Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

Posts made in: November, 2014 (29) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 29

November 3, 2014 at 9:29am

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with Cathy Marcotte of Happy Belly in Tacoma

Cathy Marcotte has taken her passion for fresh produce and whole food and let it flourish at Happy Belly at 1122 Market St. in downtown Tacoma. Photo credit: Happy Belly

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 Cathy Marcotte.

Server Banner Girl, Nov. 3-9, 2014

Cathy Marcotte

Cathy Marcotte has been serving at Happy Belly since its opening in downtown Tacoma a month ago. She is a real geek for fresh produce and whole food, which means she has quickly found herself at home in her new position. Before creating and serving vegetarian meals, juices and smoothies at Happy Belly, Marcotte served local, organic fruit and vegetables at Terry's Berries Farm Store in the Puyallup Valley as well as at the farm's market booth at the Thursday Broadway Farmers Market.

Why do you serve?

"Introducing people to healthy food options that are unique and delicious is a passion of mine. ‘Eating your veggies' can be incredibly exciting and much more fulfilling than your typical burger and fries. It does take a change of mindset and a few ideas to start with, but I love providing people with the inspiration to make those food choices."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"It's a tie between the vendors you find at farmers markets around here. They have such an intimate knowledge of the products they sell and it's amazing how much you can learn about where your food comes from just by asking a few questions. Great recipe ideas have come from my farmers market times as well."

What are you most proud to serve?

"Anything with greens, and lots of them, so good thing we have plenty of options at Happy Belly. Greens are versatile, nutritious and grow like weeds - which can be tasty too - around here in most seasons. We should always eat more."

What is your current drink of choice?

"Our Green Sunrise Smoothie. Kale blended with bright orange and ginger for a zing, I could have one everyday."

Favorite movie?

"I don't watch a lot of movies, but if I'm going to it better be about the end of the world. Or, when I'm feeling less apocalyptic, I like to revisit movies for nostalgia's sake. The Never Ending Story and The Last Unicorn are recent views."

What don't you serve?

"Food that isn't really food. Energy drinks. Anything super processed or that makes you crash or feel lousy shortly after. I serve food that compliments an active lifestyle where there just isn't room for that."

What's on your radar at Happy Belly?

"New seasonal items. My own personal diet and cravings really depend upon the time of year so I'm excited to see what the brilliant minds behind Happy Belly will come up with."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

November 3, 2014 at 10:47am

Peterson brothers and 7 Seas Brewing collaborate on The Galley food truck

The Galley food truck will open Tuesday, Nov. 4 serving afternoon and evening meals at 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor. Courtesy photo

Inspiration can take many forms, not the least common of which are pints of beer and a lazy Friday evening. Of course, the problem with these alcohol-induced epiphanies is that they're usually either, one, really stupid ideas, or two, quickly forgotten in favor of pizza and the sofa. There is the rare exception, however, and that is where our story begins.

It was June of 2014, and two men wearing life jackets stood above left field. While best friends wrestled over foul balls, groins were scratched and a giant fuzzy big-eyed reindeer punk'd grandmothers, these two life jacket-wearing guys, drinking IPAs, had a moment - an authentic human connection producing a deep stare, an "a-ha" moment, followed by juicy, unfiltered spiritual nourishing rush to the head.

They took another sip of 7 Seas Brewing Life Jacket Session IPA.

Then paused.

The two businessmen knew some ideas float while others sink like lead to the bottom.

They stared at each other's life jackets.

Sometimes you just have to allow that something grand and good might actually be born while wearing a life jacket ... while drinking beer ... beer named after a life jacket.

And sometimes that something ends up being a food truck.

That fateful night at Cheney Stadium, during 7 Seas Brewing's Life Jacket Session IPA release party, the brewery's co-owner Mike Runion and Tacoma restaurant and bar Peterson Bros. 1111 co-owner Justin Peterson considered partnering on a food truck.

"A week later Mike called me and asked if I was serious," says Peterson. "I said, ‘hell yes!'"

"We sat down and decided in one day that it was a great idea," explains Runion. "We drove up to Seattle because we knew a guy who was selling a food truck but the previous buyer backed out. We bought it that day. It happened that fast."

