Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

March 30, 2015 at 10:15am

Eat This Now: Spinach Salad

If you're in the mood for a salad, Doyle's Public House has a delicious spinach version. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Looking back on the last few weeks of Eat This Now recommendations it's pretty clear I love food like a fat kid loves cake.

Mmmmm, cake.

Though, I haven't covered any cake recently, the last few weeks included cheese dip, doughnuts and fried cheese - all delectable and all maybe on the decadent side.

With summer approaching, I got to thinking: maybe, just maybe, I should help both you and me get the whole bathing suit body ready, or something. Or at the very least not tempt you each and every week to join me in my chubby-wubby ways.

So, with that, we visit Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District and their Spinach Salad ($6.99). The salad is a pretty simple concoction with a hearty helping of spinach tossed in honey mustard dressing laying the foundation. Add to that red onions, tomatoes, large crispy bacon bits (none of that dehydrated almost bacon stuff), feta cheese, and hardboiled egg. The ingredients are über fresh and generously portioned throughout. Add chicken breast if you're looking for something with a little more oomph and that's a meal that won't kill the waistline. It's a well-executed salad in a joint that specializes in Irish cuisine, which isn't known for its light food fare, Hell, you have to chew through their beer even, so you don't have to feel like a Debbie Downer when your friends want to nosh on some "Irish Nachos" and you're thinking you should be eating something on the lighter side.

DOYLE'S PUBLIC HOUSE, 11-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 7-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 208 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7468

Filed under: Eat This Now, Health, Tacoma,

March 30, 2015 at 7:57am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Second Round ends today!

King Solomon's Reef's mac and cheese (pictured) faces off with Mac N More's version in a worthy Thurston County battle today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

MONDAY, MARCH 30: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

Now it's getting exciting. The elbows are really starting to fly, and the cheese is getting so thick you cut it with a cheese knife.

Point is: this is serious.

Today, the Weekly Volcano's Tournament of Mac and Cheese is in its 12th day, the last day of the Second Round and the competition is as hot as ever. Who will be crowned on April 6? The path to South Sound mac and cheese greatness continues.

Here's a look at today's Tournament of Mac and Cheese action and a recap of yesterday's results. Shake some Parmesan on it if you know what's good for you and get stirring.

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. (1114 Broadway, Tacoma) vs. Chambers Bay Grill (6320 Grandview Dr. W., University Place)

It's becoming a little busy around the 930-acre Chamber Creek Regional Park. Trails and dog parks are closed. The Tent City is under construction. The USGA is preparing for the U.S. Open golf championship to be held June 15-21 at Chambers Bay. Coach John Tartaglia took advantage of the Chambers Bay Grill's location, pushing his 10th seeded Steel Creek to victory with 68 percent of the votes, behind solid play from his lobster mac and cheese. Steel Creek moves into the Cheesy 16 round.

Game 2: C.I. Shenanigans (3017 Ruston Way, Tacoma) vs. Crown Bar (2705 Sixth Ave., Tacoma)

In NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament history, an eighth seed has only one once. The legendary 1985 Villanova Wildcats beat heavily-favored Georgetown as an eighth seed. But this is the Tournament of Mac and Cheese, and number eight seed Crown Bar handed number one seed C.I. Shenanigans a defeat the Tacoma waterfront restaurant will long remember. The Sixth Avenue hangout stomped on Shenanigans with 68 percent of the votes.

Game 3: Engine House No. 9 (611 N. Pine St., Tacoma) vs. Paesan Kitchen and Bar (1705 Dock St., Tacoma)

In a back and forth matchup pitting third seed Paesan Kitchen against 11th seed Engine House No. 9, Engine House No. 9 was eventually able to pull ahead of the stout Paesan Kitchen thanks to a late run - grabbing 57 percent of the votes. Paesan gambled Saturday night, closing down for a huge wedding party celebration. Did the closure affect Sunday's voting? Tournament of Mac and Cheese statisticians can't say. Apparently our stat people where all at E-9 drinking craft beer and eating mac and cheese Saturday night.

Game 4: Ricardo's Restaurant (5211 Lacey Blvd. SE, Lacey) vs. Top of Tacoma Bar and Café (3529 McKinley Ave. E., Tacoma)

Sitting in opposite counties, operating in very different styles, gritty Top of Tacoma and fancy Ricardo's battled hard yesterday. While their Facebook pages remained idle, their fans vigorously clicked computer mice. At the final buzzer, Top of Tacoma Bar and Café captured the third 68-percent-of-the-vote win of the day. Top of Tacoma moves on to the Cheesy 16.

