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November 3, 2014 at 10:47am

Peterson brothers and 7 Seas Brewing collaborate on The Galley food truck

The Galley food truck will open Tuesday, Nov. 4 serving afternoon and evening meals at 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor. Courtesy photo

Inspiration can take many forms, not the least common of which are pints of beer and a lazy Friday evening. Of course, the problem with these alcohol-induced epiphanies is that they're usually either, one, really stupid ideas, or two, quickly forgotten in favor of pizza and the sofa. There is the rare exception, however, and that is where our story begins.

It was June of 2014, and two men wearing life jackets stood above left field. While best friends wrestled over foul balls, groins were scratched and a giant fuzzy big-eyed reindeer punk'd grandmothers, these two life jacket-wearing guys, drinking IPAs, had a moment - an authentic human connection producing a deep stare, an "a-ha" moment, followed by juicy, unfiltered spiritual nourishing rush to the head.

They took another sip of 7 Seas Brewing Life Jacket Session IPA.

Then paused.

The two businessmen knew some ideas float while others sink like lead to the bottom.

They stared at each other's life jackets.

Sometimes you just have to allow that something grand and good might actually be born while wearing a life jacket ... while drinking beer ... beer named after a life jacket.

And sometimes that something ends up being a food truck.

That fateful night at Cheney Stadium, during 7 Seas Brewing's Life Jacket Session IPA release party, the brewery's co-owner Mike Runion and Tacoma restaurant and bar Peterson Bros. 1111 co-owner Justin Peterson considered partnering on a food truck.

"A week later Mike called me and asked if I was serious," says Peterson. "I said, ‘hell yes!'"

"We sat down and decided in one day that it was a great idea," explains Runion. "We drove up to Seattle because we knew a guy who was selling a food truck but the previous buyer backed out. We bought it that day. It happened that fast."

Then, the waiting game began. The permits needed to be acquired. Runion and Peterson also had huge projects of their own in the final stages. Runion and 7 Seas forged a partnership with 253 Heart owner Steve Naccarato to produce the 253 Pilsner coupled with a benefitting nonprofit program. The beer cans needed to be designed and distribution nailed down. Peterson, with his business partner and twin brother, Robby, forged a partnership with Tacoma's X Group Restaurants to remodel Red's Valley Pub down the street from the Tacoma Dome. The Valley's menu was still in the works, a beer garden was unfinished and taxidermy still needed to be secured.

"My business partner and head brewer, Travis Guterson, and I have a huge respect for what Justin and Robby created on Hilltop Tacoma," says Runion. "The way they run their business is similar to how we like to do things. They're detail-oriented, but it's super relaxed with amazing service. And the food is absolutely on point, which can surprise people who judge the joint as divey."

The truck, dubbed The Galley, extends 7 Seas' nautical theme. WrapJax wrapped the giant truck to resemble a wooden pirate ship, including portholes.

The truck will be parked in the huge parking lot in front of the 7 Seas brewery, serving lunch and nighttime meals, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 4. The truck will operate 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Chef Roger Weatherhead is in command of the vessel.

>>> Chef Roger Weatherhead in The Galley. Photo courtesy of Facebook

"The menu will be different than Eleven Eleven or The Valley," says Peterson. "I knew instantly who should run the truck's kitchen. I've known Roger Weatherhead since he was helping us in the kitchen at the old Hotel Bar & Grill. He's seasoned in food trucks."

"I actually met Robby Peterson while working at the Spaghetti Factory, before the Hotel Bar & Grill," says Weatherhead, who grew up in Tumwater, and subscribes to the Peterson brother's bearded way of life.

After the Hotel Bar & Grill, which was owned by The Swiss partnership in the early 2000s, Weatherhead worked in several SeaTac hotel kitchens, Point Defiance Zoo's catering program, and eventually followed a friend to the Flair Taco truck in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood.

"The taco truck was hard work. The hours were strenuous, but it was fun," says Weatherhead. "Feeding drunk people at the end of the night was crazy fun."

Weatherhead got tired of the drunks, and eventually was hired on with Where Ya At Matt, Matthew Lewis' popular Seattle Cajun food truck.

