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Posts made in: 'Happy Hour Hug' (9) Currently Viewing: 1 - 9 of 9

June 29, 2014 at 8:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Pride Film Festival, Spamalot, Dayclub, experimental music ...

Israeli helmer Eytan Fox's candy-colored musical "Cupcakes" is an endearingly goofy celebration of the right to be yourself.

SUNDAY, JUNE 29 2014 >>>

1. Early summer in the South Sound means changing warmer weather, adding a boa and checking out the pride festivals. In conjunction with Olympia Capital City Pride event last weekend, the Olympia Film Society presents the 2014 Pride Film Festival, closing today at the Capitol Theater. Today's screenings include My Prairie Home and Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure at 2:30 p.m., Appropriate Behavior and Vecinas at 5 p.m., and CupcakesFirst Date and Becoming Flirty at 7:30 p.m. MC Flirticia Fondue closes the night out.

2. The Tacoma Benefit Jam and Feed is now a quarterly endeavor, bringing together musicians and food to raise money for a charity. Bring your instruments from an afternoon of bluegrass, jazz, swing, and old time from 1-5 p.m. at the Vaeth Mansion, 422 N. E St. in Tacoma. The suggested $15 donations ($10 donations for musicians) will benefit Sister Cities International. A buffet will be available throughout the jam, with food, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages included in exchange for your generous donations.

3. Lakewood Playhouse never seems to disappoint and their most recent production is no exception. People who don't like Monty Python humor, also known as fuddy duddies, might want to skip it but for everyone else, Spamalot (books and lyrics by Eric Idle) will have them laughing, whistling and singing even after the show. Director John Munn's brilliant cast and crew could not have done a better job. Read Joann Varnell's full review of Spamalot in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 2 p.m.

4. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watching condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This triple threat of delicious happy hour specials, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub."

5. Today marks the closing of the 20th anniversary of the Olympia Experimental Music Festival. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the Olympia Experimental Music Festival in the Music & Culture section, then catch Replikants, Malaise, Derek M. Johnson, L.A. Lungs, Four Dimensional Nightmare vs. Infradead and Overdose the Katatonic from 4-8 p.m. at Northern in downtown Olympia.

LINK: Sunday, June 29 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

May 9, 2014 at 10:35am

Mac and Cheese Madness: Smoke + Cedar in Tacoma

Smoke + Cedar's Skillet Mac + Cheese is a plus. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

While many people who head to the newly opened Smoke + Cedar are looking for the slow-roasted prime rib, the half-pound chuck burger, Team Dino's cocktails and the awesome happy hour, I drive up the hill for the mac and cheese. An order brings the perfect amount of orecchiette pasta (means "little ears") mixed in with owner Gordon Naccarato's version of the Augusta National pimento cheese recipe, then spackled with panko and crumbled  "Ritzy" fire cracker crumbs. The mac and cheese is served in hot skillet, which keeps it hot and prevents the concoction from sticking to the pan - good idea, since you don't want to let a single bite escape. it's freakin' delicious.

The skillet mac + cheese rings in at $8, but sells for an astonishingly $5 during happy hour, which is 2-6 p.m., 9 p.m. to close in the bar. Smoke + Cedar's happy hour food will be the talk of the town, especially during warm weather when its covered deck hops.

Every chef, every cook, every kid and every home-kitchen tongs-twirler has his or her own version of macaroni and cheese, but Smoke + Cedar's orchestration, paired with a cocktail, is so satisfying - so wonderfully immoral - that it makes my heart race just thinking about it.

SMOKE + CEDAR, breakfast 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., until 10 a.m. weekends; boozy brunch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday; dinner 5 p.m. to close daily, 2013 S. Cedar St., Tacoma, 253.343.6090

LINK: Mac and Cheese Madness posts every Friday as a precursor to the Tournament of Mac and Cheese in March 2015.

March 19, 2014 at 2:18pm

FITZ + Free = Where military should eat tonight

We borrowed this photo off Steel Creek's news release.

