Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

Posts made in: 'Eat This Now' (52) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 52

September 24, 2014 at 11:37am

Eat This Now: Sriracha Dog

The long roller coaster flavor ride that is the Sriracha Dog at Cafe Brosseau.

Nestled in North Tacoma's charming Three Bridge District, Café Brosseau welcomes those who want to cozy up to flavors, reads and screens. Among their assortment of Madrona Coffee Co. concoctions, Mad Hat Tea options and Corina Bakery pastries you'll spy a menu of sandwiches and dogs perfect for lunch time munching while typing away on the laptop or nibbling between friendly bits of conversation.

The item you must try in my humble opinion is the Sriracha Dog ($6.25). This quarter pound, all-beef frank stretches across the coffee shop in a grilled bun, split down the center and piled high with bacon, gratuitous amounts of cream cheese, sliced sweet Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles, and then drizzled with sriracha. The sweet and spice combo pack a one-two punch for your taste buds - the pickles serve to adorn your dog better than any relish you've experienced to date while the cream cheese cools it all down. I don't dare pretend to be all hoity-toity about my dogs but the textures are well balanced while the flavors are fun and compelling without being too adventurous.

If you're one who learned how to order food a la When Harry Met Sally and feel like mixing it up, the Café Brosseau crew is happy to make substitutions with cheddar or Havarti cheese on hand or even Lynnae's other pickled choices - dill or spicy. But really in this gals eyes no substitutions are necessary.

CAFÉ BROSSEAU, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 2716 N. 21st St., Tacoma, 253.327.1306

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

September 16, 2014 at 11:55am

Eat This Now: Basil Delight

Basil Delight in a box is still bitchin'. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

I've always daydreamed about living in a city where everything can be delivered. You know, deliveries we see in films and popular sitcom shows.

Ding-dong ... enter Chinese cuisine.

Ding-dong ... enter Italian fare.

Ding-dong ... enter deli delectables.

In Tacoma, delivery food options are sparse. Ignoring pizza, the delivery area is very limited, too.

So, take-out it is.

Mor eoften than not, I throw on a sweatshirt, run my fingers through my hair and jet to East West Café in Tacoma's Proctor District. It's close to home, offers flavorful exotic cuisine and serves the Basil Delight ($8.75-$11.25).

How do I even begin to communicate my adoration for this dish?!

The Basil Delight is complex. First, you have the choice of protein (chicken, beef, pork, prawns) sautéed with aromatic whole basil leaves. Next, the dish arrives with lots of perfectly-cooked veggies such as carrots, broccoli, zucchini and peppers - all evenly coated with a fabulous matrimony of curry, bourbon and East West Café's "special sauce."

What's in the special sauce?

I couldn't begin to tell you, but it's damn tasty and holds a special place in my heart.

The East West Café follows the typical Asian 1 to 5 star heat system - 1 being not spicy and 5 being HOT, though this tends to be an inconsistent form of measurement and dependent upon who is cooking up the dish. I recommend addING a squirt of sriracha if you like it hot.

Sure, dining in at East West Café yields a comfortable atmosphere and friendly service. If you can't swing it, the flavors hold in the take-out containers.

Arriving at home, I often ring my doorbell so my family may enjoy the cool kids sitcom experience.

EAST WEST CAFÉ, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, 2514 N. Proctor, Tacoma, 253.756.5092.

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

September 10, 2014 at 1:22pm

Eat This Now: Paesan's Pancetta and Pear Pizza

Paesan's Pancetta and Pear Pizza is perfection.

Sometimes you want a big ole pizza pie dripping with grease and packed with toppings. Sometimes you want a lead-footed, pimply-face teen to deliver that pizza to your doorstep. Let your freak flag attached to a bent car antennae fly, I say.

Then again, sometimes you desire a pizza pie that appeals to your more refined taste - cue: Paesan Kitchen and Bar in Tacoma.