"Last year when I was working for them, Eater named it the number nine truck in the country," says Weatherhead. "They did numbers I didn't know you could do on a food truck. They had a good system set up. And they had a menu where people didn't just want to order one thing. Some people ordered a sandwich, side and dessert. I learned a lot from them."

Weatherhead also worked for the famous Skillet truck, as well as ran Seattle's The Grilled Cheese Experience truck for a summer while the owner tended to his new baby.

"Then, I walked into Eleven Eleven this summer and next thing I know ... I'm running the kitchen in The Galley," says Weatherhead.

A wooden ship-inspired behemoth first draws you in, but Weatherhead plans to have you as an anchor customer with his gourmet take on classics. During the day, expect sandwiches, soups and salads "with twists," Weatherhead says.

"If all goes as planned, I will serve a housemade lamb chorizowith sofrito de tomato and shaved Manchego. It's simple. A classic play on the meatball sub," he says.

He wants to serve a crispy pork belly BLT with heirloom tomatoes and butter lettuce. He wants to hand customers a Caesar with butter lettuce, housemade dressing, crouton and marinated white anchovies called boquerones. "Romaine has taken iceberg's place," he laughs.

"At Skillet, I would make myself a sandwich with just boquerones," he says. "I probably had the worst breath, but I didn't care. They are so delicious."

"We want a steady lunch menu that people could depend on," says Runion. "The Peterson Brothers and Roger are sandwich experts, so we'll have three to five sandwiches, some soup and a couple salads."

For the first couple of weeks, the lunch menu will also be featured during the night session, with the possibility of an additional menu item or two.

Eventually, the night session could feature an entirely new menu.

"We want to add tacos or Mexican-inspired dishes for a couple nights. Then, another couple nights cook up bratwursts and sausages. We don't want to be pigeon-holed in one type of cuisine," says Runion. "We'll also have a nightly badass charcuterie plate with local cheese, local salamis and other items. Beer, sausage, cheese and bread - I could live on that."

Weatherhead will ease into the nightly specials, adding shareable bar snacks such as pretzels with beer mustard, the charcuterie plate Runion has in mind, mussels with beer and candied bacon. He's also eager to cook with 7 Seas beers.

7 SEAS BREWING, food truck 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday,  the brewery 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 3006 Judson St., Gig Harbor, 253.514.8129

SEE ALSO

7 local beer secrets leaned at 7 Seas Brewing Life Jacket Session IPA rollout

Photos from the re-opening of The Valley Pub by the Tacoma Dome

September 22, 2014 at 10:38am

Oktoberfest South Sound 2014: How to mix beer, music and running and get away with it

Run with an empty stein then fill it with beer at the finish line at the 5K Stein Dash Oct. 5. Photo courtesy of steindash5k.com

For so many South Sounders, autumn = race season, and that means on any weekend day, you're likely to be passed-on-the-left by hordes of runners in training.

But all that personal-best pressure can take the joy out of running. Festivals, Inc. wants to get back to the roots of the individual sport. Stein Dash is a German-themed 5K that focuses on the fun of running and, just as important, the fun of the after-race.

The 5k Stein Dash combines racing with beer.

The race kicks off the third day of Festivals' Oktoberfest Northwest, the three-day Bavarian celebration at the Western Washington Fair and Events Center. Celebrating its 10th year at the fairgrounds, the huge Oktoberfest celebration kicks off at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 with the taping of the Oktoberfest Firkin. At 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, runners will run around the fairgrounds with a provided beer stein finishing at the Oktoberfest Northwest Festhalle Biergarten where those 21 and older may fill the steins with Warsteiner Dunkel, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Trumer Pils, Hacker Pshor Weiss and Snoqualmie Harvest Moon, the featured beers of the festival. Washington Hills wine will be available for weirdos. Kids may fill up in the Root Beer Garden.

Race fees are $35 until Oct. 1 when online registration closes. You will pay $40 the day before at race packet pick-up. If your Hacker Pshor Weiss calorie intake the day before has you worried, show up with $45 Sunday morning. All 5K participants receive an authentic one of a kind logo'd 5k Beer Stein and allowed to party at Oktoberfest Northwest Sunday for no additional fee.

