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October 28, 2014 at 10:04am

Olympia's Street of Dreams: Food Edition

Meconi's Italian Subs begins a Capitol Way food trail toward the Olympia Farmers Market. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

This isn't just a story about Olympia restaurants: It's also a self-guided walking tour of Capitol Way, Olympia's answer to Main Street.

The stretch from where the road begins at the Olympia Farmers Market south to the State Capital Museum on 21st Avenue is a great walk to take to get to know Olympia. It's a mile and a half, just enough to stimulate your appetite - and, given the weather this time of year, have you ready to get warm and dry when you choose a destination. (For a shorter walk, start at the Capitol Campus at 14th Avenue and Capitol Way.)

Another benefit, parking is free and easy south of the Capitol, although in many areas it's limited to two hours per day on business days.

Read Molly Gilmore's Capitol Way discoveries in the Restaurant section.

Filed under: Olympia,

October 27, 2014 at 10:54am

Where to eat after 9 p.m. in Olympia and Lacey

Dillingers Cocktails & Kitchen in downtown Olympia serves food until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

We spotted guitarist Vince Brown enjoying a post-gig meal earlier this month at the stylish Dillingers Cocktails & Kitchen.

Brown has a whole array of late-night favorites - just the way most people have a collection of favorite restaurants that close at 9 p.m.

"My go-to restaurants are Dillingers, QB, Swing and Le Voyeur, though QB is the only one you can really count on during the week," he says.

By that, he means that Quality Burrito serves food until midnight every night, while hours vary at most other places - and if it's a slow night, many will stop serving early.

Read Molly Gilmore's full feature on late-night eats in Olympia and Lacey in the Restaurants section.

Filed under: Lacey, Olympia, Nightlife,

October 15, 2014 at 10:23am

Beer Here: Green Flash Treasure Chest, 7 Seas Brewing experiment, Oktoberfests, pumpkin beer floats, Pike Brewing turns 25, fresh hop beers ...

ParkWay Tavern in Tacoma will pour Green Flash Treasure Chest beer to fight breast cancer Oct. 15.

The only thing more radical than autumn in the South Sound is drinking good fall beers during fall in the South Sound.


One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. One such individual was Green Flash Brewing Company co-owner Lisa Hinkley, who was diagnosed in 2010 and, through proper treatment and her strong will, has since come out the other side victorious. With the support of her San Diego brewery, Hinkley helps raise funds to fight breast cancer with an ale brewed specifically to benefit Susan G. Komen - Green Flash Treasure Chest. The style changes each year. This year, the Treasure Chest is a barrel-aged Belgian-style farmhouse ale made pink with the addition of plum purée. Beginning at 5 p.m., the ParkWay Tavern will tap the new beer, as well as 11 other Green Flash beers. The 2014 Treasure Chest is fruity and flowery with a very subdued spice that comes on in the finish. There will be loads of Green Flash prizes, a fancy gift basket from Deschutes and the ParkWay's own "garage sale."

Pints & Quarts Pub allows Firestone Walker Brewing Co. to take over its taps beginning at 6 p.m. Tastes are a $1 for each beer. Shell out $4, and drink a whole pint, as well as keep the glass.


October 9, 2014 at 11:37am

South Sound fall cooking classes

Chef Tom Pantley has been hosting cooking classes for 25 years. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Contrary to the 70 degree weather we are still experiencing here in the South Sound, it is fall. This means you have to put a cover on your barbeques and smokers then dust off the pots and pans. Ready yourself for family holiday gatherings, because even though Halloween hasn't arrived, it is right around the corner. My advice, aside from psychologically readying yourself to tolerate your weird uncle and smooch-happy meemaw, is to spruce up your skills in the kitchen with a cooking class or two. Here are a few options on the local level to get crafty in the kitchen:

Toscanos Café and Wine Bar

437 29th St. NE, Puyallup

Chef Tom Pantley of Toscanos in Puyallup has been hosting demonstrative-styled cooking classes for 25 years. Sunday, Nov. 30 is your next opportunity, and a $60 ticket price includes a four-course dinner paired with wine samples, plus recipes and instruction. Pantley covers a variety of cooking techniques, so stay tuned for the theme. Reservation is required, 253.864.8600.

