Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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March 29, 2011 at 8:34am

Tournament of Pizza Day 13: Yesterday's results, Stuffed 16 games

Fondi has twice crossed the Narrows Bridge and crushed its opponents. Today it battles The Fan Club in Lakewood.


For the last two weeks we presented you with a compelling question: Who makes the best pizza in the South Sound? And you have responded in droves. Sick days have been used. Friendships have fallen apart. Pizza delivery boys and girls living together - mass hysteria!

The competition has been whittled down to the Stuffed 16. Yes, 16 South Sound pizza joints are poised to make the final push to the Final Four, which will begin Friday.

So, read up on yesterday's action, and then vote on the first four games of the Stuffed 16. It’s in your hands, mouth, and stomach, folks. Do us proud.

Yesterday's Results

Aversano's Italian Restaurant vs. Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery

These two East Pierce County restaurants traded pepperoni shots all day until around 4 p.m. when Aversano's began to pull away. Rumor has it Aversano's got behind its Greek pizza with its white and marinara sauces and heavy dose of feta and pushed through the Powerhouse' electric wall. As the clock hit 11:45 p.m., Averano's had 54 percent of the votes, and a spot in the Stuffed 16.

Vince's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria vs. Rollies Tavern

Rollies grabbed the lead early in this game and never looked back, nabbing 58 percent of the votes when all was said and done. Some believe recent airings of The Right Stuff on the boob tube could have swung the vote in Rollies favor, due to its proximity to McChord Air Field, being that Chuck Yeager was a bad ass and all. Anyway, Rollies moves onto the Stuffed 16 to take on Aversano's tomorrow.

Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant vs. Engine House No. 9

Katie Downs and Engine House No. 9 have been battling it out ever since Katie Downs came on the scene in 1982. The Engine House wished it could be a waterfront restaurant where patrons daydream about owning that sailboat drifting past the wall of windows. Kate Downs wished it could have the Engine House's beer club and awesome popcorn. Both are successful businesses, but yesterday Katie Downs brought it - and brought it big – capturing a whopping 89 percent of the votes. Its deep-dish pizza - with massive amounts of cheese that a few twists of the fork produces a cheese lollipop - moves into the Stuffed 16.

Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza vs. Puget Sound Pizza

"It's not New York or Chicago ... It's Puget Sound Pizza!" That's the slogan over at Puget Sound Pizza, the tiny joint Jim built into a Tacoma institution, and then the beloved Martin took over. The matrimony of their garlic-butter brushed crust, spirited sauce, the perfect amount of gooey cheese, and our favorite ingredients - pepperoni, olives and peppers - is what brings us back time and time again. Apparently, we're not alone. PSP put a hurt on the popular local chain Farrelli's, grabbing a shocking 84 percent of the votes. PSP will battle number one seed Katie Downs tomorrow in the Stuffed 16 games. Some say this is THE BATTLE of the Tournament.

The Rock Brick Oven Pizza vs. Harmon Tap Room

Yesterday at 5 p.m. The Rock and Harmon Tap Room were dead even. Over at The Rock, folks ate the wood-fired, hand-tossed pizza off tableside serving trays while Alice Cooper teased the crowd about school being out. Over at the Tap Room, people pressed their faces against the window gazing at the brew masters waiting for their Sicilian style pizza and growler to be filled. Then, we posted that the two were tied. Bam! classic rockers started texting and The rock pulled away to finally grab 60 percent of the votes before the polls closed. That's the power of rock 'n' roll folks.

Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery vs. Primo Grill

Holy crap! Turnout for this contest was like the turnout at a dunk-the-banker booth at the Taste of Tacoma! Both pretty pizza makers Upper Crust and Primo did their darndest to mobilize their base, and though Primo Grill ran out to an early lead, Upper Crust fans had an amazing, jaw-dropping late afternoon push that had the stamina to carry through the evening and snatch victory from the fancy Sixth and Pine joint with a 160 more votes. Unbelievable. Upper Crust moves on to the Stuffed 16 to take on The Rock tomorrow.

The following six pizza joints will advance to the Stuffed 16:

  • Aversano's
  • Rollies Tavern
  • Katie Downs
  • Puget Sound Pizza
  • The Rock Wood Fired Pizza
  • Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery

Today's Competition

Sponsored by al Forno Ferruzza Traditional Sicilian Cuisine

OK, time to move on to today's pizza battles. Vote for one pizza joint per battle, then scroll to the bottom and click "Done."

