Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: March, 2011 (193) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 193

March 1, 2011 at 9:26am

MUNCH HUNCH: Magnifico by the Mall

You can never have too much of this marinara.


If you're like me (and there's no reason you shouldn't be), when shopping in the Tacoma Mall area, you yearn for food prepared at a locally owned restaurant where the proprietors have some role in creating what they're hawking. And at an Italian joint, you should smell garlic and see the chef's name on the fresh sheet because he's so damn passionate about the day's special.

I ate at such a place Saturday afternoon.

Furthermore, every time I dine at said restaurant, I sit in the bar. In and out and nobody gets hurt. The service is quick, spot on, and friendly.

Saturday I sank into their cozy bar cushion and devoured their Chicken Alla Parmigiana in record time. The zesy marinara blanketed the thin breast, which was so moist and tender I literally could cut it with my fork. The side long, buttery pappardelle pasta was to die for.

Last clue: They open the doors for patrons coming AND going.

Can you guess where I'm eating?

Special bonus: The first person who guesses where I ate will win a $25 gift card ... to a different Italian restaurant. Yea, I know.

LINK: Our foodie group Nosh League is on The Facebook

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

March 1, 2011 at 10:40am

5 Things to Do Today: Backstage Bar & Grill, Irish Sessions at O'Blarney's, Last Word "Read In," Doggy Training and more ...

Lynch Mob

TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2011 >>>

1. Had a chance to check out Backstage Bar & Grill on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma yet? You might want to change that, and tonight might be the perfect night as Lynch Mob with George Lynch, Atomic Outlaws and Sin Circus all take the stage. Here's the Volcano's comprehensive list of South Sound live local music listings.

2. Drop in for Irish Sessions at O'Blarney's Irish Pub in Olympia tonight for live, free, traditional Irish music starting at 7:30 p.m.

3. Get smart with trivia nights all over the South Sound - from the Hub, to Paddy Coyne's to Farelli's.

4. It's time for the Tuesday "Read-In" at Last Word Books on Fourth Avenue in Olympia. Come, "sit and read, drink tea, and argue politics every Tuesday," according to hype - which makes it much like every other awesome-ass day at Last Word, only officially sanctioned.

5. Finally get that mutt in line with dog obedience training at Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma. It's a beginner course that goes down every Tuesday - registration and a fee are required.

March 1, 2011 at 12:21pm

MOVIE BIZZ BUZZ: Olympia Awesome Film Festival


The first-ever Olympia Awesome Film Festival has hit an unawesome snag. Months ago, the fest's organizers booked The Loft on Cherry for their inaugural daylong screening of cool cinema. Graphics, invitations and video advertisements all went out. Then on Feb. 18, OAFF received word that their chosen venue would close on the first of March, just four days shy of the event.

"It really kind of knocked the wind out of my sails," recalls Ken Carlson upon hearing the news. As co-founder of Mutually Assured Productions, a seven-member film collective that conceived OAFF, Carlson and his cohorts must now quickly regroup after a blitzkrieg marketing campaign initiated last October. The Loft management has assisted in finding this festival a new home; some current options include The Olympia Ballroom and the Eagles Grand Ballroom. Carlson now expects a triumphant debut for the Olympia Awesome Film Festival in early April.

This somewhat last-minute change of plans at least gives filmmakers more time to submit their works. OAFF has extended the original Feb. 18 deadline to March 25. The rules are simple: a short under 15 minutes, any genre, narratives preferred. Visit www.oaff.org to get all the submission instructions.

Patience, Olympians - a fresh batch of awesomeness arrives soon. Find OAFF on Facebook for the most up-to-date info.

Filed under: Arts, Screens, Olympia,

March 1, 2011 at 1:09pm

LUNCHTIME THINKER: The greatest artists “Part Two”


Continuing my choices for the greatest artists of all time, I move swiftly to the modern era.

At the risk of oversimplifying, all of modern art (or all of modern painting at least) is based on the idea that a painting is an arrangement of shapes and colors on a flat surface and not, as previously thought, a window on the world. That idea pretty much started with Édouard Manet in the mid 19th century and was further defined by Paul Cézanne, and reached it's zenith with the true giant of modern art who towered over all others - Pablo Picasso.

And let's not forget Henri Matisse.

There were three threads to 20th century art: Cubism, Dada/Surrealism and abstraction. Picasso mastered and combined all three. With the exception of pure abstraction, meaning no subject matter at all, there was nothing done in 20th century painting that Picasso didn't do first. I can't emphasize enough what a huge figure he was. Other giants of these various movements were George Braque, Wassily Kandinsky and Marcel Duchamp (if you don't know them, look them up). Everything to come after about 1920 was an outgrowth of either Cubism or the related movements of Dada and Surrealism.