Bayview School of Cooking

516 Fourth Ave. W., Olympia

Bayview School of Cooking is a "no duh" choice when on the prowl for cooking classes. It hosts a variety of classes year round that include instruction from trained professionals as well as guest chefs, plus wine and beer pairings. There are even courses for your mini chefs. Class fees range from $25 to $90. Here are a few standouts for the season:

  • Oct. 9: Beautiful Braises;
  • Oct. 27: Gluten Free;
  • Oct. 28: Biscuits;
  • Nov. 5: Pacific Northwest Party;
  • Nov. 11: Fall Veggies;
  • Nov. 13: Holiday Appetizers;
  • Nov. 20: Citrus, Pomegranate and Olives.

Visit for full course details and registration.

STAR Center

3873 S. 66th St., Tacoma

STAR Center in Tacoma hosts a plethora of activities for all members of the family, including cooking classes. These classes are often mindful of proper nutrition and highlight seasonal flavors and fun. Class fees are typically $25 to $30. Here are a few coming up this season:

  • Oct. 25, noon: Halloween Spooktacular Treats and Tricks;
  • Nov. 14, 6 p.m.: Cooking Class with Chef Ron: Fancy Up Your Thanksgiving Feast;
  • Dec. 13,10 a.m.: Baking Up a Story: The Gingerbread Man;
  • Dec. 13,noon, Baking Extravaganza.

Visit for full course details and registration.

Primo Grill

2701 Sixth Ave., Tacoma

Though I was unable to confirm upcoming dates and themes, Chef Charlie McManus of Primo Grill has hosted some spectacular and diverse cooking courses in the past for foodies. I recommend visiting the new Primo Grill location on Sixth Avenue.

Dazzle your guests with your newfound culinary prowess. Wow their taste buds and set your goals high. Maybe we will see you on the next episode of Food Network's Chopped.

October 8, 2014 at 9:55am

Beer Here: Jubelpalooza, Hops For Hope, Oktoberfest Battle of the Brands, Proctoberfest ...

The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosted Battle of the Brands: IPAs in March. It will host an Oktoberfest competition Oct. 9. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

If you like drinking beer in public places, well you're in luck, my tippling exhibitionist friend, because there are some great opportunities tonight through the weekend in the South Sound.


Nearly 50,000 people could have tossed back 3,500 beers from 726 breweries at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last weekend. It's the biggest and best sudstravaganza in the world. 99 Bottles in federal Way still has GABF fever, and will offer 18 beers that have won awards at the festival from 1999 through last weekend, including Deschutes Obsidian Stout, New Belgium La Folie, Port Hop 15 Imperial IPA, and AleSmith Old Numbskull, which grabbed gold this year in the Barleywine Style Ale category. You pay just $2 to sample 10. Pouring starts at 5 p.m. and last call check-in happens at 7 p.m.

Feel that nip in the air? That flurry of October snow? You know what that means, right? It's The ParkWay Tavern's annual Jubelpalooza beginning at 5 p.m. Skate on over to the Tacoma tavern, wrap your scarf around a snowman and head inside to warm your hands - and your tummy with Deschutes Brewery's JubelAle: A festive Winter Ale. The Bend, Oregon brewery has been producing the robust and malty but approachable beer for 27 years.

Here is your taplist for Jubelpalooza:

  • Jubelale '12 - 7%ABV
  • Jubelale '13 - 6.7%ABV
  • Jubelale '14 - 6.7%ABV
  • Nitro Obsidian Stout - 6.4%ABV
  • Nitro Cinder Cone Red - 5.3%ABV
  • Fresh Squeezed IPA - 6.4%ABV
  • Hop Trip Fresh Hop - 5.9%ABV
  • Inversion IPA (RANDALL) - 6.8%ABV
  • River Ale Blonde - 4%ABV
  • Chain Breaker White IPA - 5.6%ABV
  • Doppel Dinkel Bock - 10.5%ABV
  • Not The Stoic Quad -12.1%ABV
  • 2014 Mirror Mirror Barley Wine - 11.2%ABV
  • Black Butte 25 - 11.3%ABV
  • Black Butte 26 - 10.8%ABV
  • Abyss '12 - 11%ABV
  • Abyss '13 - 11%ABV

Puyallup River Alehouse welcomes Hop Valley Brewing Co. to the South Sound. The Eugene, Oregon, brewery is growing fast and you'll discover why from 6-9 p.m. Karl from Hop Valley will be at the downtown Puyallup alehouse with glassware giveaways, raffle prizes and beers that would join a jam band if they could.