Then, the waiting game began. The permits needed to be acquired. Runion and Peterson also had huge projects of their own in the final stages. Runion and 7 Seas forged a partnership with 253 Heart owner Steve Naccarato to produce the 253 Pilsner coupled with a benefitting nonprofit program. The beer cans needed to be designed and distribution nailed down. Peterson, with his business partner and twin brother, Robby, forged a partnership with Tacoma's X Group Restaurants to remodel Red's Valley Pub down the street from the Tacoma Dome. The Valley's menu was still in the works, a beer garden was unfinished and taxidermy still needed to be secured.

"My business partner and head brewer, Travis Guterson, and I have a huge respect for what Justin and Robby created on Hilltop Tacoma," says Runion. "The way they run their business is similar to how we like to do things. They're detail-oriented, but it's super relaxed with amazing service. And the food is absolutely on point, which can surprise people who judge the joint as divey."

The truck, dubbed The Galley, extends 7 Seas' nautical theme. WrapJax wrapped the giant truck to resemble a wooden pirate ship, including portholes.

The truck will be parked in the huge parking lot in front of the 7 Seas brewery, serving lunch and nighttime meals, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 4. The truck will operate 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Chef Roger Weatherhead is in command of the vessel.

>>> Chef Roger Weatherhead in The Galley. Photo courtesy of Facebook

"The menu will be different than Eleven Eleven or The Valley," says Peterson. "I knew instantly who should run the truck's kitchen. I've known Roger Weatherhead since he was helping us in the kitchen at the old Hotel Bar & Grill. He's seasoned in food trucks."

"I actually met Robby Peterson while working at the Spaghetti Factory, before the Hotel Bar & Grill," says Weatherhead, who grew up in Tumwater, and subscribes to the Peterson brother's bearded way of life.

After the Hotel Bar & Grill, which was owned by The Swiss partnership in the early 2000s, Weatherhead worked in several SeaTac hotel kitchens, Point Defiance Zoo's catering program, and eventually followed a friend to the Flair Taco truck in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood.

"The taco truck was hard work. The hours were strenuous, but it was fun," says Weatherhead. "Feeding drunk people at the end of the night was crazy fun."

Weatherhead got tired of the drunks, and eventually was hired on with Where Ya At Matt, Matthew Lewis' popular Seattle Cajun food truck.

"Last year when I was working for them, Eater named it the number nine truck in the country," says Weatherhead. "They did numbers I didn't know you could do on a food truck. They had a good system set up. And they had a menu where people didn't just want to order one thing. Some people ordered a sandwich, side and dessert. I learned a lot from them."

Weatherhead also worked for the famous Skillet truck, as well as ran Seattle's The Grilled Cheese Experience truck for a summer while the owner tended to his new baby.

"Then, I walked into Eleven Eleven this summer and next thing I know ... I'm running the kitchen in The Galley," says Weatherhead.

A wooden ship-inspired behemoth first draws you in, but Weatherhead plans to have you as an anchor customer with his gourmet take on classics. During the day, expect sandwiches, soups and salads "with twists," Weatherhead says.

"If all goes as planned, I will serve a housemade lamb chorizowith sofrito de tomato and shaved Manchego. It's simple. A classic play on the meatball sub," he says.

He wants to serve a crispy pork belly BLT with heirloom tomatoes and butter lettuce. He wants to hand customers a Caesar with butter lettuce, housemade dressing, crouton and marinated white anchovies called boquerones. "Romaine has taken iceberg's place," he laughs.

"At Skillet, I would make myself a sandwich with just boquerones," he says. "I probably had the worst breath, but I didn't care. They are so delicious."

"We want a steady lunch menu that people could depend on," says Runion. "The Peterson Brothers and Roger are sandwich experts, so we'll have three to five sandwiches, some soup and a couple salads."

For the first couple of weeks, the lunch menu will also be featured during the night session, with the possibility of an additional menu item or two.

Eventually, the night session could feature an entirely new menu.

"We want to add tacos or Mexican-inspired dishes for a couple nights. Then, another couple nights cook up bratwursts and sausages. We don't want to be pigeon-holed in one type of cuisine," says Runion. "We'll also have a nightly badass charcuterie plate with local cheese, local salamis and other items. Beer, sausage, cheese and bread - I could live on that."

Weatherhead will ease into the nightly specials, adding shareable bar snacks such as pretzels with beer mustard, the charcuterie plate Runion has in mind, mussels with beer and candied bacon. He's also eager to cook with 7 Seas beers.

