Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: April, 2011 (209) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 209

April 1, 2011 at 8:11am

Tournament of Pizza Day 16: The Final Four (Closed)

Katie Downs will pimp this pizza today in the Final Four.


And then there were four ...

Believe it or not, fine readers, there have been days during the Tournament of Pizza when, by noon or so, it was already obvious which pizza joints would be moving on and which would be going home. There were blowouts ...oh were there ever. Sometimes, it made our job a little easier; we could work on the next day's copy at a decent hour of the evening without fear the game would suddenly turn.

Oh, but yesterday was different. Yesterday, the votes just kept coming - from tipoff to the final buzzer. And each of the four contests stayed close. First we topped a thousand votes - dead heats. Then two - still neck and neck. Then three - are you kidding?

By the time we got to four thousand votes you'd think a pattern would have developed - obvious favorites would have emerged. But it was not to be. Our Weekly Volcano Tournament of Pizza vote counters were up late last night tallying the results - which weren't settled for good until the very end.

Yesterday played out just like you'd expect the Tournament of Pizza "Baked Eight" to. Here's a look at the results and today's highly anticipated Final Four matchups.

Yesterday's Results

Apollo's Pizza & Pasta vs. Casa Mia Italian Restaurant

After mounting quite a tear through the Tournament of Pizza, a tear that - quite honestly - many weren't prepared for (apparently taking the award-winning history for granted) Casa Mia's run came to a halt when it faced Apollo's Pizza & Pasta yesterday, the newly crowned champion of the Tournament of Pizza South Region. Apollo's moves on to the Tournament of Pizza Final Four, taking the pride that comes along with making it further than any other Olympia or Lacey pizza establishment with it.

Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant vs. Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery

Katie Downs has made a lot of friends in its nearly 30 year history on the Ruston Waterfront. And its pizza has pleased many a belly. Yesterday, the Tacoma destination for stiff drinks and massive pies needed all of those friends and pleased bellies to take down Upper Crust, one of the Tournament of Pizza's more surprising stories. Who would have thought the Northend Tacoma spot known for high brow pies and, at least on our visit last week, $5 glasses of red wine to prime the voters would have advanced all the way to the Baked Eight? That's exactly what happened, but yesterday's Katie Downs gained the upper hand after an intense battle - moving onto the Final Four to face Rollies.

Rollies Tavern vs. Trackside Pizza

When first discussing the Tournament of Pizza, in editorial meetings that seem like they were many moons ago, Rollies Tavern was mentioned almost immediately. It's got a following, and everyone knows it. Rollies pizza quickly comes to the lips of many when discussing the best South Sound pizzas. The bar frequented by military types and pie-lovers alike has fared well so far in the Tournament of Pizza, and yesterday - despite being locked in one hell of a close game all day long - Rollies again prevailed, taking down the much loved Puyallup institution that is Trackside. Neither competitor has anything to be ashamed of as they both mounted impressive runs. That said, Rollies moves on to the Final Four, while Trackside begrudgingly goes home.

Delbrocco's Pizza, Steak and Hoagie vs. The Fan Club Sports Bar

If there's one pizza joint that can play the "us against the world," "we don't get the respect we deserve," card - it's undoubtedly Delbrocco's Pizza, Steak and Hoagies. The Philly-style, T-Town pizza spot has killed it so far in the Tournament of Pizza, to the surprise of many.

That said, most prognosticators still assumed Delbrocco's would go down when facing might Fan Club of Lakewood. Surely, the Fan Club would have too much fire power for Delbrocco's, right?

Well, yes, but it took every minute of voting, and every ounce of possible effort on the part of the Fan Club to get the job done. In what was easily one of the closest, most exciting contests to track of the entire tournament - even considering "tracking" the game basically meant watching votes come in - the Fan Club eventually emerged victorious, scraping out 51 percent of the vote on a day when more than 4,600 chimed in.

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." Only one vote per person. Any duplicate or Spam responses will be disqualified.

Monday's Pizza Battle: The Final

After today's voting, there will be two South Sound pizza joints left in the Tournament of Pizza. Jump on Spew tomorrow to find out which two pizza joints will be battling it out Monday, April 4.