The Copper Door honors Domestic Violence Action Month by hosting Hops For Hope, a fundraiser for YWCA Pierce County. Two dollars from every pint benefits the YWCA's life-saving domestic violence services.


Who's got the best Oktoberfest beer? Six breweries will battle for all the marbles. Ninkasi Brewing, Sam Adams, Pyramid Breweries, Silver City Brewery, Fish Brewing and Full Sail Brewing Company are bringing their best Oktoberfest brews to The Swiss Restaurant and Pub for a Battle of the Brands: Oktoberfest Edition, beginning at 6 p.m. Grab a passport to sample all the beers before casting your vote. Expect giveaways and swag.

As previously mentioned, Pint Defiance hosts Top Rung Brewing Co. from 5-7 p.m. Top Rung's Double IPA will be up for first tastes, along with the Lacey brewery's other beers.

The Copper Door welcomes No-Li Brewhouse for a night of the Spokane brewery's beers, beginning at 5 p.m.


Engine House No. 9 will tap 10 Barrel Brewing Co.'s German Sparkle Party Berliner Weisse at 6 p.m. Berliner Weisse is a sour, tart, fruity, effervescent ale, often referred to as the champagne of beers for its light and sparkly texture. The event will mark E9's commitment to a permanent 10 Barrel Berliner Weiss tap.

You've attended Bayview School of Cooking's "Fridays Uncorked" nights. You've casually sipped five or so wines as you gazed out at beautiful Budd Bay. Feeling good, you moseyed downstairs to the Thriftway grocery store and bought five Tyson Breaded Chicken dinners, telling your kids to cook it and like it. Oct. 10, the wine series goes Oktoberfest as five German beers and German-style beers will be poured for $5. Also expect oom-pah music, pumpkin carving demonstration and customer judging of employee carved pumpkins. Does Tyson make schnitzel? 5-7 p.m., $5, $7 for paired plates, Bayview School of Cooking, 516 W. Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.1448

Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. knows if you listen to country music and fly a rebel flag everywhere you go and your neck gets burnt from exposure to the sun when you're out partying with friends while country rap band THE LACS blares in the background, you might be a redneck. Therefore, the downtown country/western joint hosts Rednecktoberfest from 9-11 p.m. Enjoy $2 cans of PBR, Hamms and Rainier, as you could win a pair of tickets to see THE LACS live at Steel Creek Nov. 16.


Don't freak out if you see a bunch of lederhosen-wearing folks gobbling up free cheese samples at Metropolitan Market. These folks are just taking a breather from Proctoberfest, the Proctor Farmers Market's nod to Oktoberfest. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., vendors and breweries will pour beer and cider as well as fire up the brats. The tamale people should probably double their production this week. Despicable Me 2 is screening across the street at The Blue Mouse Theatre.

The Top Rung Brewing Co.'s Hoptober party will consume the taproom, front patio and the large parking lot behind the brewery from 2-9 p.m. Expect barbecue food, games such as cornhole, ladder toss and Jenga. As mentioned previously in the New Beer Column, Top Rung's Trashed Pumpkin Ale will be released at the party. Bluegrass trio The Outlanders will perform three sets beginning at 6 p.m. There isn't a cover charge.

October 6, 2014 at 10:37am

Served Blog Banner Girl: Q&A with Sherilyn Lightner of Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen

Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen Bar Manager Sherilyn Lightner is ready to serve you in downtown Olympia. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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 Sherilyn Lightner.

