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Posts made in: 'Eat This Now' (52) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 52

July 21, 2014 at 11:03am

Eat This Now: Sautéed Basil Curry

Wild Orchid's Sauteed Basil Curry isn't pretty, but it's delicious. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Not all delicious food is photogenic. Sad, but true. Ask any foodie. With the invention of modern day photos apps such as Instagram lovers of the culinary arts carefully consider composition, lighting and all that jazz before taking a bite. As I considered this week's Eat This Now recommendation, I almost went another route. Just because a dish isn't pretty doesn't make it unworthy to dig into.

So to get on with it, what should you eat, right NOW is Wild Orchid's Sautéed Basil Curry ($10.95). Julienned bamboo shoots, bell peppers, baby corn and sliced mushrooms are joined by your choice of tender chunks of beef or chicken and then generously bathed in a basil, coconut curry sauce. You can add some heat based on a five star spice system making this dish a great balance of heat and sweet and super fresh with the variety of veggies.

Easily shareable and delicious whether dining in on date night or taking it to go.

In my to go container it looked especially unfortunate, but man oh man was it delightful.

WILD ORCHID, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 3023 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.5889

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

July 14, 2014 at 3:54pm

Eat This Now: Ice Cream Social in Tacoma

Ice Cream Social makes its own waffle cones. Serious, eat this now! Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Damn, it's toasty outside! I don't know about you but that shiny orb in the sky relentlessly bringing scorching hot temps leaves me only wanting to eat one thing right now - ice cream.

When I think of ice cream in Tacoma, there's one joint at the top of my list - Ice Cream Social. What was once a highly coveted, mobile creamy sweet treat at farmers markets and festivals, now has its own permanent storefront on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue. After opening the door three weeks ago, the Ice Cream Social is the, er, hot treat in town.

I could recommend my go-to flavor chocolate, because ICS knows it well, as well as standards vanilla, strawberry, salted caramel, and cookies and cream. I say be adventurous. If Ice Cream Social's daily rotation of handcrafted flavors lands on Valhalla coffee, lavender coconut or dark chocolate, grab one. You won't be disappointed.

Really, you can't go wrong because ICS delivers heavenly bliss served up in a cone, including a daily dairy free option for you lactose intolerant types.

It's no secret their success lies in the details such as locally sourced dairy from Smith Brother's Farms, and partnerships with locals such as Valhalla Coffee.

Oh, ICS makes fresh waffle cones on site.

If neighbor The Red Hot is hogging all the car and bike slots, you can find ICS scoops at Maxwell's, Gateway to India, Hilltop Kitchen, Taste of Peru, Morso Wine Bar, Grassi's and the Proctor Farmers Market.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2914 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.327.1660

Filed under: Eat This Now, Summer Tip, Tacoma,

July 7, 2014 at 1:51pm

Eat This Now: Jalapeno Popper Sliders

Hunt down the Big Boys Filipino Food Truck for its delicious Jalapeno Popper Sliders. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

While the Tacoma area is making waves in the culinary scene, the food scene's wheels fall off when it comes to food trucks. There isn't a scene. Yes, there are a handful of standouts, and they're on the rise, but in general it's a foodnik Easter hunt of sorts to find mobile noshing options.

About 2 years ago I discovered Big Boys Filipino Food Truck next to a Puyallup gas station on a busy stretch of road. I had to practically run into it to notice the truck. Since then the Big Boys food truck has gone mobile, their four tires hitting the pavement and journeying all around the Sound, up north and parked at special events such as the Taste of Tacoma, which is where I recently indulged in their Jalapeno Popper Sliders (two for $8 and available as a burrito for $8).

I'm a fan of bready slider goodness, especially if it sandwiches a large portion of fried chicken, jalapeno cream cheese, garlic aioli slaw and a sweet chili sauce. Le sigh. This combo packs a punch with the chili, jalapeno and garlic duking it out for your taste buds' attention. It's a sweet delicious and messy matrimony of flavor highlighted by the chicken's delicately crispy exterior encapsulating a juicy, meaty interior.

Marking the Jalapeno Popper Sliders in my Eat This Now column might be misleading because in order to feast on today's selection you'd have to cyber-stalk the Big Boys Filipino Truck Facebook page to discover its location. I can tell you one thing for sure. You'll thank me when you do find it.

Filed under: Eat This Now, Mobile Meals,

July 2, 2014 at 1:34pm

Hilltop Kitchen releases new food and drink menu

Hilltop Kitchen's blue corn pancakes and pan-fried quail with blueberry compote is a sweet and savory sensation.

