Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

Posts made in: July, 2014 (40) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 40

July 1, 2014 at 10:14am

New Pizza Joint Report: Windward Pizza at Browns Point Tacoma

Windward Pizza offers a Loaded Baked Potato Pizza with a damn tasty, zesty garlic white sauce and actual slices of potato. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

I caught wind of the opening of Windward Pizza from the boss and ventured to northeast Tacoma to check it out. Located in the strip mall just a hop away from Browns Point, Windward Pizza is a welcome addition to the somewhat sleepy neighborhood, mostly populated by affluent homeowners and windy roads. There's a few dining options though not many.

Approaching their third month in business, Windward Pizza is a family-friendly dining joint, featuring a handful of arcade games to entertain the young'uns while you wait for your meal. The interior is clean and open with a tasteful mishmash of seaside and Italian imagery including an Italian film poster in the arcade room, though strangely enough the other movie posters are boring American versions.

The menu is comprised of hearty pastas, salads and sandwiches including the seafood melt ($13.99) featuring a rustic roll jam packed with baby shrimp, and real crab topped with gooey mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, red onion, lettuce and tomatoes - all united in beautiful matrimony with Thousand Island dressing. Served up with a side of round fried taters the sammie hits the spot and represents a real near-waterside-dining establishment with the fillings.

Windward's pizzas consist of traditional picks to more adventurous fun finds such as Taco Pizza, Cheese Burger Pizza using a compelling ketchup and mustard sauce and the Loaded Baked Potato Pizza with a damn tasty, zesty garlic white sauce, actual slices of potato topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, loads of smoky, crisp bacon bits and green onions.

The beverage selection includes self-serve soda machine with a select but decent tap and bottle list that includes local faves such as 7 Seas Brewing.

When asked about how business was, I was told it's been good, though upon my visit (not during peak hours) it was pretty quiet.

In all I'd say Windward Pizza is family fun and yum and worth the journey to Browns Point for a play day fueled by pizza pies.

WINDWARD PIZZA, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., 1000 Town Center NE, Suite 140, Tacoma 253.252.2798

Filed under: Tacoma, First Bite,

July 1, 2014 at 11:14am

Kitsap CollaBEERation Week begins Monday

Hood Canal Brewery teams up with Valholl Brewery to brew the North Kitsap ESB. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Last summer, a writer pitched the idea of a big-ass Weekly Volcano cover story on Kitsap Peninsula craft breweries; an insightful genius spread over five photo-festooned pages and an extra few thousand words or so. Since such a piece didn't quite meet our cover-story criteria of the Three L's (Local, Low-cost, Low-cost), it didn't happen. It's a shame, too. Next week is Kitsap CollaBEERation Week, and with two of the L's still enforced, I'm reduced to a preview from my wobbly chair.

In a region flush with gorgeous harbors, rural communities and cheap motels, the Kitsap Peninsula also houses 10 breweries between Gig Harbor and Kingston. And, because the head brewers at each of these breweries also run the post office, fire station and delivery mail, it's become a tight beer community. Wait, this just in. Nope, I'm wrong. Kitsap Peninsula isn't that rural. The Kitsap CollaBEERation Week running July 6-11 isn't happening because they see each other on a daily basis, but rather it's going down as a way to bring awareness and strengthen the West Sound craft beer industry, hang out under friendly circumstances and build momentum heading into the huge Bremerton Summer BeerFest Saturday, July 12. All 10 breweries will haul kegs past the Bremerton beer festival gates.

According to Kitsap CollaBEERation hype, the week of pairing will "showcase the community spirit in liquid form. Kitsap Peninsula breweries were paired up two by two to create special collaborative beers. The breweries will then showcase the creations each day of the week leading up to the Bremerton Summer BeerFest. A limited amount will be available at the Fest as well at each brewery's booth."

Participating brewers include Bainbridge Island Brewing Company, Der Bloken Brewery, Hood Canal Brewery, Rainy Daze Brewing Co., Slaughter County Brewing Co., Slippery Pig Brewery, Silver City Brewery, Sound Brewery, Valholl Brewing and Gig Harbor's 7 Seas Brewing.

