Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'll Let Alan Watts Do The Talking

What do you desire?

Manhattan Project: 1022, Cocktail Kings of Tacoma

Hello again,
Another overdue post and we are back on the Manhattan track.

In our bourbon adventure we couldn't very well NOT visit 1022 South. As anyone who has been knows, or really anyone interested in reading about the flavors of the Grit City, 1022 has a reputation for unique concoctions, house infused spirits, house-made....well everything save for the spirits.
While their booze list is impressive, lots of small batch options are available making your really drink outside of the mainstream comfort zone. Please ma'am step away from the Makers/Crown/Jim.
When my cocktail partner in crime and I arrived I simply asked for a Manhattan, knowing the reputation of 1022 I was confident that bartender/owner Chris Langston wouldn't steer me wrong.
He took the usual care setting a delightfully chilled Manhattan in front of us.
When I inquired what he made it with he shot back with a snarky, "bourbon, some bitters and a little vermouth." Maybe snarky isn't quite the word for it. It had a level of charm.
But duh, (OHHHHH, reaaaaaaally, Jesus all this time I had no idea what the hell I was drinking.)
More specifically Black Maple Hill Bourbon, a new one to me and damn tasty, smooth, earthy with nice hints of cherry if I recall though that could have been me swirling my garnish. It was surprisingly smooth, a perfect beverage to swirl, sip, contemplate and simply take in the evenings vibe.
Even Tiffany enjoyed it.....

As she states nicely~~"So the Manhattan we imbibed at the 1022 is a bit closer to the“hipster” Flynn we tasted at Marrow last time around; same level, but not the same classification. It was smoother; a little closer to that dessert flavor than a traditional M and the finish was nice. It sat in the Friend Zone for me at the beginning of the evening, but by the end I was like “Hmm, I guess I could take it home.” The 1022’s Manhattan was comfortably attractive and I was pleasantly surprised."

"Comfortably attractive" for those who don't know are the likes of my dream mister (save for my hubs) John Cusack and those types. Comfortable. Charming. Attractive but not too much so. Sometimes not everyone's cup of tea (or glass of Manhattan) but for some of us (like the two of us) can be damn sexy.
This Manhattan manages that.

Overall it was a delightful number, well worth ordering even among the flamboyant characters on the specialty menu.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Today is my Mom's birthday.

I wish I knew where she was at or how to contact her to tell her hello and happy day.

The woman is notoriously absent throughout my life. I love her dearly, she is well intentioned, funny and accepting.

She is also unreliable.
Even with Grandchildren I haven't seen her in about a year. It's not as though we have gotten in a disagreement or dislike each other, or even that we are too busy or seperated by miles......this is just what she does. She's been missing in action for almost half of my life. She forgets my birthdays, nevermind my 3 childrens. She missed my wedding. She has not the foggiest idea all of the goodness that is swirling in mine and my families cosmos and just how good things are.
As a mother as well, I'm not sure how one gets to the point that the maternal instinct doesn't rule all.

I've never felt this "woe is me, boohoo" attitude about this relationship I have (or don't have rather) with her. It's just a fact of life. I can't let it effect my behavior and outlook. She's an adult and makes her own choices.

As am I.

I can't say though, that I'm not bummed just this moment thinking of this lost connection.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Working On That List Of Mine

My truest of friends know all this, hell even those who pay attention on the interwebs know all this but one day I can look back on it all and jog what will definitely be my foggy memory. It's already going and I'm not of sufficient age. SO I SAY~
Though I haven't taken that glass blowing class, I DID purchase a certificate for an intro at Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio. Now just to make time.

Deep Clean, this will take time. The kitchen is looking pretty damn good. I haven't seen the top of my fridge in at least a I can. Victory! Small ones count.

Graduate from freelancer to columnist? Why yes, yes I DID. *happy dance* Thanks to Ron Swarner of the Weekly Volcano I am now acting as weekly foodie columnist. I cannot begin to state my excitement and sheer fear at what is to come. I could not have hoped for a more fitting position. I get to write about all things yum in the south sound. Help a gal out by sending any grand ideas. I feel as though I can only grow and learn from this experience. And live for the deadline. Way better than clocking in for that work day with no absolute goal ahead except to get through that eight hour work day unscathed.
HELLO, it's the Weekly Volcano! Legit.
Add to that another amazing "job," Editor (doesn't that sound important?) of Wrist Magazine. I will share more on this later. In the grand scheme of things these two new developments alone are a LEAP into the proper direction. Thank you cosmos.
No baby yet, much to Gramma Casellas disappointment....we keep trying. :)
Tattoo appointment set for December 19th. In the event I'm not having a baby of course.
Training began today for another new position, Executive Director of the North Tacoma branch of Peace Out. They are attempting a pilot and expanding....and I am so very honored to be one of three new members helping make this reality. More on this later as well.
Pinterest dates. So far we've made scarves, began cork balls and made pumpkin cake. B O O M. I should start a crazy crafty lady mom blog or something. Be prepared when I'm unable to sip my way to wordy inspiration that this may be reality.
That leaves plenty on my list but DAMN it's a good start. My heart and life is so full.
I may have had a cocktail or two before writig this....what's it to you?


