Oktoberfest Northwest Celebrates 15 years

Festivals Inc. – Oktoberfest NW 2015

Oktoberfest Northwest, the three-day Munich-style Oktoberfest celebration, with German bier, delicious food, and live entertainment,  takes place on Friday through Sunday, October 4th-6th, 2019, at Washington State Fair Events Center, in Puyallup WA.

Oktoberfest Northwest is the perfect festival for guests who want a taste of a traditional German Oktoberfest with delicious foods, German biers, plus German-inspired fun with Bavarian Bier-lympics (Sat), Stein Dash 5K (Sun), Hammerschlagen®, Wiener Dog races (Sun), the Sports Haus with TV’s, and games like beer pong and corn hole toss, and more.

The entertainment lineup at Oktoberfest Northwest brings non-stop live music all weekend on the Munich Festhalle Stage.. Enjoy traditional Bavarian entertainment, including the return of Grammy-Nominee, LynnMarie & The Nashville Polka Guys, the Enzian Schuplattler Dancers, and Z Musikmakers, plus NEW for 2019, Oktoberfest Northwest will feature two high-energy and fun, 80’s New Wave covers bands; The Spazmatics (Friday night) and Nite Wave (Saturday night), guaranteed to keep guests singing and dancing late into the night.

Hammerschlagen®: In 2005, Oktoberfest Northwest introduced Hammerschlagen® to the Pacific Northwest, and it quickly became one of the most popular Oktoberfest Northwest activities. While there are all-play games available all weekend, the Official Hammerschlagen® Tournament of Champions, takes place on Friday, Oct. 4th & Saturday, Oct. 5th with the Grand Final on the Saturday night. Sign ups are onsite on a first come basis. Mark Zurschmiede, the 2017 and 2018 Grand Champion is scheduled to return to defend his title.

The Bavarian Bier-Lympics competition, sponsored by 106.1 KISS FM, will return on Saturday, Oct. 5th, with teams between 2 and 4 to battle it out through a course of four challenging and fun activities including the Brat Toss, Keg Rolling, Stein Holding, and Hammerschlagen® to see who will become the 2019 Bavarian Bier-Lympics Champions. Online advance signups recommended, at www.oktoberfestnw.com/bavarian-bierlympics. Onsite signups if space available.

The Stein Dash 5K, with new media partner 96.5 JACK FM, is back, on Sunday, Oct. 6th! Participants will run 3.1 miles around the fairgrounds with a souvenir stein, and have the option to get a taste at three ‘Bier Stops” along the route. Water will also be available. The race will end inside of the Oktoberfest Northwest Munich Festhalle where the participant’s first drink (bier or root beer) is on the ‘haus’.’ All ages welcome. Participants under 21 will be served root beer along the course. The Kids 1/2 Mile Root Beer Run will also take place on Sunday. Register for both events at www.steindash5k.com

The Sports Haus sponsored by 99.9 KISW, is the place where fans can keep up with the action of their favorite teams while still joining in on the Oktoberfest Northwest celebration! The Sports Haus features a giant 8′ screen, two 50″ plasma TVs, lounge seating, and a selection of bar games like Beer Pong and Corn Hole.

Festivals Inc. – Oktoberfest NW 2015

Wiener Dog Races: Catch the pint-sized action of the 12th Annual Running of the Wieners at Oktoberfest Northwest, on Sunday, Oct. 6th. Multiple races, costume contests, and great fun for the whole family in Wiener Dog Stadium inside the Munich Festhalle. The Wiener Dog Races are produced by NW Wiener Races and sponsored by 100.7 The Wolf. For more details, or to register your dog head to www.oktoberfestnw.com/wiener-dog-races

Oktoberfest Northwest welcomes families to enjoy the authentic Oktoberfest spirit with activities for the kids, including arts & crafts by the Tacoma German Language School, ½ Mile Kids Root Beer Run, authentic Maypole dance, free pumpkin decorating, face painting, and root beer floats in the Root Bier Garden, kids Hammerschlagen®, and a scavenger hunt. Family Sunday is half price admission day at Oktoberfest Northwest: Children 12 and under are free all weekend.