Tomorrow's Pizza Battles: More Stuffed 16 action

Game 1: Louie G's Pizza (4802 Pacific Hwy. E., Fife) vs. Trackside Pizza (201 N. Meridian, Puyallup)

Game 2: Aversano's (6015 Parker Road E., Sumner) vs. Rollies Tavern (2404 112th St. S., Tacoma)

Game 3: Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant (3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma) vs. Puget Sound Pizza (317 S. Seventh St., Tacoma)

Game 4: Rock Brick Oven Pizza (1920 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma) vs. Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery (2714 N. 21st St.)

LINK: What's up with this pizza tournament?

LINK: Oh hell yes I want the Weekly Volcano newsletter!

March 25, 2011 at 8:08am

Tournament of Pizza Day 9: Second Round baby!

We snapped this scene last night at Puget Sound Pizza.


Now it's getting exciting. The sauce is really starting to fly, and the dough is getting so thick you could cut it with a knife (OK, so that's a horrible analogy ...).

Point is: This is serious.

Today the Weekly Volcano's Tournament of Pizza officially kicks off its second round, meaning only 32 South Sound pizza joints remain, and the competition is as hot as ever. Who will be crowned champ on April 4? The path to pizza greatness starts today.

Here's a look at today's Tournament of Pizza action and a recap of yesterday's results. Shake some Parmesan on it if you know what's good for you and get rolling.

Yesterday's Results

Katie Downs vs. Alfred's Cafe & Bubble Room

In a battle of T-Town institutions, not surprisingly the institution well known for its delicious pizzas emerged decisively victorious - with Katie Downs cruising to victory and securing roughly 85 percent of the vote by the time things were said and done. This one was over early, and the pummeling lasted all day. Luckily for all of us, Alfred's Bubble Room doesn't need the Tournament of Pizza to get by ... it's got bubbles, not to mention a grubbin' corned beef hash. The high-powered Katie Downs moves on to second round action.

Engine House No. 9 vs. Abella Pizzeria

In a back and forth matchup pitting two fairly evenly matched competitors (at least in the eyes of voters, it seems), Engine House No. 9 was eventually able to pull ahead of the stout Abella Pizzeria thanks to a late run - grabby 51 percent of the votes. The loss has to be especially tough for Abella, as they entered the Tournament of Pizza with plenty of hype, mainly coming from the deliciously burnt mouth-tops of UWT students. That said, Engine House No. 9 thanks its lucky stars every time it makes a bank deposit for the damaged livers of UPS students, and it had history on its side, so the fact it's moving on to the second round isn't shocking. You can't question Engine House No. 9's following, and sometimes a following is just what it takes in the Tournament of Pizza.

Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza vs. The Harmon Hub

Everyone loves a good comeback, and this may have been one of the better clutch performances in the (obviously short) history of the Tournament of Pizza. Down by a substantial margin by midday, Farrelli's was able to rally the troops at halftime (literally sending out an email urging people to vote), and by the time the final buzzer sounded the Sixth Avenue, family-friendly, sometimes magician employing pizza spot had walked away with an impressive victory, racking up 57 percent of the vote. Next up for Farrelli's Tacoma, a second round dogfight with Puget Sound Pizza. ...

Puget Sound Pizza vs. Sidebar Bistro

It would have been an upset of monumental proportion had Sidebar Bistro somehow managed to defeat Puget Sound Pizza, but - alas - it was never meant to be. PSP dominated from tip-off to the final seconds yesterday, collecting votes at almost a three to one ratio and securing 71 percent of the votes. Hipsters and karaoke lovers unite - PSP will not be denied! A huge battle against Farrelli's Tacoma location now looms on the horizon.

The following four pizza joints will advance to the next round:

  • Katie Downs
  • Engine House No. 9
  • Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza - Tacoma
  • Puget Sound Pizza

Today's Competition

Sponsored by al Forno Ferruzza Traditional Sicilian Cuisine

OK, time to move on to today's pizza battles.