Server Banner Girl, Oct. 6-12, 2014

Sherilyn Lightner

Sherilyn Lightner runs the bar at Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen, the Prohibition-era speakeasy in downtown Olympia. She has been bar mistress at Dillingers since it opened Jan. 28 of this year. She was a month away from moving to Portland, Oregon, in search of her next bartending challenge when she was asked to be part of the Dillingers team. It was her first opportunity to open a bar from the ground up, thoughtfully choosing all of the products and compiling the cocktail menu to suit the tone and theme of Dillingers, while offering something different for Olympia.

She began bartending nearly 11 years ago at Mercato Ristorante next to the Olympia Farmers Market. Since then, she has bartended at Waterstreet Café and Acqua Via, both in Olympia, and Juno in Seattle. What began as a job during college has turned into her passion.

Bartending can mean different things to different people. For Lightner, it is an art form, a craft, to be honed and perfected. Part of her journey has included entering competitions. Next year will be her third year competing in Speed Rack, an all-female, nationwide bartending competition that raises money for breast cancer research. The competition is held in eight major cities, including Seattle where Lightner will be competing. Participants go head to head, and are judged on speed and accuracy of four classic cocktails, picked at random, by four judges. According to Lightner, it's humbling, exhilarating and nerve racking.

Why do you serve?

"I love hospitality. If I had the time and the means, I would host intimate dinner parties every night. Serving is my way of doing just that. For a few hours, you are given the opportunity to create an experience for people, and it's a fun challenge to figure out what kind of experience they are looking for. It's an extreme honor to serve others, and be invited into their lives for a moment." 

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"My favorite server in the South Sound is Andrew Buechel at Mercato Ristorante. He is the utmost professional, extremely attentive without being intrusive and he genuinely cares about hospitality. I call him ‘Champion', a nickname that he most definitely earned and deserves." 

What are you most proud to serve?

"I am most proud to serve any drink that a guest truly enjoys. I love broadening horizons, educating people about spirits and cocktails and turning people on to new things, but, ultimately, my job is to craft a drink that suits my guest. Whether that is a vodka and soda, or a Champs-Élysées, if you love it, I'm proud of it." 

What is your current drink of choice?

"I always love whiskey or cognac based cocktails. My ultimate go-to is the Vieux Carre, a blend of Cognac, Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine, and Peychauds and Angostura Bitters. It's like a Manhattan's richer, more sophisticated uncle. Or, a lovely glass of green Chartreuse with just a few ice cubes. You can never go wrong with Chartreuse." 

What is your favorite movie?

"Oy. That's a stressful question. I have different favorites based on different genres, or moods. However, if I had to pick ONE favorite, I would have to say Blade Runner. I could watch that film over and over, and never tire of it. SO good."

What don't you serve?

"I won't serve a drink that I can't stand behind. I taste nearly every cocktail I send out, because my name is attached to it. If it's not right, I won't serve it, and I'll keep working on it until it is right." 

What's on your radar at Dillingers?

"I want Dilllingers to continue to offer something different for Olympia. Now that we are established, I want to get into housemade infusions, barrel-aged cocktails, and more Dillingers originals. We will continue with pre-Prohibition and Prohibition-era cocktails as our main focus, but its a lot of fun to experiment, try new things and continue to challenge yourself. 

Meet Sherilyn Lightner: Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen Chef Denise Alsonso will cook and Bar Mistress Sherilyn Lightner will pour champagne cocktails at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 at the Bayview School of Cooking. The cost is $55. Reserve your space at 360.754.1448.

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

September 23, 2014 at 11:38am

Oktoberfest South Sound 2014: Calendar full of beer, dinners, music and dogs ...

Madchen reminded us in August that Little Creek Casino's Oct. 19 Oktoberfest will end the Bavarian season in the South Sound. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

We have the Fourth of July, Mexico has Dia de los Muertos, and Ireland has St. Patrick's Festival. When it came time for Germany to claim a holiday, they figured, why not just celebrate beer for a month? Touché, Germany. Since most of us can't make our way to Munich's massive Oktoberfest festival this year, giant halls, restaurants, boaters, bars and such in the South Sound are bringing Oktoberfest to us.