Traditional or costumed dress is always encouraged at Oktoberfest Northwest. Das Party Haus, located inside the festival, offers themed party items like chicken hats, dirndl aprons, beads, and more, for purchase, to get guests into the Oktoberfest Northwest spirit.

’Das Party Ist Best at Oktoberfest Northwest’ Rain or Shine – We’re Indoors!

Oktoberfest NW Presented by Evergreen Eye Center

Friday-Sunday, Oct 4-6, 2019

Washington State Fair Events Center

Entry at Blue Gate Only

For all Oktoberfest Northwest information, and to purchase tickets and packages, visit, www.oktoberfestnw.com

Hours:

Friday: Noon – Midnight, Sat. 11 a.m. – midnight. & Sun. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

(Note: 21 & older after 6 p.m. on Fri & Sat.)

Take Your Appetite To Mt. Rainier

A visit to Mt. Rainier in the fall is like no other. The colors are breathtaking, and that’s not all. If you’re planning a visit soon, and you love tasty, fresh food, consider spending the day on a chef-led, farm-to-table tour.

The tour will have you gathering ingredients from local micro farms, farmstead creameries and award-winning local butcheries. You’ll meet the farmers and ranchers and learn firsthand about organic farming, sustainable farming, the art of cheese-making and butchery. The full-day tour concludes with a special dinner from the foraged finds, prepared by Chef Ky Loop.

“Chef Ky,” as he is locally known, is passionate about cooking. “Food, especially good food, speaks to your soul,” he says. “So many things in our lives revolve around food. Just like our ancient ancestors huddled around the fire (where the cooking happened), so do we in a sense (party guests always end up in the kitchen). During a chef-led, farm-to-table tour, we provide the food, you provide the party, and together we’ll create a lasting memory.”

The day starts with everyone meeting at a local coffee shop about 9 a.m. From there the group heads off to visit the farms and meet the farmers. Participants learn what the farmers do, enjoy tastings and then select ingredients for dinner. Some of the places in the tour include Fantello Farmstead Creamery, Mason Jar Farm or Cedar Spring Farm, Olson’s Meats & Smokehouse, L & B Mini Ranch, and a local brewery or two.

The tour wraps up between 2 and 3 p.m. and then everyone enjoys some free time exploring the area or relaxing while Chef Ky prepares dinner. About 5:30, the group gathers at Pursuit Distilling Company to dine together and talk about what they’re eating, how the ingredients were used, and so on. It’s a delicious experience to be sure.

KELLY LENIHAN

For Additional Information

Chef-Led Food Tours with Chef Ky Loop

253.569.7150

chefky.com

Northwest Fresh: In the Mood for Sushi?

Sushi is cultural and artistic and can be wonderfully addictive. The Japanese dish begins with bite-sized cakes of cold boiled rice flavored with rice vinegar. The cakes are rolled in seaweed with, or topped with, raw fish, vegetables or egg. Sushi does not always mean raw fish. But raw fish—sashimi in Japanese—is the most popular ingredient in sushi.

What makes sushi great is the simplicity of the food and the complexity of the flavor. Serious sushi chefs study for decades to master these tasty bites. The ingredients for makizushi (sushi rolls) are chosen so that taste, texture and even colors complement each other. The rolls are served sliced into disks so diners can see the artistic work inside.

At traditional omakase-style places, you can usually order a set of sushi with a fixed price. Or you can order your favorite sushi pieces as you eat your meal. Sushi connoisseurs recommend that nigiri, a slice of fish atop a strip of rice, is best enjoyed by turning it upside down to place the fish side on the tongue.

Ready to tantalize your taste buds with delectable Japanese delicacies? Here’s a list of sushi spots in the South Sound.