7 SEAS BREWING, food truck 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday,  the brewery 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 3006 Judson St., Gig Harbor, 253.514.8129

SEE ALSO

7 local beer secrets leaned at 7 Seas Brewing Life Jacket Session IPA rollout

Photos from the re-opening of The Valley Pub by the Tacoma Dome

November 4, 2014 at 10:29am

Eat This Now: Chipotle Mushrooms

The Matador's Chipotle Mushrooms appetizer packs heat. Photo credit: Jackie fender

I discovered some fun at The Matador while checking out Dia de los Muertos festivities around Tacoma. It only seems natural that this hip, downtown Tacoma tequila bar would host a little something for the Day of the Dead. After all, the Mexican-based holiday is meant to honor those dear to us who have passed with altars, marigolds, sugar skulls and the favorite food and drink of the deceased. The Matador had all this, lending a festive vibe to the already suave ambiance.

The celebration was also the perfect excuse to imbibe in modest amounts of tequila and munch on one of my favorite late night snacks - The Matador's the Chipotle Mushrooms ($8.95). Oh man, I drool at the thought of those cute little button mushrooms sautéed with a magnificent sauce, a delectable matrimony of white wine and a chipotle garlic butter making it rich and full of flavor with a kick of heat. Topped with cotija cheese and served sizzling in a flaming hot skillet, the dish includes toasted baguette slices perfect for soaking up the excess sauce. Though it's meant to be an appetizer - ideal for sharing - I opted for the $4 steak option and called it dinner.

Chipotle Mushrooms is not for the faint of heart, but I, for one, call it delicioso!

THE MATADOR, 11-2 a.m. daily, 721 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.7100

Filed under: Eat This Now, Holidays, Tacoma,

November 5, 2014 at 8:18am

Beer Here: 1111 Fest, Point Defiance Tap and Grill opens, Ron Pattinson, Goose Island Beer Co. ...

Point Defiance Tap and Grill opens in Ruston Thursday, Nov. 6. Photo courtesy of Facebook

You've picked up the candy wrappers off your lawn, lit a candle for your beloved deceased relatives and have your sights, and stomach, on Thanksgiving. Some people think Thanksgiving and they think Macy's Day Parade and the National Dog Show and Leon Lett. No doubt, those are important parts. But I'm always fixated on the most beautiful part of Thanksgiving, the story of the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer. There's ample time to tell that tale before Turkey Day. My palate has started to shed its hoppy skin for a winter molting. All I can think about are the rich, dark flavors of beers, and maybe a cardigan with elbow patches. Let's get to this week's South Sound beer events.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 5

Are you enjoying 1111 Fest? Don't act you don't know the Peterson Bros. 1111 joint on Hilltop Tacoma has hosted a different brewery since Saturday night. Tonight, cool cat Keith Carpenter of Mac & Jack's Brewery will chat with the beards, followed by Lagunitas Thursday, 7 Seas Brewing Friday, Elysian Saturday and others up to the big party on 11/11.

THURSDAY, NOV. 6

Look for the signs: Northwest microbrews and wines, cheese and charcuterie boards, locally-sourced grass-fed beef burgers from Heritage Meats, cheese and charcuterie boards, local farm produce from Calendula Farms and others, cheese and charcuterie boards ... Bill Bonnie is in Ruston. Bonnie, owner of Tacoma Wine Merchants and connected Enoteca Wine Bar in the Stadium District, has been searching and fighting Tacoma for years for a spot to open his Northwest centric upscale pub meets bistro concept. A former antique store next to the former blues club Coles in the town of Ruston is where he and his business partner, Donn Frostad of North Slope Construction, landed. After many months of renovation, the Point Defiance Tap and Grill will open Thursday for lunch and dinner.

Are you young? Are you professional? Yeah, apparently neither am I, but that doesn't mean I can't tell you about the Young Professionals Network Wingman Brewers Tour at 6 p.m. The YPN claim they're the next generation of community leaders valuing leadership, philanthropy, networking and fun. And you can experience all four of their values as you tour Wingman Brewers, taste a flight of seven to eight beers, at network. The cost is $17, $20 for those without a membership card. If you have a drive to succeed in business, a passion for serving the community and a love for tasty brew, this is your Thursday night.

If you're a member of Harmon Brewing's Mug Club, then you know you have been summoned for a Steep and Deep Winter Ale first tasting at 6 p.m. in the Harmon Tap Room. Bonus for members: A chance to purchase one of 180 hand-bottled Super Samurai Barley Wine, signed and numbered by Harmon head brewer Jeff Carlson.