Wh-wh-WA? Pint Defiance has taken the "O" out of Oktoberfest and kicked it back to Oregon, or something. Wednesday night, the specialty beer store and tap will host (WA)ctoberfest, a celebration of Washington state craft beer. On tap will be Wingman Fresh Hop Northwest Pale, Boundary Bay Pilsner, Black Raven Hochtoberfest, Georgetown Tomtoberfest, Fremont Harvest Ale, Elysian Dark O' The Moon Pumpkin Stout and Schilling Spiced Apple Cider. Don't be surprised if you see a new limited edition Pint Defiance pint glass in the haus. 5-7 p.m., no cover, Pint Defiance, 2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma, 253.302.4240


German music and food - and pizza. That's right; Katie Downs hosts The Gary Hausam Band, offers a special German menu and continues to serve cheesy, thick triangles of goodness at its Oktoberfest. Better yet, Full Sail will sail into the waterfront restaurant with ample LTD Lager. Of course, LTD means limited edition. Since 2006, the Hood River brewery has changed the recipe, showcasing an original, Bavarian-style lager every year. In 2014, Recipe No. 7 is back, which means an Oktoberfest with imported Czech Saaz and Yakima Sterling hops. Tip one now because this three-time gold medal winner won't see October. 6-9 p.m., no cover, Katie Downs, 3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.756.0771

SEE ALSO: Oktoberfest Dinner at the Hotel Murano


The Red Hot will celebrate its Oktoberfest with a nod to acclaimed Bavarian brewery Ayinger Brauerei, located in the town of Aying, just a few miles north of the Munich area. Ayinger beers are characterized by a pronounced maltiness (in flavor and aroma) - accenting more than many of the beers from the major Munich breweries. Ayinger uses a significant portion of locally-grown barley and wheat to produce their beers. The water comes from the brewery's own well, and the hops come from the famous Hallertau region of north-central Bavaria, and Spalt, an area near Nuremberg. 11 a.m. to close, no cover, The Red Hot, 2914 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.779.0229

Fish Brewing Company's 16th Annual Oktoberfest will pack their downtown Olympia brewery. There you'll find all the things you've come to expect from a Fish Oktoberfest: down home, ole' fashion, ass kickin' southern-roots band The Slow Rollers and high energy funk, soul and sexy The Brown Edition. Live German oom-pah bands would only squash the groove. These two bands will pump out tunes to incite beer guzzling, various delicious wursts (there is no such thing as too much wurst), a sneak peek at the Hobbit beer series and an obscene amount of Leavenworth Biers Oktoberfest. 4-10 p.m., $25-$30 at, Fish Brewing Company, 515 Jefferson St., Olympia,


The Harmon Brewery & Eatery and the Harmon Tap Room present a week's worth of Oktoberfest fun. Click here for details.


Tides Tavern has been pouring craft beer since my boat shoes matched my Flock of Seagulls hair color. I've never attended their O-fest, but I'll endorse anything these folks do, sight unseen. From the day's opening, the waterfront restaurant will pair food with Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, one of the most highly-respected märzens. An Ayinger rep will be in the haus from 5-8 p.m. 11 a.m. to close, no cover, Tides Tavern, 2925 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.3982


SEE: Oktoberfest Northwest at the Washington State Fairgrounds


It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the air is crisper and the schnitzel is shooting out of tanks. Yep, you guessed it. It's Oktoberfest time at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The JBLM Oktoberfest celebration begins at 11 a.m. at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fest Tent. The event, lasting until 10 p.m., will feature German-themed music, entertainment, food and brew. The Oktoberfest celebration is free to attend. The menu at JBLM's Oktoberfest celebration will feature schnitzel, bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut, just to name a few items. Meals can be bought a la carte starting at $2 or as a menu starting at $9. Maisel's Weisse, Spaten Lager, Veltins and Zunft will be available for purchase. A variety of live bands will take the stage throughout the day. The Bonnie Birch Bavarian Band kicks things off at 11 a.m., ringing in Oktoberfest with traditional accordion and tuba music. The day's soundtrack will also feature polka bands and the Spazmatics, the popular ‘80s cover band. Kids may enjoy foam sword fights, pony and hay rides and a climbing wall. Adults will compete in a keg toss, stein hoist and tricycle race. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free admission, MWR Fest Tent, behind Bowl Arena Lanes on Liggett Avenue, Joint Base Lewis-McChord,

