Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2009 (249) Currently Viewing: 51 - 60 of 249

September 5, 2009 at 5:43pm

Italian on a shingle

MICHAEL SWAN: GRITTYSHOOT â€" LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TACOMA >>>

Spending Labor Day weekend enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells from our own backyard:

Grittyshoot engine hOuse Engine House No. 9
611 N. Pine St., Tacoma, 253.272.3435

Hours this weekend: Open until 2 a.m. Sunday 9:30 a.m. to midnight

Scene: No one on the patio. Twenty people inside watching the Coug game.

Wanting the beer garden atmosphere I stopped by Engine House No. 9 for a Tacoma Brew on their front patio (their outdoor courtyard is closed today).

Crickets.

Too freakin' cold. 

We pounded our beers then headed inside for their special of the day â€" chicken pizza open-faced sandwich, which could be named Italian on a shingle: two large chicken breasts, pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara sauce on a slice of sourdough bread. Interesting â€" I actually recommend it.

I don't recommend sitting next to the three jackasses next to the courtyard entrance door. You're not funny. I can't believe your server didn't pop you in the face when you asked him, "Do you want your $12.50?" That's how you ask for a beer? Jackasses.


LINK: Engine House No. 9 Web site

Filed under: Food & Drink, Grittyshoot, Tacoma,

September 5, 2009 at 7:39pm

Best Mexican Coffee drink

RON SWARNER: GRITTYSHOOT â€" LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TACOMA >>>

Spending Labor Day weekend enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells from our own backyard:

Masa
2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.254.0560

We’re all used to the “third-wave” coffeehouses by now, the post-Starbucks cafés where baristas command more machinery than some industrial chemists, and your morning cappuccino, drawn from a $12,000 machine, is decorated with a heart, a leaf or the likeness of SpongeBob's bud Patrick lovingly coaxed out of foam.

Masa, on a busy corner in Sixth and Pine, is a new kind of third-wave joint: It's a Mexican restaurant with a coffee joint, Satellite Coffee, embedded. What this means in practice is not just world-class espressos and lovingly brewed coffees from Portland's Stumptown folks, but killer coffee drinks, too.

I enjoyed the best Mexican Coffee drink of my life at Masa today. Freshly brewed French pressed Stumptown Coffee mixed with Patron Silver Tequila, Patron Xo Cafe Tequila Liqueur and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur served in a tall coffee mug.

I was up. I was down. I was up. I was muy bueno.

LINK: Masa's Web site

LINK: Best of Tacoma 2009

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

September 6, 2009 at 9:31am

Steak and eggs for happy hour

RON SWARNER: GRITTYSHOOT â€" LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TACOMA >>>

Spending Labor Day weekend enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells from our own backyard:

Steak-and-eggs Pacific Grill
1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.722.1490

Happy hour: Monday-Friday 2-6 p.m., Saturday 5-6 p.m., Monday-Thursday 9-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9-11 p.m.

Pacific Grill serves an amazing happy hour. In fact, the Best in Tacoma as voted by Weekly Volcano readers. And, it's one of the few restaurants in downtown Tacoma that offers free wi-fi. My plan yesterday: dart into Pacific Grill, partake in their excellent happy hour, blog quickly and head back into the night.

So there I sat. At Pacific Grill's corner window table. Pecking away at my laptop. Diners in slacks, suits and ties dined, by candlelight, around me. Sharing anniversary kisses. Toasting birthdays. Soaking in Pacific Grill's elegance.

Me? In jeans, with my laptop open, adding a blue, annoying glow to PG's refine atmosphere. Nice, huh?

The thing is owner Gordon Naccarato and his crew made me feel welcomed. And the happy hour food held a tight grip on me.

Whether you're out with the gang bar-hopping or looking for a rendezvous with that significant someone, the kitchen's sophisticated, creative bar menu is sure to impress. The decor is stunning â€" 17-foot high exposed beam ceilings, glowing sealifeartforms and intimate lighting â€" but what truly sets Pacific Grill apart as happy hour destination is the food. Anyone can attempt to create a hip atmosphere, and serve discounted beer and wine, but they'd be crazy to try to offer 50 percent off such bar menu items items as Asian baby back ribs, barbecued oysters, Vietnamese bahn mi, Kob hot dog sliders, Cuban sandwich, meat candy and more.

