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Posts made in: 'Open and Shut Cases' (32) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 32

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 9, 2015 at 9:57am

Aficionado Cigar Lounge in Tacoma expands service

Brian Larson enjoys a cigar, one of over 100 brands sold at the Aficionado Cigar Lounge in Tacoma. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The Aficionado Cigar Lounge serves as a refuge for those seeking a spot to smoke a fine cigar.

"This is a great place to come and enjoy one," commented Brian Larson as he relaxed next to Mr. Punch, the wooden statue just inside the front door that greets customers.

Mr. Punch, an historical figure from the mid-1800s who wears an unmistakably sly smile and always holds a Cuban cigar in his hand, is symbolic of the fine cigars sold at the lounge.

"Nothing but the best cigars and pipe tobaccos are sold here," adds Larson.

Selling the best in tobacco products has led to the expansion of the lounge.

"We're excited about this," said Kevin Michael, the lounge's manager, during a telephone interview.

"Expanding our business to better serve our customers is always to be desired."

With an approximate 800 square foot expansion, the lounge will offer customers more seating space with television, a new bar and more humidors from which to select their favorite cigars and tobaccos.

"Seating will double, and we've also added a ramp for our disabled customers to enjoy our products," added Myriah Akin, a long time employee. "We've been a favorite spot for cigar lovers to visit, and we are making it even better."

The expansion will include a new bar serving beer, wine and cocktails. The previous bar area will be converted into an event space.

The Aficionado Cigar Lounge is at 7121 Waller Road E. in Tacoma. For more information, call 253.531.8814.

Filed under: Open and Shut Cases, Tacoma,

February 16, 2015 at 10:39am

Tacoman opens gluten-free brewery

Jason Yerger, left and Brian Thiel poured their Ghostfish Brewing Company gluten-free beers at the Cascadia Grains Conference in January. Photo credit: Karen Fleur Tofti-Tufarelli

One evening in January, Olympia's South Puget Sound Community College student union turned into a tasting room as attendees of the Cascadia Grains conference helped themselves to a gluten-free, mostly vegan dinner, then ambled over to brewers and distillers to sample whisky, beer, liqueur and more.

Tacoma resident Brian Thiel poured tastes of his Ghostfish Brewery Company's Single-Hop Eldorado IPA, Buckwheat Brown and a stout - all experimental varieties concocted in a brewing laboratory he developed with $30,000 raised through Kickstarter.

The tasting topped off the Cascadia Grains Conference - a funky mix of craft brewers, farmers, academics, maltsters, marketing types and entrepreneurs sniffing out opportunities in the go-go world of craft brewing. Craft breweries surged from 537 in 1994 to 2,768 in 2013, according to the Brewer's Association.

New barley and quinoa varieties, organic certification, and the intellectual property perils of selecting brewery names were just some of the conference topics.

Thiel's Ghostfish opened Feb. 5 in Seattle; the grand opening celebration occurs in March. Thiel and his business partners considered locating in Tacoma and looked at property on Hilltop, but ultimately opted for Seattle.

Ghostfish is dedicated (but not yet certified) gluten free; that distinction has led to inquiries from several states and even the U.K.

"People are beating (your) door down," he said, asking, ‘When are you going to be in Maine?'"

Ghostfish packaged beer products will be distributed in Tacoma and the South Sound, says Thiel.

Craft brewing is a mix of science and spunk, clear-eyed corporate and folksy collaborative: propelled by the "Grain to Glass" model - the craft brewing answer to a growing focus on quality ingredients and local sourcing -conference participant Westland Distillery has started meeting with farmers and workers in its supply chain, said Westland's Matt Hofmann; a future Westland label might feature a farm where its barley is grown.

"People care about where their (product) comes from - not just whether it's local, but how it's made," he said during a conference lunch of chicken roulade, local beet quinoa salad, cauliflower tabbouleh salad and winter-roasted veggies prepared by Yelm-based Simply Organic.

"What cool barley varietal can you grow, and can you make whiskey out of it?" Hofmann asked.

That question could be asked of both farmers and scientists: Westland wants to participate in helping local academic institutions develop more productive barley varietals - a process that Hofmann says takes a minimum of 10 years - trying to "turn the tide" of barley production upward.

