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Posts made in: 'Eat This Now' (52) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 52

December 2, 2014 at 12:24pm

Visit This Now: Point Defiance Tap and Grill

Point Defiance Tap and Grill serves a Short Rib Grilled Cheese with the house-baked bread, gooey Golden Glen Gouda and tender slow cooked Jerry Foster Ranch beef short ribs. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

The nature of a trend is the ebb and flow of its popularity of occurrence. This happens in many realms of one's lifestyle and the culinary culture is no exception. Some habits are all the rage, nitpicky and annoying proclamations of preference (don't even get me started on my gluten intolerance soap box) while others are positive shifts in societal perspective and hopefully here to stay, like say restaurants focusing more and more on locally-sourced ingredients and compelling "gastropub" styled preparation. This is a trend whose bandwagon I can hop right on!

Recently opened Point Defiance Tap and Grill is a gastropub/bistro styled joint with a Tacoma address, but can be considered the town of Ruston's new treasure at the corner of North 51st and Pearl. Co-owner Bill Bonnie, he of Stadium Wine Merchants and Enoteca Wine Bar in Tacoma's Stadium District, has created Northwest-focused cool with minimalist ambiance with a touch of color thanks to hanging art, exposed brick peeking out here and there and a family-friendly open dining area. In the back of the house, with a separate entry, sits an intimate lounge highlighting Pacific Northwest craft brews and wine. Point Defiance T&G is lovely matrimony for the demographic, great for a quick brew before hitting Point Defiance Park's 5 Mile Drive or a sit-down meal with the family post zoo.

>>> Point Defiance Tap and Grill's Albacore Tuna Melt / photo credit: Jackie Fender

To pair with the PNW libation features, Point Defiance T&G's menu boasts ingredients that are primarily locally sourced INCLUDING house baked bread setting the foundation for their sandwiches and housemade sauces, right down to the ketchup. The Albacore Tuna Melt ($11) came highly recommended by both servers working the evening of our visit and was tasty and fresh featuring local albacore tuna grilled with tomato, Tillamook Cheddar and house aioli. I was hooked on the Short Rib Grilled Cheese ($12) made with the house-baked bread, gooey Golden Glen Gouda and gratuitous amounts of tender slow cooked Jerry Foster ranch beef short ribs. Both come paired with either mixed greens with tomato and feta cheese or fries. While the salad was über fresh and perfectly simple but flavorful, the fries came with the housemade ketchup and a side of their spicy aioli, which I will slather onto ever bite of everything from this day forth.

Both dishes were lovely; my only qualm being the crust of the bread proved to be a bit rough around the edges and hard to chomp through, which is saying a lot for an establishment only three weeks in.

Go forth, sample their menu, devour über fresh nibbles and pair those with PNW libations. Jump on this wagon with me. It's a delectable ride.

POINT DEFIANCE TAP AND GRILL, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5101 Pearl St., Tacoma, 253.426.1593

November 25, 2014 at 11:11am

Eat These Now: Dragon Roll and Volcano Roll

The Dragon Roll and Volcano Roll at Trapper's Sushi travels well. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

I'm going to be frank here, not Frank a dude, but to the point when I say I approach chain restaurants with some hesitation - specifically chain sushi restaurants. This, of course, does not mean I'm not pleasantly surprised on occasion, which was the case after every meal at Trapper's Sushi in Tacoma's Sixth Avenue neighborhood.

Trapper's is approachable sushi for the masses with fun monikers for locals such as the Puyallup Roll, Mt. Rainier or Bonney Lake. Trapper's excels at texture, especially in their sushi rolls. Crisp tempura crumbs accompany many of the more adventurous rolls as well as cream cheese, which is to say they are tasty - let's face it, deep fried crunchies and cheesiness is just so dang delicious.

On my most recent Trapper's visit I had both the Dragon Roll ($10) and Volcano Roll ($10.50). The Dragon - a solid decision at most sushi spots - features shrimp and cucumber topped with eel and avocado. It's one of the least "fishy" of options and has a texture that won't scare off sushi newbies. The Volcano Roll is delivered with spicy tuna, cream cheese, jalapeno and cucumber, fried in tempura, covered in avocado, then topped with a sweet chili sauce, warrior sauce and green onions. The name Volcano eludes to spiciness with sweet chili sauce and warrior sauce (spicy mayo), but it's doesn't bring a lot of warmth. The roll does have loads of texture and is a flavorful and fun combo.

Trapper's prices are fair; the quality of the product is spot on.