The German theme doesn't apply just to the beer. Tacoma European restaurants Bruno's and Café Europa will keep drinkers fed all three days with schweinebraten, pyzy, curry wurst, cabbage rous, kartoffelpuffer, bierocks, goulash soup, schnitzel sandwiches, to name a few dishes. Food trucks Zeiglers German Haus, Kaleenka piroshkies and Gutes Essen Haus will add more brats and schnitzels. Shishkaberry's will dip fruit in chocolate and stab it with a stick.

The Stein Dash is one of many kitschy events to keep you entertained throughout the weekend. The hilarious wiener dog races are back, including stupid wiener tricks. The Enzian Schuhplattler dancers will spin around a May Pole. Pumpkins can be decorated. The German Corner shopping mall will outfit you in lederhosen. Manuela Horn, aka Austrian Amazon, will yodel, dance, throw out one-liners and plant eyes in her cleavage Friday and Saturday night. Kids can pound nails with hammers all weekend. Ja, families are welcomed in the Festhalle Biergarten until 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and all-day Sunday. Teens might scoff at the oom-pah bands, which dominate the entertainment stages during family hours.

Oh, to be in that great mass of humanity, dancing to the throbbing polka beats, scarfing down sausage, kraut, and strudel, and most of all, imbibing from the holy grail ... er, stein. It can be yours Oct. 3-5 in Puyallup.

As always, you get bonus coolness points for going in costume, especially if you run with an empty stein.

OKTOBERFEST NORTHWEST, noon to midnight Friday, Oct. 3, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, Washington State Fair and Events Center, Ninth and Meridian, Puyallup, free admission noon to 3 p.m. Friday, $10 Friday after 3 p.m. and all-day Saturday, $5 Sunday, oktoberfestnw.com

LINK: More 2014 Oktoberfest events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 19, 2014 at 11:28am

Mac and Cheese Madness: Metropolitan Market Al Fresco Food Truck

Metropolitan Market in Tacoma's Proctor District serves a delicious Mac & CheeZola from a food truck. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Food truck. Mac-and-cheese. Metropolitan Market. Delicious.

Last Saturday, Tacoma's Proctor District was humming. The "Green Day" edition of the Proctor Farmers Market blossomed with folks studying sustainability and deleting Gateway to India's dish options before the market closed. Fair schmair. People walked the streets with purchased goods, with a little skip in their step, as they held tight to the summer sun. Umpqua Bank even closed later than normal, although I might have had something to do with that. Sorry folks.

Even with the huge Moveable Feast food truck festival at Cheney Stadium, Metropolitan Market - the posh "oh-my-gosh it's changed again" grocery store that arguably anchors the Tacoma neighborhood - had a steady stream of folks in front of its food truck. Hold that image. ...

If there is one thing Met Market knows, and does well, it's cheese. The upscale grocery store knows it is a food that makes the world go round, whether you're savoring tasty brie from a blanket on Tacoma's Ruston Way or substituting Manchego for sex in your house ... or Ruston Way. Met Market houses one of the best cheese shops in all the land, with almost every variety invented and a separate budget for sample toothpicks. It comes as no shocker the store's prepared mac and cheese is to die for. At least five penne pasta tubes escape from the keepsake ceramic bowl every time I have a session with the buttermilk blue mac and cheese. So good.

Back to the food truck ... Met Market skips the buttermilk blue and hands a Mac & CheeZola through the truck window. The truck people follow company policy of overstuffing the mac and cheese container, which I am not filing any complaints. I say bring it on. The "CheeZola" is a fancy name for cheddar and Zola cheese. CheeZola hugs it out with Conchiglie, commonly known as "shells" or "seashells" pasta. Topped with Parmesan and breadcrumbs, this $4.99 delight scores high in cheese flavor and crunchy crumbs.

Grab a cup and show it Proctor.

P.S. Through Sept. 23, Met Market is slashing 25 percent off many specialty cheeses.

METROPOLITAN MARKET, food truck open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through mid-October, breakfast until 11 a.m., 2420 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.761.3663

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

LINK: The answer to why this mac and cheese column exists

August 9, 2014 at 1:57pm

Beers On Broadway: Brew Five Three live in Tacoma

Full glass pints are waiting for you to fill with beer on Broadway in downtown Tacoma until 8:30 p.m. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Summary

A beer festival is held on Broadway in downtown Tacoma Saturday, Aug. 9. For full details, click here.