Let's weed through the cheese. The following are advancing to the Cheesy 16:

Steel Creek American Whiskey Co.

Crown Bar

Engine House No. 9

Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe

The daily mac and cheese battles here on Served in the South Sound are sponsored by BITE Restaurant & Bar inside the Hotel Murano.

OK, let's check out today's Second Round mac and cheese battles. Vote for one mac and cheese dish per battle. Voting for today's mac and cheese battles ends at 11:45 p.m.




Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Tomorrow's Cheesy 16 Mac and Cheese Battles

Game 1: STINK Cheese & Meat (628 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. Over The Moon Café (709 Opera Alley, Tacoma)

Game 2: Bar Bistro (1718 99th St. E., Tacoma) vs. BITE at Hotel Murano (1320 Broadway, Tacoma)

Game 3: Marrow Kitchen + Bar (2717 Sixth Ave., Tacoma) vs. The Valley (1206 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma)

Game 4: Westside Tavern (1815 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia) vs. Boathouse 19 (9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma)

At 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, join us at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont for the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party - our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

March 29, 2015 at 8:29am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Sunday, Cheesy Sunday

Chambers Bay Grill's crab mac and cheese (pictured) battles Steel Creek American Whiskey Co.'s lobster mac and cheese today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SUNDAY, MARCH 29: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

Laid-back is the essence of Sunday. That means a lazy mid-afternoon mac and cheese, no work, phone off the hook, flip-flops ... you know the routine. The mere thought of lifting a finger to wash the mountain of dishes in the sink should make you shudder. Yesterday, a good chunk of the South Sound changed its Saturday routine. Voting in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese was added to the mix. Yesterday's vote total nearly doubled the previous record high for most votes in a day. Don't you people have lives?!

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: Harmon Brewery & Eatery (1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma) vs. Over The Moon Café (709 Opera Alley, Tacoma)

Sixty-five votes. That's the margin of victory Over The Moon Café had over the Harmon Brewery & Eatery. Was it Over the Moon Café owner Deanna Harris Bender's love of "elevated old school" cooking that advanced the Opera Alley restaurant into the next round? Maybe it was the funky knick-knacks in the building's bathrooms. Most likely it was the seasonal mac and cheese with penne pasta, rich cream sauce and Gruyere cheese. Whatever it was Over The Moon Café will need it March 31 when it faces neighboring STINK Cheese & Meat in the Cheesy 16 round. Families will be torn apart that day.

Game 2: The Forum Tacoma (815 Pacific Ave., Tacoma) vs. BITE at Hotel Murano (1320 Broadway, Tacoma)

BITE restaurant took a big bite out of The Forum's Tournament of Mac and Cheese dreams. The modern restaurant inside the Hotel Murano grabbed 66 percent of the vote over The Forum. Could the orecchiette pasta and truffles in BITE's mac and cheese have anything to do with the win? Or did the Murano's Bellhops whisper suggestions as they opened the front door? BITE moves into the Cheesy 16 and a March 31 date with Bar Bistro.

Game 3: Marrow Kitchen + Bar (2717 Sixth Ave., Tacoma) vs. Southern Kitchen (1716 Sixth Ave., Tacoma)

Tacoma's Sixth Avenue is a long-ass street. And it's loaded with mac and cheese dishes in this competition. Two of them - Marrow Kitchen + Bar and Southern Kitchen - faced off yesterday in a brutal battle that went down to the wire. After the cheese stopped bubbling, Marrow emerged victorious with 51.39 percent of the vote. Yup, I'm talking a two-vote difference. Marrow moves into the Cheesy 16 and a March 31 date with The Valley.

Game 4: Westside Tavern (1815 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia) vs. El Gaucho (2119 Pacific Ave., Tacoma)

Despite a late push from fancy El Gaucho, Westside Tavern and their large, devoted strongly motorcycle-riding following proved too powerful in yesterday's action, catapulting into the Cheesy 16 with 63 percent of the votes. You can't question the Westside Tavern's following, and sometimes a following is just what it takes in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese.  

Let's weed through the cheese. The following are advancing to the Cheesy 16:

Over The Moon Cafe

BITE

Marrow Kitchen + Bar

Westside Tavern

The daily mac and cheese battles here on Served in the South Sound are sponsored by BITE Restaurant & Bar inside the Hotel Murano.

OK, let's check out today's Second Round mac and cheese battles. Vote for one mac and cheese dish per battle. Voting for today's mac and cheese battles ends at 11:45 p.m.