Cloverleaf Pizza vs. Joseppi's Italian Ristorante

Tipping of the second round of the Weekly Volcano's Tournament of Pizza we have heavyweight Cloverleaf Pizza, with its storied history and claims to fame, battling Joseppi's, a little nine seed that could. Both businesses are well loved within the community, so rallying support won't be an issue. The real question is: Will Joseppi's be intimidated off the court at the site of the Cloverleaf on the other bench, or will the Italian destination just tighten up the old shoelaces and go to work? The votes will decide. Analysts say Cloverleaf all the way, but the Tournament of Pizza isn't played by analysts. ...

  • Cloverleaf Pizza (6430 Sixth Ave., Tacoma)
  • Joeseppi's Italian Ristorante (2207 N. Pearl St., Tacoma)

Delbrocco's Philly Style Pizza vs. Pizza Casa

Pizza Casa is a Lakewood institution. Of course, so are bikini barista stands at this point, but that's not what's important here. The point is: the pie's so good they named the whole damn house after it. After handling Cerello's easily in first round action, Pizza Casa takes on Delbrocco's, a number six seed that took out Mono Pizza & Pasta in the first round without much trouble. At Delbrocco's they do it Philly style, meaning this is a pie not afraid to punch a competitor in the face (figuratively, of course). We expect a knock down drag out affair with this one.

  • Delbrocco's Philly Style Pizza (3908 Sixth Ave., Tacoma)
  • Pizza Casa (12924 Pacific Hwy. SW, Lakewood)

Vic's Pizzaria vs. Casa Mia

If Tournament of Pizza voting plays out anything like our recent Best of Olympia voting went down, Vic's Pizzaria is just playing warm-up ball before eventually facing off against Oldschool in the South Region finals. Of course, we all know there's a lot of Tournament of Pizza action left before that happens. Today, Vic's battles Casa Mia, a restaurant with plenty of history, packing a pie with plenty of accolades. The analysts are all picking Vic's in the pregame show, but - to be honest - Charles Barkley looks drunk. Let's just see what happens. ...

  • Casa Mia (716 Plum St., Olympia)
  • Vic's Pizzeria (233 Division St. NW, Olympia)

Ricardo's Ristorante vs. Farelli's of DuPont

Ricardo's may singlehandedly taint this year's Tournament of Pizza for Volcano co-publisher Ken Swarner. In the first round, after Swarner had heavily touted the prowess of Smitty's Chicago Style pizza, Ricardo's came out of nowhere and took the team down. Now, Ricardo's steps into Swarner's backyard, battling Farrelli's of DuPont in second round action. Will Swarner ever be able to leave his house again without being reminded of this year's personal pizza disappointment? Only time will tell, though the always fast and aggressive Farrelli's of DuPont will play a serious role in determining the answer to that question.

  • Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza (1590 Wilmington Dr., DuPont)
  • Ricardo's Ristorante (5211 Lacey Blvd. S, Lacey)

Tomorrow's Pizza Battles: Battle in the East

Game 1: Spud's Pizza Parlor (7025 Pacific Ave., Tacoma) vs. Louie G's Pizza (4802 Pacific Hwy. E., Fife)

Game 2: Milton Tavern (7320 Pacific Hwy. E., Milton) vs. Trackside Pizza (201 N. Meridian, Puyallup)

LINK: What's up with this pizza tournament?

LINK: Oh hell yes I want the Weekly Volcano newsletter!

March 22, 2011 at 8:12am

Tournament of Pizza Day 6: Yesterday's results, eight new pizzas up for vote (CLOSED)

Dirty Dave's Pizza Parlor's Gay 90's Special arrives with cashews sprinkled on top. Could be a factor in today's voting.


Short of ice cream, Guinness and bourbon, there's no better comfort food than pizza. A good pie will glisten with a sheen of grease over a thick layer of cheese and the meat of your choice (vegetables may be present for color and a hint of flavor, but they should really be relegated to the appetizer or salad), and you won't care that the cheese burns the roof of your mouth, leaving you gnawing at the burned flesh for the next week. Apparently comfort was on your mind during Monday's rain and wind as it was the second largest voting day for the Tournament of Pizza behind Thursday's opening bell.

Yesterday's Results

Tides Tavern vs. Terry's Office Tavern

We're still not quite sure if Terry's Office Tavern is a real and true dive. It certainly looks as though it would be classified as a dive, but it sure doesn't feel like one. Instead, Terry's feels like the neighborhood hideaway. The tavern where local homeowners escape dinner duty and local DINKS go to feel unpretentious comfort. During dinner, the joint will load up with bright-eyed couples aging from 25 to 85 - most chowing on Terry's pizza. Terry's grabbed 64.5 percent of the votes over the popular Tides Tavern in Gig Harbor. DINKS represent.