FRIDAY, NOV. 7

Yes, yes, South Sound, our IPAs are delicious hits of orange, grapefruit, grass and pine courtesy of hops such as Cascade, Centennial and Columbus growing in our backyard. In Colorado, specifically Fort Collins, they do IPAs with Calypso and Mosaic hops, relatively new varieties first released to the public around 2011. The two hops color the beer with peaches, grapefruit, mango, lemon and blueberry. Chef Gabriel Cabrera will pair these hop flavors of New Belgium Brewing's Rampant Imperial IPA with cilantro curry chicken and Thai chili sauce, teriyaki beef and sweet soy sauce over sushi rice. So yum. Chef Gabriel has three other courses and four other New Belgium brews scheduled for a 6-9 p.m. dinner at Salty's at Redondo. Grab $68 and call 253.946.0636 right now.

SATURDAY, NOV. 8

Beer historian and beer travel writer Ron Pattinson will drop by Narrows Brewing at 3 p.m. to discuss beer history and his new book, The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews Dating from 1800 to 1965. For years, the England-born-turned-Amsterdam resident has gobbled up obscure books on beer history - including brewery logbooks - and in 2007 began sharing his findings in a conversational pub tone on his blog. Read more about Pattinson here.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12

Seriously Puyallup River Alehouse? You couldn't wait until after Black Friday to host Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co.? The brewery's infamous Bourbon County Stout will be released the day after Thanksgiving, unleashing the imperial stout with a fearsome 14 percent alcohol content, aged in used bourbon barrels from places like Iowa's Templeton Rye, and hunted for by fans on their release dates like a Beautiful Angle poster. Oh well, Goose Island will bring its other beers and schwag to the downtown Puyallup alehouse from 6-9 p.m.

November 6, 2014 at 1:59pm

Aaron's Behavior: Following Chef Aaron Grissom on Top Chef, Episode 4

A scene from "Top Chef" Episode 4 with Chef Aaron Grissom highlighted on the far right. Photos courtesy of Bravo TV/bravotv.com

Before I review last night's Top Chef, I'd like to take a moment to make a statement. I write this column not just because the Weekly Volcano pays me in premium vodka, but also because Aaron Grissom is a friend, a past co-worker at Dirty Oscar's Annex on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue and a fabulous chef whom I support. I call him an asshole and poke fun at his demeanor because of those three reasons. I rib him as I would any friend. In reality, there are some things about Aaron Grissom that Top Chef viewers may not know due to the fact that this show is so obviously edited to highlight drama and conflict.

Chef Aaron is utterly and completely passionate about food. He works hard, really hard, often 16 hours a day - only to go home for a couple of hours, nap, and come right back to work because he dreamt of a great menu idea and was dying to work it out. His heart and love for food is what drives him to be so cutting edge and self-taught in the culinary world. I could only imagine what it feels like to be so driven, work so hard, get so little sleep and then push yourself to become even better. ... You have to break every once in a while and let that passion out - sometimes by yelling at those around you.

It's a worldly fact that pretty much every chef is an asshole. Aaron Grissom is not the first, nor the only one that has ever been in the Top Chef spotlight for not getting along with his contestant counterparts.

In closing to my brief diatribe, I'd like to quote one of Aaron Grissom's closest friends, former boss and owner of Tacoma restaurant Happy Belly, Jennifer Johnson:

"Even after a 14-hour day, he made time to listen to the guys that worked for him. ... They'd tell him their family troubles, etc. He checked on sick friends, was in tune with people's moods and feelings around him and always - and I do mean always - asked how he could help, what he could do to lighten the load, help them be happy. Aaron would give up his shift meal in order to give it to a local homeless boy who would walk through the restaurant's alley on a regular basis."

So don't always believe the Top Chef television editors, TMZ or even Santa when they cast a negative glow on a television reality star. But, what you can believe is that even after this show ends, Chef Aaron Grissom is still a good guy with a kind heart, and I am still going to throw him under the bus with this column known as Aaron's Behavior. Let's drink!

Aaron's Behavior: Top Chef, Season 12, Episode 4

Grissom Gulp participants, within the 30 seconds of Top Chef, Episode Four, you should have had three drinks. Damn that Grissom and his foul mouth!

Still in the opening sequence, Chef Keriann goes into her room, upset that she misses her family. I totally get it. This is the part where I actually start to like her and think to myself how Chef Aaron's probably deserved the verbal punches that flew from Keriann's mouth. Let's just hope she keeps it shut and behaves. Weekly Volcano doesn't have enough premium vodka to pay me for writing "Keriann's Behavior".