Westland uses 40,000 pounds of malted barley every week, and as GMO corn "keeps marching Northwest," Hofmann said. Westland wants to ensure a robust supply of Washington-grown barley.

"We've been helping these guys develop their business and saying in effect, if you build it, we will come," Hofmann continued. "Western Washington is one of the best barley-growing regions."

Scott Fisk, an Oregon State University faculty research assistant, affirmed U.S. barley production has declined over the last 30 years - losing out to corn, soy, wheat and grass - but stopped short of saying that the U.S. is experiencing an actual barley shortage. Fisk's department is breeding barley for disease-resistance, quality and yield. One component of this research involves making crosses with barley strains from Germany, which Fisk says are fairly well adapted for Willamette and Skagit Valley growers.

But Thiel's Ghostfish, as a gluten-free brewery, doesn't use barley malt, since barley contains gluten.

Gluten-free brewers must use gluten-free malt such as that made by Wellington, Colorado's Grouse Malting and Roasting Company - one of the only certified U.S. gluten-free maltsters. CEO Twila Henley said that Grouse's gluten-free malt costs 50 to 100 percent more than regular craft barley malt.

Seattle's first gluten-free brewery Ghostfish is open 3-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday at 2942 1st Ave. S., just a few blocks south of Safeco and CenturyLink fields. The brewery also serves an assortment of gluten-free pizzas.

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

December 1, 2014 at 2:38pm

Christmas Eve dining options in Tacoma

Pacific Grill in downtown Tacoma will serve dinner early Christmas Eve. Courtesy photo

What is about Christmas Eve that conjures up the image of the second ghost who visits Ebenezer Scrooge in the Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol?

The Ghost of Christmas Present tends to be depicted as a Father Christmas-type character: enormous in size and spirit with constant raucous laughter and a booming voice. He is typically dressed in long, flowing robes and other finery and is surrounded by a gluttonous feast of holiday foods while he hoists an impressively large goblet of wine.

Perhaps this is why on the eve before the big day, so many of us want to eat, drink and be merry with wild abandon.

More than ever, locals are flocking to grab their favorite eats on Christmas Eve and revel in the deliciousness of the holiday spirit.

Following are a few Tacoma establishments getting ready to welcome patrons to relax and enjoy fine holiday dining the day before the big day. Let the feast and festivities begin!

Important note and BIG TIME WARNING: We can't reiterate enough how popular this dining day is. Things at your favorite restaurant may be different that day as well - like reduced hours. To avoid disappointment, pre-plan. Make a reservation well in advance and check websites to get the scoop.

And hey, don't get all bah humbug on us and say we didn't warn you.

Pacific Grill (downtown Tacoma) and Smoke + Cedar(at the Allenmore Golf Course in Central Tacoma)

The beautiful and iconic Pacific Grill and its sister restaurant, the eclectic and exciting Smoke + Cedar, will both be open from 3 to 8 p.m. for a special Christmas Eve dinner. The award-winning Pacific Grill features a menu of fun and high-energy fine dining, and Smoke + Cedar has put a creative spin on American food and craft cocktails. Guests will find a menu with many of the delicious regular items from both establishments, plus some special dishes for the holidays. 

CI Shenanigans (Ruston Way, Tacoma waterfront)

This elegant waterfront restaurant has sweeping views of the sound along with a terrific selection of savory seafood and steaks and so much more. Lunch and dinner dining will be available on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. It is also playing host to a special Christmas Day buffet at the restaurant, by reservation only, from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Adults are $31.99; seniors are $28.99, kids ages 6 to 10 are $13.99; and kids 5 and under are $6.99.

BITE (Hotel Murano, downtown Tacoma)

This lovely restaurant, located in the gorgeous Hotel Murano in downtown Tacoma, is known for its nibbles, cocktails, small plates and unique dinners that use the freshest local ingredients. It will be open regular hours for dinner on Christmas Eve and will have special holiday features to celebrate.