This is one of the only weeks on the Kitsap Peninsula when it's OK to be a professional alcoholic, so get out there and take advantage of the special events at each of the collaborating breweries:

MONDAY, JULY 7: Sound Brewery taproom and 7 Seas Brewing taproom - Crossover Cask Collaborations

TUESDAY, JULY 8: Bainbridge Island taproom and Der Blokken Brewery - India Kolsch Style Ale

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9: Silver City Brewery taproom in Bremerton and Rainy Daze Brewing at The Manette Saloon - Rain City India Red Ale

THURSDAY, JULY 10: Slippery Pig taproom and Slaughter County Brewing taproom - Slaughtered Pig Ale

FRIDAY, JULY 11: Valholl Brewery taproom and Hood Canal Brewery taproom - North Kitsap ESB

Filed under: Gig Harbor, New Beer Column,

July 1, 2014 at 3:34pm

Café Brosseau bringing Shakerato, not "Sharknado," to Tacoma

Shakerato

In case you missed SyFy's so-bad-it's-awesome made-for-TV movie Sharknado, Café Brosseau is the first to bring a screening of the movie to Tacoma. As you may have guessed, the movie is about a freak disaster in which man-eating sharks swim through the streets and fall from the air in Los Angeles.

Ah, crap. We apologize. We read the press release wrong.

Cafe Brosseau, a Tacoma Coffee House featuring Tacoma's own Madrona Coffee Co., is bringing SHAKERATO, not Sharknado, to Tacoma.

According to Café Brosseau, "The Shakerato, is a foamy, frosty, cold mix of premium roasted Madrona Coffee Co espresso beans, extracted by a caring Barista, from an Italian race car of an espresso machine, La Marzocco. The resulting espresso shots are hand-shaken, cocktail-style, with a simple sweetness, and ice."

Oh, man. That's much better than Tara Reid, John Heard, a chainsaw wielding Ian Ziering battling an inexplicable series of tornadoes loaded with sharks.

Apparently Cafe Brosseau is happy to add a touch of creaminess to its Shakerato, such as almond milk, hemp milk or dairy cream.

CAFÉ BROSSEAU, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 2716 N. 21st St., Tacoma, 253.327.1306

July 1, 2014 at 9:46pm

Tacoma's Shake Shake Shake has added beer beer beer

Shake Shake Shake co-owner Steve Naccarato served beers to his appropriate-aged customers today, including the Sonics Guy who snapped this photo for his Facebook page.

Tacoma Stadium District burger joint Shake Shake Shake has added beer beer beer. That's right, friends, we've all heard the rumor that this top-notch burger/fries/shakes hangout was going to add amber to its orange and light blue color scheme. A year and a couple months after it opened, the popular joint now serves beer and wine.

"We brought in beer and wine first," says co-owner Steve Naccarato. "We'll add boozy shakes next week, then specialty cocktails down the road."

Team Shake Shake Shake is still fine-tuning its bar. A former Weekly Volcano scribe is said to be one of the bartenders.

Beers on tap include Tacoma Brewing Company's Broken Window IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Coors Light. Rainier is available in can. Gig Harbor's 7 Seas Brewing's brews will be available soon. Angry Orchard Cider is available to pair with a hickory burger or bacon dog.

"We also have a nice Bellini made from estate grown white peaches and raspberries with Prosecco," says Naccarato. "It's quite good."

Boozy shakes will include an Absinthe shake called The Van Gogh and a Tiger Tini with Almond Roca infused vodka.

Hours will stay the same for now. If there's demand to stay open later, especially in its backyard picnic area during the summer, then Nacarrato says they'll adjust the hours. Music isn't out of the question.

Music, music, music!

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 124 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.507.4060

Filed under: Books, New Beer Column, Tacoma,

July 2, 2014 at 1:34pm

Hilltop Kitchen releases new food and drink menu

Hilltop Kitchen's blue corn pancakes and pan-fried quail with blueberry compote is a sweet and savory sensation.

Last night, I dropped by Hilltop Kitchen for a birthday treat on the way home. I dumb-lucked into its new food and drink menu, which was released hours before. If the pancakes & quail with blueberry compote and sage honey ($12), and its version of the Duncan Idaho Ghola cocktail are any indication of the quality with the other creations on the complete menu turnover, then wow!

WOW!