Nick-N-Willy's Pizza vs. Fondi Pizzeria

It's rare to find a pie where the cheese really does stretch, flow and cling like mozzarella is supposed to, but Fondi's does: The cheese is molded from cheese curds by hand every morning. They also have a house-made Quattro Gatti Mozzarella Fresca. We have no idea if that cheese factor, or the fact that Fondi has 25 times the seating of Nick-N-Willy's, but Fondi nabbed 70 percent of the votes and moves on to battle Terry's Office Tavern March 27 in the Second Round.

Blue Cannon Pizza vs. Lakewood Pub & Grill

Blue Cannon Pizza is a newcomer on the pizza scene, slinging pizzas, sandwiches, salads and vegetarian dishes tucked into a newly developed Gig Harbor shopping center that is filled with every imaginable retailer selling pretty much everything under the sun. The Lakewood Pub leans more toward the neighborhood hangout where the game or your daily meeting with your old friends is more the focus than pizza. In terms of comparing the two joints, at least in regards to the pizza, it's a dead heat with Blue Cannon nudging the Pub with a mere 50.2 percent of the votes.

Stonegate Pizza vs. The Fan Club

"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you." That famous quote comes from the beloved Winnie the Pooh. That quote could have easily comes from a regular at The Fan Club speaking on his or her love for the Lakewood joint's pizza. It doesn't matter that Stonegate Pizza has a historically famous, awesome crust. And while The Fan Club's pizza is good, we imagine if this were the Tournament of Corner Tables, The Fan Club would still have gathered 58.9 percent of the votes. Don't mess with The Fan Club, at least until March 27 when Blue Cannon Pizza gives it a shot.

The following four pizza joints will advance to the next round:

  • Terry's Office Tavern
  • Fondi Pizzeria
  • Blue Cannon Pizza
  • The Fan Club

Today's Competition

Sponsored by al Forno Ferruzza Traditional Sicilian Cuisine

OK, time to move on to today's pizza battles. 


Oldschool Pizzeria vs. Chuck E. Cheese

A good pizza experience owes as much to the atmosphere as the actual pie itself. And what we've discovered in our travels is that arcade games and vintage posters from the '70s and '80s in the restaurant usually signal that a pizza feast of epic New York City proportions is at hand. Be lucky enough to find a joint with an old-school pinball machine, and - mama mia - you're in for a treat. You'll be happy to know that Oldschool Pizzeria in Olympia fulfills such criteria, as well as grabbing Best Pizza honors in our 2011 Best of Olympia readers' poll. We'll be honest, Chuck E. Cheese kind of scares us. Beer, loud noise, thick crowds and the high emotions of children's birthday parties make this restaurant a breeding ground for family disputes. Listen, we never said weren't going to show our bias.

  • Oldschool Pizzeria (108 Franklin St, NE, Olympia)
  • Chuck E. Cheese (625 Black Lake Blvd., Olympia)

Brewery City Pizza vs. Apollo Pizza & Pasta

Brewery City Pizza would love to have you dine in one of their three Thurston County locations, the oldest being Tumwater, which opened in 1982.  But if you can find your Crocs, they'd be more than happy to deliver their thin crust, thick or flatbread pizzas right to your lazy ass. They claim to have one of the largest delivery areas in the county. Specialty pies o'plenty, with options such as the cool ranch chicken pizza. Apollo Pizza & pasta, known for great soups, experiment with the pizza toppings, which is a good thing. Their Mediterranean pizza has been know to change lives. Bonus: Trivia Pursuit cards on the tables.

  • Brewery City Pizza (several Thurston County locations)
  • Apollo Pizza & Pasta (2302 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia)

al Forno Ferruzza vs. Dirty Dave's Pizza Parlor

Spawned from Portland's street vendor culture, al Forno Ferruzza shares a wall and window with the popular Eastside Club, serving pizza slices through a late-night window. Gone are the picnic tables installed by the short-lived A2 restaurant and replaced with comfy booths and a new mural of scenes in Italy and Olympia. While al Forno is the new kid on the block, Dirty Dave's has been serving pizza in Thurston County since 1972. They have built a large, loyal following with their yeasty thin crust and crazy-ass posters and bric-a-brac on the walls.