For the quick fire challenge, the chefs asked to head over to Boston's notorious bar, Cheers, which inspired the '80s television situation comedy, Cheers. George Wendt, aka "Norm", takes his regular seat upon a corner barstool and is a guest judge next to the beautiful Padma. The chefs are asked to make their own delicious bar dish set to impress both Padma and George.

Chef Aaron makes his famous burger topped with peanut butter, mayo, bacon and a fried egg. Tacomans know this burger. They love this burger. They eat this burger. They breathe this burger.  It's bar food at its best. George and Padma agree and Aaron slides through the middle, neither on top of the winners or bottom of the losers.

Fortunately, Chef Gregory (winner of the past two elimination challenges) had some equilibrium issues and dropped the toppings to his dish, so his food was served incomplete. Chef Katsuji squeezes in for the win with a beautiful mahi-mahi ceviche accented with lime and a jalapeño-laden salsa. I want this. Now.

Teams of three must create a menu for this episode's double elimination challenge, and besides Chef Aaron's brash behavior in the kitchen, the evening runs smoothly. Aaron is teamed up with Katsuji and Gregory, and immediately Gregory labels himself something of a babysitter, seeing as how Katsuji and Aaron have a volatile history, according to television editing.

Aaron, Katsuji and Gregory are the quintessential dream team of this double elimination challenge and sail through with impeccable menu items such as seared scallops, homemade ravioli and peppercorn strip loin.  During this kitchen and serving sequence, Aaron swears only four times, gives that eat-shit grin zero times, and argues with Katsuji minimally. With that, Grissom Gulp participants, drink!

Ultimately, Aaron's team pulls out the "win" and come out of this one unscathed. Unfortunately Aaron's pal, Chef James Rigato, is sent home on charges of making a flavorless seafood salad. Chef Rebecca LaMalfa was also eliminated for making something really boring, which suits her personality because she is quite possibly one of the most forgettable contestants this season. 

SEE ALSO

Who is Chef Aaron Grissom, and what's up with the Grissom Gulp drinking game?

November 7, 2014 at 10:56am

Mac and Cheese Madness: Over the Moon Cafe

Chunks of squash dominate the mac and cheese at Over the Moon Cafe in Tacoma's Opera Alley. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Hidden in Tacoma's Opera Alley, Over the Moon Cafe fits like your favorite pair of slippers. With eclectic designs, mismatched spoons, dark woods and assorted table lamps, Over the Moon Café could be your Aunt Esmeralda's house - you know, the free spirit gypsy with books stacked on each table and a kickass wine cellar. Open for lunch and dinner, its bistro fare leans heavy on fish and beef. The roasted duck salad is a must. 

Naturally, this cozy spot serves the king of comfort dishes.

Using penne pasta, Over the Moon Cafe has concocted a sweet, tangy butternut squash "mac & cheese" ($17) that takes the dish beyond comfort food. You'll find huge chunks of butternut squash, sage, sautéed shallots folded into a gorgeous, creamy sauce that isn't slick with grease, but accented with stringy Gruyere cheese, which I clipped off my fork by wrapping the strings around the sage leaves holding court at center stage. Topped with housemade croutons and Parmesan, this dish is a task to finish due to its size and richness.

The base of penne pasta, rich cream sauce and Gruyere cheese has seen many co-stars over the years. You might remember fresh Roma tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts and sliced Portobello mushrooms last autumn. This version easily moves into my top 10 South Sound mac and cheese dishes. Bravo!

OVER THE MOON CAFÉ, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. lunch, 4:30 p.m. to close dinner, Tuesday-Saturday, 709 Court C "Opera Alley," Tacoma, 253.284.3722

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

LINK: The answer to why this mac and cheese column exists

November 10, 2014 at 7:19am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with bartender Nic Chmiel of Wingman Brewers

Nic Chmiel of Wingman Brewers knows the mechanics behind a good beer. 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 Nic Chmiel.

Server Banner Boy, Nov. 10-16, 2014

Nic Chmiel

Wingman Brewers in the Tacoma Dome District was all hustle and bustle last week with a bottling session in the back, including capping their Miss B-Haven Belgian-style Tripel. During the hubbub, the brewery left a mechanical engineer in charge. Nic Chmiel, who will soon head to Washington State University to finish his engineering degree, was pouring beers and holding court in the Wingman taproom. Chmiel grew up in BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouses, including California, Southcenter and South Hill. He's been surrounded by beers his entire service stint.