LINK: What's up with this pizza tournament?

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

April 1, 2011 at 10:02am

5 Things To Do Today: Preston Singletary, Edible Book Festival, The Hub's birthday party, Speak Your Soul ...

“BRIGHT EYES”: Blown and sand carved glass by Preston Singletary Photo courtesy Traver Gallery, photo by Russell Johnson

FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011 >>>

1. If you missed Preston Singletary's big mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Glass last year, or if you saw that show and would like to see more of his works, this is your chance. William Traver Gallery in Tacoma now has an exhibition of new works by Singletary called Contents of a Dream, which runs today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Singletary is one of the Northwest's most well respected Native American artists, known for creating traditional Tlingit art with contemporary materials, thus giving a modern cast to ancient art forms. Read Weekly Volcano art critic Alec Clayton's review here.

2. If you haven't heard of the Edible Book Festival, you are likely not alone - even though it's an international festival held at libraries worldwide, including Tacoma's own Collins Memorial Library on the University of Puget Sound campus until 4 p.m. And while you may be thinking an edible book festival must surely involve you getting to eat some books, it doesn't.  Instead, the Edible Book Festival at UPS is an arts festival involving food art interpretations of book titles. While it may sound mild-mannered, never underestimate the power of creative librarians. To read the full story, click here.

3. The beloved Harmon Hub has turned 3. And because The Hub loves to party whenever they get the chance, they're busting one out from 5-8 p.m. Keeping with the "three" theme, the Stadium District neighborhood bar will offer $3 Harmon ales, $3 select wines, $3 premium wells ... and live music by the Mules Crew. Cover charge? Don't be silly.

4. It's the first Friday of the month and you might know by now what that means: Speak Your Soul Open Mic at The Den at urbanXchange! Tonight's feature performer is Dee Allen and, as always, a chance for you to share your wisdom with the world on the open mic. You soul goes on display beginning at 8 p.m.

5. Close your eyes (while continuing to read, of course) and visualize the backdrop ... "Nuclear Cowboyz Freestyle Chaos is the legend of two powerful freestyle motocross tribes, the Soldiers of Havoc and the Metal MulishaTM, whose survival in their post-apocalyptic world is told through gravity defying and fearless freestyle motocross aerial feats. The Nuclear Cowboyz mayhem and chaos is literally set in extreme non-stop motion when the tribes are challenged by a dark underworld that begins the ultimate battle for world supremacy." Sound awesome? You got that "Trademark" in the vision, right? OK, now head to the Tacoma Dome to see the action beginning at 7:30 p.m.

BONUS: Check out Too Many Sopranos in our Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: New movies open today

LINK: Concert go on sale today

April 1, 2011 at 12:02pm

Free Grand Cinema screening of "The Borgias" tomorrow


After two weeks of frequently intense fighting along the bedroom-hallway border, married couple Martha and Mitch Smalsky declared an end to major conflict today.

"With Mitch agreeing not to leave his dirty socks right in front of the sofa, to check out that weird knocking sound in the Camry, and to stop interrupting me in front of his parents, I'm happy to announce that major combat operations are over," Martha said.

In a separate statement, Mitch hailed the end of major conflict, but noted that heavy skirmishing over whether he could still catch the South Sound theater premiere of the new Showtime original series The Borgias Saturday, April 2 at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma is still in debate.

"There's a limited number of free tickets!" Mitch screamed from the basement. This isn't an April Fools joke. You have to call Click! Cable TV at 253.502.8900 to get the tickets!"

Martha wouldn't return our calls.

From Showtime: Stars Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of The Borgia family who builds an empire through the corruption of the holy Catholic Church and orchestrates a relentless reign of power and flamboyant cruelty. The series begins as Rodrigo (Irons), bribes, buys and muscles his way into the papacy becoming Pope Alexander VI. The series is set in one of the most significant periods in history: the Western Renaissance and the discovery of the New World.

April 1, 2011 at 12:24pm

NIGHT MOVES: Pickwick, Kashmir, High Ceiling, Tim Turner, Glass Elevator, Mighty High and others ...