The kitchen is open to 11 p.m. weekdays and midnight Friday and Saturday. The cocktails continue to close. Find it at 913 MLK Way on Hilltop Tacoma.

July 3, 2014 at 11:09am

Guess where we ate escargot ...

So freakin' delicious

Escargot is back on the menu. Skipping the traditional white plate with six indentations, this restaurant's escargot arrives in a bowl with the perfect volume of buttery basil and garlic broth - garlicky, but not overwhelmingly so, and the snails have the just right tender but chewy texture. The applewood-smoked bacon takes the dish to the next level. The accompany bread has a perfectly crisp crust and is excellent for sopping up the broth.

Can you guess where we ate it?

Win tickets to DB Cooper Music Festival: So ... nobody guessed last week's mystery dish. It was the Monte Cristo at Harmon Brewery & Eatery in downtown Tacoma. We thought the huckleberry sauce might have given it away, or at least the blurred skis in the background. Anyhoo, we're adding last week's DB Cooper Music Festival tickets to this week's prize. Anyone who gives the first correct answer in the comments sections below to this Guess Where post - on this Served in the South Sound blog, not on Facebook or Twitter - will be entered into a contest pool to win FOUR tickets to the DB Cooper Music Festival Aug. 2 at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds. It's a $160 value to see Curtis Salgado, Vicci Martinez, Maria Muldaur, SweetKiss Momma and many other musicians. We'll announce the winner next Wednesday.

Filed under: Guess Where,

July 3, 2014 at 4:50pm

Beer Here: Where you are drinking this coming week in the South Sound

Happy Fourth of July!

Put on your stars and stripes and your red, white and blue: the Fourth of July is tomorrow! Here are a few upcoming South Sound beer events to ponder while you wave your sparklers in the air like you just don't care.

FRIDAY, JULY 4

If there is anything better than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is a national holiday falling on a Friday. So go forth South Sound this Fourth of July and pursue happiness. I'll be declaring my independence from beer garden to beer garden at Tacoma's Freedom Fair along Ruston Way. Duke's Chowder House, RAM and Katie Downs will host music stages with adjoining beer gardens.

SUNDAY, JULY 6

Pint Defiance's Sunday Beer Sampler pits the United States against England. From 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. you may drink 4-ounce pours of beers from the U.S. and England for $4.50 total. After you drink your sampler, stand up and shout the winning country.

MONDAY, JULY 7

Five days before it throws its five-year anniversary bash, Gig Harbor's 7 Seas Brewing will take over the ParkWay Tavern's taps, beginning at 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9

Puyallup River Alehouse has brewer's nights scheduled through September. The downtown Puyallup face for Puyallup River Brewing's beers, as well as multiple guest beers on tap, has the marketing thing down. Next up, Backwoods Brewing Company from little ol' Carson, Wash. Head brewer Jordan Tanasse will load up the jalopy with four different Backwoods brews, plus swag for the raffle, and hit the trail for the 6-9 p.m. spotlight.

Pint Defiance hosts the Stone Brewing Co. crew from San Marcos, Calif. for a night of favorites, special brews such as the Stochasticity Project, and PD's infamous raffle from 5-7 p.m.

THURSDAY, JULY 10

While Van Halen was telling everyone to "jump," brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer opened their brewery with $50,000. It was a slow start. In 1986, the Widmer Brothers introduced their Hefeweizen to America. The rest is history. In 2008, Widmer and Red Hook merged to form what would later be titled Craft Brew Alliance, the ninth largest brewer in the nation. The Copper Door hosts a Widmer Brothers Brewer's Night from 6-9 p.m. Meet the brewer, chat beer history and drink limited release Widmer beers.

PLAN AHEAD

Gig Harbor's 7 Seas Brewing hosts its fifth year anniversary with a beer, music and food noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 12. This brewery knows how to party.

The Harmon Tap Room will set up a nine-hole miniature golf course and host a competition from 4-6 p.m. July 12.

Saturday, July 19 marks the one-year anniversary for Tacoma's Narrows Brewing Company. A craft beer-style party will be held at its brew house, the restored Mill Building in Narrows Marina at the bottom of 19th Street, from 6-11 p.m. Dubbed "Breakers Ball" - a fishing community reference to a favorite location off Pt. Richmond - the party will include a performance by Stephanie Anne Johnson, as well as the release of its Barrel Aged Black Saison.