  • al Forno Ferruzza (408 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia)
  • Dirty Dave's Pizza Parlor (3939 Martin Way E., Olympia)

Mercato Ristorante vs. Infernos Brick Oven Pizza

Located across from the Olympia Farmers Market, Mercato melds sophistication with casual, often with a lively crowd. The fare is Italian with Northwest touches with six pizzas on the menu, including the tasty molto carne with soprasetta salami and pepperoncini. Infernos Brick Oven Pizza offers pizza prepared in, well, a wood-burning oven. The gourmet, thin crispy crust pies carry traditional toppings as well as specialty items such as spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, jalapenos and cherry peppers.

  • Mercato Ristorante (111 Market St. NE, Olympia)
  • Infernos Brick Oven Pizza (111 Tumwater Blvd. SE, Tumwater)

Tomorrow's Pizza Battles: East Region

Game 1: Aversano's (6015 Parker Road E., Sumner) vs. Big Nick's Pizza & Pasta (63527 McKinley Ave., Tacoma)

Game 2: Big Wheel Steakhouse (11401 Steele St. S., Tacoma) vs. Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery (454 E. Main, Puyallup)

Game 3: Flying Tomato Italian Grill (10224 198th St., Graham) vs. Vince's Italian restaurant & Pizzeria (32411 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way)

Game 4: Rollies Tavern (2404 112th St. S., Tacoma) vs. Right Spot (5119 Pacific Hwy. E., Fife)

LINK: What's up with this pizza tournament?

LINK: Oh hell yes I want the Weekly Volcano newsletter!

March 19, 2011 at 9:00am

Tournament of Pizza Day 3: winners and new matchups (Closed)

The Milton Tavern is bring it today.


Sixty-four South Sound pizza joints were selected and seeded by readers throughout February for the Tournament of Pizza, which is now three days into the competition. Brackets don refrigerators, break rooms, restaurant hallways and birdcages. Birthday parties have been moved to pizza restaurants. Everyone is discussing pepperoni and crust thickness. It's crazy fun.

Yesterday's Results

If there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's don't mess with Yelm. The eastern Thurston County community huddles around their own - more often than not with sleeves rolled up and a chew in place. Yelm's brand spanking new Italian joint Pizzeria La Gitana grabbed a respectable 43 percent of the votes yesterday against the powerhouse that is Vic's Pizzeria of Olympia. That's impressive. That's Yelm. But Vic's is awesome. They offer a vegetarian pizza by the slice for cryin' out loud. Congrats to Vic's as they advance to the Second Round.

Jump on Casa Mia's website, then click "Awards." One, two, three ... they list some 13 honors bestowed on their pizzas. How do you compete against that? You don't, if you are Figaro's Pizza on Olympia's Martin Way. Casa Mia grabbed 79.4 percent of the votes over Figaro's yesterday and will advance to the Second Round where it will meet Vic's Pizzeria March 25 - a battle that could test Olympia's Emergency Network.

The DuPont Farrelli's Pizza beat Ramblin Jacks in downtown Olympia by 43 votes. That's a mind blower.

Finally, in yesterday's closest battle, Ricardo's restaurant edged out neighboring Lacey restaurant Smitty's Authentic Chicago Style Food with 52.4 percent of the vote. This one is surprising. Smitty's serves an excellent Chicago-style pizza. Certainly, Ricardo's ultra-friendly ownership came into play. Ricardo's will head into the Second Round to take on Farrelli's in Dupont March 25.

No matter how you slice it, yesterday's winners are:

  • Vic's Pizzeria
  • Casa Mia
  • Farrelli's Pizza DuPont
  • Ricardo's

Today's Competition

OK, time to move on to today's pizza battles. Vote for one pizza joint per battle.

CONTEST CLOSED: Check Sunday's Spew for results.

Spud's Pizza Parlor vs. Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake

Spud's Pizza Parlor on Tacoma's Pacific Avenue posts pictures of its food on their walls. You can see their cannelloni and the shrimp salad in all its colorful glory. If you think all that cheese heaped and melted on the food in the pictures is probably false advertising, you're dead wrong.  Spud's may sound like a potato joint, but really, it's all about the cheese.  Everything ordered, from the pizza to the salad to the pasta, is buried under a mound of mozzarella.  That will no doubt come into play when they take on the "take home and bake" pizza giant that is Papa Murphy's.