Murmur will rock Hell's Kitchen tonight.


Beyond the Bridge Cafe Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Open Mic Night. All Ages. 7 pm. NC.

Dawson's Bar and Grill Tacoma - South. Rock & Roll Magic. 9 pm. NC.

Eastside Club Tavern Olympia - Downtown. High Ceiling, Dub Lounge International. 9 pm.

Emerald Queen Casino Tacoma - Eastside. Travis Tritt. 8:30 pm. $44-$92.

Hell's Kitchen Tacoma - Downtown. Hide The Scarz, Mephitis, .50 Caliber Nightmare, Murmur. 9 pm. NC.

Imperial Dragon Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Tatoosh. 9 pm.

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Tim Turner. 8 pm. $7.

Louie G's Pizzeria Fife. Eli "Mosquito" Westin. All Ages. 8 pm. $5.

Mandolin Cafe Tacoma - Central. Robert Richter. All Ages. 6 pm. NC. Stephen Heinzman Trio. All Ages. 8 pm. $5.

Maxwell's Speakeasy Tacoma. Lance Buller Trio. All Ages. 7-10 pm. NC.

McCoy's Tavern Olympia. Glass Elevator, Mongo, Fight For Change. 8 pm. $3.

Northern Olympia - Downtown. Outnumbered, My Mom Dumped Me, Phobos, Five Beats Til Sunrise. All Ages. 8 pm.

Old General Store Steakhouse & Saloon Roy. Five Dollar Fine. 9 pm.

O'Malley's Irish Pub Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Mighty High. 9 pm.

Pastiche Wine Bar Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Friday Night Supper Club Dinner & Dancing. 6 pm.

The Space (729 Court C) Tacoma - Downtown. Pickwick, Ivan & Alyosha, Pablo Trucker. All Ages. 8 pm. $8-$10.

  • Pickwick succeeds almost entirely on the basis of Galen Disston's commanding lead vocal. The band is tight and in the pocket, propping up and supporting Disston, but the show is all ultimately all his, and if his voice faltered in the face of their '60s soul style, the whole thing would collapse under its own weight. Disston's seeming effortlessness is Pickwick's best attribute - the one thing that defies just about every criticism that can be raised in regard to this kind of blue-eyed soul. Following, as they are, in the footsteps of several decades of some of the best pop songwriting there is, it's impressive that Pickwick manage to find new takes on and hooks in the Motown and soul model. And they come out relatively unscathed. - Rev. Adam McKinney

The Spar Olympia. Worth From NIAYH. 8 pm. NC.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Kashmir (Led Zeppelin tribute). 9 pm.

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

Filed under: Night Moves, Music, Tacoma, Olympia,

April 1, 2011 at 1:14pm

BEHIND BARS: Exotic tastes

Going "Behind Bars" with Nikki Talotta is always entertaining


I've been a bartender for a long time. I have met countless freaks, jerks, pervs, sweethearts, rockstars and crazies. Even though it's a physically and mentally exhausting job, these are the colorful people that make it all worthwhile. Well, that and the tips.

I'd like to share with you some of my personal experiences behind the bar, along with the stories from some of my fellow bartenders. Each week - under the clever heading of "Behind Bars" - I will dig into my memory bank - and the incident log books that all bars keep - to bring you some of my favorite stories.

Names of bars, bartenders and patrons have been changed or withheld to protect the innocent.

And the not so innocent.


This week...

Exotic tastes

Bored of rum and Cokes? Not in the mood for a Long Island? The thought of another whiskey sour got you down?

Why don't you give your mental alcoholic rolodex an upgrade with these easy to remember drink recipes?

Now, I wouldn't mind giving you the recipes for some easy to down, sweet drinks, but Pink Pussies, White Gummy Bears and Carmel Apples just aren't quite as fun as the ones listed below.

Guess it's that old "Dare you to try this," and "How disgusting ... can I taste?" mentality - which has always proved adventurous and exciting to me - compelling me to suggest these drinks. ...