Stanley and Seafort's (downtown Tacoma)

This iconic Tacoma landmark restaurant has stunning city views and classic American fare featuring steaks, chops and seafood. The restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve from noon to 9 p.m. and on Christmas Day from noon to 8 p.m. Diners can expect the traditional menu flavored with special holiday-themed desserts to mark the occasion. 

The Cliff House (Northeast Tacoma, Brown's Point)

The historic and eclectic Cliff House restaurant, nestled atop a bluff in Northeast Tacoma, offers spectacular and panoramic views of the Tacoma cityscape, Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier. Specialty steaks and seafood are its hallmarks. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 24. As of press time, staff is putting together a limited holiday menu for diners to enjoy. 

The Lobster Shop (Ruston Way, Tacoma waterfront)

Combine stunning views of the bay along with a bevy of classic and eclectic seafood selections, and you have the iconic Lobster Shop. It will be open Dec. 24 with a special all-day holiday dinner menu featuring the restaurant's most popular dishes. Hours are from noon until 8 p.m. 

The Melting Pot (downtown Tacoma)

Dip your way to holiday fondue fun at The Melting Pot on Pacific Avenue. Break out your fondue forks to enjoy the current menu fare on Christmas Eve. It will be open standard hours for dinner, 5 to 10 p.m.

El Gaucho (downtown Tacoma)

El Gaucho offers elegant fine dining, literally at its best through both food and service, and is ready to wine and dine patrons with its current dinner menu on Christmas Eve during standard hours; dinner will be served from 4 to 10 p.m. 

Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge (Triangle District, downtown Tacoma)

This dining establishment is located in the historic and glorious Walker Building and serves up a diverse menu of seasonal fare using the freshest local ingredients. On Christmas Eve, the restaurant will open at 4 p.m. and close early at 8 p.m. There will be a special menu featuring one or two holiday-inspired choices.

Marrow (6th Avenue District, Tacoma)

Satisfy the carnivores and the vegans/vegetarians in your holiday group at terrific Marrow, which specializes in seasonal Northwest food and drink. Marrow will be open its standard hours from 4 p.m. to midnight. As of press time, the menu is still being planned, but will surely offer some great choices. As a reminder, patrons need to be 21 and older to enter this establishment.  

Over the Moon Café (Opera Alley, Tacoma)

This café, located in quaint and charming Opera Alley in downtown Tacoma, serves up Northwest and European cuisine and fine wines with a lovely ambiance. It will offer the current menu Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

What other Tacoma, of for that matter, South Sound restaurants are open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

November 29, 2014 at 1:26pm

Odd Otter Brewing Co. - New Brew Space Oddity

Major Odd

Ground Control to Major Odd
Ground Control to Major Odd
Tap your barrels
and put your brewing apron on

Ground Control to Major Odd
Commencing countdown,
today the lights are finally on
Check your pH levels
and may Tarka's love be with you

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Pour!

This is Ground Control
to Major Odd
You've really made the grade
And the Weekly Volcano want to know what shirts you made
Now it's time to leave the den
if you dare

This is Major Odd to Ground Control
I'm opening up the door
And I'm pouring
the most peculiar beer
And the crowd begins to cheer

For here
Am I sitting on a tin kettle
Far from Point Defiance Zoo
The new brewery is overdue
And there's nothing I could do

Though our 1888 building remodel is past
one hundred thousand dollars
I'm feeling very still
And I think my ownership knows which way to go
Tell the other otters I love them very much
they know

Ground Control to Major Odd
Your beers are unusual,
but there's nothing wrong
Can you bring me a Strawberry Blonde Otter, Major Odd?
Can you bring me a Momma Otter's Pancake Porter, Major Odd?
Can you hear me a Comrade Otter's Russian Imperial Chocolate Stout, Major Odd?
Can you....

Here am I drinking
round my tin kettles
Far from the home sea
Odd Otter Brewing Co is new
tell the others at the zoo.

ODD OTTER BREWING CO., 11-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 716 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.209.7064

Backstory on Odd Otter Brewing Co.

November 26, 2014 at 1:24pm

Three Magnets Brewing introduces casual surf and turf

Three Magnets Brewing's Jamburger with savory jam and bacon / photo courtesy of Facebook

At the Olympia's new brewpub Three Magnets Brewing Co., the "soft launch has turned rock-hard very quickly," as a recent post on the pub's Facebook page put it.

