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Posts made in: 'Eat This Now' (52) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 52

May 2, 2015 at 6:18am

Got your goat?

Since the dawn of Christianity, goats — those cute, prancing Capra aegagrus hircu we love to pet at the Puyallup Fair — have walked this earth as known associates of the Devil. In the Middle Ages, goats whispered lewd innuendos into the ears of innocent Saints. Thor stabled them to drive his Chariots. Fauns and Satyrs commandeered their bodies. And Satan stole their looks for his own illustrating their horns and beards in everything from the Black Mass to the pentagram.

Goats continued into modern times to show up despairingly in our lingo and idioms. If you allow people to walk over you, you’re a goat. Be silly — you’re acting the goat. Reside in Scotland and herd goats — well, where do you think the term “horny” comes from, huh?

Then something changed. In recent years, goat’s gained back, or maybe for the first time, received some respect. Although enjoyed for centuries in other places, diners in the United States enthusiastically embraced goat cheese. Sprinkled over arugula, baked in a tomato, mashed in potatoes — white, creamy goat cheese exploded on the restaurant scene, challenging all of us to maybe give the lowly goat its due. And now, are local diners ready to take the next step and separate the sheep from the goats? Or, in other words, eat the goats?

Might I suggest an easy dip into the genre?  The Green Coconut in Lakewood offers a goat curry that is both mild on the goat but flavorful in the sauce.  This Jamaican/Asian locale serves aromatic delicacies with an extensive Caribbean menu and some of the best beans and rice in the region.

The curried goat is drenched in a yellow curry with green onions and spices - moist and rich, just watch out for the tiny goat bones littered throughout.

So South Sound, embrace the goat.  Or in other words, it's time you got your own goat.

The Green Coconut is at 8813 Edgewater Dr. SW #102, Lakewood, WA 98499. 253-473-4444.  Click here.

Filed under: Eat This Now,

April 20, 2015 at 10:14am

Eat This Now: The Hoffa

Find The Hoffa at The Valley down the street from the Tacoma Dome. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

It's not often I get out of the house from some grown up shenanigans but after their domination of the Slider Cook-Off at the Museum of Glass, I finally HAD to check out The Valley. Naturally I was not disappointed. I'm a huge fan of Valley co-owners Rob and Justin Peterson's sister restaurant, Eleven Eleven on Hilltop Tacoma. Also, X Group partnered with the Petersons on The Valley, and I find the X-Group's friendly takeover of the Tacoma dining scene refreshing because each concept is unique from the next so a partnership between the two is culinary rock stardom and you can consider me a groupie.

On my visit we tried a few items with my favorite being The Hoffa ($9.49). This sandwich is a matrimony made in heaven with marinara, spicy Italian link sausage, mozzarella cheese, onions, peppers and pesto all served up hot on a French roll. All of the components are perfection making this sandwich a spicy, meaty, cheesy success. Served with a side salad or Tim's Cascade Chips the sandwich is quite filling and fun because this ain't yo mama's meatball sub.

I suspect all of their sandwiches to deliver the goods and highly suggest the Bacon Gorgonzola dip to start.

Pair it all with a cold brew or cocktail and the kitschy laid back ambiance and you have yourself a Tacoma gem that's located on the path a little less traveled. 

THE VALLEY, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, 1206 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, 253.428.4265.

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

April 13, 2015 at 11:18am

Eat This Now: Carbonara

A Carbonara with housemade vermicelli now graces the menu at Maxwell's Restaurant and Lounge in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

While innovation is often times key to culinary brilliance, sometimes one just needs to go back to the basics to concoct a truly divine dining experience. My Eat This Now recommendation this week is one such dish that can be found at Maxwell's Restaurant and Lounge as of Thursday, one of many new items to be included on their seasonal menu transition, the Carbonara.

Chef Slater keeps things nice and traditional with housemade vermicelli pasta tossed with bacon, English peas, Adam's shitake mushrooms, fresh arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, then topped with a perfectly poached egg. The peas and peppery arugula add pops of green that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also delicious - while the bacon lends a nice smokiness that compliments the cheese. I think anyone's Nona would agree that this is a carbonara well executed.