Last night, I dropped by Hilltop Kitchen for a birthday treat on the way home. I dumb-lucked into its new food and drink menu, which was released hours before. If the pancakes & quail with blueberry compote and sage honey ($12), and its version of the Duncan Idaho Ghola cocktail are any indication of the quality with the other creations on the complete menu turnover, then wow!

WOW!

The kitchen is open to 11 p.m. weekdays and midnight Friday and Saturday. The cocktails continue to close. Find it at 913 MLK Way on Hilltop Tacoma.

June 30, 2014 at 1:51pm

Eat This Now: RAM's Colossal Sizzling Bread Pudding

RAM's Colossal Sizzling Bread Pudding is not small. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

A summer sunset stroll along Tacoma's Ruston Way waterfront is a must. Dusk time walks are among my favorite excuses to indulge in a seaside cocktail or sweet treat. RAM Restaurant and Brewery satisfies both. I suggest you eat the RAM's Colossal Sizzling Bread Pudding ($7.49) right now.

The behemoth dessert is a traditional bread pudding highlighting flavors of custard, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla soaked throughout the bready treat. The sweetness is understated - not too rich and pairs well with coffee. And the size ... it's no joke. The RAM's Colossal Sizzling Bread Pudding arrives in a, yup, sizzling skillet topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a generous portion of caramel on the side.  

To say it's sharable is an understatement. The caloric intake exceeds the needs of an adult woman ... FOR THE DAY. I'm not saying this is a con. Just be warned and bring a partner in crime with a sweet tooth.

RAM'S COLOSSAL SIZZLING BREAD PUDDING, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, RAM Restaurant and Brewery, 3001 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.756.7886.

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma, Sweets,

June 24, 2014 at 9:47am

Eat This Now: Little Basil

Harbor Greens' Little Basil isn't so little. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Harbor Greens grocer boasts farmers' market fresh produce and hyperlocal food finds. Though University Place is not completely void of quality and healthy food finds for diners, the options are sparse, making Harbor Greens' deli selection a little oasis for local foodniks.

Serving up a variety of pizzas, sandwiches and sides the Harbor Greens deli is an awesome option for lunch or dinner on the go - though you can also opt to dine in with a few cozy tables on site. My recommendation this week is the Little Basil ($7.49). Tucked inside a tasty rustic roll you'll find thinly sliced chicken breast, gargantuan ripe tomato slices, mozzarella cheese, greenie goods such as fresh basil and spring mix - all complemented with a pesto mayo. Every ingredient is delightfully fresh and creates a lovely matrimony of pure deliciousness.

If you ask the Little Basil to be toasted you'll discover a crisp and warm rustic roll that has melted the mozzarella cheese while the remainder of the sandwich is still fresh, meaning no soggy mess or limp leafy greens.

HARBOR GREENS, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, 2620 Bridgeport Way W., University Place, 253.460.2703

June 20, 2014 at 11:49am

One-Minute Interview: Art House Cafe Chef Aimee Cox, creator of an amazing breakfast pizza

Art House Cafe Breakfast Pizza: eggs, meat, cheese, all baked together on top of fresh dough, yet so much more. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Many argue that breakfast pizza at restaurants is unnecessary. It can be said true breakfast pizza is called leftover pizza - cold, pepperoni-laden and eaten with one hand on the forehead.

The Hub and Milton Tavern have held a tight grip on South Sound breakfast pizza supremacy. Cue up the Game of Thrones' opening theme music (click below), as Art House Café has a worthy, crown-wearing version too.

Staving, I popped into the Stadium District bistro for a quick bite. In the afternoon, the Art House Café serves only salads and pizza. A fan of its mushroom risotto, I eyed the wild mushrooms pizza. The roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions also sounded delicious. My eyes played ping pong with the pizza menu, always bouncing back to the breakfast pizza, with prosciutto, house sausage, parmesan cheese, Monterey jack, shallots, cage free eggs, scallions and chives ($16). The breakfast pizza won.

Chef Aimee Cox has created a masterpiece. The thin, buttery crust is chewy, yet a fork makes its way through every time. Big chunks of sausage steal the prosciutto's thunder. The remaining ingredients decorate the museum-quality pie, producing a decadent food disc that I examined after every bite, as if I was a pizza scientist. Hiding the sliced points, the eggs reach the point just before running. Perfection.

I reached out to Cox for a one-minute interview.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Hi Aimee. Were you working with chef Dustin Joseph when the Art House Café opened in February 2013?

AIMEE COX: I started at Art House in November 2013. Dustin was already gone. I came from Boathouse 19. I attended culinary school in San Francisco, California. I have been cooking in restaurants locally and nationally for about 17 years.

VOLCANO: What's the secret behind the breakfast pizza crust?

COX: The pizza crust is a pretty standard recipe. I can't give away all the good secrets.