This intimate joint on Dock Street serves artisan-style pizza with crispy, almost flatbread crust teeming with creative, tasty toppings such as kalamata olives, Pomodoro cheese and fresh seafood. My favorite journey through its fun flavorful pizza pies stars and ends with Paesan's Pancetta and Pear Pizza ($15). This delightful number includes fresh garlic oil, mozzarella and Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onion, thyme, arugula and sliced pear and crisp bits of pancetta. Le sigh!

The tart Gorgonzola, smoky onion, salty pancetta, peppery arugula and sweet pear provide a lovely matrimony of flavor that keeps your taste buds alert and wanting another slice.

I'm a little obsessed with this fresh take on a college bender favorite. I'm not knocking the pizza joints serving up the two-for-one deals, but sometimes you simply need to nosh outside the box - not in the pizza box - and, of course, pair it with a craft cocktail.

PAESAN KITCHEN AND BAR, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 1715 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.301.2396

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

September 3, 2014 at 10:07am

Eat This Now: Mediterranean Bruschetta

The Rosewood Cafe's Mediterranean Bruschetta is a pinwheel of deliciousness. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

When most folks choose new homes they take into consideration important aspects such as school districts, commute to work, interior design, whether the yard is fenced and so forth. When a "foodie" chooses a home, its proximity to quality dining is a big factor. Don't laugh; this is science!

My home is a short stroll to Tacoma's Proctor District - meaning many dining options, for all types of occasions, are nearby. The closest is just offset from the heart of the district, The Rosewood Café.

For those unfamiliar, the Rosewood is an intimate, charming joint offering a menu of mostly sandwiches and shareables highlighting lots of fresh produce and delectable cheeses. An impressive wine list and rotating craft brews elevates the neighborhood lunch and dinner cafe to hot spot status.

One of my favorite Rosewood shareables is the Mediterranean Bruschetta ($6.50). Crumbles of feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, red onions and a light housemade Mediterranean dressing are partnered with lightly toasted crostini. It's aromatic, flavorful and a delightful and light start to your Rosewood experience.

The Rosewood earns bonus points with their growlers and refill capabilities. Take a bit of some of those awesome, often local, craft beers home with you or score big with their cheap wine Mondays and take home a bottle.

I will never move ... unless a house hits the market one block closer.

THE ROSEWOOD CAFÉ, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, 3323 N. 26th Tacoma, 253.752.7999

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

August 26, 2014 at 11:12am

Eat This Now: Dork Balls

Dork Balls are a duck and pork meatball concoction that is utterly divine. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Hi, my name is Jackie Fender, and I am an addict. A burger addict.

It's true! My amore for juicy beef patties sandwiched between buns is almost at an embarrassing height of burger fandom. I could go on and on about some of my favorite burgers, but feel like the hamburger has gotten an unfair amount of attention from me in past "Eat This Now" columns. So today, while I'm recommending a burger joint, I'm going to mix it up.

Let me begin by saying visit Lunchbox Laboratory because ... well, because it has great burgers and a wide variety of condiments, cheeses and sides. So you can be hankering for just about anything and find the burger for you. Pair that with a kitschy interior that highlights a vintage appeal, including an old-school tin lunchbox collection that is quite impressive, and you've got a play on "laboratory" styled dining. This includes cocktails served in beakers, a mad-scientist ambiance in general and a focus on housemade sauces, rubs, batter and more that feature fresh and organic ingredients with fun, compelling flavor combos.

You should also visit Lunchbox Laboratory for its Dork Balls ($8.99). We aren't calling them derogatory names for being nerdalicious, but rather "Dork" is a duck and pork meatball concoction that is utterly divine. Three tasty D(uck)(P)ork meatballs are dipped in the housemade white corn batter and fried. The exterior is golden brown and beautiful, whispering a little sweetness and reminding you of corndogs at the fair. The meatball inside is tender and tasty. Paired with pickled daikon radish and a balsamic hoisin reduction on the side, you get a little Asian flair and a damn tasty appetizer.

If you haven't been by Lunchbox Laboratory,I say give it a go for a little bit of a dining adventure. The service staff will exuberantly educate you about their food alchemists' delectable, delicious vision.