Tomorrow's Second Round Mac and Cheese Battles

Game 1: Eleven Eleven (1111 S. 11th St., Tacoma) vs. Smoke + Cedar (2013 S. Cedar St., Tacoma)

Game 2: Metropolitan Market (2420 N. Proctor St., Tacoma) vs. Rosewood Café (3323 N. 26th St., Tacoma)

Game 3: King Solomon's Reef (212 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) vs. Mac N More (9323 Martin Way E., Lacey)

Game 4: Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge (454 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. H.G. Bistro (1618 E. Main Ave., Puyallup)

At 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, join us at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont for the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party - our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

March 28, 2015 at 7:58am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Second Round games, yesterday's results

Over The Moon Cafe's mac and cheese (pictured) takes on the Harmon's version in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SATURDAY, MARCH 28: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

Beginning March 31, we'll cut the field of 64 South Sound mac and cheese joints to the Cheesy 16. April 2, it'll drop to the Baked Eight. On April 6, we'll announce the winner of Weekly Volcano's Tournament of Mac and Cheese - picked by you, of course - at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. On that Monday, we'll cut the online voting at 5 p.m. and take the vote live at McNamara's at 6 p.m., handing out ballots while you pound beers.

That's all fine and dandy, but it's Saturday and you don't have time for idle chitchat. You need to start whittling away at our 5 Things To Do Today. OK, OK, here are yesterday's results and today's mac and cheese matchups. Thanks for voting!

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: STINK Cheese & Meat (628 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. Doyle's Public House (208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma)

In a battle of T-town institutions, not surprisingly the institution well known for its delicious mac and cheese emerged decisively victorious - with STINK Cheese & Meat cruising to victory and securing roughly 62 percent of the vote by the time things were said and done. Luckily for all of us, Doyle's Public House doesn't need the Tournament of Mac and Cheese to get by ... it's got Irish whiskey, English football, not to mention a grubbin' mac and cheese. The high-powered STINK moves on to the Cheesy 16.

Game 2: The Galley at 7 Seas Brewing (3006 Judson St., Gig Harbor) vs. Bar Bistro (1718 99th St. E., Tacoma)

The Galley is a food truck. They really haven't pushed their take-out attribute but I suspect that had to pull it out yesterday to compete with the fancy mac and cheese at Bar Bistro. At halftime, The Galley had a commanding 66 percent lead, obviously pushing the beautiful weather to the max. But, then night came, and the "Bar" in Bar Bistro hit it hard, backing its mac and cheese with craft cocktails. It proved to be a winning combination, capturing 52 percent of the votes when all said and done. Congratulations Bar Bistro. You move into the Cheesy 16.

Game 3: The Valley (1206 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma) vs. Pacific Grill (1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma)

The Valley and its super cheesy, three-cheese mac and cheese kept a steady push on Pacific Grill from the opening tip-off and all they way through The Cutwinkles final few live songs of the night. It was a bold move for Pacific Grill not to play its fine-dining hand, but instead rely on its fabulous Mexi Mac + Cheese, highlighting the smoked paprika as much as they could. With 59 percent of the votes over the popular Pacific Grill, The Valley moves into the Cheesy 16.

Game 4: The Hub (203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma) vs. Boathouse 19 (9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma)

At halftime, The Hub had a 12-point lead over Boathouse 19. A constant stream of Harmon beers were delivered to those basking in the sun on The Hub's deck. The chefs were pumping out the three-cheese béchamel and elbows. Life was good. Then, the work bell rang and folks decided not to head home, but rather point their cars toward the Narrows Passage, specifically Boathouse 19. Maybe it was the stunning view. Or, more likely, their mac and cheese with caramelized onion and huge chunks of ham served in a cast-iron pan. Whatever the reason, Boathouse 19 pushed it, and the votes turned. At the final buzzer, with a victory much more than 19 points, Boathouse 19 had 62 percent of the votes and a clear path to the Cheesy 16.

Let's weed through the cheese. The following are advancing to the Cheesy 16:

STINK Cheese & Meat

Bar Bistro

The Valley

Boathouse 19

The daily mac and cheese battles here on Served in the South Sound are sponsored by BITE Restaurant & Bar inside the Hotel Murano.

OK, let's check out today's Second Round mac and cheese battles. Vote for one mac and cheese dish per battle. Voting for today's mac and cheese battles ends at 11:45 p.m.



