Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2006 (74) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 74

December 12, 2006 at 4:07pm

El Toro adds sports bar

While you were pondering what household goods you own weighs the same as Nicole Ritchie, the El Toro Mexican Restaurant in Lakewood expanded next door and now sports a sports bar.  The long-time Ponder's Corner joint now has pool tables, big screen televisions, and a kickin' happy hour every day, 3-7 p.m., with free hors d'oeuvres. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Food & Drink, Lakewood,

December 13, 2006 at 1:40pm

Downtown Garage opens tomorrow with Kry

crime@hotmail.com">Natasha_40Editor's note: The South Sound Garage Steakhouse and Grill General Manager Mai-Lee Bowyer just told us that the Garage will open tomorrow, Dec. 14, with the band Kry.  She says its a soft friends and family opening but considers everyone friends.  The will remain in a soft opening mode through to their grand opening â€" New Year's Eve.  Below is Natasha's report when she snuck in two weeks ago.

A couple of years ago I went to the doctor for a routine check up, and he commented on my heart murmur.

I informed my doctor that I most certainly didn’t have a heart murmur. He said, “No one’s ever told you that you have one? You definitely do.”

I said plain and simply, “No, I don’t.” Just because of those dumb MD letters on his business card, he said, “Yes, Natasha, you do.”

Then I thought about it for a second and asked him if a heart murmur could be a result of 10 years of poor lifestyle choices.

My doctor paused and asked if I wanted to revise any of my earlier statements relating to drinking and smoking.

Of course, I quickly said, “No, I have a heart murmur.”

Well, Tacoma, your heart just might skip a beat, too, and my lifestyle choices are about to become even worse after I break this news:

We're getting a new night club Dec. 15.  The South Sound Garage Steakhouse and Grill at 933 Market St. downtown Tacoma. And your own personal Natasha has already snuck inside.

You’d never know that there’s going to be a club there from the outside. It’s literally a garage that the owners have turned into a club. As you might guess, it’s large, but it’s also in charge, and outta this world. When I first stepped in, I had to rub my eyes because I really thought I was at a club in NYC. NICE!

Think black and white checkered floors, red walls, and a comfortable industrial feel.

There’s a huge dance floor with an elevated stage that will be perfect for bands or gettin down. The length of the right wall includes a solid lineup of mafia booths and several freestanding tables beside them. There’s also what looks to be a 15-seat, soon-to-be VIP booth situated perfectly right by the bar.

Speaking of the bar, it looks gorgeous and I honestly thought it was antique, but the owner actually made it by hand. That’s wicked impressive.

There’s even more seating toward the back of the establishment, and you’ll be able to pick from one of three projection screens for sports or whatever else The Garage will be showing.

The kitchen and its appliances were so new that it literally sparkled, and it was crying for the steaks and other delectables that the establishment will soon be known for.

And as for that dance floor action, the proprietors are planning on hosting high-energy techno (think remixed versions of “Groove is in the Heart.”) on Wednesday and Thursday nights and they’ll feature danceable and sing-along live bands on Fridays and Saturdays. They’ve got an incredible sound system so bands will be able to just plug in and rock away.

They’re hoping to open by Dec. 15, and after that point, complaining about the lack of dancing establishments in Tacoma won’t be so easy.

Me? I’m ready to rock that floor now!

Baby, just sing about the groove. â€" Natasha

December 13, 2006 at 2:09pm

Jazzbones to serve sushi beginning Dec. 15

Sushi man Mr. Lee is currently assembling his master sushi corner, Sushi Bistro Raw Bar at Jazzbones.

Jazzbones is not looking to become a sushi bar with a heavy focus on traditional Japanese cuisine, but rather enhance the cuisine already offered.

"A new trend in music venues across the country, Jazzbones also feels this is a great opportunity to offer a unique dining experience for guests and allowing them to challenge their pallet in one sitting," explains Jazzbones General Manager Jennifer Johnson. 