LUNCHBOX LABORATORY, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, 4109 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.432.4061

Filed under: Eat This Now, Gig Harbor,

August 19, 2014 at 12:12pm

Eat This Now: The Brain

The best tasting Brain in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

If Tacoma's culinary culture proves anything it's that one need not be fancy-schmancy to woo the hungry masses. Often, it's quite the contrary. Tacomans enjoy character and comfort to accompany their grub and Shakabrah Java on Sixth Avenue serves up both. Hodgepodge tables and chairs set the scene with self-serve coffee and water. It's the type of joint you order at the register, find a seat and await your meal. Sandwiches are available, but Shakabrah's breakfast is what lines them up outside the door.

I hold Shakabrah's Chrissy dish on a pedestal. The sun dried tomato and marinated tofu scramble hits the spot. I've ordered it more times than years on this planet. It's time for a change.

Enter The Brain. Not mine, but rather crisp bacon, a fried egg and melted cheese sandwiched between two slices of French toast. Oh so sweet, savory and cheesy good.

Paired with a strong cup of joe and gratuitous amounts of maple syrup, The Brain dish is also a hangover cure of the ages.

Trust me.

Be warned, Shakabrah is a madhouse during weekend breakfasts. Its teeny kitchen can only bust out so much volume.

SHAKABRAH JAVA, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 2618 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.2787

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

August 12, 2014 at 10:10am

Eat This Now: fried pickle spear

Do not skip the fried pickle spears at Two Town Pub and Grill in Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

This week we journey to a new establishment along the Ruston Waterfront, Two Town Pub and Cafe. Located in the lovely Point Ruston condominium building, Two Town has the potential to be a hot spot along the expanding waterfront destination.

Having only opened in the final week of July, newbie Two Town is serving up Dilano's Coffee and Corina Bakery pastries during the day and a menu heavy in appetizers, burgers and sandwiches paired with fun cocktails and brews for lunch and dinner. The interior is a little bare and cold but clever with exposed brick and distressed metal shingles on some walls. Patio seating available is a nice addition though there's no waterside view; instead you peer into the parking lot and the building side.

As a new place there are some kinks to work out. Service left something to be desired with the one server obviously stressed for time. She was uber friendly but we waited a fair amount of time before ordering and no refills or napkins were offered until the end of our meal.

The Loaded Martini ($8) with smashed potatoes, house made gravy, green onions, shredded cheese and sour cream arrives in a large martini glass. While it's a clever concept, it's near impossible to actually eat. The flavor was intact - once I could dig in and find equal parts of each component while trying not to look like a toddler who was just learning to use utensils as my table became increasingly peppered with tumbling toppings.

The big Eat This Now column winner proves it's all about the little things sometimes. I suggest the fried pickle spear served atop each burger and sandwich. This little delight was a surprise boasting a crisp light breading with a juicy big pickle inside. Trust me, if you dig fried pickle chips at other joints you're going to love these.

The cocktail menu is pretty solid though this brown liquor lover was left in the cold with not one bourbon concoction in sight. SACRILIGE! Oh, and the potty situation is weird with shared bathrooms for the building, meaning you have to exit the restaurant and travel down the foray a bit.

In all I'd say give Two Town a try and if you leave disappointed give them another in a few months once they've had a chance to work out the kinks.

TWO TOWN PUB AND CAFE, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 5005 Main St., Tacoma, 253.212.9477

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

August 4, 2014 at 12:49pm

Eat This Now: Seared duck breast

Chef Slater's seared duck breast at Maxwell's Restaurant + Lounge / photo courtesy of @chefhudsonslater

I often visit Maxwell's Restaurant + Lounge to partake in their fabulous happy hour. It's high-class ambiance and fine dining fare for a very reasonable price. Other times, I visit Maxwell's to indulge in date night, craft cocktails and divine dishes crafted by Chef Hudson Slater. Recently I highlighted Chef Slater's @chefhudsonslater Instagram as the most visually appealing of all foodie themed pics in Tacoma in our 2014 Best of Tacoma issue, but these dishes don't just look good, they taste good too!