Want to impress your crass friends and make the bartender crack a smile?

Order a "Pabst Schmear" - a Pabst Blue Ribbon and shot of Schmirnoff vodka: simple, satisfying and hilarious.

How about giving those taste buds a swift kick in the ass?

Order a "Dirty Toothbrush" - a shot of Goldshlager and orange juice that tastes just like that morning cup of OJ right after brushing your teeth.

Or maybe you want to order something that makes you appear completely off your rocker?

Try a "Jager Mary." You heard me, a Jagermeister and Bloody Mary mix.

This one's not for the weak, and makes most people want to barf just thinking about it. But Jagermeister actually promotes it on their little table tent cards - so somebody out there drinks ‘em. Let me know if any of you are brave enough to try.

And lastly, try a "Cement Mixer." I recommend this for the freshly turned 21-year-olds because it's fun to watch their face as they take the shot, and once they get their bearings in the bar world they will never order it again. While the "Cement Mixer" has many variations, the result is always the same: curdled booze that gives you a good buzz. Think tequila and cream or Bailey's and lime juice, both taken as shots. A good head shaking while the liquid is still in your mouth is required to get the full "mixer" effect.

Hope you enjoyed learning a few gems this week in the mighty realm of obscure drinks. Cheers!


LINK: Lactose intoxicated

LINK: Thanks for playing!

LINK: After hours trivia

LINK: Bartending abroad

LINK: Oh puck!

LINK: 86'd

LINK: More Aural Adventures

LINK: Big & Rich

LINK: Tales From the Incident Log Book

LINK: The Tip Jar

LINK: Aural Adventures

LINK: Smooth Transitions

LINK: The Pooper

Filed under: Behind Bars, Comedy, Food & Drink,

April 1, 2011 at 2:17pm

Olympia Arts Perspective (Lindsay Tunkl) and Variables

“THE STOCK TRADER”: Acrylic, oil pastel, marker and pencil on paper by Shawn Foote Photo courtesy Lindsay Tunkl


A gallery with free exhibitions, performances, panel discussions and live music at a space downtown is a noteworthy development - even if it's a temporary gallery. That's what the Olympia Arts Perspective is offering this month in a vacant storefront on State Avenue.

My first question: What's the Olympia Arts Perspective?

The answer, it turns out, is artist Lindsay Tunkl of Olympia.

"I got offered the use of a space downtown for a really good price for the month of April," says Tunkl, "so I decided to try to do something really cool with it. I'm not incorporated or anything like that."

The result: Variables, a month of week-long exhibits showcasing little-known artists - some local, some regional and some from across the country. Receptions every Friday night will include performance art, live music and a chance to meet the artists.

To read the full story, click here.


A month of free exhibits, performance art and discussions
April 1-30, free
112 State Ave. NE, Olympia
Receptions: Fridays in April, 6 - 10 p.m.
Gallery hours: Noon - 6 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays in April

Filed under: Arts, All ages, Community, Olympia,

April 1, 2011 at 2:58pm

Captain Nemo's ship has sailed


Back in the late '70s and early '80s, Captain Nemo's was the place to be. Its strong drinks, captain chairs, booths and dance floor below an elevated stage packed them in, especially for bands such at Strypes and Blue Baboons. New dance clubs and grunge put a kibosh on Nemo's hot scene. It eventually morphed into an old-timers bar.

Last night, several hundred people drank Nemo's booze until it was gone. The reason? Captain Nemo's is no longer. The regulars who have been dining there since it opened in 1978 will need to find a new habit, unless they love Italian food, as Massimo Italian Bar & Grill in Gig Harbor will open a second restaurant in ye ol' Captain Nemo's spot.

What are you favorite Captain Nemo's memories?

April 1, 2011 at 4:26pm

Benefit for the Reef this Sunday

Hardcore punk band Son Skull will bring it for The Reef Sunday at The Brotherhood Lounge in downtown Olympia.


Just before 6 a.m. on Feb. 24, King Solomon's Reef in downtown Olympia caught fire. Again. Emergency vehicles and a news helicopter responded immediately - a stark contrast to the quiet, snowy morning.