Tomorrow's Second Round Mac and Cheese Battles

Game 1: Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. (1114 Broadway, Tacoma) vs. Chambers Bay Grill (6320 Grandview Dr. W., University Place)

Game 2: C.I. Shenanigans (3017 Ruston Way, Tacoma) vs. Crown Bar (2705 Sixth Ave., Tacoma)

Game 3: Engine House No. 9 (611 N. Pine St., Tacoma) vs. Paesan Kitchen and Bar (1705 Dock St., Tacoma)

Game 4: Ricardo's Restaurant (5211 Lacey Blvd. SE, Lacey) vs. Top of Tacoma Bar and Café (3529 McKinley Ave. E., Tacoma)

At 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, join us at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont for the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party - our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

March 27, 2015 at 7:51am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Second Round baby!

Bar Bistro's mac and cheese (pictured) battles the mac and cheese from The Galley at 7 Seas Brewing today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

FRIDAY, MARCH 27: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

It's a simple equation: elbow macaroni plus cheese equals mac and cheese. But hidden within this simple formula is a universe of variety. Stovetop or baked? Macaroni or penne? Bacon or crab? Everyone who makes this classic American staple, from national fast-food joints to local mom and pops, has choices to make. And in those choices lie the path to greatness.

The field of 64 South Sound mac and cheese dishes has been voted down to 32 in the mother of all mac and cheese brackets. You've seen the carnage: chain restaurants fell, powerhouses butted heads and lobster mac and cheese dishes are making a run at the prize. Welcome to the Second Round. ...

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: Eleven Eleven (1111 S. 11th St., Tacoma) vs. Farrelli's Pizza (4870 Yelm Hwy., Lacey)

It's good to be bearded brothers Justin and Rob Peterson. Their co-venture Galley food truck in front of 7 Seas Brewery was victorious in the First Round. Their Valley restaurant and bar down the street from the Tacoma Dome also won. And their first venture, the Eleven Eleven, beat Farrelli's Pizza in Lacey yesterday, capturing 86 percent of the votes. It's safe to assume the beards stay, in more ways than one.

Game 2: Smoke + Cedar (2013 S. Cedar St., Tacoma) vs. Johnny's Seafood Market & Bistro (1199 Dock St., Tacoma)

In the closest battle of the day, although it wasn't that close, Smoke + Cedar grabbed 72 percent of the vote for the win. Surprisingly, Johnny's Seafood's patio on a glorious sunny day wasn't a factor. Once Smoke + Cedar's skillet full of owner Gordon Naccarato's version of the Augusta National pimento cheese recipe got hot, it was over. Smoke + Cedar moves into the Second Round and a March 30 date with Eleven Eleven.

Game 3: Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge (454 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. Homestead Restaurant & Bakery (7837 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma)

Maxwell's took second place in last year's Tournament of Burgers. Their experience came to the forefront during yesterday's game against the barn-dwelling Homestead. Ignoring the late-afternoon penalty the Homestead received for counting their chickens before they hatched, Maxwell's 81 percent of the vote victory came from the one-two punch of sharp white cheddar and crispy bacon. Maxwell's moves into the Second Round.

Game 4: Ramblin Jacks (520 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) vs. H.G. Bistro (1618 E. Main Ave., Puyallup)

Ramblin Jacks must have been rambling too much. The downtown Olympia Southern-influenced American barbecue and pizza joint was all over the place during their game with H.G. Bistro, the popular downtown Puyallup restaurant with a killer happy hour. H.G. Bistro included Facebook posts as part of their game plan, a plan that also included cooking tasty mac and cheese. H.G. Bistro grabbed 76 percent of the vote and moves into the Second Round and a March 30 date with Maxwell's.

Let's weed through the cheese. The following are advancing to the Second Round:

Elven Eleven

Smoke + Cedar

Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge

H.G. Bistro

The daily mac and cheese battles here on Served in the South Sound are sponsored by BITE Restaurant & Bar inside the Hotel Murano.

OK, let's check out today's Second Round mac and cheese battles. Vote for one mac and cheese dish per battle. Voting for today's mac and cheese battles ends at 11:45 p.m.



Tomorrow's Second Round Mac and Cheese Battles

Game 1: Harmon Brewery & Eatery (1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma) vs. Over The Moon Café (709 Opera Alley, Tacoma)

Game 2: The Forum Tacoma (815 Pacific Ave., Tacoma) vs. BITE at Hotel Murano (1320 Broadway, Tacoma)

Game 3: Marrow Kitchen + Bar (2717 Sixth Ave., Tacoma) vs. Southern Kitchen (1716 Sixth Ave., Tacoma)

Game 4: Westside Tavern (1815 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia) vs. El Gaucho (2119 Pacific Ave., Tacoma)

At 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, join us at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont for the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party - our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

March 26, 2015 at 8:02am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: First Round ends today

Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge’s “Max + Cheese” does battle today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, MARCH 26: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

Low and behold, today marks the closing of the Tournament of Mac and Cheese's First Round. After today's battles the bracket will officially be down to only 32 area mac and cheese joints, and the competitions are getting fiercer by the minute. Honestly, if it gets any more exciting we'll start to understand why Marv Albert is always yelling "Yesssss!" Plus, we'll have serious back fat.

