Amp Your Health with Greens This Spring

As leaves begin to unfurl, spring can be a great reminder to take a moment to get reconnected with the natural world and recommit to personal self-care. One of the best ways to assist your health, and especially your immune system, is by being more mindful of your diet. Here in the South Sound, the abundance of farmers markets makes finding local, fresh, and whole foods incredibly easy.

Spring brings an explosion of green to the produce offered by farmers. The array of greens will include familiar favorites such as chard, kale, lettuce, sorrel, and spinach, but also the more unusual fiddleheads and nettles. Expand your use of greens from the salad and try some cooked greens. After eating them a few times, you will quickly find out why cooked greens are part of such a variety of cuisines from China to France to India. With a short cooking time, versatility, unique flavors and important nutritional benefits, greens can become a regular part of healthy eating either on their own or nestled in other dishes. Here are some ways to try spring greens:

  • Saute greens until tender in a large pot with olive oil, salt and garlic or onion. Add additional flavor with a dot of butter or cream along with seasonal herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Add sliced kale to soups and stews during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
  • Toss some chopped fresh greens into a smoothie.
  • Increase the nutritional power in your breakfast by sautéing chopped greens and garlic before you add eggs for scrambling.

Farmers will also be offering leeks, potatoes, rhubarb, and sprouts among their spring bounty. Eating fresh whole foods can be cleansing and enlivening for your body after the limited choices of winter eating which often includes more processed foods. With an extensive history of family farming, the communities of the South Sound have been growing crops for decades. Today you can find markets throughout Tacoma, as well as in Puyallup, Lakewood, Gig Harbor, and Olympia. It can be a fun family outing to go visit a new farmers market to explore new vendors, neighborhoods, and parks. So don’t be deterred by the spring rains and plan a trip to a farmers market today.

For Additional Information
Lakewood Farmers Market | City of Lakewood

Olympia Farmers Market

Tacoma Farmers Markets

Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market

Puyallup Farmers Market | Puyallup Main Street Association


Delicious Take-Out – Just Add Park Bench

The sun’s shining. The park is waiting.
And you’ve earned a treat.
It’s time for some good take-out.
In no particular order — bon appétit!

Crockett’s Public House, with locations in both Puyallup and Maple Valley, offers scratch-made food with a laid-back vibe. Regulars praise its grilled cheese sandwich and tomato bisque, or try the made-to-order chowder and kale caesar salad.

Crudo & Cotto at 2717 North Proctor Street, Tacoma, features mouthwatering appetizers, seafood, a variety of entrees and desserts. “Crudo” means “raw or almost,” and “cotto” is “cooked.” Fresh, complex food includes ingredients like ostrich, marinated carpaccio (red-wine marinated beef dry-cured for 90 days) and hamachi (a raw fish preparation, dressed with olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, arugula and radish).

Just up the hill from Tacoma’s Ruston Way amenities is Macaluso’s Italian Restaurant at 5101 North Pearl Street. This family-owned restaurant features authentic Italian food and wine. Diners rave about the house-made focaccia bread and mouth-watering pasta entrees loaded with fresh seafood.

For a quick grab-and-go, just up the road, Central Co-op at 4502 N Pearl St in Tacoma is perfect for a bite on the way to Point Defiance Park, the Ruston waterfront or Vashon ferry. The community-owned grocery store focuses on local vendors and organic, healthy food. Check out the in-house taqueria bar and huge selection of kombucha and regional brews.

Indochine is a feast for your senses, nestled in the heart of a great Northwest cultural center. The flavors of Thailand, China, India, Japan, and Vietnam meld together to produce a wonderful culinary palette that is sure to impress your and your guests’ tastes. To finish your meal, select one of Indochine’s desserts, all of which are made in-house, such as one of their many gelato flavors, Crème Brûlée, Lemon Coconut Cake, or their Nemesis Flourless Chocolate Cake.

At Chicory, the Northwest meets New Orleans. At 111 Columbia Street NW, Olympia, the focus is on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and natural wine. Try the fried oyster banh mi sandwich, and who can leave behind powered-sugar dusted beignets?

Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar at 222 Capitol Way North incorporates their own locally farmed oysters, clams and geoducks into their specialty seafood dishes. Grab a pound of steamed clams and garlic bread or fish and chips and beet salad and make your own picnic.