Aside from the spring flavors being added to the menu, Maxwell's is also anticipating other big changes on the horizon, such as new ownership. Beti Tarantino has applied for permits for the establishment. Local folks may remember the name Tarantino from her previous culinary ventures as owner/operator of Puyallup dining destinations BAR Steaks and Spirits and Comfort Food Café.

Will the new ownership equate to a revamp to Maxwell's ambiance and menu? Only time will tell, but I for one hope Chef Slater still has the opportunity to continue highlighting his culinary prowess with dishes like this week's feature.

MAXWELL'S RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE, 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday, 454 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.683.4115

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

April 8, 2015 at 11:55am

Eat This Now: Totchos

Smoke + Cedar's Totchos are crazy delicious. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Did you know top dog on the list of most consumed vegetables in the United States is the potato? Really, it's no wonder. Its far less versatile and less tasty companion, iceberg lettuce, follows it. Anyhow, the potato is a clear winner because it comes in so many different forms: fry, jojo (the seasoned chunky fry cousin), scalloped, browned hash, diced and peppered, mashed and whipped and my personal favorite, the tot. Golden brown on the outside and tender bitty tater bits on the inside formed in a funky silhouette, the tater tot can itself be presented on many different and delicious platforms, such as tater tot nachos.

Smoke + Cedar's Totchos ($7/$10) are tops. Boy howdy, they know how to do things right at that joint. Smoke + Cedar presents the tot-nachos with golden brown tots covered with evenly distributed pepper jack cheese and sour cream, little black beans peeking through ooey gooey cheese windows throughout all topped off with a chunky spicy salsa and jalapeno.

I recommend diving into the Totchos with a fork for cheese twirling; otherwise you're sitting rail side with telling ribbons of cheesy goodness leading from the skillet to your mouth. And while tasty, that's not a good look for anyone.

Go forth, Eat This Now, because Tots + Nachos = a happy belly.

SMOKE + CEDAR, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2013 S. Cedar, Tacoma, 253.343.6090

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

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 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 18, 2015 at 7:13am

Eat This Now: Legendary Doughnuts

The Oprah is front and center, of course, at Legendary Doughnuts in Tacoma.

There are many reasons I will never be a fit person. It could have just about everything to do with my aversion to the gym. Aside from not particularly loving the whole sweaty hot mess thing, it often smells like the bog of eternal stench AND I have never really gotten the, "you feel so much better when you're done!" Uh, no, I can't say that I do.

Aside from the whole gym business I can list off a few others that I consider my kryptonite, in no particular order: burgers, whiskey and doughnuts. My Eat This Now recommendation today: anything from Legendary Doughnuts. I say anything, because you can't go wrong; just pick your poison. These donuts are so delectable it's almost perverse and requires a rating like you're going to the movies:

(L) = Legendary: our signature with fancy toppings and fillings;

(F) = Famous: simpler toppings;

(A) = Amateur: plain with glaze or frosting;

(D) = Doughsant: doughnut croissant - filled, topped or plain.

My son goes right for the Oprah, a simple enough concoction resembling a maple bar topped with bacon crumbles. A ginormous maple bar topped with bacon. My daughter digs the fruity flavors and digs the Blueberry Cheescake with blueberry filling and cream cheese topping. I admire the Bill Cosby. Though personally he is experiencing some tribulations, the doughnut that bears his moniker only has to worry about being devoured as it is filled with chocolate crème pudding.

Other fun flavors include the Elvis (peanut butter and banana chips), Captain Jack Sparrow (rum frosting and chocolate drizzle) and Bill Gates - which is RICH.

What you can't see is me typing this, slack jawed and salivating a'la Homer Simpson. 