LACEY

Koibito
730 Sleater Kinney Rd SE
sushiolympia.com

OLYMPIA

Aya Sushi
1540 Cooper Point Rd SW

Osaka
7265 Martin Way East
osakajapanese.com

Red Wind Casino—Seafood Restaurant
12819 Yelm Hwy SE
redwindcasino.com/dining/seafood-restaurant

PUYALLUP

Forever Sushi
4301 South Meridian
fspuyallup.com

Sushi & Wok
5610 176th St East

Sushi Ari
206 39th Ave SW
sushiari.com

GIG HARBOR

Domo Sushi
4901 Point Fosdick Dr NW
domosushi.co

Mizu Steakhouse
3116 Judson St
mizusteakhouse.com

TACOMA

Gari of Sushi
1209 South 38th St
gariofsushi.net

Mio Sushi
5051 Main St
miosushi.com

Sushi Tama
3919 6th Ave
sushitamarestaurant.com

Sushido
1620 South Mildred St
sushidowa.com

The Koi
1552 Commerce St
thekoitacoma.com

LAKEWOOD

Hanilkwan Sushi & Grill
3615 Steilacoom Blvd SW

Jin Sushi
8904 South Tacoma Way
jinsushi.multiscreensite.com

UNIVERSITY PLACE

Sapporo Steakhouse
3810 Bridgeport Way West
sapporosteakhouse.com

KELLY LENIHAN

The Bite Cooks!

(Sy Bean / Seattle Refined)

Take a look inside a professional chef’s kitchen at The Bite Cooks! from Friday through Sunday, July 19th-21st, 2019, at Seattle Center, in Seattle Washington.

The Bite Cooks! will feature high-energy mystery ingredient cook-offs and culinary demonstrations by some of the Seattle area’s best and entertaining chefs. The Bite Cooks! lineup changes each day, with chefs eager to share their delicious handpicked recipes, and showcase their quick-thinking in the mystery ingredient cook-offs.

The Bite Cooks! features ‘more mystery cook-off’s this year. The competing chefs will be given 30 minutes to create a masterpiece from three mystery ingredients, a basic pantry, and a large selection of produce, kindly donated by Charlie’s Produce.

Three lucky audience members will be selected to critique each chef on their dish and performance. The criteria: creative use of ingredients, presentation, tastiness and overall entertainment. The winning chef will be announced live, and will receive a $100 donation in their name towards the charity of their choice. 2018 winners donated to charities including FareStart, Food Lifeline, and Mary’s Place.

Notable chefs participating on The Bite Cooks! stage include return crowd favorites, Wayne Johnson (FareStart), Saffron Hodgson “The Aussie’ (bushcooking.com), Brittany Bardeleben (Dahlia Bakery), and Warnessa Victorian (Lizzie Lou’s), and new to The Bite Cooks!, Aaron Willis (The Generous Chef), Emme Collins (Alcove Dining Room), Young Cho (Phorale) and, for the first time in The Bite Cooks! history, junior chef-in-the-making, 9-year old, Hana Kuma (Junior Sous) will perform a cooking demonstration with instructor Sara Adams.

The Bite Cooks! is also thrilled to welcome Thai Select featured chefs, who will bring the flavors and aromas of Thai cuisine into their cooking demonstration dish, and, also infuse them into mystery ingredient cook-off challenges. Thai Select chefs featured include Jutamas Kanjanamai (Bai Tong), Aratana Nualkhar and Jindanat Nualkhair (Araya’s Place), plus Kasem Saengsawang (Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine).

Chef Thierry Rautureau aka ‘The Chef in The Hat’ will return for his 12th year as emcee of The Bite Cooks!, and will bring his unique level of excitement, and extensive culinary experience to the stage.

The Bite of Seattle® is a free-to-attend community festival, and in an effort for attendees to experience the best of the Bite of Seattle®, we are excited to offer discounted food and drink packages including the Experience Bite Package which includes Craft Beer & Cider Tasting + The Alley, and, the Craft Beer & Cider Tasting Only Package.

Bite of Seattle®

Friday-Sunday, July 19-21, 2019

Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109

For more info: https://biteofseattle.com

960 Degrees of Cool

Cocktails are making their mark in the South Sound. The craft cocktail scene is enjoying quick-pour growth, both in quantity and quality. Matriarch, En Rama and Devil’s Reef are just a few of the first-class, cocktail-first bars that have opened in the past year-plus. The latest addition to this superior party pack is Bar 960.