Taste Washington Announces 2021 Programs

Washington is proud of its culinary environment, and Taste Washington is a large part of this community. Today, Taste Washington is proud to unveil its 2021 programming, a month-long celebration of Washington wine and food.

“While we look forward to a big in-person reunion in 2022, this year has given us the opportunity to make Taste Washington more inclusive and expansive for audiences across the nation,” Senior Vice President & CMO of Visit Seattle Ali Daniels said. “Lowering the barrier to entry has also created a platform to allow wineries and restaurants of any size or geographic location within the state to take part– from small pop-ups and brand-new wineries to longstanding wine and dining institutions, there is a place for all of them.”

Taste Washington 2021 is excited to introduce the brand new Taste Washington To Go, and Taste Washington At Home, along with unique winery and restaurant activations, hotel packages and more. 

For Taste Washington To Go, each week, famed chefs will create a special takeout pairing uniquely crafted for a specific theme. Wineries across the state will offer promotions highlighting the week’s featured variety, and local restaurants will offer their own spin on the theme. Subscribe to the Taste Washington weekly e-newsletter to get the scoop on the participating restaurants and the menus— limited quantities will be available from each restaurant, and meals are expected to sell out quickly!

Taste Washington At Home invites everyone into the kitchen to take part in Taste Washington. Each week, Whole Foods Market will share a different recipe and Washington wine pairing that follows the theme. This program was inspired by Taste Washington fans that are unable to travel this year or feel more comfortable preparing their own meals at home. 

“In a year that has been hard for so many, we hope this year’s Taste Washington will allow people to enjoy the best of Washington’s food and wine while supporting an industry that has been hurt the hardest,” Daniels said. “Throughout the month of March, treat yourself by booking a night at a hotel, ordering delicious take out and trying a new bottle of Washington wine.”

All programming details and weekly announcements can be found on the Taste Washington website.

Talking Cedar: crafting brews, distilling food

created by dji camera

Looking for a unique new restaurant and brewery to try this fall? Talking Cedar is a brand new distillery, brewery, and restaurant in Grand Mound. This beautiful facility encompasses 35,000 square feet and is owned and maintained by the Chehalis Tribe.

Talking Cedar has partnered with Heritage Distilling Company, a highly awarded craft distillery in North America (based in Gig Harbor), to provide customers a 15,000 square-foot tasting room and distillery with eight fermentation tanks for the production spirits. Talking Cedar Brewing also has a six-barrel production floor to create specialty craft brews on site. All of the brews are crafted from the aquifer that runs beneath the facility. “Using this fresh local water makes it extra special and the water is important to us,” says Managing Director Chris Richards.

The new restaurant welcomes visitors in to enjoy delicious and upscale pub-style appetizers and entrees with locally sourced ingredients, along with their artisan drinks. Says Richards, “You won’t find fresh fish and chips caught locally like this at many other places.” Some of the other savory dishes on the menu include mouthwatering options like the Bacon Blue Burger, house-made mac ‘n cheese, and pork schnitzel. 

Visitors can view take a self-guided tour of the distillery and brewery, which includes some key historical information. “We are most excited to offer visitors tours that are a hands-on experience. “Engaging and being a part of the craft beverage experience is special and we want to share it,” says  Richards. 

Gatherings at Talking Cedar are unique and offered in a beautiful new facility. Whether you want to share stories over drinks, taste some local favorites or simply enjoy good company, Talking Cedar offers a craft experience to be enjoyed. By Leah Grout

Visit Talking Cedar website to find out more.

Pearl of a Dining Experience: Chelsea Oyster Bar

Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar in Olympia offers its dining patrons a truly special experience — fresh local seafood sustainably farmed at its namesake Chelsea Farms. Owners Shina Wysocki and Kyle Lentz offer their dining patrons an experience that reflects the heart and soul of the family’s shellfish farming legacy. 

Upon your visit, expect an authentic casual-chic Pacific Northwest dining experience. This lovely space, with a recently expanded dining room, allows guests a place to celebrate a unique occasion or meet a friend or two for one of the best happy hours and ‘bites’ in the South Sound. General Manager Amilia Forsberg and her team are known for going the extra mile to make guests feel special. “We love that our customers have made us their destination to celebrate their wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and marriage proposals; we love helping to make the occasion memorable.” says Amilia.