The intimate dining area does not lend itself well to conversation on a busy night. The tiny space leaves little room to buffer conversation.

Surprisingly (yes, Trappers is full of pleasant surprises), the rolls travel well to my humble abode.

TRAPPER'S SUSHI, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, 3118 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.891.2046

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

November 19, 2014 at 10:25am

Eat This Now: The Ensemble

B Sharp Coffee House in downtown Tacoma serves a grown-up toasted cheese sandwich. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

I am a mother of four - four monstrous little beasts who treat the home like it's a bounce house redesigning my living room to look like Dorothy's house - Land of Oz version. This, needless to say, affects my eating habits. More often than not, I'm forced to eat like a 5-year-old, or a teenager, though the two are nearly identical in habit. You'd think upon the rare occasion I sneak out of my residence from the strong grasps of those sweet little snot nosed animals I would eat deconstructed reconstructed grown-up food. Enter winter's chill. During these chilly, crisp days comfort food is my go to - sometimes this means eating similarly to that I do at my Dorothy house. Read: The Ensemble.

B Sharp Coffee House serves The Ensemble ($8) - essentially a grown-up grilled cheese with provolone, pepper jack and cheddar cheeses embellished with just a touch of pesto sandwiched and toasted between two slices of Macrina Bakery Bread (always a favorite of mine). It's cheesy, ooey-gooey and makes for a happy belly. It's a satisfying meal perfect to nosh upon while typing away on the laptop ... right ... this ... moment. Great. My laptop keys are already greasy from those little Munchkins I call my offspring.

B SHARP COFFEE HOUSE, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, 706 Court C, Tacoma, 253.292.9969

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

November 11, 2014 at 10:55am

Eat This Now: Mountain Goat Salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 4, 2014 at 10:29am

Eat This Now: Chipotle Mushrooms

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

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

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

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

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

Filed under: Eat This Now, Holidays, Tacoma,

October 28, 2014 at 3:38pm

Eat This Now: Parm Tots

Parm Tots: Dirt Oscar's tested, Guy Fieri approved. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Yes, ANOTHER vegetarian Eat This Now recommendation. Well, uh, sort of. I have two words for you: Parm Tots. Well, technically that's two abbreviated words but you catch my drift.

Full disclosure: I worked at Dirty Oscar's Annex two years ago. This was before Chef Aaron Grissom was tearing apart the competition on Top Chef, and during the same time TV personality/Chef Guy Fieri had his red Camaro delivered to DOA for an episode filming of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Among the DOA dishes Fieri featured were the Parm Tots, which further reinforces the fact that these are so damned good. I mean, c'mon, they are Food Network famous!

Larger than your average tater tot, the Parm Tots are handformed from real taters. The name says it all, but know they are crisp, cheesy, deep fried deliciousness. There's not much to dislike, plus they are served with a delectable sun dried tomato aioli for dipping. You can opt to start your dining journey with these bad boys or sub your side of fries with any of the burger/sandwich entrees for a couple bucks more.

Naturally this veggie-based feature is not so good for the waist line but that's how these things sometimes go. Trust me, Parm Tots are worth some extra minutes on the elliptical.

DIRTY OSCAR'S ANNEX, noon to 2 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 8-2 a.m. Friday-Sunday, 2309 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.0588

Filed under: Eat This Now, Media, Tacoma,

October 20, 2014 at 10:55am

Eat This Now: Happy Belly's Tapen-Izza

Happy Belly in downtown Tacoma served a vegetarian pizza paired with an amazing house soup. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Last week, I was professing my habitual devouring of the animal species. This week, I'm doing a 180.

I've been following Happy Belly on Facebook, admiring the beautifully hued fresh juices and delectable looking sandwiches since it opened early October next to the downtown Tacoma YMCA. I finally had the opportunity to visit last week.

Though its menu has a vegetarian focus, with smoothies and juices, the restaurant offers plenty of sammies and wraps - as well as soups and salads - so full on flavor that carnivores won't even miss the meat. Though if you MUST, there are menu items with meaty goodness inside.

This week's Eat This recommendation is Happy Belly's Tapen-Izza ($9). Owner Jennifer Johnson suggested this dish as I stared at the menu options unable to decide. Something so simple (and meat free) should not be so damn delectable, but it was. The Tapen-Izza features a lightly toasted French roll topped with sun dried tomato, olive tapenade and shaved Parmesan. It's like pizza but virtually guilt free and definitely grease free.