The pub opened Nov. 7, with the all-ages restaurant section opening Nov. 17, but it's already getting plenty of attention from fans of local beer, local food and soccer - which is on the bar's TV whenever there's a game on.

The simple menu is still evolving, but it will continue to evolve - and it will continue to be simple.

"It's always going to be a pretty small menu," says Sara Reilly, who owns the brewery and pub - and popular breakfast spot Darby's - with husband, Nate Reilly.

"That's what we've been able to learn from Darby's," she says. "It's famous because it has this huge menu, and it pleases everyone, but it's not a very good way to run a business.

"The idea is to try to do a couple of things and do them well. It's almost like a food-truck mentality."

>>> Three Magnets Brewing's salt-cod Reuben / photo courtesy of Facebook

The focus is on a casual version of surf and turf - including hand-ground burgers on housemade spent-grain buns, fish and chips and a salt-cod Reuben. All of the sauces are made in house.

On a visit last week, we had the Lamburger ($14), jazzed up with lemon-mint marmalade, and the Jamburger ($13), with savory jam that was a bit like a more exciting and chunkier version of ketchup. The bacon was gone when we arrived at 9 p.m., as were the buns, but toasted bread worked just fine.

The burgers come with a cup of the soup of the day (also sold out) or a mug of fries that were light, crisp, hot and just salty enough. And - be still my heart - the fries are gluten free, although the staff points out that in a brewery there is a risk of contamination that may be a problem for those with celiac disease.

My companion didn't want fries, and the kitchen was willing to substitute a simple side salad with malt vinaigrette.

There are a couple of vegetarian options, including Beercheese Mac ($7), with more on the way, and a small kids menu.

But don't go in on the hunt for any specific dish.

"We're keeping very few items from day to day," Reilly says. "We're trying to come up with new menus daily.

"We don't want to make a commitment on anything that people can expect."

Actually, that's not quite true. Three Magnets doesn't want to marry any specific menu item, but patrons can expect food that's fresh, local and of high quality, Reilly promises.

Some of the produce is coming from Wobbly Cart Farm, and fish will change based on what's available, she says, with a focus on fresh, never-frozen varieties.

Housemade gravlax is on the way, as are seasonal game burgers. "We'll have a venison burger, an elk burger and things like that, but we're always going to grind it in house," she says.

Also coming soon will be lunch, weekend brunch and more beverage options beyond beer. Again, the focus will be close to local.

Currently, the pub has the simplest of wine options - a house white and a house red ($5 for a snifter) - but more Eastern Washington wines are on the way, including some from Salida Winery in Rainier.

There'll be cocktails, too, probably in the next month or two. Just don't expect a full bar.

"We're not going to have Bacardi and Coke, because we don't have Bacardi or Coke," Reilly says, "but we might have a nice artisanal rum from the San Juan Islands and our housemade malt cola."

THREE MAGNETS BREWING CO., 4ish-10ish p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 4ish-11ish p.m. Friday and Saturday, 600 Franklin St. SE, Suite 102, Olympia, 360.972.2481


Science with Three Magnets Brewing Co.'s head brewer Pat Jansen

November 17, 2014 at 5:02pm

TWOKOI Japanese Restaurant forced to temporarily close

17th Street in downtown Tacoma to undergo major construction, city's sake supply cut in half.

I stared at the message: TWOKOI is closing. My stomach turned, and my eyes watered. It wasn't until I approached the message a third time that "temporary" registered.

TWOKOI Japanese Restaurant is forced to temporarily close due to the construction improvements to 17th Street outside the restaurant's huge windows. According to the city of Tacoma Construction Projects website, "The University of Washington Tacoma has expressed a desire to re-align South 17th Street into a continuous Street and to reconfigure the intersections at South 17th/Broadway/Jefferson and South 17th/Commerce/Jefferson. This work will include a new rock wall on the north side of South 17th Street between Commerce and Broadway; new ADA ramps at both intersections; curb, gutter, sidewalk; a grind and overlay of Jefferson between South 19th and South 17th and a road section on South 17th between Commerce and the west side of Broadway. This project will also include some utility upgrades."