Inside Hotel Murano, this newest highlight opened in March. Bar 960 is a glowing, glass-art-themed bar to complement the Murano’s unique, colorful hotel experience. The newly designed bar was inspired by the tones and inflections of Murano glass. (The Venetian island of Murano has been an expert artisan glassmaking center for more than 700 years.) The bar is aptly named for the temperature of glass-cooling ovens.

Bar 960 opens to the hotel lobby’s expansive windows, giving guests a view of the radiant space as it shimmers and reflects onto the sidewalk outside. Inside, custom wall sconces and warm tones are complemented by a cozy fireplace. A leathered granite-top bar is the heart of the space. It is surrounded by upholstered leather sectionals to sink into with your favorite (or new favorite) cocktail and good conversation. Custom geometric wool rugs soften underfoot.

The menu features light-fare, must-try shareable plates. These include freshly shucked oysters and the 960 Burger made with wagyu beef. Top these off with a refreshing selection of microbrews and creative cocktails. The chai-infused Spiced Sidecar, for one, is a perfect partner for a craft cocktail adventure.

Hotel Murano is Tacoma’s most artistic lodging. It pairs comfortable guest rooms with a collection of glass art from around the world worthy of exhibition. The vibrant downtown location is close to museums, fine and family dining, and the waterfront. Relax after a long day of meetings or kick off a big night on the town with a stop at Bar 960.

EMILY HAPPY

For Additional Information

Hotel Murano
hotelmuranotacoma.com
253.238.8000

Getting Fresh with Farm-to-Table Dining

One of the best parts of dining out is reading through a menu full of delectable dishes. Each description makes you hungrier as you try to decide from an array of appetizing options. But do you ever wonder where that food comes from? Or if it’s fresh? Fortunately, many dining establishments are making a shift toward providing farm-to-table foods. When you see the terms farm-to-table, locally sourced, farm-fresh or farm-to-fork on a menu, you know the restaurant has a direct relationship with a farm. But what does this really mean?

Farm-to-table, at its heart, can be defined as a social movement in which restaurants source their ingredients from local farms without going through a store, market or distributor. Farm-to-table promotes “clean” eating that guarantees fresh, healthy food. Local organic farming, community support, seasonal eating and environmental sustainability are the greatest benefits of this booming movement.

Most recently, the farm-to-table movement has led chefs and restaurant owners to get increasingly involved in the growing of their ingredients, even buying their own farms. As the Wall Street Journal put it, a shift is underfoot from “simply sourcing to becoming the source.”

We are lucky to have a delicious array of restaurants featuring locally sourced, farm-fresh menus in the South Sound.

Here are a few of our favorites:

TACOMA

Art House Cafe
111 North Tacoma Ave
253.212.2011 | arthousecafe.com

Montamara Kitchen
2208 North 30th St
253.314.5892 | montamarakitchen.com

Primo Grill
2701 6th Ave
253.383.7000 | primogrilltacoma.com

Sel
229 St Helens Ave
253.327.1015

The Table
2715 6th Ave
253.327.1862 |thetabletacoma.com

STEILACOOM

De La Terre
1606 Lafayette St
253.584.0258 | restaurantdelaterre.com

OLYMPIA

Hart’s Mesa
111 Columbia St NW
360.878.8490 | facebook.com/hartsmesa

Iron Rabbit Restaurant & Bar
2103 Harrison Ave NW
360.956.3661 | ironrabbit.net

Our Table
406 4th Ave E
360.932.6030 | ourtableolympia.com

GIG HARBOR

Table 47
5268 Point Fosdick Dr NW
253.857.4777 | t47.com

The Green Turtle
2905 Harborview Dr
253.650.0490 | thegreenturtle.com

KELLY LENIHAN

“The Taste Cooks!” Celebrates Local Chefs with Taste of Tacoma

Take a look inside a professional chef’s kitchen at The Taste Cooks!, presented by Albert Lee Appliance, on the weekend of June 21 through 23, 2019, at the Point Defiance Park!