Elysian Beer Dinner with Dirty Oscar's Annex

First I must apologize, this is a long overdue review. Shame on me, I just let my days get away from me. Often words cannot do true justice to a dining experience. But I intend on trying my darnedest to implore you to take a leap and journey to Dirty Oscar's Annex.
The place is truly an enigma. By night you may say that it's riddled with PBR loving hipsters, pool, jukebox jams. While by morning the hungry masses, regardless of age, race, background pile in for (what I believe, as many do) the best breakfast in Tacoma.
And all the while the menu, however you percieve the ambiance and crowd, is an adventure in flavors and pairings that are well worth the visit.
Dirty Oscar's is one of the few Tacoma staples that have regular pairing dinners. A little product sampling and knowledge married to a menu concocted for pairing. This time was Elysian Brewery highlighting some of their specialty brews and Chef Aaron Grissoms dishes not seem on the regular menu.
Here's some of my thoughts.

Confit of Baby Beet and Rainbow Carrot, Duck Prosciutto. Goat Cheese Fondue, Bull's Blook Mircrogreens, with Chioggia Beet Chips, Duck Cracklings and a Rainbow Beet Gelee.

This dish had a lovely presentation with it's colorful bits. The goat cheese fondue had a nice grittiness to it. The beet chips were crisp and the carrots sweet. It was a balanced, delightful dish, almost playful. The Beet Bock Pilsner was earthy and light. It may take a true lover of the root vegetable to appreciate it.

Red Snapper Noodle Nest in Pho Demi. Fresno and Black Basil Caviar with Pickled Yellow and Orange Carrot Salad.

Faux Pho! These "noodles" were in fact made from Red Snapper, yes the fish. There was a lovely zesty undertone from the pickled carrot salad. While the red snapper was amazing. I'd hardly recognize it as fish, it reminded me of Pad Thai noodles. Again Chef Grissom nailed the presentation with colorful beauty. Paired with the Maelstrom Blood Orange Ale, this beer screams of ocean view deck seats. Though I thought both were very good apart, together they fought for who reigned all over my tastebuds.
Smoked Jowl, Habanero Carrot Puree and Carolina Style BBQ Sauce with a Compressed Potato Bread Cracker. Braised Trotter, Celeriac Slaw, Candied Elephant Garlic Chip and Sweet Potato Gratin.

No photo can do this dish justice. The balance from the sweet in the bbq and carrot with the heat from the habanero was a perfect matrimony of flavor. The bread cracker in lieu of a bun was ingenious and added texture that made what could have otherwise been a soggy mess just plain great. Paired with Immortal IPA couldn't have been better. The hops complimented the heat and bbq with utter perfection. I could eat this every week easily. More please.

Red Wine Soaked Lamb Loin. Balsamic Macerated Figs, Parsnip, Lotus Root Puree with Pistachio Dust and Carbonated Grape, Topped with Friend Terragon.

This receives trophy for best of the evening. "DROOL" was the first note taken, I kid you not. The medium rare meaty bit was lovely while everything that accompanied it gave it an earthy, rich, sweet kick. Nom, need I say more? I just can't do it. Add to that the pairing of Dragonstooth Stout, a nicely roated, deep brew and that's game over for me. Baby. making. good.

For dessert Chef Grissom paired four rich, delectable bites with four pumpkin ales. With these he was aiming to create a fluidity going from light to dark. Of all the pumpkin ales the one I enjoyed most was probably the Dark o' the Moon Pumpkin Stout, though the Night Owl Pumpkin Ale had that pumpkin spice to it without being overt and over the top.
Round one and two of our sweet treats included a candied almosnd ginger granola crumble over a vanilla bean gelato with spiced pumpkin caramel. AND  a german choclate frangelico cake with pumpkin and dark chocolate ganache with a vanilla creme anglaise and candied orange peel.

The cake had a nice nutty hint to it while the bittersweet of the chocolate made me daydream of some sweet old grannie baking. The granola was a real treat and added a texture to the gelato that took it up a notch.

The men hard at work plating.

Bay leaf scented white chocolate fudge with an allspice cookie crumble. Coffee ice cream quenelle. Vanilla marshmellow dipped chocolate tuile and salted caramel bacon powder.

I'm not going to lie. By this point I had a pretty good buzz and neglected my notes. Sorry, what can I say. The chocolate fudge was pretty much amazing, rich and creamy. And to stick to his adventurous ways, Grissoms salted caramel bacon powder was a nice surprise. The sweet, salty, smoky powder became a chewy solid texture when rehydrated while chewing. Wowza, what a nice little surprise.

That being said I can say without a doubt that I will be booking my next dining venture with Dirty Oscars Annex early to secure my seat in a culinary adventure. Another Bourbon Dinner awaits me on November 13th. As we have proved several times over, bourbon is the nectar of the goddesses. Or at least for this girl.

Until Next Time.