Another week, another airfield seizure drill. You could use a free appetizer.

FITZ In the Morning from 100.7 The Wolf will be at Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. tonight, dishing out concert tickets, an autographed guitar and other giveaways during the downtown Tacoma restaurant's happy hour. If you're a member of the military or family member, show your military ID and receive a free appetizer during FITZ's visit. Steel Creek thanks you for your service.

February 21, 2013 at 3:59pm

Dirty Oscar's Annex offers new happy hour menu

DIRTY OSCARS ANNEX: Chef Aaron Grissom, left, and Riley Morgan have added a New American style spin to happy hour dishes. Photo courtesy of Facebook


Nothing is more exciting than seeing the clock strike 5 p.m. when you're at work. You and your fellow employees dash to the front door of the office, elbow anyone who gets in your way, and head out in search of happy hour awesomeness.

Check that. Nothing is more exciting than sneaking away from work an hour early at 4 p.m. and hitting one of the best happy hours in the area.

We suggest Dirty Oscar's Annex. The Sixth Avenue watering hole with the talented young chef in the kitchen introduced a new happy hour Monday, running 4-6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close daily, with Friday's happy hour beginning at noon since it opens that day at 10 a.m. for breakfast. With Chef Aaron Grissom in the back, it's not a surprise its happy hour focuses on food.

"The idea is to offer something for those that are starving right after work, but not have the dish be so big that you're too full for dinner with your family a few hours later," says Jennifer Johnson, operations manager at Dirty Osacr's Annex. "With portion size in mind, I also wanted to offer food after 10 p.m. that wasn't too large. Our burgers and entrees are huge, and that can actually be a deterrent later at night. Prices are lower than our regular menu items to encourage people to try more than one item and share with friends. I don't think anyone wants to have their leftovers sit unrefrigerated on the table while they hang out for a couple hours having drinks. The smaller dishes on the happy hour menu solve both issues."

Dirty Oscar's Annex's happy hour consists of 14 dishes in the $5-$8 range. Chef Aaron has taken sliders, wraps, corn dogs and burritos and waved his magic New American style wand over the dishes. Out popped ground beef sliders ($6) with peanut butter and tomato jam; pork belly sliders ($8) with sausage cream, Parmesan, sunny egg and chipotle maple syrup; a kielbasa corn dog ($5); the Oscar dog ($5), which also centers on kielbasa, but skips the corn meal for onion straws, kimchee puree, cream cheese, sriacha ketchup and yellow mustard — and many more. Click here to see Dirty Oscar's Annex's happy hour menu.

In addition to the food specials, Dirty Oscar's Annex also offers happy hour $3 wells and drafts, $5 wine, $2 tall boys with its moonshine cocktails and shots ringing in at a dollar less. There are early week gourmet burger specials, too. From 4-8 p.m., you may dine on the blue burger Monday, chipotle buffalo chiliburger Tuesday and Dead Elvis burger (candied peppered bacon, fried banana, sunny side up egg, peanut butter) Wednesday - all with half-pound Prairie Farms beef patties for $10.


LINK: Weekly Volcano's South Sound happy hour app

February 11, 2013 at 12:55pm

New menu, hours and happy hour at Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe

TOP OF TACOMA BAR AND CAFE: Even its logo is cool.

COOL >>>

Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe is a cool bar. So cool that Weekly Volcano readers have voted it the Best Bar in Tacoma. In fact, readers have voted Top the Best Bar three years running. An honor, to be sure. But Top's top-dog status has nothing to do with the fact that it won three awards in a row. Top was the best before it was voted the best. For cool to be recognized as cool it must be unrecognized cool first.

Speaking of cool, the Top has four cool announcements this week. First, it's hosting a Mardi Gras party tomorrow night. Second, it has a new menu. We'll have the details soon. Third, it has new hours of operation - 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily with lunch service. Last, it just busted out a twice-daily happy hour. Yup, from 2-6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. you can score $1.50 Rainier beer drafts, $3 micro drafts, $2 tall boys, $5 Rainier pitchers, $5 wine pours, $3 bartender's choice shots and $3 wells. Happy hour food includes $5 flatbreads and $5 half-order cheese nachos and quesadillas.