Without wasting anyone's time with elbow macaroni related basketball innuendo, on to today's Weekly Volcano Tournament of Mac and Cheese action.Let's take a gander at yesterday's results, and then preview today's matches. ...

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: Metropolitan Market (2420 N. Proctor St., Tacoma) vs. Uncle Thurm's Finger Lickin' Ribs & Chicken (3709 S. G St., Tacoma)

Everyone loves a good comeback, and this may have been one of the better clutch performances in the (obviously short) history of the Tournament of Mac and Cheese. Down by a substantial margin by midday, Metropolitan Market was able to rally the shoppers at halftime, and by the time the final buzzer sounded the Proctor District grocery store had walked away with an impressive victory, racking up 57 percent of the vote. Metropolitan Market moves into the Second Round. ...

Game 2: Rosewood Café (3323 N. 26th St., Tacoma) vs. Serious Soul Café (35501 21st Ave. SW, Federal Way)

It would have been a serious upset of monumental proportion had the Serious Soul Cafe somehow managed to defeat the Rosewood Cafe, but - alas - it was never meant to be. The Rosewood dominated from tip-off to the final seconds yesterday, collecting votes at a more than three to one ratio and securing 85 percent of the votes. Bicyclists and mac and cheese lovers unite - the Rosewood Cafe will not be denied!

Game 3: Oakhouse Restaurant & Bar (8102 Zircon Dr. SW, Lakewood) vs. King Solomon's Reef (212 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia)

In a back and forth matchup pitting two fairly evenly matched competitors (at least in the eyes of voters, it seems), King Solomon's Reef was eventually able to pull ahead of the golf course clubhouse in the Lakewood neighborhood of Oakbrook thanks to a late run - grabby 70 percent of the votes. The loss has to be especially tough for the Oakhouse, as they entered the Tournament of Mac and Cheese with plenty of hype, mainly coming from, well, the entire city of Lakewood. That said, King Solomon's Reef thanks its lucky stars every time it makes a bank deposit for the damaged livers of Evergreen students, and it has its jam packed nighttime diner scene, so the fact it's moving on to the Second Round isn't shocking. You can't question The Reef's following, and sometimes a following is just what it takes in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese.

Game 4: Mac N More (9323 Martin Way E., Lacey) vs. Silvers Saloon (2752 Pacific Ave. SE, Olympia)

In a battle of Thurston County, Mac N More cruised to victory and securing roughly 87 percent of the vote by the time things were said and done. This one was over early, and the pummeling lasted all day. Luckily for all of us, Silvers Saloon doesn't need the Tournament of Mac and Cheese to get by ... it has an awesome saloon vibe, not to mention a grubbin' mac and cheese. The high-powered Mac N More moves on to Second Round action.

Let's weed through the cheese. The following are advancing to the Second Round:

Metropolitan Market

Rosewood Café

King Solomon's Reef

Mac N More

The daily mac and cheese battles here on Served in the South Sound are sponsored by BITE Restaurant & Bar inside the Hotel Murano.

OK, let's check out today's First Round mac and cheese battles. Vote for one mac and cheese dish per battle. Voting for today's mac and cheese battles ends at 11:45 p.m.




Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Tomorrow's Second Round Mac and Cheese Battles

Game 1: STINK Cheese & Meat (628 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. Doyle's Public House (208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma)

Game 2: The Galley at 7 Seas Brewing (3006 Judson St., Gig Harbor) vs. Bar Bistro (1718 99th St. E., Tacoma)

Game 3: The Valley (1206 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma) vs. Pacific Grill (1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma)

Game 4: The Hub (203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma) vs. Boathouse 19 (9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma)

At 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, join us at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont for the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party - our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

March 25, 2015 at 3:16pm

Parkway Tavern reveals Barley Wine Fest beers, renames the event

It's all about barleywine at the Parkway Tavern March 28. Photo courtesy of Facebook

The headline may have left you wondering: barleywine? This stuff isn't actually wine, though it is comparable in both complexity and alcohol strength - hence the name. Sometimes people call them Old Ales. Sometimes people call them burleywines, but those people are drunk on barleywine. From their darker, malty, and fruity English origins around the turn of the 20th century to the hoppy American versions of today, the ancient style of beer range from 8 percent to upward of 20 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).