My favorite is not discounted for happy hour. The steak and eggs ($19.95) â€" grilled petite beef tenderloin, tender enough to cut with the edge of a fork, topped with raw American Sevruga caviar (eggs â€" get it?), chives and crème fraiche. On the side, arugula and crispy potato shreds dressed with a Worcestershire vinaigrette. The care that was given the center of the plate carried over to its side, so that nothing was wasted, ignored or forgotten.

LINK: Pacific Grill's Web site

Filed under: Food & Drink, Grittyshoot, Tacoma,

September 6, 2009 at 12:59pm

Masa's pancakes rule

BOBBLE TIKI: GRITTYSHOOT â€" LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TACOMA >>>

Spending Labor Day weekend enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells from our own backyard:

Masa pancakes Masa
2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.254.0560

Breakfast hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Breakfast-with-Bobble-Tiki There's almost nothing in the world Bobble Tiki loves as much as a plate of pancakes. Bobble Tiki's wife, Silver Oak wine, sashimi, listening to Led Zepp at deep, ear-massaging levels â€" they all edge out pancakes, but not by much. Pancakes are definitely in his top five.

And why not? A tall stack of flapjacks is basically an American excuse to eat cake for breakfast. As a tiny tiki, Bobble Tiki would get a furtive thrill whenever his folks took him to the diner in the morning and told him to order whatever Bobble Tiki wanted. Bobble Tiki ask for pancakes, of course â€" beautiful, warm, perfectly round pancakes, slathered in butter and drizzled with warm syrup from a sticky jug â€" and eat them quickly, shoveling them down like Bobble Tiki was getting away with something.

This morning Bobble Tiki shoveled a plate of Masa pancakes â€" very quick.

Masa pacakes â€" two large cakes with two eggs to order, 12 very thin, fried potatoes and choice of sausage or bacon â€" arrive light and fluffy, yet dense, concentrically browned on the flat grill and served with butter balls and strawberries â€" each in their own tiny cup â€" are subtly sweet, delicately starchy. They taste like you imagine pancakes would taste when you see perfect pictures in magazines, on menus, how you might remember pancakes tasting when you were a tiny tiki: a pure indulgence, dessert made into a meal.

As you read earlier on Spew, Masa now serves breakfast on the weekends. Click here for all the details.

Bobble Tiki invaded the next table to snap a few shots of other Masa breakfast items.

Masa quesi Masa sandwich Masa Gritty LINK: Masa's Web site

September 6, 2009 at 2:18pm

Shout out: The Revengers

RON SWARNER: GRITTYSHOOT â€" LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TACOMA >>>

Spending Labor Day weekend enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells from our own backyard:

Revengers one Revengers crouch The Revengers
Where: Last night at Doyle's Public House, Tacoma
 
One of the hottest bands in Tacoma The Revengers performed an amazing show last night at Doyle's Public House in Tacoma. Confined to the corner stage, rapper Champion J, rapper Direct, bassist Dustin Riecan, drummer Hammer and guitarist Mason Hargrove filled the nearly packed bar with progressive hip-hop featuring elements of rap, funk, jazz, grunge rock, and soul and. Think early Beastie Boys with a little Chili Peppers, A Tribe Called Quest and Jamiroquai.

The only thing more live than Champion J and Direct's rapid-fire quick-witted acrobatic rhymes is their physical energy. They must be subdued by an electronic force field. Otherwise, I assume they'd bust down the door and take their mics to the street.

Guitarist Hargrove explores his pedals as much as Tom Morello. I can hear bits of Rage Against the Machine â€" not the screechy scratch sound but some of the rhythm work. Hargrove's jazz guitar work you hear in the Kareem Kandi Band plays here, too.

Dustin and Hammer lay down an amazing funky, rocking groove, which keeps this band ignited.

Revengers 2 Revengers point LINK: The Revengers MySpace

September 6, 2009 at 4:18pm

Urban combat in the Brewery District

RON SWARNER: GRITTYSHOOT â€" LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TACOMA >>>

Spending Labor Day weekend enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells from our own backyard:

Tacoma Tactical
2519 S Holgate St., Tacoma

Special Introductory Pricing: three hours $10, one hour $5

It looks like the real thing, but in my opinion, it’s better because no one actually gets hurt.