Why do you serve?

"Ha ha why not? I get to work hours that match my lifestyle. I get to meet some really cool people and just bullshit with them all night. The camaraderie between other service workers is out of this world. The pay is good enough to get me through school and pay my rent. And, at the end of it all, I get to serve people something that I am passionate about and enjoy being around for 10 hours a day. What more could you possibly ask for?"

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"See ... now this is tough. There are a lot of nameless faces at that one place I went to that one time or other that are awesome. There are some out-of-this-world servers in the South Sound - it's impossible to pin it down. I would have to answer with: ‘anyone that is seriously passionate about what they do.' It shows, and it can make or break your dining-drinking experience. Nobody wants to saddle up to a bar and the bartender clearly just does not want to be there.??"

What are you most proud to serve?

"Authentic, well-crafted Tacoma ales."

What's your current drink of choice?

"OOOOOH ... This summer I have really been turned on to sours. It's a tough thing to find, but if I can get into a bar that has a sour beer, that's my go to. If not, next step is to look for a craft porter. Cannot go wrong there. If that fails, any craft beer on draft. And, if by chance, I stumble into a place that does not have craft beer at all, then probably a whiskey sour. Ha ha or I leave. ..."

Favorite movie?

"Easy - Pulp Fiction. I am a huge Tarantino fan. I don't have a TV, but I have probably seen Django like ten times too."

What don't you serve?

"Minors and drunks. Besides that, I have probably just about seen it all."

What's on your radar at Wingman Brewers?

"Definitely our upcoming 'Denizens of the Dark' event on November 22. I love me a big, heavy beer and this event is nothing but that. Just HUGE winter beers. And a lot of them. We will also be releasing bottles of our Stratofortress and Bourbon Barrel Aged Stratofortress, and you can bet a handful of those bad boys are headed home with me."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

November 11, 2014 at 9:31am

Veterans Day discounts or free meals to servicemembers and veterans

National Parks and Army Corps of Engineer Recreation area are waiving entry fees for veterans, servicemembers and their families, Nov. 11. Many restaurants and retailers are also offering deals to vets and servicemembers. Photo credit: David Vergun

Many restaurants and retailers are offering Veterans Day discounts or free meals to servicemembers and veterans. Some offers even extend to family members.

National Parks and Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas are waiving entrance fees for veterans, servicemembers and their families Nov. 11.

Most commercial establishments require proof of military service such as a military ID card or current leave and earnings statement, a driver's license with veteran's designation, DD 214 discharge paperwork, a veteran's organization card or a photograph in uniform.

Many of the companies offering deals are franchises, and officials recommend calling ahead to verify participation of specific locations, along with dates and times of the offers.

The following list was primarily compiled by military community services staff members and does not claim to be all-inclusive:

Salty's at Redondo: The seafood restaurant in Des Moines offers a free slice of Salty's famous white chocolate mousse cake and a take home $20 gift card to those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

Harmon Tap Room: The brewery in Tacoma's Stadium District honors those who served with a 25 percent discount off their meals today, with military ID.

Duke's Chowder House: The seafood restaurant will give away its ward-winning chowder to all veterans today, which happens to be International Chowder Day.

Lunchbox Laboratory: The gourmet burger chain offers a free meal up to $15 to all veterans.

Vince's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria: The Federal Way Italian joint offers a 20 percent discount to all veterans and active-duty veterans.

BJ's Restaurant: Free lunch entree or free one-topping mini pizza at dinner is being offered.

Famous Dave's: Participating locations are offering different meal deals for current or retired military on Veterans Day.

Hooters: A free meal of 10 hot wings available to military veterans and service members all day on Veterans Day at participating Hooters restaurants. A drink purchase is required.

Krispy Kreme: A free doughnut and small coffee available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees & veterans on Nov. 11.

Red Robin: Free Red's Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries for all Red Robin guests with a military ID or proof of service. Red Robin is also partnering with Heinz for Veterans Day to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Red Robin will also donate $10,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Little Caesars Pizza: U.S. military and vets get a free order of Crazy Bread, with proof of military status/service. Call local Little Caesars to make sure they are participating in this deal.

7-Eleven: Veterans, active members of the U.S. military and their immediate families can stop by 7-Eleven on Veterans Day and get a free small Slurpee drink. Just bring proof of current or former U.S. military service to participating stores.