Characters

  • Emcee
  • Director Aaron Stevens
  • Brewers
  • Ciderists
  • Mobile Food Trucks Employees
  • Stephanie Anne Johnson
  • The West Coast Women's Blues Revue
  • The Mark Riley Trio
  • Junkyard Jane
  • Beer Drinkers

Setting

Washington state breweries in booths line Broadway between Ninth and 11th in downtown Tacoma. A blue music stage sits above in the park next to Theatre on the Square.

SCRIPT

SFX:

Clinking glass noises, band sound check

EMCEE:
(Who could, if desired, be a voice over the speaker system for the whole performance.) Step right up, step right up. This way to the fabulous Brew Five Three. Come one, come all, and drink the most amazing beers in the universe. So step this way. And let the show begin!

SFX:

Drum roll

EMCEE (Singing):

Welcome back my friends to the lines that never ends /
We're so glad you could attend /
Come outside! Come outside!
There in a glass is a real beer from grass /
Be careful as you pass /
Move along! Move along!

Come outside, the show is about to start /
Guaranteed to blow your head apart.
Rest assured you'll get your money's worth /
The greatest show in Two, Five and Three.
You've got to see the show; it's a dynamo.
You've got to see the show' it's rock and ... blueso (had to make it rhyme). ...

EMCEE:

Ladeeeeez and G-E-N-T-L-E-M-E-N, and all older than 21. Welcome to the fabulous Brew Five Three! Today, here on Broadway, right before your very eyes, a fabulous array of acts has been assembled for your delight and delectation. Jest with jaunty Washington state brewers ... cry with our cavorting ciderists ... marvel at the magnificent moveable fests ... give a bravo to our blues musicians ... and hold your breath because you're about to taste the best beers in all the land. All this and more before the clock strike 9.

But to start, let's give a big round of applause to the Broadway Center Executive Director David Fischer and his crew for hosting the second annual Brew Five Three. You'll find Fischer checking people in.

SFX:

Applause

SFX:
Drum roll

EMCEE:

1:30 p.m.: I tell you, I've had so many face-lifts, they finally lifted it right off my body! It's true; it's true! Oh, oh, oh! Let's take a look who's strolling the gray pavement and what they are wearing. ...

John and Alyssa are wearing Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. and Pint Defiance, respectively.

Gary is wearing a straw hat with many brewery pins.

Tim is wearing a bear deer beer T-shirt.

Rick is wearing a T-shirt he found on beer.woot.com.

In case you're wondering, today I'm wearing Target, H&M and some black socks my ex-girlfriend left at my house.

These two guys were laughing so much I don't know who they are or what they are wearing.

Apparently there's a team that makes Rick drink.

Northwest "swampabilly" blues band is performing original music and covers, such as Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On."

Rest easy, Brew Five Three crowd: This man is here to make sure no one runs.

Engine House No. 9 bartender Todd McLaughlin is singing about E9's Nameless #25 IPA with Citra, Centennial, Mosaic and Simcoe hops to the tune of U2's "Where the Street Have No Name." It's drawing a crowd, mostly because the IPA is freakin' hoppy delicious.

2:55 p.m.: The first pint glass breaks. The crowd erupts in cheers.

3 p.m.: It's announced over the Broadway Center's walkie talkie communication system that Tacoma Craft Beer Festival and Washington Brewers Festival tokens are being passed off as Brew Five Three tokens. TOKEN DEFCON is now 2.

EMCEE:

Thank you Broadway Center Instagram for all the delicious posts from the Brew Five Three beer festival. Gazing at Broadway Center Marketing Coordinator Mariesa Bus' Instagram posts, I can tell she bases much of her work on Renaissance imagery and brings classical aplomb to her posts.

Lady A of the West Coast Women & Blues Band has just popped into the crowd.

