of the name.
JASON: I drink it; therefore I am. And, I beg you, who doesn't want hot over funny, man? The menu said the hot wings would be blazing. That word's supposed to mean punch-you-in-the-face hot, and I wanted them that way, yes I did - but it was no bueno. Meaty and tangy was what we got instead.
JAKE: My side Caesar salad was served in a bowl with lightly toasted croutons and had a healthy amount of shredded parm on it - my fav. Creamy dressing was decent, romaine crisp and fresh. No anchovy, but no complaint either. Jason, have you ever noticed we order the same stuff a lot? Creatures of habit, I guess. To change things up a bit, I ordered a plate of two fish tacos so we could both go crazy.
JASON: I put large spoonfuls of grilled pineapple pico de gallo - let's just call it chunky salsa - on top of shredded white cabbage, rice, tomato, and hefty pieces of hot, grilled cod that were cradled in soft flour taco shells. A chipotle lime dressing mingled well with corn and black bean salsa. This whirlwind of tastes worked so well I'd almost pay the $4 bridge toll just to drive out and have these again.
JAKE: Even though I had to send it back for being overcooked, the end result of my entrée was still positive. Loads of gorgonzola crumbles lay melting atop a perfectly done medium rare steak, and I mean perfect the second time around. The half-pound sirloin bled red nicely; yet, the outside edges were pink and firm. Mashed potatoes had fresh garlic in them, and French bread was sprinkled with cheddar and toasted.
JASON: Let's bring our wives next time and let them go shopping while we have brews and tacos and catch a game on the massive suspended flat screens. Wait, what the hell am I saying? I think I've lost my mind from eating the wild boar burger. Maybe I had a mild stroke. The meat tasted earthy, very rich in iron. Cheddar melted down the side; coleslaw was interesting on it, and the fried, lightly breaded onion straws were so right. I think I felt my arteries tightening. The burger was delicious in a tasty, greasy, meaty way that made my heart leap. Or was it a struggling artery? The barbecue sauce and the BOB sauce (27 ingredients strong) made for one nice tang.
JAKE: Somehow I don't think our ladies will think we did good by not ordering dessert, especially not after your wild boar/mild stroke comment.