Applebee Restaurants: A free meal will be provided to all active or retired service members and veterans. Proof of service is required. Locations can be checked at www.applebees.com.

Bed Bath & Beyond: Service members can receive 20 percent off their entire purchase Nov 9, 10 and 11, in-store only. U.S. military ID required at time of purchase.

Big Lots: A discount of 10 percent on entire purchase is being offered to active-duty military, Guard/Reserve, veterans, retirees and their immediate family members, with a valid ID.

Cabela's: The store's standard employee discount is offered to all U.S. military veterans, active-duty military, Guard/Reserve, law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services personnel. Discounts varies from 5 percent to 20 percent, depending on the item.

Chilis: Free entree available to veterans and active- duty military from 11 a.m. -5 p.m. on Veterans Day.

Cost Plus World Market: A discount of 20 percent off entire in-store purchase available to U.S. military. ID required at time of purchase.

Denny's: Get free all-you-can-eat pancakes at participating Denny's restaurants.

Great Clips: On Nov. 11 customers who come in for service can get a free haircut card to give to their favorite veteran. Veterans can also receive a free haircut or get the free haircut card. Haircuts are redeemable until Dec. 31.

Home Depot: Offering all active-duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10-percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veteran's Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum of $200 off and is available at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations, Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center(R) locations.

JC Penny: Veterans, active-duty military and family members can receive an extra 20 percent off in stores Nov. 6-11 with coupon.

Lowe's Military Discount: Lowe's Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10-percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via Lowes.com, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards.

McCormick & Schmick's: Complimentary lunch or dinner is offered at participating restaurants to veterans. Verification of service is required (retired ID card or DD214). McCormick & Schmick's highly encourages reservations for the Veterans Appreciation Event as tables fill up quickly for this event each year.

Massage Envy: Participating locations in the Washington, D.C, Maryland, and northern Virginia region are offering a complimentary one-hour massage to active military, veterans and spouses on Nov. 11.

Menchie's Free Frozen Yogurt: On Veterans Day, veterans and active-duty personnel get a free 6 oz. frozen yogurt. Show a valid ID or be in uniform to receive.

National Parks: Fee-free days offered to all visitors at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees. And making the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors with their own special offers.

Olive Garden: Veterans and active -duty military get a free meal on Veterans Day. With proof of service, choose from a special menu with breadsticks and a choice of soup or salad.

Outback Steakhouse: As an expression of Outback Steakhouse's appreciation to s veterans and active-duty military, a free Bloomin' Onion and Coca Cola will be available to them at every Outback in the country.

Red Lobster: Free appetizer available on Veterans Day with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers.

Sizzler: Veterans and military can show proof of service to get a free 6-oz steak entree with the purchase of a second one.

Sports Authority: All Veterans and military personnel can stop at their local Sports Authority store to receive 15 percent off their entire purchase.

T.G.I. Friday's: Free Lunch offered for all U.S. military and veterans. Uniforms should be worn, if permitted by the service, or military ID (old or current) can be shown.

The Weekly Volcano contributed to this story.

November 11, 2014 at 10:55am

Eat This Now: Mountain Goat Salad

True North Coffee House in downtown Tacoma serves a Mountain Goat Salad made by Molly's Grown To Eat in Seattle. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

There's a new coffee house in downtown Tacoma that goes by the name True North Coffee House. Having opened last month off 11th Street on Broadway, the little joint offers a cozy space to sip coffee concoctions created with roasted beans from Olympia Coffee Roasting Company, plus sammies and salads from Molly's Grown To Eat - a wholesale space based in Seattle specializing in "grown to eat" fresh and organic products.

True North only thinks, and sells, Western Washington goods - even their syrups are local, save for the vanilla used in their vanilla syrup, which is from Madagascar.

My Eat This Now recommendation is True North's Mountain Goat Salad. Though all meals are prepared and packaged by Molly's, everything is über fresh and beautiful. The Mountain Goat is a savory salad featuring loads of organic quinoa and spinach topped with goat cheese crumbles, tart dried cranberries, aromatic green onion, sliced almonds with a side of super tasty mustard thyme vinaigrette. POW! It's healthy, fulfilling and tasty. A solid lunchtime option, whether eaten in or taken out.

True North's charming ambiance and intimate space invites conversation over coffee or enjoying open mic night, which occurs every Saturday afternoon.