TWOKOI management, although scared to death, will take advantage of the downtime to make improvement to the Japanese restaurant.

The restaurant will close Nov. 27, and according to TWOKOI management, remain closed until probably May 2015.

The website will remain live, where updates will be posted.

Bye-bye best sake collection in the South Sound.

Filed under: Open and Shut Cases, Tacoma,

November 17, 2014 at 12:41pm

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with Jessica Nicoletti of King Solomon's Reef

Jessica Nicoletti serves delicious milkshakes at King Solomon's Reef in downtown Olympia. Photo credit: Nikki McCoy

Every week we swap out the Served banner art above, introducing you to the people who serve food and drinks in the South Sound. This week, meet Jessica Nicoletti.

Server Banner Girl, Nov. 17-23, 2014

Jessica Nicoletti

King Solomon's Reef in downtown Olympia re-opened in May 2012. After two fires and 15 months of restoration, the Reef's curse has turned into a blessing. The inside is immaculate. In the restaurant, the original booths are refinished to a smooth charcoal vinyl. The ceiling is pressed tin for a fascinating pattern. The wood paneling has been recreated. Everything is ship-shape, yet you can feel the nostalgia the building holds. The bar is still swanky, too. On the food side, the self-proclaimed "Best Diner in the Galaxy" serves favorites such as a delicious Monte Carlo, the Pac Man breakfast sandwich, fried chicken and waffles, homemade sausage and amazing housemade pies. Leading the charge are the coolest kids in town, including server Jessica Nicoletti.

Why do you serve?
"I have been in the service industry since I was about 13 years old - making milkshakes and sundaes in a tiny, stand-alone hamburger joint in a very small town in Wisconsin. It has always been a part of my life and I can honestly say I genuinely enjoy what I do. It is very rewarding to serve in such a centrally located spot in our quirky and lovable community."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?
"I have some really amazing friends working downtown and picking just one is difficult! I really love Danielle Ruse at The Brotherhood and her drink knowledge blows my mind. Watching her bartend on a busy and packed Saturday night is amazing. She moves so quickly and fluidly, her drinks are always on point and she does all of this with a smile across her face. She is definitely a person that I look up to in live and in the serving world."

What are you most proud to serve?
"I am mostly proud of my milkshakes. Ironically, I have a dairy allergy, but I do put a lot of love into them. On a larger scale, I am proud to serve anything and everything at The Reef. Our staff works so hard."

What's your current drink of choice?
"I like to indulge in a soy chai tea latte at Cafe Vita or OCR made by some of the best baristas in town. Both have a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. In the spirits world, I really love a Moscow Mule. But I really love all of the cocktails on our drink menu at Obsidian. That's right, I'm going to be bartending at the new café and music venue down the street from The Reef. Our soft opening is this Thursday - with a partial menu for two weeks. Our grand opening will be in the beginning of December."

Favorite movie?
"Why is this always the toughest question? I'm not sure I can break this tie but I am somewhere in between The Little Mermaid and The Holy Mountain."

What don't you serve?

What's on your radar at the Reef?
"We have recently added some delicious blended cocktails - some with more standout names such as the Astroglide. Yes, you may ask us what is in it ... but you should definitely try it first."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

LINK: South Sound Happy Hour App

November 12, 2014 at 10:41am

Beer Here: Three Magnets opens, Coast to Coast Toast, Tacoma New West CDA ...

There are people inside Three Magnets Brewing Co. in downtown Olympia! Photo courtesy of Facebook

Cold? Yes, I noticed. But that's one of the many reasons we have beer. Get to it. ...


Three Magnets Brewing Co. (600 Franklin St. SE, Olympia) has opened the bar section of its giant venture. Those 21 and older may enjoy a limited food menu and, of course, beers.

New Belgium Brewing will takeover the taps at Pint & Quarts Pub (1230 College St. SE, Lacey). Tickets for tastings are a dollar each, beginning at 6 p.m.