LEGENDARY DOUGHNUTS, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2602 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.327.1327

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma, Sweets,

March 11, 2015 at 9:38am

Eat This Now: Warm Goat Cheese Dip

Creamy, warm, cheesy goodness awaits at Art House Cafe in Tacoma's Stadium District. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Things need not always be complicated to be decadent and delicious - often quite the contrary. Stadium District's Art House Café's Warm Goat Cheese Dip ($13) is a remarkable example. This appetizer is very simple and exquisitely executed with tart, creamy goat cheese delivered lightly browned and sizzling, then topped with a tomato, chive and caper salad and freshly sliced baguette.

That's it, and it's exactly right. The creamy, warm, cheesy goodness spreads with ease onto the untoasted baguette slices while the chopped tomatoes, chives and capers add pops of flavor and color simultaneously.

Under twinkling lights along the ethereal blue booths, maybe perfectly lit through the many street side windows that open to the patio this is the perfect starter to your Art House Café dining experience.

ART HOUSE CAFÉ, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 111 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2011

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

March 2, 2015 at 10:26am

Eat This Now: Special Vietnamese Curry with Sweet Potato

Eat the Special Vietnamese Curry with Sweet Potato at the Long Beach Café in Lakewood now.

I admittedly don't dine in Lakewood nearly enough. It's not an area I'm opposed to visiting but I find myself always in a rush when in that city. My hairdresser happens to be in Lakewood, but those rare times I whisk myself away for some primping and pampering, the primping is the only time I'm able to sneak away from my domestic duties. Lunch is never on the agenda.

Last week was an exception. I found myself beautified and ready for some dinner but was at a loss for what I was really hankering for. My lovely hairdresser recommended Long Beach Café for Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. Jackie's Words Of Advice: one, always listen to your hairdresser; two, eat the Special Vietnamese Curry with Sweet Potato ($10.25-$11.25) at the Long Beach Café.

Aromatic ingredients including lemongrass, onion, cilantro and garlic are all sautéed and swimming in a savory coconut milk yellow curry sauce. Add generous portions of tender chunks of sweet potato and your choice of marinated chicken, beef, pork, tofu or prawns, specify your preferred spice level, top that all with roasted peanuts and you're in heaven.

The matrimony of flavors is divine and if you're anything like me eating the entire dish regardless of how full you've already become halfway through will be the best course of action.

LONG BEACH CAFÉ, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 10114 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood, 253.565.3269

Filed under: Eat This Now, Lakewood,

February 23, 2015 at 4:33pm

Eat This Now (Weekend): Bertha's Big ol' Biscuits

Bertha's Big ol' Biscuits features two biscuits, housemade sausage gravy and hash browns. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

When you walk through the doors of Stadium District's Shake Shake Shake it's like walking through a time warp portal delivering you smack dab into a rad, vintage burger joint: think soda machine, clean cut, bee bopping bunny hoppin', McFly fun with creamy delectable shakes and damn tasty burgers. The vibe is rad and the grub is good.

Just when I thought it couldn't get much better Shake Shake Shake rolls out of bed earlier with breakfast on the weekends. Oh yes, and it has just gotten better.

Large perfectly prepared waffles with golden brown edges and fluffy interiors are adorned with strawberries, caramel, whipped topping and even Nutella. Le sigh. Also on the morning menu are Pig-sicles, Scramble Scramble Scramble, Stadium Bowl Breakfast, Shakin' Egg Sandwich and several dishes paired with Bloody Marys or Mimosas.

There was one Shake Shake Shake breakfast dish that stood out: Bertha's Big ol' Biscuits ($5.99/$7.99). The biscuits are the proper fluffy consistency - not too dense - while the housemade sausage gravy highlights loads of tasty meaty bites and a nice creamy pepperiness you expect from your breakfast gravy.

I'm fairly certain the "hash browns" are really tater tot crumbles. I'm not complaining; I believe tots are the best manifestation of the potato.

Bottom line, check out Shake Shake Shake for breakfast before the masses catch on and the wait times are as severe as the rest in town. This menu is the bee's knees and will have you saying, "yum yum yum."

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE, 8-11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 124 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.507.4060

>>> This is one spicy Bloody Mary!

Filed under: Breakfast, Eat This Now, Tacoma,

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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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