July 6, 2014 at 12:54pm

Harmon Brewing hosts Mini U.S. Open Putt Putt Tournament July 12

Bring your putters, golf balls and family to Harmon Brewing Company's Mini U.S. Open Putt Putt Tournament July 12 at The Hub/Harmon Tap Room.

I can see it now. Two men - each brandishing an obnoxiously large putter - approach the first tee at The Hub. On the hot, sunny Saturday afternoon, the testosterone of the middle-aged men fights through their silk designer shirts.

"I'm going first," shouts the brawniest in the duo.  Adjusting the brim of his Nike hat, he addresses his ball, takes a few seconds to review the cardinal rules - head down, eye on Titleist, please-dear-God-don't-let-me-gag-this-one-in-front-of-the-crowd - and then reveals an improbable herk ‘n' jerk backswing that breaks all laws of golf and physics. Even though the guy handles the putter like Don Knotts, the result is anything but clumsy: the ball rolls straight for six feet and drops in the hole. His friend nods in appreciation and golf-claps with his $2 Harmon Pinnacle Peak Pale Ale pint tucked between his knees.

The second player, thirsty to match his boisterous pal, takes a mighty hack at his ball. It smacks the back bumper, sailing into The Hub's wood-stoned pizza oven. No one says a word. He silently re-tees knocking it three inches from the cup.

I can totally see that happening at the Harmon Brewing Company's Mini U.S. Open Putt Putt Tournament Saturday, July 12. The nine-hole miniature golf tournament will span The Hub, Harmon Tap Room and Harmon Garden in Tacoma's Stadium District. The silk-shirted twosome will have their eyes on the grand prize - two free rounds at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, home of the 2015 U.S. Open. Their designer silk shirts may grab the Best Dress prize.

Back to the action. ... In The Hub's parking lot, two slackers - 20-somethings with plaid shirts hanging over fatigues - practice putts for beer. They pick the farther away tire and swear at themselves when they don't hit it on the first stroke.  They trash-talk like b-ballers and cough at inappropriate moments. They also cheat like hell, with subtle taps of their Vans.

Next to approach The Hub's first hole one is a young father - a dead ringer of Tiger Woods followed by his pregnant wife and preschool daughter - commences a rhythm of escape from the daily grind: putt, sip beer, putt, sip beer, sinks it. The wife - sporting a DMX tattoo on her dark ankle - sinks it in two.  Little Miss looks on as her mother's bloated belly sways with each shot; Mom giggles at her first-hole victory over Mr. Tiger, then pats the progeny that will soon make the family a foursome.

Next up, two Korean men are clad in nice pants, nice shirt, nice ties. One quickly tees up the ball; the other sinks it in two. They exchange positions and roles, the second gent sinking a hole-in-one. The only English spoken amidst their frantic, high-pitched discourse is a random, throaty "Good shot!"

The miniature golf action continues from The Hub below to the Harmon beer garden and Harmon Tap Room. Two-dollar pints are creating uproarious roars from the crowd. There is no whispering at the Harmon's Mini U.S. Open Putt Putt Tournament.

At 5 p.m. in the Harmon Garden, as his young sons buzz around him like nattily attired electrons, Dad has a worn-out look on his face underneath his old straw hat as he tries to survive the miniature golf course with three preteens. Not wanting to hurt feelings, he didn't partner with one of his sons, but instead chose his neighbor. Directions to the next hole doesn't matter much to the kids - they run ahead, run behind, just plain run around - and Dad trudges on and sighs. Old Straw Hat shakes his head as he peers through Buddy Holly glasses at the kids. Mrs. Old Straw Hat wants to run over and hug him.  

The crowd inside the Harmon Tap Room overflows. Tacoma public officials discuss why they left early, tossing back the drINK THIS White IPA brewed for the Tacoma Art Museum. Martha thanks her fellow hairstylists for the fun going-away party. Two twosomes settle up Mini U.S. Open bets.

Back out on the course, a bartender from the bar down the street caught the ball with the heel of the putter and it speeds off left toward the Harmon Garden's fence like a scalded cat. It flew over the shoulder of a brewer emerging from the keg cold room, ricocheted around the beer garden to the consternation of two families, and finished up in a planter. Laughter erupts.