Browns Point Pizzeria vs. Louie G's Pizzeria

Louie G has staked his claim in the handmade pizza pie world by honoring his own old-school family dough recipe, and providing fun combinations on more than 14 different specialty pizzas at his Fife location. Don't let Louie G's weekday $6 pizza and salad bar buffet fool you: Every pizza is hand-tossed and baked in a New York brick oven. And they now rock it - all-ages style - with live music. Browns Point Pizzeria also makes its own dough and sauce daily, and are huge on local community. This is the spotlight battle of the day.

Neo Wood Fired Pizza vs. Milton Tavern

Neo hand-shape and stretch their dough daily to form Neapolitan pizzas that are placed into 500-degree wood-fired ovens to quick-bake, which forms the essential black blisters (not burns) on their bubbly, delicious pizzas. Milton Tavern's turnaround is legendary. In the not-so-distant past, this establishment was home to scuffles, surly bikers and a cloud of thick smoke (they went smokeless before the ban). Today, you'll find the place full of lighthearted regulars, 20-somethings on up, enjoying the Milton's casual and comfortable ambiance, shiny, happy servers, and impeccable pizza.

Trackside Pizza vs. Round Table Pizz

Trackside Pizza opened in the spring of 2006 offering both classic and foo-foo toppings. Have you tried their tasty Chihuahua al Pacifico? Italian sausage, pepperoni, jalapeno and loads of garlic - and it and all their pizzas can be ordered online. The Round Table Pizza franchise has been kicking it since 1951, with several locations in the South Sound. They claim it's the "Last Honest Pizza." Honestly, they'll have their hands full today with the popular Trackside.

Tomorrow's Pizza Battles: Greater Downtown Tacoma Region

Game 1: Primo Grill (601 S. Pine) vs. The New Frontier Lounge (301 E. 25th St.)

Game 2: Upper Crust Bistro (2714 N. 21st St.)vs. Adriatic Grill (4201 S. Steele St.) 

Game 3: Harmon Tap Room (208 St. Helens Ave.) vs. Ravenous (785 Broadway)

Game 4: The Rock Wood Fired Pizza (1920 S. Jefferson Ave.) vs. Meconi's Pub & Eatery (709 Pacific Ave.)

LINK: What the hell does all this mean?

LINK: Oh hell yes I want the Weekly Volcano newsletter!

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.

February 26, 2011 at 9:20am

5 Things to Do Today: Tacoma Urban Orchestra, Big Wheel Stunt Show CD release, CFA, Norman Rockwell in T-Town ...

Norman Rockwell


1. Tonight, from 7:30 - 10:30 p.m., check out Tacoma Urban Orchestra presents: Naïve. Briefly described as, "A unique creative musical experiment, in conjunction with dance, spoken word and a new indie Tacoma film directed my Lucas Smiraldo," more info can be found here.

2. As you're hopefully hip to, the Northwest Convergence Zone recently launched an all South Sound local music internet radio station. Suffice to say, it's rad. Tonight at the New Frontier Lounge in Tacoma's Dome District, the Convergence Zone will celebrate with a showcase featuring Brotherhood of the Black Squirrel, Trees Without Leaves, the Hardcount and Big Wheel Stunt Show - celebrating the release of their new album, Cheetah Milque.

3. Like pizza? Like all-ages shows? Like Fife? Well, then, do we have a show for you. Check in with the irresistible Cody Foster's Army, along with Suburban Vermin, Agodamnation and Dead Peasants tonight at Louie G's Pizzeria.

4. The exhibition American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell makes its only Northwest stop at Tacoma Art Museum today through May 30 - with 44 paintings and 323 original Saturday Evening Post covers. 

5. Are your kids feeling artsy? Begging for a story? Garfield Book Company has you covered with its Saturday Super Craft and Storytime - which runs from 2-3 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

Filed under: All ages, Arts, Books, Events, Music, Fife, Pizza, Tacoma,

February 15, 2011 at 3:37pm

Person, Place or Thing with Steph DeRosa: Warthog Barbeque Pit

Warthog Barbeque Pit: taxidermist's wet dream / photography by Steph DeRosa

This week ...