Equally delicious was the Red Pepper Kale house soup. Filling and flavorful with gratuitous amounts of veggies such as kale, broccoli, red pepper, zucchini and ginger, this steamy cup of comfort and deliciousness will not disappoint if you sway from the soup du jour. The hearty house soup was so staggeringly good, several of my friends grabbed cups to go after dipping a spoon into my bowl.

I don't think I'll be making the switch from carnivore to herbivore anytime soon but Happy Belly is a delightful change of pace and a must visit for those looking to dine on fresh, in season produce crafted together with thoughtfulness and a clear admiration of food. Additional entrée items will be added in early November. 

HAPPY BELLY, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 1122 Market St., Tacoma, 253.365.6706, facebook/happybellytacoma

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

October 14, 2014 at 11:11am

Eat This Now: Doyle's Jerk Chicken Wings

Doyle's Jerk Chicken Wings are served with carrots and a bleu cheese dipping sauce.

I am a carnivorous beast. The faint of heart should turn away!

If there's an opportunity to gnaw tender morsels of meat straight off the bone, you'll find me holding the bone. Hot wings are my favorite meal starter.

Doyle's Public House does them my way. Doyle's Jerk Chicken Wings ($8.99) are not your traditional sort of hot wings. Rather than the usual vinegar based buffalo sauce, Doyle's "jerk" style is packed full of compelling flavor and a delightful heat. Jerk spice is said to originate from Jamaica and highlight a dry rub style seasoning or wet marinade that includes loads of spices such as nutmeg, garlic, cloves, scallions and thyme. Doyle's version is a hot party in my mouth.

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Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

October 7, 2014 at 11:33am

Eat This Now: Southwest Chipotle Chicken Pizza

Cross your fingers that Southwest Chipotle Chicken pizza can be delivered to your home. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

You'll notice a theme in my dining lately - take-out. I know, I know, there is good reason. I am a mother of four - two of which are 1 and 5 years of age, which equates to eating out becoming likened to wrangling a tornado of energy. Food peppers the tables and floor. Toddler sing-song wails shout out for more food or just out of sheer boredom. It is madness. So, besides the rare opportunity I get to slink away to dine in peace solo, take-out it is.

This week's Eat This Now recommendation is Sammy's Pizza, specifically the Southwest Chipotle Chicken. This pizza pie is described as a "fiesta in your mouth," with chipotle sauce laying down the foundations for loads of fun ingredients such as grilled chicken, red onion, roasted corn, black beans, fresh Roma tomatoes and cheddar cheese.

Bang! Pow!

It packs a lot of flavor, just a touch of spice and a bunch of yum.

If chipotle isn't your thing Sammy's Pizza has loads of traditional and gourmet toppings such as roasted garlic, coconut, cashews and basil. Plus you can easily be adventurous with their sauce options including a creamy garlic basil and smoky barbecue.

The good news for those who live in North Tacoma: Sammy's delivers! Check out sammyspizzatacoma.com to see if you're one of the lucky ones.

So while food still peppers the floor underfoot while the children holler and squeal in the background, at least my dogs are here to play maid a bit rather than some poor unsuspecting server who would prefer me to keep my gratuity and just stay home.

SAMMY'S PIZZA, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1308 N. I St., Tacoma, 253.627.4300

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

September 30, 2014 at 2:26pm

Eat This Now: Tom's Famous Drumsticks

Tom's Famous Drumsticks at Pacific Grill / photo credit: Jackie Fender

I don't know who Tom is, but I can tell you why his drumsticks are "famous."

I discovered Tom's famous doing during Pacific Grill's ninth anniversary celebration Sept. 22. It happen to be happy hour, too.

The downtown Tacoma fine-dining restaurant always has flawless service, well educated on the menu selections and attentive. Our bartender recommended Tom's Famous Drumsticks ($12 regularly priced, half off for happy hour). I suggest you always take the staff's recommendations. Two meaty drumsticks cooked to perfection; the meat so tender it fell off the bone. These drummies are flavorful having been marinated with garlic, mustard, soy and Tabasco then grilled with rosemary branches. One branch was smoldering atop the duo when the dish landed on the table. The zesty marinade and lovely cilantro cream that dress the bowl are perfect for dipping the drumsticks and whatever else your heart desires.

With all day happy hour in the lounge sampling the menu is a must.

Someone needs to introduce me to this Tom guy so I can thank him in person for my new favorite chicken fix.

PACIFIC GRILL, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 5-11 p.m. Saturday, 5-10 p.m. Sunday, 1502 Pacific Ave., 253.627.3535

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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