Some barleywines, like Crazy Mountain Brewing's 10 percent ABV Lawyers, Guns & Money, drink not unlike double IPAs when fresh, though the aforementioned sugar and alcohol content often make them good to drink several years after they've been bottled or kegged.

There are hundreds of barleywines, probably thousands, in the world, but it seems like many are extremely limited and hard to find on a regular, year-round basis. That's one of the reason's why you can barely find an inch of space at the ParkWay Tavern's annual Barley Wine Fest, which will hit the Tacoma tavern Saturday, March 28.

Barleywines are no joke. They command your palate and demand your respect. So if you're new to these brews, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Ask for the smaller pours. You'll be able to taste more and pace yourself; these ABVs range from 10.5 to 14 percent.
  • Start with the older expressions; they tend to kick first.
  • Hydrate. Drink water between beers. This will also help cleanse your palate.
  • Eat. Keep your stamina up.

At the ParkWay's annual Barley Wine fest, 6-ounce pours are available, and despite the refreshing nature of IPAs as opposed to the gut-punch sugar-crash feeling that comes with drinking barleywine, 6 ounces can be enough of most of these.

This year's John O'Gara Barley Wine Fest tap list features 32 different barleywines - a handful have been stocked for years. YEARS I tell you! The annual event has been renamed to pay homage to former ParkWay Tavern manager John O'Gara who passed last March. O'Gara founded the event. Here is the Barley wine fest taplist:

  • 21st Amendment Lower De Boom '12, San Francisco, California, 11.5%
  • Avery Hog Heaven '12, Boulder, Colorado, 9.2%
  • Bainbridge Old Toe Jam '12, Bainbridge Island, Washington, 9.9%
  • Beer Valley Highway To Ale '13, Ontario, Oregon, 10.5%
  • Deschutes Mirror Mirror '14, Bend, Oregon, 11%
  • Dick's '12, Centralia, Washington, 10%
  • E-9 Barrel Aged Thunder Buddies, '13, Tacoma, Washington, 9.9%
  • Epic '13, Salt Lake City, Utah, 10.1%
  • Fishtale Whiskey 102, '13, Olympia, Washington, 10%
  • Full Sail Old Boardhead '08, Hood River, Oregon, 9%
  • Great Divide Old Ruffian, '10, Denver, Colorado, 10.3%
  • Hale's Rudyard's Rare, '12, Seattle, Washington, 9.2%
  • Hopworks Noggin' Floggin', '10, Portland, Oregon, 11%
  • Iron Fist Raisin' A Fist, '14, Vista, California, 11.3%
  • Lagunitas Gnarleywine, '10, Petaluma, California, 10.3%
  • Lost Coast Fogcutter, '11, Eureka, California, 9.5%
  • Mad River John Barleycorn, '13, Blue Lake, California, 9.5%
  • Ninkasi Wheat Wine, '12, Eugene, Oregon, 9%
  • No-Li Big Bang, '14, Spokane, Washington, 10.5%
  • North Coast Class Of '88, '13, Fort Bragg, California, 10%
  • Perennial Artisan Ales Vermilion, '14, St. Louis, Missouri, 10.5%
  • Redhook Treblehook, '10, Woodinville, Washington, 10.1%
  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, '11, Chico, California, 9.6%
  • Silver City Old Scrooge, '14, Silverdale, Washington, 9%
  • Snipes Mountain Rosa, '13, Sunnyside, Washington, 9.2%
  • Sound Old Scoundrel, '14, Poulsbo, Washington, 10.4%
  • Stone Old Guardian, '09, Escondido, California, 11.3%
  • Terminal Gravity, '08, Enterprise, Oregon, 13.1%
  • Uinta Anniversary, '14, Salt Lake City, Utah, 10.4%
  • Walking Man Old Stumblefoot, '12, Stevenson, Washington, 12.3%
  • Widmer Old Embalmer, '12, Portland, Oregon, 9.5%

Pours come in 6, 10 and 16 ounces, and, like I said, you probably don't need more than 6 ounces of anything if you're planning on drinking more than two or three normal beers' worth. If there's something you're dead set on trying, come early on Saturday, since when a beer gets popular with the crowd, it blows fast. Get ready, and be careful out there; this is heavy stuff.