SEE ALSO: YachtoberFest at the The Foss Waterway Esplanade

SATURDAY, OCT. 5        

Summer is coming to an end, but it's far from the end of park season. Soundview Veterinary Hospital in Tacoma hosts their version of bark in the park when its Dogtoberfest runs wild in Kandle Park. The event will feature a costume contest, obstacle course, hot dogs and refreshments, and other activities to keep both you and your pet entertained. Leashed, licensed and well-behaved pets welcome. Bonus: The Copper Door will have a booth in the park, handing out coupons for discounted 7 Seas Brewing and Wingman Brewers harvest beers back at its 12 N. Tacoma Ave. store. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free admission, Kandle Park, 2323 N. Shirley, Tacoma, 253.759.4001


You've attended Bayview School of Cooking's "Fridays Uncorked" nights. You've casually sipped five or so wines as you gazed out at beautiful Budd Bay. Feeling good, you mosied downstairs to the Thriftway grocery store and bought five Tyson Breaded Chicken dinners, telling your kids to cook it and like it. Oct. 10, the wine series goes Oktoberfest as five German beers and German-style beers will be poured for $5. Also expect oom-pah music, pumpkin carving demonstration and customer judging of employee carved pumpkins. Does Tyson make schnitzel? 5-7 p.m., $5, $7 for paired plates, Bayview School of Cooking, 516 W. Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.1448

Top Rung Brewing Co. in Lacey will take its operation outside, hosting an outdoor beer garden for a fall party. Founders Casey and Jason are Thurston County firefighters, so if they don't want to call it an Oktoberfest celebration, then it's cool with me. Expect food, games and their new 360 Red Ale. Besides the area code in Lacey, 360 also has a firefighter meaning: a complete 360-degree assessment must be completed in order to size up an incident. I know I'll be sizing up the 360 Red Ale, made with Red X, 2-Row, Oats and Chocolate malts, Cascade and Nugget hops and American yeast. It rings in at 5.8 percent ABV. 2-9 p.m., no cover, Top Rung Brewing Co., 8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Lacey, 360.239.3043


Wingman Brewers will host a pumpkin and Oktoberfest party with the release of an Oktoberfest and several pumpkin beers. 509 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, 253.651.4832


The most memorable sight during this year's Olympia Brew Fest? Most guys would stumble over their words, but eventually admit it was the two young lasses dressed in Bavarian attire promoting the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Little Creek Casino. The guys have the pictures to prove it. The Shelton casino will have "authentic" German cuisine and more than 30 varieties of beer from around the world as well as wines and spirits. A traditional keg-tapping ceremony will be held at noon followed by live entertainment! Admission is $10 per person and includes a souvenir beer mug and 10 tasting tickets. Noon to 8 p.m., $10, Little Creek Casino, 91 W. State Route 108, Shelton, 800.667.7711

September 15, 2014 at 10:16am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with bartender Ian Hedlund of The Brotherhood Lounge

Ian Hedlund is a professional bartender at The Brotherhood Lounge in 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 Ian Hedlund.

Server Banner Boy, Sept. 15-21, 2014

Ian Hedlund

Ian Hedlund has done everything there is to do in a restaurant or bar setting. He entered the service industry in high school and kept the drive alive through college. His first bartending stint was at the popular but now defunct Greek Cusina in Southwest Portland. For the last seven years, Hedlund has served drinks at The Brotherhood Lounge in downtown Olympia.  

Why do you serve?

"I serve because I never figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I graduated from college and realized that I could sit in a cubicle, go to more school and, more than likely, end up somewhere I only marginally liked and be mired in debt, or I could bartend, make a decent living working 25-30 hours a week, and use my free time to not grow up. I chose the latter."

Who is your favorite server in the South Sound?

"That question is impossible to answer! I am purposefully not going to name a co-worker because A) I love them all, and B) I don't want to alienate anyone. Off the top of my head, I love Nathan from McCoy's and The Reef. He's great for witty banter and a no-nonsense attitude laced with hilarity."