A menu to satisfy the landlubber or the most adventuresome diner, ‘Chelsea’ offers a delectable assortment of fresh food from the sea, as well as a few superbly done mainstays. Discover what many Olympians believe to be the best clam chowder, fish and chips, and burgers in town. Be sure to try the delicate and sweet geoduck tartare. Though geoduck is farmed locally and shipped all over the world, it is a delicacy all too difficult to discover on menus in the South Sound.

Be sure to explore Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar and check out the takeout menu which includes dinners and cocktail kits to go! by Dana Pethia

Olympia at 222 Capitol Way North 


I’m Dreaming of a Wine Winter

Thinking outside the familiar confines of the box to find ways of entertainment and exciting experiences has been a necessity with this unusual year. And while some winter practices will always remain the same—curling up under a warm blanket as you watch your favorite holiday film or catching snowflakes on the tip of your tongue—there is opportunity to try new things. So as the frosty flurries roll in and the crisp chill clings to the air, let your palette explore these unique and highly rated wines to cozy up with this season. NATALIE BENSON

CasaSmith Cinghiale Sangiovese 2018 (92 points)

Wahluke Slope & Rosebud Vineyards

Pleasant, coating mouthfeel, flavors of savory herbs, ripe red current, dark raspberry and juicy Bing cherry. Aromas include subtle spice and leather. A delectable red that would fit perfectly in Grandfather’s study.

Lemberger 2018 (93 points)

Kiona Vineyards

Red Mountain

The Lemberger is special to Kiona Vineyards as they were the first winery to commercialize the wine in 1980. Smooth and silky with a buttery texture and flavor.Medium body of lush blackberry and fig.

Woodland Goddess Reserve Red 2016 (Double Gold)

Silvara Cellars

Leavenworth, WA

A favorite for those snowy cabin evenings while enjoying a roaring fireplace. Deep aromas of dark fruit, chocolate and an array of spices. Bold, present tannins, velvety notes of black licorice and vanilla, paired with a dash of viognier, complement the fresh floral finish.

Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris “Spicy Pig” Blend (limited release)

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Columbia Valley

An atypical mix, but one that works beautifully. Supple texture and musky aromas from classic barrel fermentation. Season appropriate with flavors of spice, fresh apple and pear.

Owens Meats Brings Sizzle To Point Ruston

The Candy Store For The Carnivore, this is a one-of-a-kind, family-owned business that has flourished through five generations. Owens Meats is a specialty meat market with a huge line of fresh choice and prime meats that are aged to perfection.

For over 125 years, Owens Meats has been serving meat to the tables of families in the Northwest and across the country. Owens Meats is the oldest continuously-operated family business in Kittitas County and one of the oldest in the state of Washington.

Owens Meats opened its doors in 1887, two years before Washington became a state. Today, Owens Meats is known as “The Candy Store for the Carnivore” and after over a century of consistent excellence, they have solidified their legacy into the hearts and bellies of people all over the Northwest who have come to cherish this fine establishment.

When they began offering meat from a machine, it was a totally new concept for our region. The ability to buy Owens Meats’ famous meat snacks and treats via vending machines is now available in 12 locations in the Northwest including Point Ruston’s waterfront.

For several months, they have had a vending machine for their premier meats located next to Purpose Boutique. With the success of that location, Owens has now joined the Public Market at Point Ruston with a beautiful 2,300 square foot premier butcher shop at the Point Ruston Market. “ Welove the area and it reminds me of an old fashioned village on the water and our family is thrilled to be able to now offer our products at the new location” says Don Owens. Bring the finest quality specialty smoked and marinated meats to your family this holiday season and experience for yourself why generations of customers have been shopping Owens Meats. When you visit you will likely meet one of the Owens family members that will be working behind the counter. NATALIE BENSON

For Additional Information

Crumbl Cookie: More Than Just a Cookie

When you step inside of Crumbl Cookie, it feels as if you have stepped inside a secret bakery. The vibe is vivacious and magnetic. Cookie lovers can watch each step of the process at Crumbl: from bakers putting together top shelf ingredients, to each crumbly cookie baking to perfection.

These mouthwatering cookies are definitely not just another cookie. Crumbl has perfected their cookie recipe over the years, and, based on the line out the door, they must have nailed it. They feature unique flavor combinations, such as Buckeye Brownie, Lemon Poppyseed, Biscoff, and Churro, along with classic crowd favorites like Milk Chocolate Chip and Chilled Sugar Cookie. Flavors rotate weekly, so there is always something fresh to get excited about. Also, as a bonus for the ice cream lovers out there, there is Crumbl Cream— the same extraordinary cookie flavors transformed into ice cream.  With over 140 flavors, and the masterminds always working on new things, Crumbl lovers have plenty to look forward to. 