The barleywine will continue to pour the following morning during the ParkWay's annual Barley Wine Brunch. Pair your favorite barleywine with a beer-friendly menu for $60. The event sells out every year, so. ... Appropriately more ways than one, Tacoma bluegrass stalwarts Barleywine Revue will return to the Fest for a fifth time, performing inside during Sunday's brunch.

Donations will be accepted for the Maeve O'Gara Educational Fund, John O'Gara's young daughter.

JOHN O'GARA BARLEY WINE FEST, 10 a.m. to close, Saturday, March 28, 313 N. I St., Tacoma, no cover, pours $3-$10, 253.383.8748

Filed under: New Beer Column, Tacoma,

March 25, 2015 at 11:44am

Eat This Now: Spicy Meatballs and Fried Cheese

Taste fried Mahon cheese at the new El Tufo in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Stink Tank, the wine bar attached to STINK Cheese & Meat in Tacoma's Triangle District, has changed its moniker ... well sort of. The space is now called El Tufo, which means "stink" in Spanish. Though the establishment has already gained a reputation for its fabulous wines paired with exquisite eats, the menu will now focus on Spanish wines and domestic varietals paired with a diverse menu of tapas, aka small plates.

After tasting the Tufo treats, I can attest to the small plates big flavor. Among their list of eats you'll discover a Spanish tortilla, seasonal flatbread, mushroom empanada and chorizo stuffed calamari - all priced practically and perfectly sized for couples (or more) to share. My Eat This Now recommendation is the Spicy Meatballs ($5) AND the Fried Cheese ($5). Let's face it, I'm a fat kid at heart and a one two punch of meat and cheese is perfection in my book.

The meatballs are a beef and pork combo served with a generous amount of spicy tomato sauce - piping hot and juicy while the sauce lent the perfect warmth, heat wise, to each bite. It's the type of heat that's not hot for the sake of being hot but builds as you nibble.

The fried cheese was just plain pure decadence. Mahon cheese that is breaded and fried in Spanish oil then served on a bed of tomato sauce featured the perfect light crispy exterior to the gooey, cheese while the tomato sauce is superb. Crushed tomatoes, seasoned just right and far better than any marinara you get with other fried cheese options in town.

Benjamin Franklin said, "Wine is constant proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Whatever your religious background this is something I can get behind. Go forth and be happy.

EL TUFO, 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 630 Saint Helens Avenue, Tacoma, 253.426.1347

March 25, 2015 at 7:50am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Yesterday's winners and Day 7 First Round battles

Rosewood Cafe mac and cheese: bicyclists approved / photo credit: Pappi Swarner

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

Macaroni and cheese may not be duck à l'orange, but it transcends so-called gastronomy by inspiring devotion and embodying sustenance. Adults fight over whose mother's recipe wins out. Friends have mac and cheese cook-offs. Even fancy restaurants try to capitalize on such greatness by adding things such as chorizo, cotija and aged English cheddar. Hmmm, that actually sounds delicious.

Welcome to Day 7 of our Tournament of Mac and Cheese, where 64 South Sound restaurants pit their mac and cheese dishes against each other with the hopes of being crowned the champion at our championship party at McNamara's Pub & Eatery April 6.

Without further ado, let's take a gander at yesterday's results, and then preview today's matches. ...

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: Masa (2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma) vs. Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. (1114 Broadway, Tacoma)

Steel Creek American Whiskey Co., formerly the Varsity Grill, is a cowboy joint, at least in terms of its décor. Everything it does, it does big: big dance floor, big whiskey selection, big hairdos and big bowls of creamy mac and cheese that arrive tasty and full of lobster flavor. The other big thing Steel Creek does is win big. Yesterday the downtown Tacoma joint grabbed 87 percent of the votes over Masa, and secured a spot in the Sound Round of the Tournament of Mac and Cheese.

Game 2: Chambers Bay Grill (6320 Grandview Dr. W., University Place) vs. Lunchbox Laboratory (4901 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor)

Chambers Bay Grill opens its first food tournament with a big win against Gig Harbor burger joint Lunchbox Laboratory in Tuesday's First Round action. Grabbing 73 percent of the votes, the University Place golf course clubhouse dominated the stovetop for much of the game, only letting up a little to take in its own view of the Puget Sound passage ways. Chambers Bay Grill moves into the Second Round and a March 29 date with Steel Creek.