TRUE NORTH COFFEE HOUSE, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1127 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.353.7322

November 12, 2014 at 10:41am

Beer Here: Three Magnets opens, Coast to Coast Toast, Tacoma New West CDA ...

There are people inside Three Magnets Brewing Co. in downtown Olympia! Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cold? Yes, I noticed. But that's one of the many reasons we have beer. Get to it. ...

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12

Three Magnets Brewing Co. (600 Franklin St. SE, Olympia) has opened the bar section of its giant venture. Those 21 and older may enjoy a limited food menu and, of course, beers.

New Belgium Brewing will takeover the taps at Pint & Quarts Pub (1230 College St. SE, Lacey). Tickets for tastings are a dollar each, beginning at 6 p.m.

Seriously Puyallup River Alehouse? You couldn't wait until after Black Friday to host Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co.? The brewery's infamous Bourbon County Stout will be released the day after Thanksgiving, unleashing the imperial stout with a fearsome 14 percent alcohol content, aged in used bourbon barrels from places like Iowa's Templeton Rye, and hunted for by fans on their release dates like a Beautiful Angle poster. Oh well, Goose Island will bring its other beers and schwag to the downtown Puyallup alehouse from 6-9 p.m.

THURSDAY, NOV. 13

Thursday marks the official day (and night) of the Coast to Coast Toast. Vanberg & DeWulf, who founded the Coast to Coast Toast three years ago, was the first company to specialize in importing Belgian beers to the U.S. The principals of Vanberg & DeWulf (Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield) have been tireless champions for Belgian beer and now "honorary Belgians" all from independent family run producers. 99 Bottles (35002 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way) will raise a toast and feature the Vanberg & DeWuld portfolio, from 5-7 p.m.

The focus at The Forum in Puyallup (208 S. Meridian) will be Mac & Jack's IBIS IPA and Cascadian Dark Ale, beginning at 7 p.m. Two Seahawks tickets will be up for grabs, too.

The Copper Door (12 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma) hosts Full Sail Brewing Company out of Hood River, Oregon. Expect Cascade Pilsner, Wasail, Mathias's Main Ingredient Oatmeal Stout, Session Fest and others, besides a raffle from 6-8 p.m.

The ParkWay Tavern (313 N. I St., Tacoma) welcomes 10 Barrel Brewing Company from Bend, Oregon, and their Uberliner Berliner Weissbier, Power to the People American Stout, German Sparkle Party Berliner Weissbier, Apoxalypse IPA, among others, beginning at 5 p.m.

Randall alert! Top Rung Brewing Co. (8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Lacey) will runs its Prying Irons IPA through fresh hops beginning at 4 p.m.

SATURDAY, NOV. 15

Unless you have been living in a pothole, you know the Tacoma Art Museum busts out its Haub Family Collection of Western American Art and the museum expansion Saturday. TAM is celebrating the largest gift in the museum's 79-year history with an all-day and night party plus releasing a signature Harmon Brewing Co. ale and a Heritage Distilling Co. bourbon. Harmon's Tacoma New West CDA, a unique Cascadian dark ale brewed with six different malted barleys and chocolate wheat - which means it's black like a stout and the flavor is hoppy like an IPA. Tacoma New West CDA is sold in all Harmon Brewing locations, and a special limited edition will be available in the TAM Cafe. Heritage's Tacoma New West Bourbon Whiskey is a 92-proof bourbon aged less than two years with tones of caramel and vanilla, leaving a light sweetness in the high center of the palate and a smooth lingering finish.

Does the glass matter when tasting craft beer? That's the question Morso Wine Bar (9014 Peacock Hill Ave., Gig Harbor) will answer drinking beer from Spieglau's Pilsner glass, Hefe glass, IPA glass, Tulip glass, plus a typical pint glass, from 1-3 p.m. Reserve your $49 ticket at 253.530.3463.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19

Iron Horse Brewery - the Ellensburg, Washington, brewery that loves to party - will bring a bunch of beer and schwag to The Swiss (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) from 6-9 p.m.

Puyallup River Alehouse (120 S. Meridian, Puyallup) hosts North Coast Brewing Company out of Fort Bragg, California, for a night of Blue Star Wheat Beer, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Acme California IPA and other brews, plus schwag giveaways from 6-9 p.m.

THURSDAY, NOV. 20

Over by Pacific Lutheran University, beer geek Erick Swenson will offer a German beer sampler at 208 Garfield (208 Garfield, Parkland) for $6 a person, beginning at 6 p.m. 

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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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