Some of Tacoma’s best and most entertaining chefs are in the lineup to compete in high-energy mystery ingredient cook-offs and culinary demonstrations The Taste Cooks! showcases new chefs each day, with participants eager to show their delicious handpicked recipes and their quick-thinking in the cook-offs.

The Taste Cooks! features even more mystery cook-offs this year. Competing chefs will be given only half an hour to create a masterpiece from three mystery ingredients, a basic pantry, and a large selection of produce, kindly donated by Charlie’s Produce.

Members of the audience get a chance to participate also: three lucky guests will judge the chefs’ dishes on a criteria including their creative use of ingredients, presentation, tastiness, and overall entertainment. The winning chef will be announced live and will receive a $100 donation in their name towards the charity of their choice. Several charities benefited from last year’s winners, including the Ronald McDonald House, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Emergency Food Network.

Return crowd favorites Jon Maley (ChūcH), Saffron Hodgson “The Aussie” (bushcooking.com), Hudson Slater (Asado Cucina), and Shawn Tibbitts (Tibbitts@FernHill) will be competing on The Taste Cooks! this year. New to the show are welcomed Jan Parker (Jan Parker Cookery), Brittany Erwin (Cooks Tavern), Kris Blondin (Devour), and more!

Another level of excitement and culinary expertise is brought to The Taste Cooks! through second-year emcee Chef Thierry Rautureau, a.k.a. “The Chef in The Hat.”

This event is free to attend, and guests are offered early-bird discounted food and beverage options to experience the best of the Taste of Tacoma®. Some options offered are the Experience Taste Package, which includes Craft Beer & Wine Tasting + Taste It! Food Tickets, and the new Taste It! Food Only Package. The weekend of June 21-23 is sure to be an exciting showcase of local chefs and fantastic food with the Taste of Tacoma®!

For the full line up of The Taste Cooks! demonstrations and cook-offs, or for other Taste of Tacoma® event details, head to www.tasteoftacoma.com.

MARTINA PRESTON

A Taste of Mediterranean Sunshine

Experience the fresh flavors of the Mediterranean at Gertie and the Giant Octopus. Drawing on the cuisines of Italy, France and Spain, this intimate restaurant in Gig Harbor enables you to experience a wide range of seasonal small plates.

The origin of this endeavor was one of happenstance and good fortune. After working as a chef consultant, Robert DeLaura came upon a notice of a cupcake business that was closing. He made a proposal to the owners to transform the space into a bistro and bar. Now Gertie and the Giant Octopus is celebrating its third year of success.

For people unfamiliar with the restaurant’s offerings, Chef Robert, as DeLaura is known, is full of suggestions that sound delicious. “We do a brown butter chicken that is first dipped in Parmesan cheese and egg, then pan-fried and roasted in the oven completely submerged in butter. It’s served with browned butter and lemon sauce.

Our most popular small plate,” DeLaura continues, “is our champignon di Paris.” He explains that this is mushrooms sautéed in extra virgin olive oil. Then leeks, garlic, Spanish sherry wine and cream are added. Finally, the dish is finished with a pecorino al tartufo. This is an Italian sheep’s milk cheese with black truffles in it “to further enhance the mushroom earthiness,” says DeLaura.

Spring brings a wide variety of fresh produce, such as asparagus and morel mushrooms that will be featured in many dishes. Mache, the first tender spring greens, will be dressed with a simple blend of white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and hazelnut oil for a lovely spring salad.

The new season will bring other new offerings at Gertie and the Giant Octopus. Well-known for its unique wine menu, the restaurant and its sommelier, Inez Staley, will be putting together a curriculum for wine lovers to gain more knowledge and appreciation.

HILLARY RYAN

For Additional Information

chefrobertdelaura.weebly.com

Best Places to Brunch in South Sound

We all love brunch, right? You get to sleep in and then enjoy tasty food prepared by someone else. And cocktails are practically a requirement! Add hanging out with friends or family and you simply can’t beat it.