Upon my most recently visit I nibbled on the seared duck breast ($28). Two words: le sigh. Creamy risotto sets the foundation whispering of fennel flavor throughout with fresh and braised figs scattered on top. The sweet figs, but not too sweet, created a tasty union with the fennel. Perfectly seared, lightly seasoned, tender duck breast takes this dish over the top.

The seared duck breast is fulfilling and light at once - and a glorious sight to boot. I insist you eat this NOW.

As if the seared duck breast isn't reason enough to visit, Maxwell's Restaurant server extraordinaire Kent Bolden was voted top server in our Best of issue; so service standards are sure to shine as well.

MAXWELL'S RESTAURANT + 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

July 29, 2014 at 6:20pm

Best Hot Dog That's Not On The Menu at The Red Hot ...

The Red Hot’s Test Kitchen recently, er, tested, The Texas Chile Dog with barbecue sauce, creamy Texas green chile corn and French fried onions. Photo courtesy of Facebook

We're all smiles at the Weekly Volcano World Headquarters as our 2014 Best of Tacoma issue is flying off the shelves and out of the boxes. It hit the streets July 24, and, pretty much, it's like the coolest reading material ever. We will throw some additional issues on the street Thursday along with this week's issue of the Weekly Volcano.

In our zeal to unearth and shine a spotlight on all that kicks ass in Pierce County, we accidently left a "Staff Pick" out of the issue.

"Hey, Pappi, where the hell is the blurb I wrote on The Red Hot?" asks Weekly Volcano scribe Kristin Kendle.

Um, a, hmmmm. Crap.

I'll add to the online version, which I hope to have posted sometime Thursday.

Until then, here is the Best Hot Dog That's Not On The Menu at The Red Hot ...

Little-known secret at Tacoma's favorite hot dog joint extraordinaire - you can go off menu! While the menu dogs offer awesome flavor combos designed to please, sometimes one's flavor palate must expand beyond the confines of the menu, and The Red Hot folks are cool with it so long as they actually have the stuff to create your dog of choice. Best option that might not sound great, but is amazing? The hot dog or brat of your choice with cream cheese and jalapenos. Fight the feeling that cream cheese doesn't belong on a dog ‘cause it so does. 2914 Sixth Ave., Tacoma - KK

SEE ALSO

We're sure you know The Red Hot moved, right?

July 29, 2014 at 1:41pm

Eat This Now: Ahi Tuna Poke

The Social Bar and Grill's cool Ahi Tuna Poke is perfect for summer weather. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

The Social Bar and Grill has been a staple of my dining-out adventures since its inception in 2011. The Tacoma spot fuses flavors from the Mediterranean, Pacific Islands, Spain and Central America into spectacular presentations. In addition, you can't beat this hidden gem's view tucked on the backside of the Thea's Landings condos. Patio seating features fire tables and glorious views of boats lining the Foss Waterway and outdoor art installation "Fluent Steps" outside the Museum of Glass.

I could recommend a variety of things from The Social's menu, but my Eat This Now recommendation is the Ahi Tuna Poke ($9/$7 happy hour).

This simple "shareable" selection features cubed, sushi-grade ahi and tossed in a sake, soy sauce, sesame seed and seaweed potion of deliciousness. It's light, fresh and balances well with the accompanying crispy wonton triangles.

Featured on its fresh sheet RIGHT NOW is a twist on the Ahi Poke. The Baja Ahi ($11) adds a wasabi mayo and chunks of avocado to the mix with a delightful fried wonton wrapper. It delivers the same fresh, light nibbling pleasure but adds a little spice that partners well with the creamy avocado.

I guess technically I've offered up two potential dishes to try now. Compare the two and share your thoughts!

I would like to also recommend pairing either of these ahi plates with any one of their tasty, unique craft cocktails.

THE SOCIAL BAR AND GRILL, 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday, 11-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 1715 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.301.3835

Filed under: 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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