Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

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.

March 24, 2015 at 8:02am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Day 6 First Round games and yesterday's winners

Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe serves a mac and cheese with prosciutto, pork belly, tomato or pesto options. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

TUESDAY, MARCH 24: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

The seed was planted last April during our Tournament of Burgers Championship party at Meconi's in downtown Tacoma. After taking second place to the Westside Tavern, Maxwell's chef Hudson Slater suggested mac and cheese for the Weekly Volcano's 2015 food tournament.

The South Sound Tournament of Mac and Cheese launched Thursday with 64 mac and cheese joints battling toward the championship game April 6. Follow along with the Tournament of Mac and Cheese bracket attached (below and to the right).

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

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: C.I. Shenanigans (3017 Ruston Way, Tacoma) vs. Applebee's (10407 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW, Lakewood)

The nice thing about being a number one seed is it usually means you've got a paddy-cake game the first round. So was the case for Tacoma waterfront restaurant C.I. Shenanigans, which easily handled the 16-seeded Applebee's by securing more than 96 percent of the vote. Even better, Shenanigans survived the contest without wacky promotional schemes such as asking diners to rewrite popular songs with Applebee's menu items as the lyrics ... so bonus!

Game 2: Crown Bar (2705 Sixth Ave., Tacoma) vs. Tides Tavern (2925 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor)

Serving delicious mac and cheese to intoxicated masses on Sixth Avenue is business genius, probably why Tacoma's Crown Bar does it. However, name recognition also goes long way - and Tides Tavern has been slinging food and drinks wearing boat shoes for ages. In this contest, late night food carried the day, with the Crown Bar securing roughly 70 percent of the votes and winning easily.

Game 3: Topside Bar and Grill (215 Wilkes St., Steilacoom) vs. Engine House No. 9 (611 N. Pine St., Tacoma)

If there's a trend developing it's that Tournament of Mac and Cheese voters are wowed by unique toppings. Sure, and fancy mac and cheese can get you somewhere in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese, but it doesn't guarantee anything - and your cheese sauce foundation has to be sound before voters will get behind some of the stranger stuff. While Topside Bar and Grill gushes beautiful view and community feel, voters flocked toward the down home, Tailgate-style, Lit'l Smokies laden mac and cheese goodness of Engine House No. 9 in this contest, awarding the old firehouse roughly 83 percent of the vote.

Game 4: Paesan Kitchen and Bar (1705 Dock St., Tacoma) vs. Southbay Dickerson's BBQ (619 Legion Way NE, Olympia)

Fontina cheese is the star ingredient in Paesan Kitchen & Bar's gooey baked penne pasta, although the leeks, egg, mustard, chili flakes, grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs would tell you different, if they could. It's baked ... and so is Southbay Dickerson's BBQ after this battle. The downtown Olympia barbecue joint threw everything and the kitchen sink at Paesan, but the tiny Dock Street Tacoma's kitchen was too much for Dickerson's. With 88 percent of the votes, Paesan Kitchen and Bar advances to the Second Round and a March 29 date with Engine House No. 9.

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

C.I. Shenanigans

Crown Bar

Engine House No. 9

Paesan Kitchen and Bar

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

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

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

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

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 23, 2015 at 8:03am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: First Round action, plus yesterday's results

Engine House No. 9's Tailgate Mac And Cheese (pictured) takes on the Topside Bar & Grill in today's Tournament of Mac and Cheese action. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

MONDAY, MARCH 23: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

It's Monday, March 23, which means I tempt you with more South Sound mac and cheese battles in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese. First, a touch of mac and cheese history: Thomas Jefferson helped make macaroni and cheese popular in the United States after sampling it in Italy. He brought home a pasta maker and introduced the dish in 1802. Mac and cheese is obviously the food of presidents, for it was also Ronald Reagan's favorite. Reagan enjoyed a little dry mustard and Worcestershire in his mac and cheese.

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

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: Harmon Brewery & Eatery vs. McNamara's Pub & Eatery

Unexpectedly, this was an epic battle ... the kind of thing Tournament of Mac and Cheese "instant classics" are made of. A surprisingly low scoring affair, with much of the action on defense, the fifth seeded Harmon Brewery & Eatery and the 12th seeded McNamara's Pub & Eatery were in a dead heat - literally tied - going into the final hours of the competition. Back at Weekly Volcano World Headquarters, Tournament of Mac and Cheese officials frantically discussed what to do in the case of a tie? Overtime? Coin flip? See which establishment could deliver mac and cheese to our Lakewood office the fastest? In the end, The Harmon edged out the win, securing exactly 52.94 percent of the vote. This one will go down in the history books.