At 6:30 p.m., an award ceremony is held in the Harmon Garden. At stake are team high score, individual high score, individual low score and lowest team score. The lowest team score winning twosome is a geriatric Okinawan janitor/ninja and a 15-year-old fatherless boy with paint on his white shirt. Harmon Brewing Co. co-owner Pat Nagle tells the boy to "wax on" as he hands them the free rounds at Chambers Bay prize. The beer garden erupts in laughter.

MINI U.S. OPEN PUTT PUTT TOURNAMENT, 4-6 p.m., 3:45 p.m. check in, award ceremony 6:30 p.m., Saturday, July 12, bring putter and ball, The Hub, 203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, $10, pre-registration required at The Hub or Harmon Tap Room, $2 pint all day, 253.683.4606

LINK: Mini U.S. Open Putt Putt Tournament Facebook

July 7, 2014 at 11:48am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with Corey Lund at Hilltop Kitchen

Hilltop Kitchen Bar Manager Corey Lund would like to pour you a craft rum cocktail. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Corey Lund.

Server Banner boy, July 7-13, 2014

Corey Lund

From server at the Pacific Grill to bartender at 1022 South to bar manager at Hilltop Kitchen, Corey Lund is the man in the know, especially wine. Taking a break from pouring craft cocktails at HK and riding his bike around Tacoma, Lund was gracious enough to answer my questions.

Why do you serve?

"It all started waaaay back in college because well, I had to pay the rent! Eventually I came to see it as a viable career, and started really caring about the work. Of course, it helps if your employer also cares, supplying your guests with quality menus." 

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"Probably Brie at Marrow. She kills it every time."

What are you most proud to serve?

"Really, anything that's had a lot of thought put into it, from ingredients to production, to whatever spin the house puts on it. Though I do have a particular fondness for French food, and sparkling wine." 

What's your current drink of choice?

"At the house, we drink mostly wine. If I'm going out, fortified wines like Americano or Manzanilla Sherry. Or Chartreuse." 

Favorite movie?

"Um, Tarkovsky's Stalker." 

What don't you serve?

"Minors." 

What's on your radar at Hilltop Kitchen?

"I never thought I would get into rum, but HK has an amazing collection. In that regard, two things are on my radar: Mondays we offer glasses of any cane or agave spirit for half price, also as tasting portions. It's a great way to taste around the back bar. Also, the new cocktail menu! Per Se and Gravity's Rainbow stand out." 

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

Filed under: Served Banner Models, Tacoma,

July 7, 2014 at 1:51pm

Eat This Now: Jalapeno Popper Sliders

Hunt down the Big Boys Filipino Food Truck for its delicious Jalapeno Popper Sliders. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

While the Tacoma area is making waves in the culinary scene, the food scene's wheels fall off when it comes to food trucks. There isn't a scene. Yes, there are a handful of standouts, and they're on the rise, but in general it's a foodnik Easter hunt of sorts to find mobile noshing options.

About 2 years ago I discovered Big Boys Filipino Food Truck next to a Puyallup gas station on a busy stretch of road. I had to practically run into it to notice the truck. Since then the Big Boys food truck has gone mobile, their four tires hitting the pavement and journeying all around the Sound, up north and parked at special events such as the Taste of Tacoma, which is where I recently indulged in their Jalapeno Popper Sliders (two for $8 and available as a burrito for $8).

I'm a fan of bready slider goodness, especially if it sandwiches a large portion of fried chicken, jalapeno cream cheese, garlic aioli slaw and a sweet chili sauce. Le sigh. This combo packs a punch with the chili, jalapeno and garlic duking it out for your taste buds' attention. It's a sweet delicious and messy matrimony of flavor highlighted by the chicken's delicately crispy exterior encapsulating a juicy, meaty interior.

Marking the Jalapeno Popper Sliders in my Eat This Now column might be misleading because in order to feast on today's selection you'd have to cyber-stalk the Big Boys Filipino Truck Facebook page to discover its location. I can tell you one thing for sure. You'll thank me when you do find it.

Filed under: Eat This Now, Mobile Meals,

About this blog

Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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