In America, Willem de Kooning and other New York painters synthesized Surrealism and Cubism to form a painting style known as Abstract Expressionism. On a personal note, these were the painters who most influenced me when I was an art student, and I don't think any artists since have done anything quite so exciting. The greatest of these were de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. You know them. Look at their paintings. Look closely. Study the textures and the peekaboo forms that weave in and out of space, the startling contrasts of lyrical and harsh shapes and lines. Take any and every opportunity to see their works in person (they're both in the permanent collection at Seattle Art Museum).

Modern art - first in Europe and later in America - has developed in a pretty linear fashion with a few divergent branches. Next in this line of development in America were Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, who took the methods and styles of Abstract Expressionism and applied them to a kind of tongue-in-cheek glorification of banal subject matters and blurred the distinctions between painting, sculpture and performance art.  Rauschenberg turned a bed on its end and painted it, covers, pillows and all, and put a stuffed goat and chicken in his assemblages; Johns borrowed a drawing from de Kooning and erased it and called it - what else? - "Erased de Kooning." Their work set the stage for Pop Art, which has in turn influenced pretty much everything that's happened in the world of art since about 1960.

The giants of Pop were Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Not quite as great but one of my personal favorites was Tom Wesselman who piques my prurient interest in a humorous way.

Since the advent of Pop Art there has been such an explosion of artistic activity that it is impossible to list the greatest artists without leaving out many who deserve to be on that list. Here are just a few not yet mentioned whom I consider to be among the greatest:

Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Frances Bacon, Frank Stella, Louise Nevelson, Ellsworth Kelly, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, Phillip Pearlstein, Anselm Kiefer and Susan Rothenberg.


LINK: The greatest artists "Part One"

Filed under: Arts, Culture,

March 1, 2011 at 3:55pm

PERSON, PLACE or THING with Steph DeRosa

THAI RESTAURANT IN FIFE: DeRosa came back with a picture of the coconut milk.

This week ...

Place: Thai Restaurant in Fife

Type of food served: Thai

Language spoken: Thai

Orders written in: Thai

Country the employees are all from: Thailand

What they're not: Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Hungarian

Not on the menu: Spaghetti, burgers, hummus

Most popular dish: House Fried Rice

Across the street: BJ's Bingo

What I immediately wanted to go do: Play bingo

Amount of immature "BJ" jokes that came to mind: Four

Read the full account here.

March 1, 2011 at 5:23pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Weekly Volcano live local music listings and action at the Harmon Brewery


Today's comment comes from Angie Howard, in regard to the Feb. 21 Weekly Volcano live local music calendar - a daily feature available 24/7 in print and online.

Howard writes,

Hey guys! it was a pleasure watching Son Jack Jr. and michael Wild play at the Harmon Brewery! Very talented guys! Loved dancing and kicking it afterwards! would love to see them again!

Filed under: Events, Music, Comment of the Day,

March 2, 2011 at 6:57am

Julie Rex headed to the Bridge

The fireplace is the only fake thing about Beyond the Bridge Cafe.


Yesterday morning I found refuge from the freezing rain inside Beyond the Bridge Café on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue. Grabbing a hot Americano, I warmed my cold bones next to their fake fireplace, when co-owner Ben Rubke dropped exciting news.

Julie Rex, formerly of Corina Bakery fame, will begin baking for Beyond the Bridge Café Friday, March 11. I tossed a few questions at Rubke before heading back out in the wet.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: How did you hook up with Julie?

BEN RUBKE: Both of our pods landed on earth at the exact same time.  Julie and I are cut from the same dream weaving fabric of the universe and wove the tapestry of our lives together on the loom of free will. I was part of a marauding band of gypsies and stole her from the Eastern Bloc before the wall fell.  Take your pick from any of these, as the real truth is much less exciting. We know each other through mutual friends.

VOLCANO: What will she be baking?

RUBKE: An assortment of pastries, AND we will be making sure to have a gluten free option to try and carve out a niche with the gluten free consumers, which apparently, is half of Tacoma. I am all about it, just a little perplexed about how 50 percent of my friends developed a gluten allergy within the last four years.

VOLCANO: What goodie excites you the most?

RUBKE: Her blackberry tart. Hands down.  Mmmmmmmmmm.  A world where sweet and savory mingles with puckering tart and they all hang out in the casa de butter is exactly the kind of utopia every pastry on the planet should strive for.