LINK: Weekly Volcano's happy hour app for the South Sound

January 28, 2013 at 7:22am

Happy Hour Hug: El Gaucho Tacoma has late-night deals daily

EL GAUCHO TACOMA: Its signature Tenderloin Diablo is still on the happy hour menu. Photo credit NovaPhotography.Net/Facebook

YAY! >>>

Late-night happy hour? Yes, please!

In December 2012 El Gaucho Tacoma quielty extended its happy hour for its regulars to enjoy. It now offers happy hour prices from 4 p.m. to close Sunday-Thursday, 4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close Friday and 9 p.m. to close Saturday.

For those who have never experienced El Gaucho's happy hour, it's for those who enjoy discounted gourmet food in a dimly-lit, fine-dining atmosphere with live piano music and not a cardboard-crusted pizza delivered by a stoner in a stained shirt in sight.

Food that's fit for a famished autocrat includes the El Gaucho Mignon burger, tuna tartar, wicked shrimp and mac and cheese for $10 each. You must try the chilled sushi-grade Hawaiian ahi tuna becomes a textural juxtaposition to creamy fish flesh and crunchy toasted pine nuts, peppers and onions. The Wicked Shrimp and Tenderloin Diablo are lasting favorites and still on the happy hour menu.

Night-crawlers may toss back discounted liquids such as the tasty blueberry lemondrop for only $6. Happy hour beers and wine range from $4 to $6.

El Gaucho, happy hour 4 p.m. to close Sunday-Thursday, 4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close Friday, 9 p.m. to close Saturday, 2119 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.1510

LINK: Weekly Volcano Happy Hour App for the South Sound

November 5, 2012 at 6:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Flamenco Casa Patas, Kim Archer vs. happy hour, Northwest Repertory Singers and more ...


MONDAY, NOV 5, 2012 >>>

1. Flamenco song and dance is - pretty much - sexier than you'll ever be (even if you grow your hair out like Antonio Banderas). It's a bummer. Luckily, like an un-sexy sponge, you can sop up the sexy sweat Flamenco exudes and use it to your advantage. Flamenco Casa Patas will hit the Washington Center in Olympia tonight. Direct from Madrid, Spain, the show promises a thrilling adventure with new lead dancer Karen Lugo, dancer Jose Maldonado and their eclectic instruments and voices. Be free. 8 p.m., $21-$32, Washington Center, 512 Washington St., Olympia, 360.753.8586

2. The stretch of Pacific Avenue from Seventh to 17th streets in downtown Tacoma will finally receive a makeover thanks to nearly $4 million in state and federal public works grants that arrived this summer, bringing the total to $8.3 million to add new sidewalks, street lighting, paving, shared roadway bicycle markings (sharrows), green stormwater infrastructure including 14 new rain gardens and new landscaping. All the players in the project will gather at 9:30 a.m. for a groundbreaking ceremony to kickoff construction of the Pacific Avenue Streetscape Project. 9:30 a.m., Fireman's Park, 803 A St., Tacoma

3. You know what makes a kick ass happy hour more kick ass? When Kim Archer performs during it. Known for her raw, powerhouse performances and personable interaction with her audiences, Archer will make $5 wells that much better. 4 p.m., no cover, Salty's at Redondo Beach, 28201 Redondo Beach Drive. S., Des Moines, 253.946.0636

4. The Northwest Repertory Singers will be practicing for its Strike the Harp, Ring the Bells, Sound the Oboe Christmas concert, which will be staged in the middle of December. And when the NWS practices, it goes big and invites the public. It's never too early for traditional carols and favorite songs of the season. OK, maybe it is, but whatever. 7-9:30 p.m., free, Mason Methodist Church, 2710 N. Madison, Tacoma

5. The S.R.O. Swing Band, described as a "16-piece jazz band playing music from the ‘30s and ‘40s, will perform an all-ages show tonight at the Imperial Dragon. 7 p.m., no cover, Imperial Dragon, 6805 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.565.5477

LINK: Monday, Nov. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 28, 2012 at 3:14pm

Today is National Drink Beer Day

Even this adorable puppy loves beer

Of course, I was reminded of this fine holiday by my dear friend, who drinks Busch Light every Friday, who loves NASCAR and who likes to do country-song karaoke through her Playstation while drinking said Busch Lite.