Place: Warthog Barbeque Pit

Established: 1999

Location: Fife

Founder: Gary Kurashima

Closed for deep cleaning: Christmastime

Curtains: Black ruffles with chili peppers

Stuffed dead animals: 30

Sweet tea: Yes

Built: Inside the Kingdome

Previously: Log cabin model home

Seating: Indoor and outdoor

Capacity: 50-100 guests

Catering: Yes

Music: Country

Number of Thin Mints I ate while writing this: 8

To read the full story, click here.

January 1, 2011 at 10:09am

Happy New Year!


Ah, the sweet artificiality of the New Year - the reassurance of a clean calendar, of resolutions for self-improvement. And then you pick up the newspaper, and that pure artifice of the change of year, that vagarious demarcation of another arbitrary moment, is rendered meaningless by the inexorably continuing chains of events that know no boundaries defined by pages in a calendar. (Remember, the Chinese and the Jews have their own calendars, no less arbitrary, no more meaningful.)  It's no wonder revelers seem to work so hard trying to have a good time as the countdowns begin.

We here at the Weekly Volcano and Spew hope you had a nice holiday season and we wish you the best all year around.

December 25, 2010 at 7:44am

Merry Happy!


Every year our Christmas dinner has one flaw.  We have no gripes about eating the same menu annually - ham with cherry sauce, green bean casserole, twice-baked potatoes, and freshly baked rolls. It's the Jell-O salad that gets us. 

Our mom makes a strange concoction of dark cherry Jell-O with Coca-Cola and bits of cream cheese, which is not as bad as it sounds, but she serves us a slab on top of a piece of iceberg lettuce.  The lettuce is our mom's way of dressing up a barren salad plate, but the lettuce taste is transferred to the Jell-O.  We end up eating lettuce-flavored Jell-O, and trust us we've protested. 

As we gather around the Christmas dinner table with family and friends - feeling fortunate to even have food, family and friends - no doubt we'll have Jell-O on lettuce again.  We'll eat it, with a smile

What ever this day brings you, the Weekly Volcano staff wishes you a merry one. As always, thanks for reading, commenting and joining the fun. Cheers!

December 14, 2010 at 2:18pm

Person, Place or Thing with Steph DeRosa

They make 'em big at Louie G's Pizzeria in Fife

This week ...

THING: Louie G's Pizzeria "Little Italy" Pizza Challenge

STATS: 28-inch pizza, three topping minimum. Starts at $39.95. You eat it - you win




TIME LIMIT: One hour



PRIZES: T-Shirt, possible cash money, name on the wall, memorial plaque, free pizza, bragging rights, four raw eggs and a used toothbrush found in Louie G's medicine cabinet.


If you're one of the many tens of people who follow me on Twitter you may have read of my recent bongo obsession. Questions have arisen, such as: Are there such things as bongo lessons? Is it possible to play bongos incorrectly? Most importantly, when will the people at Nintendo or Xbox come out with a Bongo Hero video game?

Steph DeRosa obsessions are fun, and one of them is pizza dough. Aside from all of the wonderful sexual innuendos that arise when discussing raw dough, the evolution that transforms a mound of mushy flour into a delicious pizza pie is wondrous to me. It also doesn't hurt the obsession-meter when I watch men of Italian descent toss dough high up in the air.

Louie G has staked his claim in the handmade pizza pie world by honoring his own old-school family dough recipe, and providing only the freshest ingredients in fun combinations on over 14 different specialty pizzas at his Fife location. Don't let Louie G's weekday six-dollar pizza and salad bar buffet fool you: Every pizza is hand-tossed and baked in a New York brick oven. I love this place. The fact that this joint is independently and locally owned doesn't hurt, either.

What will soon (if not already) become a Steph DeRosa obsession is Louie G's "Little Italy" pizza challenge. No, I'm not going to attempt it, but I'd love to see someone else succeed. 

Hear my cry when I say, please, for the love of all things gluttonous, let me watch you and a friend try to down Louie G's 28-inch Little Italy pizza in under an hour! 

I'll hold your hair if you puke, I promise. I'll buy you an ice cream cone afterwards. I'll do (almost) anything if you just let me overeat vicariously through you. C'mon, do it!

[Louie G's Pizzeria, 5219 Pacific Hwy E., Fife, 253.926.9700]

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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