"It was disbelief and panic at first," says Lindy McIntyre, co-owner of the Reef. "I remember wanting to get there faster but it was so icy out, it felt like a dream where you couldn't get where you were going."

Recognizing these hardships for the McIntyre's and their employees, Pit Kwiecinski, owner of The Brotherhood Lounge, decided to help, offering to host a Reef Benefit Show.

To read the full story, click here.

[The Brotherhood Lounge, Reef Benefit with Zargent, The Narrows, h.p.p., November Witch, Son Skull, hysterics, The Family Stoned, Seagulls, Happy Noose, Greta Jane Jazz Quartet,  Sunday, April 3, 6:30 p.m., $5-$5000, 119 Capitol Way N. Olympia, 360.352.4153]

April 1, 2011 at 4:40pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Mother's little Nemo


Today's Comment of the Day comes from Jennifer Stahl in regards to our post about Captain Nemo's sinking. Stahl is a woman after our own hearts.

Jennifer Stahl writes,

Oh my gosh! I'm so sad about this! My husband and I and our fellow Curtis Jr., High and High School parent friends love to drop off our kids at school before a concert/ play/ other audience-challenging event and then go have a quick snort to fortify us for the evening's entertainment.

April 2, 2011 at 8:19am

Tournament of Pizza: The Championship Game


Over the past three weeks, the Weekly Volcano challenged 64 of the South Sound's best pizza joints to go slice-to-slice in a showdown of culinary combat. Some fell easily by the wayside, either due to inferior skills or simply because they faced a superior opponent. Slice by slice, we ate our way down to yesterday's Final Four: Apollo's Pizza, The Fan Club, Katie Downs and Rollies Tavern. It was do-or-die, win-or-fly, bring-your-best-pizza-pie. After the last pie emerged from the oven, nearly 7,000 people voted. There's a rumor that regional government officials might change our "South Sound" to "South Round."

Yesterday's Results

Apollo's Pizza & Pasta vs. The Fan Club Sports Bar

Apparently, it's all in the cheese. Yesterday, we added a comment section in the voting process and cheese dominated the answers in regards to why people love Apollo's Pizza & Pasta. While crust was the word in favor of The Fan Club, cheese popped up over and over as 65 percent of the voters clicked on Apollo's Pizza & Pasta sending the Olympia pizza joint into Monday's Championship game. Congratulations to The Fan Club, a 15th seed (!), for an impressive run.

Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant vs. Rollies Tavern

Katie Downs received a number one seed by our readers through preliminary voting in February. And the Tacoma waterfront restaurant proved worthy of the title, knocking out Alfred's Café, Engine House No. 9, Puget Sound Pizza and Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery to grab a Final Four slot. Rollies, the popular hangout at the end of McChord Air Field, secured a number two seed in the East Region, and putting the hurt on The Right Spot, Vince's, Aversano's, and Trackside Pizza, before facing Katie Downs in the Final Four. The Weekly Volcano Steno Pool called it the game of the tournament, which is hard to argue with a one and two seed battling it out. When the last pizza pie hit the table, and a lead it never gave up the entire day, Katie Downs grabbed 66.5 percent of the votes.

Monday's Championship Game

Sponsored by al Forno Ferruzza Traditional Sicilian Cuisine

Here we go. Apollo's Pizza & Pasta out of the South Region will face Katie Downs Waterfront Restaurant, the top pie out of the Greater Downtown Tacoma Region, Monday, April 4 when the polls open around 9 a.m. Online voting runs until 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. the voting opens back up live at the Tournament of Pizza Final Party at The Schooner, 5429 100th St. SW in Lakewood. Ballots will be handed out, which will also serve as raffle tickets. The live vote will close at halftime of the NCAA Men's Tournament final and the South Sound Pizza champion will be announced.

So, pack the car and eat at Katie Downs one night and Apollo's Pizza & Pasta the other night. Compare notes with your neighbors. Then come Monday, vote here on Spew then join us at the Schooner.

Thanks again everyone for voting.

LINK: What's up with this pizza tournament?

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

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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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