Well, folks, let us raise our glasses to her and to all fellow beer drinkers across the nation, whether it's a piss yellow frosty tall boy or a high-grade organic ale in a lukewarm glass, cheers to a nation of beers!

And in spirit of the day and of my NASCAR lovin' girlfriend, here's a recipe for beer can chicken.

1. Prepare your grill for indirect heat. If you are using charcoal, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. If you are using a gas grill, fire up only half of the burners.

2. Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken, if the chicken came with them. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Mix salt, pepper, and thyme in a little bowl, then sprinkle it all over the chicken.

3. Make sure the beer can is open, and only half-filled with beer (drink the other half!) If you want, you can put a sprig of thyme (or another herb like rosemary or sage) in the beer can. Lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, using the legs and beer can as a tripod to support the chicken on the grill and keep it stable.

4. Cover the grill and walk away. Do not even check the chicken for at least an hour. After an hour, check the chicken and refresh the coals if needed (if you are using a charcoal grill). Keep checking the chicken every 15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F - 165°F.

Filed under: Tacoma, Happy Hour Hug, Olympia,

March 24, 2012 at 10:37am

Happy Hour Hug: The reopened Cliff House

THE CLIFF HOUSE: It serves a typical tasty antipasti plate, but adds an awesome view of mt. rainier with it. Photo credit: Jennifer Johnson


The Cliff House reopened March 14. New owner Giuseppe Nappo (who also owns Verrazano in Federal Way and Copper Falls in Auburn) offers Italian meets Northwest cuisine with global accents at The Cliff House. Fine dining is still the name of the game, though it's now presented in an environment that greatly benefits from a much-needed decorating makeover and update.

Open for lunch and dinner, menu items at the Cliff House range from $9 handmade ravioli lunch to $69 lobster and steak dinner. Average lunch price is $12; dinner is $24; happy hour ranges from $3-$7.

Service is friendly, knowledgeable and on point; hard to believe the historical Northeast Tacoma restaurant has been back on the scene for only two weeks.

My group stopped in for The Cliff House's happy hour.

Tender non-chewy ring and tentacle calamari ($5) arrived in an orange-hued breading, nicely complimented by a lemon aioli.

Dipped in a fresh pomodoro sauce, the Cliff House's fried provolone ($6) is the adult version of mozzarella sticks; square in shape they were firm at the edges and melted in the interior.

Black bean and garlic chicken wings $5) offer a welcome divergence from the usual barbeque sauce or a Frank's hot sauce.

Salmon sliders, with pickled cucumber and a small side dish of coleslaw, make a nice bite at $3 each. 

The Cliff House antipasti plate ($7) features the typical variety of meats, olives, cheese, vegetables and grilled bread.

A light seasoning and butter melted on top in no way masks the pleasant grill taste of a 14-ounce rib eye, which is on its dinner menu for $29. The red potatoes as accompaniment were chosen at bartender Jennifer Douglas' suggestion. Douglas was dead-on: they are so subtly sweet and creamy. Upon a recent visit, Douglas learned our names and those of other guests immediately; small gestures like this go a long way. She says her favorite dishes are the turkey panini at lunch and the stuffed chicken entrée at dinner.

As happy hour ended the clientele partly cleared out, but just as quickly seats were filled again - leaving the main floor and downstairs about 50-percent full. The vibe is comfortable elegance. The view is riveting. And the staff is personable.

[The Cliff House, happy hour daily 3-6 p.m., 9 p.m. to close, lunch served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, dinner served 3-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 3-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, brunch served 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays, 6300 Marine View Dr., Tacoma, 253.927.0400]

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