Game 3: Ricardo's Restaurant (5211 Lacey Blvd. SE, Lacey) vs. Oly Rockfish Grill (700 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia)

In yesterday's closest battle, Ricardo's edged out Oly Rockfish Grill with 54 percent of the votes. Maybe the screams of "Dungeness And You're Done!" from Ricardo's kitchen might have something to do with the victory. Stranger things have happened in Weekly Volcano food tournaments.

Game 4: Top of Tacoma Bar and Café (3529 McKinley Ave. E., Tacoma) vs. South Bay Pub & Eatery (3323 S. Bay Road NE, Olympia)

The Tournament of Mac and Cheese can be brutish and short. One cold stovetop day can destroy title dreams of even the best elbow macaroni makers. Sometimes experience can be a deciding factor. Those who have made it far in food tournaments are more consistent and less prone to scorch panko or forget cream. Top of Tacoma Bar and Café is a veteran of food tournaments and knows how to garner votes, as demonstrated yesterday with 89 percent of the votes over South Bay Pub & Eatery.

Let's weed through the cheese. The following are advancing to the Second Round:

Steel Creek American Whiskey Co.

Chambers Bay Grill

Ricardo's Restaurant

Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe

The daily mac and cheese battles here on Served in the South Sound are sponsored by BITE Restaurant & Bar inside the Hotel Murano.

OK, let's check out today's First Round mac and cheese battles. Vote for one mac and cheese dish per battle. Voting for today's mac and cheese battles ends at 11:45 p.m.



Tomorrow's First Round Mac and Cheese Battles

Game 1: Eleven Eleven (1111 S. 11th St., Tacoma) vs. Farrelli's Pizza (4870 Yelm Hwy., Lacey)

Game 2: Smoke + Cedar (2013 S. Cedar St., Tacoma) vs. Johnny's Seafood Market & Bistro (1199 Dock St., Tacoma)

Game 3: Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge (454 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) vs. Homestead Restaurant & Bakery (7837 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma)

Game 4: Ramblin Jacks (520 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) vs. H.G. Bistro (1618 E. Main Ave., Puyallup)

At 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, join us at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont for the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party - our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

March 24, 2015 at 10:10am

Why Adam? Why Odd Otter beer? Here's why: rally behind Team Knowing Stuff

Drink Odd Otter beer so Adam C. Boyd can ask why. Photo courtesy of Facebook

The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor in New Jersey once reached a temperature of 920 million degrees Fahrenheit. Hawaii gets four inches closer to Japan every year. Ants never sleep, and a decapitated cockroach can live for weeks. The cracks in breaking glass spread at up to 3,000 miles an hour. A shrimp's head contains its heart. At freeway speeds, a drive to the sun would take about 175 years. It would also end badly for the car. How do we know these things? Science. So why didn't you know these things? You attended an American public school.

We live in a time of widespread scientific illiteracy, even as our pockets, homes and automobiles are crammed with technology that'd make Isaac Newton's cranium explode with delight. Studies have shown that almost half of all Americans have no idea how long it takes the earth to go around the sun, nor do over two out of five know humans and dinosaurs were never alive at the same time. In 1987, a documentarian found that many Harvard professors had no idea why seasons occur. It's difficult to have a rational conversation about DNA evidence, evolution, global warming or vaccines with people who know nothing about them. Lamar Smith, currently the chairman of the Congressional Science Committee, is a Christian Scientist, meaning he believes physical illness is a state of mind. Take that, germ theory of disease!

What can be done to stem this depressing and dangerous tide of irrationality? If only there were someone in this area willing, nay, demanding to stand in its way and shout proudly, "NO MORE!" But wait! What's this? From out of the west he comes: Washingtonian filmmaker Adam C. Boyd is working on a TV show to pursue that very goal. The Why Adam? Show aims to address the science behind everyday life. Why does food go bad? How does power reach your house from Alder Dam? What makes beer so delicious? Where do babies come from? Why does asparagus - well, maybe not all of those. The point is Adam Boyd needs your help. You, too, can be part of Team Knowing Stuff. Starting Saturday, April 4 and extending for a week, the so-called Why Adam? Show Science Summit will gather funds for and increase knowledge of the upcoming show. Odd Otter Brewing Company, for example, created a new batch called Why Adam? Belgian Dark. By simply buying and enjoying a bottle at Tacoma hangouts such as Meconi's Pub & Eatery, The Mix, The Office Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue or Stonegate Pizza, you strike a powerful blow for non-stupidity. And how often can one say that about drinking a beer?

If you'd like to learn more or make a donation, visit WhyAdamShow.com. And if you'd like to use the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor as a Jacuzzi or drive to the sun, don't. Holy cats, man, you need Adam Boyd's show more than any of us.

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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