Beyond the Bridge Café

6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
2717 6th Ave., Tacoma

LINK: Weekly Volcano columnist Steph DeRosa harassed Rubke

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

March 2, 2011 at 10:21am

5 Things to Do Today: Bingo (drunk or sober), John Phillips & Gary Crooke at Pastiche, Story Time with Leroy, OMG Teen Gaming Club

Bingo at The New Frontier has the potential to get saucy.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2011 >>>

1. Hey, poser! Did you know the New Frontier Lounge hosts Rock and Roll Bingo every Wednesday? It's true! Check it out tonight!

2. OK. So maybe you like bingo but don't want to get all drunk and shitty and pathetic. We can understand that (though it'll never stop us!). If this sounds you, perhaps the all-ages free bingo night at Applini's Two Clean and Sober Club in Puyallup is your cup of tea ... literally. Find out tonight with action starting at 6 p.m.

3. Pining for some grownup music? Pastiche on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma hosts John Phillips & Gary Crooks at 6 p.m. For the Weekly Volcano's comprehensive live local music listings, go here.

4. It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for Story Time With Leroy at the Tacoma Art Museum - for the kiddies, of course. Do we know exactly who Leroy is? No. Does it matter? Not really. The guy will read stories to your kid for a whole hour, 11 a.m. - noon. And the books are picked by ARC volunteers and based on current exhibits at the museum.

5. How do you appeal to the "Tweens" these days? Try putting "OMG" in the title - literally. That's the tact the Lakewood Pierce County Library has taken with its "OMG Teen Gaming Club," which meets every Wednesday from 3-4:30 p.m.

March 2, 2011 at 12:13pm

Local Boyz Do Good


More and more often, when I ask who supplies the bagels at a local café or coffee shop, the answer is Bagel Boyz. Last fall a barista at Clancy's almost peed himself in excitement when telling me it would be only a matter of days before the downtown Tacoma coffee shop began selling them. Likewise, a smiling woman at Beyond the Bridge Cafe on Sixth Avenue recently told me how great they are for bagel sandwiches.

Since Bagel Boyz Bistro opened July 2009, the young owners have been taking care of business in downtown Puyallup. Wade Reynolds, Tim Satre, Jordan Caine and Scott Reynolds handle the roles of bagel maker, cashier, waiter, cook, dishwasher, deliveryman and coffee and espresso maker. The menu consists of New York-style bagels - think chewy and dense - bagel sandwiches, chicken tenders, fries, fish and chips, coffee, teas, espresso, sodas, juices and sweet and savory crepes.

The caramelized banana crepe with chocolate, and the from-scratch lemon-curd-filled crepe with raspberry sauce drizzled on top came highly recommended. Brownie sundaes, ice cream cones and hand-dipped milkshakes are also served. Also, five burgers have recently been added - the most popular is the barbeque burger. Basically, it is a half- or quarter-pound of beef topped with Swiss cheese, an onion ring, barbecue sauce and lettuce served on a toasted bagel. Bam! It's a bagel burger.

Bagel Boyz is open for breakfast and lunch, and has a family-friendly, casual and comfortable environment. In warm weather, a flower basket-lined patio makes a great getaway.

[Bagel Boyz Bistro & Catering, 109 S. Meridian, Puyallup, 253.466.3979]

Filed under: Food & Drink, Puyallup,

March 2, 2011 at 12:22pm

Mardi Gras senior citizen style


When I lived in Biloxi, Miss. (which, by the way, is pronounced "bih-LUCK-see), Mardi Gras was a very big deal.

There were parades (without the toplessness of New Orleans). There were beaded necklaces and clothes in purple, green and gold. There were tooth-achingly sweet king cakes with plastic babies baked inside. (Getting the baby in your slice was considered good fortune - and it meant you were obligated to buy the next day's cake.)

Heck, the newspaper I worked for even gave us the day off from work ... instead of Martin Luther King Day.

It is a festival of debauchery - whether that means a wild party or simply eating lots of sugar and flour before giving them up for Lent.

Here in South Sound, this festival of excess passes with little recognition. However, you can celebrate by dining out.

Senior Services for South Sound's annual "Fat Tuesday Feast for Seniors" happens all day Tuesday, March 8.

Participating restaurants donate (a percentage of profits or a flat donation) to Senior Services to go to help at-risk, low-income and disabled seniors.

For a list of participating restaurants, go to here.

Filed under: All ages, Holidays, Olympia, Lacey,

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