Game 2: Over The Moon Café vs. Quickie Too

Over The Moon Cafe quickly comes to the lips of many when discussing the best South Sound mac and cheese. So, perhaps it's no surprise that the romantic café tucked in Tacoma's Opera Alley frequented by lunching ladies and lovers alike did serious damage in yesterday's action, kicking Niombi and James Howell's beloved vegan restaurant to the curb while garnering 59 percent of the vote. Over The Moon Cafe moves on as a mac and cheese to reckon with in later rounds of Tournament of Mac and Cheese action.

Game 3: Westside Tavern vs. The Swiss Restaurant & Pub

Westside Tavern and The Swiss Restaurant & Pub battled back and forth all day, changing leads several times. It's our guess that Westside Tavern's Facebook push might have made the difference as the Westside Olympia joint ended up edging out The Swiss with 59 percent of the votes.

Game 4: El Gaucho vs. Panera Bread

The other close game was El Gaucho vs. Panera Bread. We dropped by both restaurants yesterday to check out the behind-the-scenes game day action. Surprisingly, the quieter one - El Gaucho -ended up winning with 55 percent of the votes. It could be that the downtown Tacoma fine-dining restaurant was pushing their Washington wines hard. Smart move. El Gaucho will meet Westside Tavern in the second Round March 28. Lives will change after this one.

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

Harmon Brewery & Eatery

Over The Moon Cafe

Westside Tavern

El Gaucho

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

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

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

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

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 22, 2015 at 7:45am

Tournament of Mac and Cheese: Yesterday's results and Day 4 battles ...

McNamara's Pub and Eatery in DuPont pits their Papa Ed's Mac and Cheese (pictured) against The Harmon's giant bowl of mac and cheese today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SUNDAY, MARCH 22: FOUR MAC AND CHEESE GAMES ON THE DOCKET >>>

Sixty-four South Sound mac and cheese joints were picked for the Tournament of Mac and Cheese, which is now four days into the competition. Brackets don refrigerators, break rooms, restaurant hallways and birdcages. Birthday parties have been moved to mac and cheese serving restaurants. Everyone is discussing pasta choices and panko. It's crazy fun.

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

Yesterday's Results

Game 1: The Forum Tacoma vs. Sparks Firehouse Deli

In a back and forth match-up pitting two fairly even matched competitors (at least in the eyes of voters, it seems), The Forum Tacoma eked out a win beating Sparks Firehouse Deli by one vote. Did The Forums' two 100-inch televisions play a part? Can't say for certain. What I do know is The Forum Tacoma moves into the Second Round.

Game 2: BITE at Hotel Murano vs. Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que

You won't hear any Southern rock at BITE inside the Hotel Murano, buy you will find a pretty freakin' delicious mac and cheese entrée, at least according to yesterday's vote. BITE grabbed a whoppin' 94 percent of the votes, and moves into the Second Round to battle The Forum Tacoma March 28.

Game 3: Marrow Kitchen + Bar vs. Great American Casino

The Great American Casino in Lakewood gambled on its card games and ample parking to carry them to victory. Are you serious? Marrow, which makes no apologies for food steeped in indulgence, delivered squiggles of meaty, housemade daily cavatellienmeshed in a Mornay sauce and served in a cast iron pot. It's elegance of the re-imagined comfort food. Marrow and its 83 percent of the votes moves into the Second Round.

Game 4: RAM Restaurant & Brewery vs. Southern Kitchen

RAM Restaurant & Brewery has fancy newsletters, delicious burgers and award-winning beer. Get out the elbow macaroni and cheese, Grandma, it's Tournament of Mac and Cheese time! Southern Kitchen has down home Southern cooking ... including delicious mac and cheese - a winning formula, at least according to yesterday's votes. The Sixth Avenue joint grabbed 84 percent of the votes, and a March 28 date with Marrow in Second Round action.

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

The Forum Tacoma

BITE

Marrow Kitchen + Bar

Southern Kitchen

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: C.I. Shenanigans (3017 Ruston Way, Tacoma) vs. Applebee's (10407 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW, Lakewood)

Game 2: Crown Bar (2705 Sixth Ave., Tacoma) vs. Tides Tavern (2925 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor)

Game 3: Topside Bar and Grill (215 Wilkes St., Steilacoom) vs. Engine House No. 9 (611 N. Pine St., Tacoma)

Game 4: Paesan Kitchen and Bar (1705 Dock St., Tacoma) vs. Southbay Dickerson's BBQ (619 Legion Way NE, Olympia)

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.

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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