Offering Japanese beers and sake as a perfect way to compliment the raw bar, Jazzbones will also be adding wines specifically chosen to compliment items such as maguro, toro, sea salt edamame.

"Jazzbones is a wild fusion of many music and entertainment varieties with guests just as varied. This next step in adding a raw bar will make the cuisine just as wild and varied," she continues.

Where else can one have a red dragon roll, chicken andouille and a classic martini and a chocolate kahlua mousse?

Sushi Bistro Raw Bar at Jazzbones will open the weekend of Dec 15 serving a limited menu to allow guests some teasing tastes before the full menu is available the following weekend. â€" Jake de Paul

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 13, 2006 at 5:52pm

Doyle's Winter Solstice seasonal beer tasting

Tacomans have no Stonehenge-like monument with which they can determine the points of midsummer and midwinter, but we do have a few advantages over our ancestors. Paper calendars, clocks, computers and PDAs, to name a few. Put it this way: No one will miss the winter solstice this year. But just in case, Doyle's Public House celebrates Winter Solstice with a true Winter beer tasting Dec. 21, 6-9 p.m. Revelers can welcome the beginning of longer days by guzzling Grimbergen, Delerium Noel, Gouden Carolus Noel, Achouffe NÂ'Ice Chouffe, Scaldis Noel, Saison Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux  and possibly Samichlaus. â€" Jake de Paul
[Doyle's Public House, Thursday, Dec. 21, 6-9 p.m., 208 St. Helens, Tacoma, 253.272.PINT]

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 14, 2006 at 10:24am

The Garage opens tonight

I like beer in a bottle and good old fashion rock and roll.

I’m also partial to Harley-Davidsons, but we won’t go into that now.

The fact that I like these small pleasures of life speaks to my simple approach to life.

Which is exactly why I will be at tonight’s opening of Tacoma’s newest nightclub, The South Sound Garage Steakhouse and Grill, located at 933 Market St. in downtown Tacoma. 

It’s roomy with a straightforward feel to it.  Techno and live bands will park inside before the large dance floor.  Tonight you will have plenty of space to dance before Kry's take on modern rock.  Step up to the bar and order a cold one, and help yourself to some finger food.  In another couple of months, the restaurant will be serving owner Chris Wallace’s steak dinners.

Plan on stopping by at 8 p.m. and have a beer with me (if I don't drown on the way). â€" J.M. Simpson

Filed under: Club Hopping, Tacoma,

December 14, 2006 at 1:21pm

Carnival of Love

Word through the grapevine is Pour at Four wine bar in Tacoma's Proctor District has a few extra bottles of Mollydooker Carnival of Love on the shelves.  Robert Parker tagged this huge 100 percent Shiraz with 99 points of love.  Pour at Four will be pouring glasses full of Love Dec. 15 and 16.  If you haven't loved at 99 points before, here's your chance. â€" Jake de Paul

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 14, 2006 at 3:51pm

Girl Trouble Christmas Show

Oh, no. It's that time of the year again, where Bobble Tiki unfairly dusts off his mirrored table and tries not to look too hard at the jowls glaring back at him. Fortunately, there's an annual Christmas show that helps put the jolly back into Bobble Tiki's holly every year â€" the Girl Trouble Christmas Show. 

GT drummer Bon has sent Bobble Tiki an invite.  She says this year's show will feature lots of energetic youth.  Maybe some of it will rub off on Bobble Tiki.  Hmm, that sounds creepy. â€" Bobble Tiki

Official Invite: It’s that time of year when the Tacoma band that won’t go away, Girl Trouble, once again trots out their program of seasonal favorites. This has been a Northwest tradition since 1986 and some have commented that Christmas doesn’t officially start without the holiday joy that only GT can provide.