I’m talking about airsoft weapons â€" rifles, machine guns, pistols, etc. â€" that are used to shoot people in a regulated indoor/outdoor combat-type game.

The key word there is game. It’s just a game. But the realistic nature of these toys is one of the biggest reasons why airsoft fans love the game so much.

Tacoma Tactical opened an airsoft Close Quarters Battle game platform in downtown Tacoma Friday. The warehouse across from the Tacoma Self Storage facility offers 8,000 square feet of fighting space in which small units engage the enemy with personal weapons at very short range, potentially to the point of hand-to-hand combat. Opening Day hosted 60 people battling it out. My tour guide, Kyle Selig, said that was cramp conditions. Teams of 15 are more manageable. Teams of eight, the size of S.W.A.T. unit, are ideal.

"What makes Tacoma Tactical better than most CQB facilities is that our rooms actually are made to look real," explains Selig. "Our restaurant has tablecloths, plates and silverware. Our bank has teller slots and computers. We even have two crack rooms â€" one nice and one not so nice."

Both crack rooms creeped me out.

Airsoft weapons use biodegradable pellets called bbs. When shot, the bbs can leave a quick sting, and a possible welt, depending on how close you are.

The next CQB facility is three hours away.

LINK: Tacoma Tactical Web site

September 6, 2009 at 5:07pm

Top of Tacoma nachos

RON SWARNER: GRITTYSHOOT â€" LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TACOMA >>>

Spending Labor Day weekend enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and smells from our own backyard:

Top Nachos Top of Tacoma Bar & Cafe
3529 Mckinley Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.1502

Nachos: $8.50

Too often cheap pub grub means soggy nachos, cold fries, messy wings and other boring fried food. Not so at the Top of Tacoma â€" especially the nachos.  Served on a large baking sheet, it's as if co-owner Jamie Kay Newton makes the ultimate nacho on each chip then merges them.

The nachos arrive loaded with pepperjack and cheddar cheeses, red and green onions, tons of black olives, and jalapenos, served with fresh homemade salsa, chipotle-cilantro sour cream, with the options of adding pulled spicy barbecue chicken or seasoned ground beef. It's difficult for two people to polish off.

Bonus: Beside grabbing a taste of Top of Tacoma's co-owner Jason J Jones' favorite tequila â€" Corralejo resposado â€" the Weekly Volcano is the Top's first Twitter follower.

LINK: Top of Tacoma's new Web site

Filed under: Food & Drink, Grittyshoot, Tacoma,

September 7, 2009 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do: Monday

MICHAEL SWAN: MONDAY, SEPT. 7, 2009 >>>

Rainiers 1. Tacoma Rainiers host the Colorado Springs Sky Sox for the final game of the season at 1:30 p.m. at Cheney Stadium. Today's winner will win the Pacific Coast League Pacific North Division and earn a birth in the PCL Pacific Conference playoffs.

2. Local blues band Loose Gravel and the Quarry perform during the America In Solidarity/PCCLC Labor Day Picnic from noon to 4 p.m. in Wight Park.

3. Artist Samuel Decker will be in the Museum of Glass' Hot Shop today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. DJ Jason Diamond spins roots reggae during The New Frontier Lounge's Rebel Monday at 9 p.m.

5. Rockaraoke live karaoke with a band at 9 p.m. inside Jazzbones.

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: Local movie starting times

LINK: South Sound Restaurant Guide


September 7, 2009 at 8:17am

Morning Spew

September 7, 2009 at 10:26am

Washing the Dishes

MICHAEL SWAN: OLYMPIA POET WILL RECEIVE NATIONAL ATTENTION >>>

Jeanne Lohmann of Olympia will have one of her poems, Washing the Dishes, read by Garrison Keillor on the Writer's Almanac Sept. 18. The poem is from her recent book, Calls from a Lighted House. 

Lohmann will be one of the featured poets at the Third Annual Open House and Poetry Marathon at Kings Books in Tacoma, on Nov. 14.

Filed under: Arts, Books, Olympia, Tacoma, Word,

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