Crumbl’s swanky pink boxes, easily personalized online, give guests an adorable gift option. Also, if you aren’t up for making the in-store visit, you don’t have to miss out on a cookie; Crumbl offers both curbside pick-up and delivery.

Owner Doug Clark stated that he has always done everything the “opposite of everyone else.” Doug is most excited about gaining customers with more than just a purchase, but rather the experience. Crumbl strives to provide excellent customer service, and as they rapidly grow they are constantly growing their procedures to ensure customer satisfaction. In addition to the current Puyallup location, the opening of a new Crumbl Cookie, this one in Bonney Lake in May of 2021, was also recently announced! If you’re ever in the area, be sure to enjoy the Crumbl cookie experience for yourself. 


Olympia Farmer’s Market Welcomes Brett Warwick

The Olympia Farmers Market Board of Directors is  pleased to announce they have selected Brett Warwick as the Market’s new Operations Manager. Brett was previously employed with the Queen Anne Farmers Market as Market Coordinator and served as Production Manager for the Seattle Marathon Association. 

Brett studied Operations Management at Western Washington University and has over 15 years of experience working with farmers markets. He has recently relocated to the Olympia area and is eager to share his love for the development of local businesses. “I look forward to offering new energy to the community and to further the success of this iconic market,” says Brett. The board is extremely grateful for John Nason’s dedication to the Market and his  willingness to step up as the interim Operations Manager to keep the organization running  smoothly throughout the hiring process. 

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Market this season, you still have a few weeks to check it out! Currently, the Market is operating on its Winter schedule through March, and is open every  Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

10 Favorite Washington Wines

Some of the best Washington state wines have been described as having the structure and finesse of the Old World while displaying the flashy and ripe fruit of the New World. We’re pleased to present our third annual list of favorite Washington wines—perfect for sharing with friends and family this holiday season.

DeLille Cellars
Malbec, Red Willow Vineyard, 2015
Nearly opaque in color, redolent of blueberry, licorice and eucalyptus, with plenty of energetic acidity and fresh fruit flavors to complement its complex tannic framework.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars
Affinity Albariño, Columbia Valley, 2017
Laden with gorgeous notes of Meyer lemon and lime zest, it leaves just enough room for the nuances of fresh-cut nectarine and orange blossom to shine through.

Col Solare
Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, 2015
Aromas of black cherry, berry and dark chocolate fuse with smooth notes of vanilla and spice, finished with the long lingering flavors of cocoa, black fruits and anise.

Gramercy Cellars
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, 2014
Red flowers with a combination of red and black fruit, gravel and tobacco—a perfect balance of Old World finesse, liveliness and earth with New World fruit and power.

Gamache Vintners
Estate Boulder Red, Columbia Valley, 2015
Tasty, toasty and tart, this table-ready blend is entirely estate-grown. Dark cherries on the nose with delicious flavors of raspberries and spices to complement this unique blend of varietals.

Brian Carter Cellars
Corrida (Spanish for “bullfight”), Columbia Valley, 2014
Tobacco, licorice and black cherry dominate in this exotic Spanish blend, followed by elegant, streamlined fruit flavors.

Garrison Creek Cellars
Malbec, Les Collines Vineyard,
Walla Walla Valley, 2013
A brilliant bouquet of dark fruits dance on the palate with subtle hints of vanilla and spices on the finish.

Kiona Vineyards
Estate-Bottled Riesling, Red Mountain, 2014
This bottling uses fruit from the winery’s original 1975 plantings. Aromas of jasmine, flowers and lime lead to off-dry, lightly spritzy, stonefruit flavors that linger.

Lauren Ashton Cellars
Proprietor’s Cuvée, Columbia Valley AVA, 2011
A dark and luxurious blend whose depth and complexity echoes aromatics of black currants, black cherries, plum and cocoa, with a hint of spiciness and a touch of minerality.

Matthews Winery
Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, 2017
Rich but bracing, ripe and chewy, with plenty of bright acidity on the finish. Lots of tropical notes—pineapple, guava, mango, grapefruit—with a touch of lime or creamy lemon.