VOLCANO: After each slice of breakfast pizza disappears, specks of black, gold and tiny pools of oil remain. What are the ingredients of this art?

COX: We use semolina on our pizza pans and house made garlic oil on the crust.

VOLCANO: Are you enjoying Tacoma's Stadium District?

COX: The Art House and Stadium District attracted me for many reasons. There is a fun, laid-back atmosphere along with great people and other local businesses.

VOLCANO: I think the Art House should sell the pizza by the slice and hand deliver it to idling cars. Please.

COX: I love your idea of a slice to go. Unfortunately, everything is scratch and made to order. We do offer everything on the menu to go if you call ahead or stop by.

ART HOUSE CAFÉ, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 111 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2011

June 16, 2014 at 10:55am

Eat This Now: Bleu Baron

I'm cheering for the Bleu Baron at the Hub Tacoma. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

I'm not a fan of basketball. It's just not my cup of tea. When my husband wanted to watch the final NBA throwdown on Father's Day I begrudgingly accommodated him as a token of appreciation for being the co-creator of our two little people. Since I was the co-creator, I added the stipulation that I picked the spot.

We anted up to the rail at The Hub in Tacoma's Stadium District, home to tasty craft brews, pizza, pasta and sandwiches - not to mention some damn tasty Cajun tots. He watched the game while I dived into this week's Eat This Now recommendation, the Bleu Baron ($10.99).

This sandwich is simply divine with thin sliced, surprisingly tender top sirloin topped with gratuitous amounts of bleu cheese crumbles, sautéed mushrooms and a horseradish aioli - all given a beautiful bread hug from a pretzel bun. The flavor profile is splendidly balanced with the beefiness, zing from the cheese, earthy notes from the shrooms, little bite from the aioli all presented in unity with the slightly salty pretzel bun. It's essentially a super rad French dip, though no aus ju is necessary because the meat and bun are oh, so good.

Pair with a craft brew such as Harmon's Puget Sound Porter and you're in for the win - regardless of the game's outcome.

THE HUB, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11-1 a.m. Friday, 9-1 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, 203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.683.4606

LINK: Harmon Brewing Co. and other South Sound breweries win 2014 Washington Beer Awards

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

June 9, 2014 at 11:25am

Eat This Now: Piccata de Pollo

Stare into each other's eyes over this dish at Asado. Photo credit: Jackie fender

My husband and I recently celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary. It's a small milestone but a milestone all the same that required some celebrating of our union. Naturally in Tacoma when one considers prime spots to wine and dine for such an occasion, fine dining establishment Asado is a lead contender with its warm candlelit ambiance, wonderful wine selection and inventive craft cocktails.

Asado's menu features cuisine with an Argentinian flair incorporating fresh and flavorful ingredients. The Piccata de Pollo ($21) stays the course - a light, fresh dish, yet filling. Caper berries, cherry tomatoes and wilted arugula are piled high upon a seared, tender chicken breast, then surrounded by a white wine lemon pan sauce. The matrimony of these fresh ingredients results in a delectably balanced experience carrying whispers of zest and hints of pepper.

Served with choice of starch, the portion size is satisfying. I personally would recommend the fresh roasted corn for those opting to keep the dish light and summery.

ASADO, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday, 11:30-1:30 a.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday, 4:15 p.m. to midnight Sunday, 2810 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7770

Filed under: Eat This Now, Tacoma,

June 2, 2014 at 11:12am

Eat This Now: Blackened Rockfish Tacos

Enjoy the sun with Blackened Rockfish Tacos at Steamer's Seafood Cafe. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

South Sounders head outdoors when the sun shines. In mild weather, we throw on a light jacket and ante up to patio furniture. Summer living - and eating - in the South Sound is even sweeter, especially with a waterfront view. Since we've been hitting 70-degree temps, it's time to take Eat This Now waterside, soak in some Vitamin D while treating the taste buds.

This week's al fresco dining dash takes us to Steamer's Seafood Café at Titlow Beach where you must eat its Blackened Rockfish Tacos ($9) now. A pair of fresh, warm golden brown flour or corn tortilla shells overflow with fresh rockfish. The tender white fish arrives with a little heat, mixed with roasted corn, black beans, cabbage and a creamy dressing.

My, oh my.

Served up with a small side of coleslaw and French fries perfectly seasoned with sea salt, pepper and a hint of sesame, this dish begs for seaside snacking.

Bonus: Steamer's family friendly digs includes a handful of warm weather brews on tap to pair with the tacos and delectable, creamy ice cream concoctions.

Or, skip the beer and introduce your Blackened Rockfish Tacos to the shoreline or neighboring sprayground.

STEAMER'S SEAFOOD CAFÉ, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8802 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.565.4532

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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