The chemistry between Nat Woodsmith and Elise Woodsmith at the Puyallup River Brewing Co. booth is engaging, although the sometimes breakneck pace at which their extended pours have been directed runs roughshod over punch lines and transitional moments. Nat, in particular, rolls equal parts boyish bounciness and comic mania into his pours, especially his tasty Bourbon Barrel-aged 3 IPA, which rings in at 11 percent ABV. It's all good; they're head brewer and wife.

4:30 p.m.: The comedy portion of Brew Five Three hit the pavement outside the Pantages Theater.

Colin Harvin of 7 Seas Brewing has been performing comedy at beer festivals all summer. He's quick. Clearly, his routines from the 7 Seas' booths showcase that. Although he had moments of focusing on the negative things in his life (which is still always funny), he hits topics such as politics and potholes in Tacoma. He pulls from the world, and he knows what he is talking about. He is amazing and sharp and can work with anything you throw at him, even while pouring the 7 Seas' Depth Finder IRA - a inspired NW style ale that combines the hop profile of an IPA (Columbus, Palisade and Simcoe) with the malt character of a lusciously, smooth Amber ale. Harvin is not joking when he says the IRA has a resinous, bitter finish.

Over at the Amnesia Brewing booth, Brew Five Three Director Aaron Stevens, who believes he broke his foot navigating stairs last night, joined in on a live script reading of the 2006 film Beerfest, about two brothers who travel to Germany for Oktoberfest, only to stumble upon a secret, centuries-old competition described as a Fight Club with beer games. The folks gathered around the Amnesia Brewing booth compared the reading to Amy Schumer's comedy, although the crowd was drinking plenty of delicious Amnesia Trail Hazer Ale, a medium body, floral dry hopped version of its popular Dusty Trail Pale Ale.

5:45 p.m.: The first jumper of the day climbed over the fence at the south end of the festival at 11th Street right into the arms of several volunteers. Without a wrist band and tokens, the jumper felt stupid and left unescorted.

The Mark Riley Trio is pulling people off the beer trail and up onto the concert arena. A guitar craftsman and veteran of such bands as Snake Oil, Little Bill & The Bluenotes and The Mark Whitman Band, Riley and crew are playing blistering blues.

Odd Otter Brewing Co. in downtown Tacoma, a brewery schedule to open within a month, is pouring its Coconut Chai Ale, one of five Otter beers at the Brew Five Three. It's like drinking a porter on a tropical beach not engulfed in a tropical storm, even though the staff clearly would be fun at a beach bar. Bravo!

SFX:

Drum roll (sustained quietly during the following) - The talk of Brew Five Three is Brickyard Brewing's Southwestern Hatch Green Chili Blonde Ale. The Hatch Green Chili peppers are from New Mexico, providing a subtle heat, making this beer perfect for a pizza. It's amazing, and at 5.2 percent ABV, so drinkable.

EMCEE:

It's intermission, ladeeez and gennelmen. Ice Cream Social and beer will be on sale during the interval, and then hurry back to your seats as we bring you further marvels in the Brew Five Three (read: blogger needs a drink).

7 p.m.: Intermission was shattered with the news the sixth pint glass was dropped on Broadway. Once again, cheers erupted.

Intermission is back on. Here's a shot of the Brew Five Three crowd to hold you over until Stephanie Anne Johnson takes the stage. Can you spot the Top Rung Brewing Company founders? Hint: They're in the middle of the shot.

In the late-1980s, Anthrax was part of an MTV contest wherein they would wreak havoc on the winner's home. A few years later, the legendary metal band reprised their role as house destroyers on Married with Children, when Bud Bundy wins dinner and a concert with the band. At best, it was pointless. Guest appearances can go wrong, unless you're Randi Rodgers of The Swiss Restaurant and Pub. Rodgers had the crowd in her palm today guest pulling the taps at the Seattle Cider Co. booth at Brew Five Three.

Stephanie Anne Johnson and her band are rocking the Brew Five Three. In fact people are (gasp) putting down the pint glasses and dancing.

The dude with the Wingman Brewers T-Shirt dancing in the middle of the dance floor before Stephanie Anne Johnson inspired us to end the night with a full pint of Wingman's IPA.

EMCEE:

That's the end of the show! That's the end of the show! Wow, it's been a quick but also very long seven hours. Thanks for spending them with us. End of the shooooooooow!

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,

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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