What are you most proud to serve?

"A good drink in a timely manner to an appreciative person."

What is your current drink of choice?

"I drink tequila and beer. Ideally, a nice añejo and a Ninkasi."

What is your favorite movie?

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (read: The Montauk Project) or ... anything by Charlie Kaufman."

What don't you serve?

"I won't serve ‘what I drink.' If you don't know what you want to drink, you CERTAINLY don't want what I drink!"

What's on your radar at The Brotherhood Lounge?

"Sometime next month, we have a ladies arm wrestling competition happening. I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but I guarantee it will be awesome."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

Filed under: Served Banner Models, Olympia,

September 9, 2014 at 10:12am

Olympia Food Co-op to host first Zuke Fest

Olympia Food Co-op will give zucchinis a chance to prove themselves in terms of size, taste and even speed.

The zucchini is joked about, giggled at for its shape and sometimes maligned for its overabundance at this time of year.

But Sunday, the zucchini will have its day at the Olympia Food Co-op's first Zuke Fest.

The fest, part of the co-op's annual Harvest Party, will give those phallic giants a chance to prove themselves in terms of size, taste and even speed.

The co-op will award patches for porn-star-sized zukes in three categories: most giant (longest), most girth and most weight. (Insert your own zucchini - er, your own zucchini joke.)

There'll be a zucchini bread bakeoff and a zucchini derby along the lines of the Boy Scouts' pinewood derby. All zucars must be made on site using standard wheels and no engines. You can bring your own zucchini or one will be provided for you, but don't bring your biggest one: Finished vehicles can't exceed a foot in length or 10 inches in width.

The race is open to all ages, with a category for "big kids" who are over 18.

"We were trying to figure out something really fun to do with kids and adults, something that would be intergenerational and playful," Gagnier said.

The fest is a new part of the co-op's 10-year-old Harvest Party, which this year will feature music by Artesian Rumble Arkestra and Romanteek.

"We make a feast, and members bring food," said Shameka Gagnier, the co-op's outreach coordinator. "There are games. We have face painters and all kind of fun things going on.

"This year, we decided we were going to try to make it a little more exciting, and we added the Zuke Fest."

Rogers Street in front of the co-op and part of the parking lot will be closed off for the event, so Gagnier recommended carpooling, taking public transportation or biking.

HARVEST PARTY & ZUKE FEST, 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, Westside Olympia Food Co-op, 921 Rogers St. NW, Olympia, free admission, 360.754.7666

September 8, 2014 at 9:38am

Served Blog Banner Boy: Q&A with Andy Geertsen of Rhythm and Rye

Andy Geertsen opened Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia in March 2014. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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 Andy Geertsen.

Server Banner Boy, Sept. 8-14, 2014

Andy Geertsen

Before Andy Geertsen began bartending in Olympia, which included spots such as the Eastside Club Tavern (named Best Bartender in the 2010 Weekly Volcano's Best of Olympia) and the Pig Bar inside Southbay Dickerson's BBQ (named Best Music Booker in 2013 Best of Olympia), he helped open the remodeled Cinerama in downtown Seattle. He left right before the screening of Star Wars Episode I. In March of this year, Geertsen opened Rhythm and Rye in the former Royal Lounge space, combining his talents as bartender and music booker into a club that specializes in craft beer, whiskey and Americana music.

Why do you serve? 

"I guess I enjoy watching other people have fun?."

Who is your favorite server in South Sound?

"Nikki McCoy at The Brotherhood Lounge."

What are you most proud to serve?

"I enjoy serving local beer and spirits."

What's your drink of choice?

"A well made margarita or Chamucos Reposado neat."

What's your favorite movie?

"That's a tough one. ... I used to watch Batman and Jurassic Park over and over as a kid

What don't you serve?

I don't serve rude or mean people?."

What's on your radar for Rhythm and Rye?

"I have lots of ideas and plans to improve the space and make it even more inviting and comfortable for everyone."

LINK: Meet other South Sound servers

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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...

about Eat This Now: Radiator Whiskey Tots