But the merrymaking doesn’t stop there. Girl Trouble will be ably assisted by some of Tacoma’s most popular young up and coming bands, www.myspace.com/durango95">Durango 95, The Freakouts and The Syrens. This lineup promises to entertain both young and young at heart. It’s all-ages and bar privileges with proper ID. There’s no excuse not to go! If it's only to see if the kids steal Girl Trouble's Santa Hat and play keep-away with it, it'll be worth the price of admission.

So load up the family sleigh on Saturday, December 23rd and make the journey to that winter wonderland that is Hell’s Kitchen. The pageant starts at 5 and the cost is a reasonable $7.

Filed under: Club News, Tacoma,

December 15, 2006 at 2:08pm

Mandolin Cafe cookie

The 11 days of cookies: Day One

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me: A Mandolin Café oatmeal raisin cookie.  Its soft texture and moderately sweet flavor, with smallish bits of nuts had me scarfing hungrily and aching for more as I licked at crumbs. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 15, 2006 at 4:35pm

Chinese Democracy will be released March 6

Axl Rose posted an open letter to the band's fans today on the band's official Web site. Among his statements is an official release date for the long awaited Chinese Democracy album â€" March 6.  Check it here. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Music,

December 15, 2006 at 5:58pm

Giving the holidays a girlie treatment

In my attempt to enjoy a complete Tacoma experience this holiday season, I’ve been around.
I’ve met Maritime Santa at the Working Waterfront Museum, and had my daughter sit on (semi debauched) Santa’s lap at the Sanford & Son shops.  (He may or may not have drunk a Bud Light and belched, and he may or may not have offered children change to play on the slot machine.  He most definitely did have a forked tail, however.)  I saw Monster Truck Santa on the Eastside, and chatted with Train Santa at Point Defiance’s Camp 6. I saw a horse drawn carriage and Punch and Judy puppet show near a castle, and rode a horse-drawn cart as I cut down our tree at Clyde & Dale’s tree farm near Olympia.

So what am I missing?

Something classy, that bespoke champagne and crystal, or at the very least, Chitz china.

In that spirit, we were off to Meeker Mansion in Puyallup, after hearing they had a fabulous set-up, and since I’d never been to visit the mansion in 33 years of residence in Tacoma.  The daughter chose to play computer games at home with daddy, so grandma and I went wandering together.

Our wisdom in choosing this exact day was questionable, as the majority of traffic signals in the greater South Sound are dead.  Many drivers, it appears, have not read their driving manuals in a while (note to South Sound drivers: remedial driving courses.)

When we finally reached our destination, our hearts sank as we discovered the impressive wrought iron gate keeping us out.  “Open Daily” meant, apparently, days when power worked.  A beautiful irony: the Powerhouse Restaurant and Brewery was doing a brisk business at noon.

Secretgardenone Undeterred and happy to have a girl afternoon together as grown-ups, we wandered on, to a place I remembered from working in Sumner years ago.  Back then, it was a quaint restaurant and holiday shop called Sleigh Bells.  Now, it’s a fabulous little teahouse called the Secret Garden that has quite possibly the nicest ladies room in the area.  We were tempted to stay for lunch, but chose instead to make a reservation for high tea at a future date, and then shopped through the selection of girlie goodies (no chainsaw ornaments here!).

Secretgardentwo Although it’s a bit out of the way, tucked behind strip malls, schools, and churches and beside an industrial area, the mansion itself, the Herbert Williams House, is restored beautifully, well-suited to its current incarnation and was worth the trip.

The Secret Tea Garden has been an established business at the Factoria Mall for 15 years, and many of the clientele have followed the business.  Owner and chef Mark Elliott lives upstairs, sharing that space with manager Elizabeth Kleingartner, while co-manager Wendy Brawner lives in the apartment previously intended as servants quarters.  The three relocated from the Bellevue area, and have no regrets, but plenty of plans for the future, which include extensive gardens and seasonal menu, gift item, and tea changes. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler 

Filed under: Food & Drink,

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