From laid-back greasy spoons and quaint cafés to upscale restaurants serving tantalizing brunch buffets, here are a few of our favorite breakfast and brunch places around the South Sound.

Tacoma

The Lobster Shop

This legendary Sunday brunch serves up a delicious and impressive buffet with a seafood slant that is sure to please. Reservations are a good idea.

C.I. Shenanigans

Often themed, Shenanigans’ Sunday buffets feature an array of seafood and meats at carving stations, an oyster bar, as well as freshly made desserts. Reservations are a good idea.

Art House Café

Located in the historic Stadium District, the Art House Cafe exemplifies the essence of scratch-made American cuisine, exploring the bounty of the Pacific Northwest with an ingredient driven menu.

Pacific Grill

Relatively new to brunch, Pacific Grill offers some of the most mouth watering menu items in town, as well as some of the best brunch drinks.

Olympia

Hart’s Mesa

Fresh, thoughtfully created and prepared Southwest-inspired dishesare on offer, along with mimosas made with fresh squeezed juice. Tables come equipped with Trivial Pursuit so you can challenge your guests to a friendly game while awaiting your food!

The Mouse Trap

At this hidden gem, pop-up brunch is served on Sundays with seatings at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Every week is an all new chef’s prix fixe menu and it just might be the best brunch you’ve ever eaten. Reservations are required.

Sumner

The Windmill Bistro

This casual restaurant adjacent to Windmill Gardens Nursery in Sumner offers a relaxed dining experience, and the menu focuses on Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Puyallup

Crockett ’s Public House

Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, the hearty breakfast here is made from fresh, high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Everything is prepared in house and cooked to order from original recipes.

Be sure to check out the Puyallup-focused Mad Libs on the kids menu—pure fun!

Gig Harbor

Netshed No. 9

You can’t beat this waterfront patio—the hanging baskets of flowers and pet-friendly seating are lovely. The menu, with unique twists that are really good, makes it not your average breakfast spot.

Devoted Kiss Cafe

Breakfasts here are nicely presented, service is friendly, prices are reasonable, and the view is fantastic.

The Meridian Café has Re-Opened

More than a year after a roof fire forced its closure, Meridian Café is open for business. A perennial breakfast-and-lunch spot in downtown Puyallup, the surrounding communities are thrilled their beloved cafe is back open for breakfast and lunch.

Owner Shaun Brobak said there was never a doubt he would reopen – thanks in great part to the people of his community. Opening day saw a steady stream of old and new customers walking through the doors.

As is often the case with old buildings, reconstruction proved challenging. Brobak took this opportunity from the fire to reassess the restaurant’s needs and make improvements.  “Reconstruction after the fire gave us the opportunity to bring back the Café in a BIG WAY. New modern kitchen, a larger dining room, a new private banquet space and larger bathrooms, says Brobak.”

“The dining room has been updated, too,” said Brobak. He added new floors and the walls showcase old photos of historic Puyallup. Plastered walls artfully surround the brickwork preserved from the original building.  You will experience the charm of this historical building the moment you walk through the doors.

He also focused on comfortable and additional seating. Custom, hand crafted booths, similar to those at Brobak’s other business, Crockett’s Public House in downtown Puyallup, were added. The redesigned dining room ended up making room for an additional 20 patrons.   

As for the menu, with the new larger and more modern kitchen and grill, they will offer additional menu selections. “We’ve reopened with the classic menu we’ve always had and will let our guests tell us what they’d like to see on the menu. We have the capacity to introduce more items, with the same attention to quality we’re known for,” Brobak said.

Cafés have been a part of American life for more than 140 years and we know why. Few foods are comforting in quite the same way as scratch made cafe food. If you haven’t dined at Meridian Cafe lately, stop in and  to enjoy a wholesome, made-from-scratch breakfast or lunch. Bring your appetite, portions are generous, food is fresh and delicious.
Kelly Lenihan

Meridian Café – open every day 6am – 3pm for breakfast and lunch
213 N Meridian, Puyallup WA 98371
t: (253) 435-8833
crockettspublichouse.com/meridian-cafe.  
facebook.com/meridiancafepuyallup/