Seriously Puyallup River Alehouse? You couldn't wait until after Black Friday to host Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co.? The brewery's infamous Bourbon County Stout will be released the day after Thanksgiving, unleashing the imperial stout with a fearsome 14 percent alcohol content, aged in used bourbon barrels from places like Iowa's Templeton Rye, and hunted for by fans on their release dates like a Beautiful Angle poster. Oh well, Goose Island will bring its other beers and schwag to the downtown Puyallup alehouse from 6-9 p.m.


Thursday marks the official day (and night) of the Coast to Coast Toast. Vanberg & DeWulf, who founded the Coast to Coast Toast three years ago, was the first company to specialize in importing Belgian beers to the U.S. The principals of Vanberg & DeWulf (Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield) have been tireless champions for Belgian beer and now "honorary Belgians" all from independent family run producers. 99 Bottles (35002 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way) will raise a toast and feature the Vanberg & DeWuld portfolio, from 5-7 p.m.

The focus at The Forum in Puyallup (208 S. Meridian) will be Mac & Jack's IBIS IPA and Cascadian Dark Ale, beginning at 7 p.m. Two Seahawks tickets will be up for grabs, too.

The Copper Door (12 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma) hosts Full Sail Brewing Company out of Hood River, Oregon. Expect Cascade Pilsner, Wasail, Mathias's Main Ingredient Oatmeal Stout, Session Fest and others, besides a raffle from 6-8 p.m.

The ParkWay Tavern (313 N. I St., Tacoma) welcomes 10 Barrel Brewing Company from Bend, Oregon, and their Uberliner Berliner Weissbier, Power to the People American Stout, German Sparkle Party Berliner Weissbier, Apoxalypse IPA, among others, beginning at 5 p.m.

Randall alert! Top Rung Brewing Co. (8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Lacey) will runs its Prying Irons IPA through fresh hops beginning at 4 p.m.


Unless you have been living in a pothole, you know the Tacoma Art Museum busts out its Haub Family Collection of Western American Art and the museum expansion Saturday. TAM is celebrating the largest gift in the museum's 79-year history with an all-day and night party plus releasing a signature Harmon Brewing Co. ale and a Heritage Distilling Co. bourbon. Harmon's Tacoma New West CDA, a unique Cascadian dark ale brewed with six different malted barleys and chocolate wheat - which means it's black like a stout and the flavor is hoppy like an IPA. Tacoma New West CDA is sold in all Harmon Brewing locations, and a special limited edition will be available in the TAM Cafe. Heritage's Tacoma New West Bourbon Whiskey is a 92-proof bourbon aged less than two years with tones of caramel and vanilla, leaving a light sweetness in the high center of the palate and a smooth lingering finish.

Does the glass matter when tasting craft beer? That's the question Morso Wine Bar (9014 Peacock Hill Ave., Gig Harbor) will answer drinking beer from Spieglau's Pilsner glass, Hefe glass, IPA glass, Tulip glass, plus a typical pint glass, from 1-3 p.m. Reserve your $49 ticket at 253.530.3463.


Iron Horse Brewery - the Ellensburg, Washington, brewery that loves to party - will bring a bunch of beer and schwag to The Swiss (1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) from 6-9 p.m.

Puyallup River Alehouse (120 S. Meridian, Puyallup) hosts North Coast Brewing Company out of Fort Bragg, California, for a night of Blue Star Wheat Beer, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Acme California IPA and other brews, plus schwag giveaways from 6-9 p.m.


Over by Pacific Lutheran University, beer geek Erick Swenson will offer a German beer sampler at 208 Garfield (208 Garfield, Parkland) for $6 a person, beginning at 6 p.m. 

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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Recent Comments

Budi Sdk said:

A very interesting article, to add insight can be read at


Ted Smith said:

Thank you for the list of restaurants to try out. I will have to try their Mac and Cheese....

about Tournament of Mac and Cheese: It's Cheesy 16 time!

tastymakan said:

I like your post on Bakery restaurants I like ...

about Mac and Cheese Madness: The Homestead Restaurant and Bakery

Angela Whitten said:

Any Spring beers?

about Cheers to Winter Beers in Puyallup

Web Developers Delhi said:

Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading...

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