Breakfast Anyone?

It seems writing a blog about Around Tacoma is much easier if you are actually out and about and Around Tacoma. You need to go to restaurants in Tacoma or museums in Tacoma; you know….places that don’t include your own living room. I know it has become obvious here but, I just don’t seem to be getting out much. Maybe it’s the cooler weather and shorter days, maybe it’s our woe-be-gone and well publicized economy affecting my wallet, more likely it’s that I’m just a home-body who likes to work from home and cook and enjoy the  quiet of my (mostly) germ free house.

Still, I managed to get out of the house long enough to enjoy breakfast at Shakabrah Java on 6th Ave last Friday. I’m glad I chose a Friday, because Shakabrah now has table service (in the “back” room) Friday-Sunday. Not that I’ve got a problem with ordering my food at the service counter but we’ve established my lack of Around Tacoma-ing lately so it was nice to sit and let someone else do the ordering for me.  

The food and coffee were, as usual, great. I had the “Tina”… a yummy breakfast sandwich of fresh eggs, cheese and bacon.  The touch of tomato and mayo make this a pleaser, for sure.  Tina and I need to talk, though. I think a sausage patty is a better choice for the meat. But then it would be a “Linnie” wouldn’t it? Hmmmm… ?

My only gripe with Shakabrah is the potatoes. Everyone knows I LOVE a potato, all shapes, sizes and preparation styles included. Shakabrah’s taste a little bitter to me and it over-powers the awesome spices and potatoey goodness. I tried them once again last week and still…

Potatoes aside, I keep going back to Shakabrah. The atmosphere and peeps are always enjoyable and it’s good food at reasonable prices. It is definitely a great Tacoma restaurant and my go to breakfast place. No wonder it was voted the “Best Breakfast in Tacoma” by Volcano Weekly readers… we know they really meant “Best Breakfast AROUND Tacoma”!

The Linnie Sapphire

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Old 6th Avenue had a Farm…EE I EE I O

Okay, well they don’t really have a farm but what they do have is one fabulous Farmer’s Market!  Now of course I may be biased as I do share the same pea patch with the awesome Prez of the 6th Ave. Business District, Mr. David Printz, however, I also am a big supporter of everything local in our wonderful community and of course around Tacoma.

Having said this, I am excited to tell everyone about the 2011 6th Avenue Farmer’s Market Harvest Festival Fundraiser!  YEEEE HAWWWW!  Now I don’t know about you but every time I hear the word ‘festival’ I think beer.  Well, I actually think beer most of the time but enough about me. 

Our locally famous pub and eatery, E-9, will be presenting specials on handcrafted beers which are not to be missed.  There will also be a knock down battle between local restaurants in a chili cook-off and home-made soups from our local farmers and vendors.  But wait, there’s more!  They are bringing  back the pie eating contest!!  Puyallup Fair, eat your heart out! (or your pie).

Mark this date on your calendars:  Tuesday, September 27th from 4 – 7 p.m. on North Pine St. between 6th Ave and 7th Ave.

Tickets are only $10!!!  How do you get one?  Contact us or visit http://www.tacomafarmersmarket.com/calendar

This is the very last Farmer’s Market of the year for 6th Ave so come on out and show some love for the people who make it happen.  Oh, and maybe buy a carrot or two and some squash and zucchinis, or homemade apple butter or chocolate covered bacon, or fresh oysters and crabs, some bling, or lavender seeds or maybe some killer cookies, a blanket, some corn, peas (if you really want to), jams, jellies, spices, fresh handmade cheese, some more carrots, a dill plant, root vegetables, fresh caught salmon or clams, fresh-cut valley flowers, then take a long beer break and buy buy buy!!

See you there! 

Hugs and Carrots.

Diva Karen

Grocery shopping made cheaper!

Been to a great grocery store in Tacoma lately? We have a few. In general the “great” ones are the specialty stores like Metropolitan Market in the Proctor District and while I do love me some fabulous deli and bakery items you can’t really do any kind of serious, stock the pantry grocery shopping there.

I just did some serious grocery shopping and, long list in hand, I went to the WinCo Foods in South Tacoma. There’s been much debate about WinCo and the company’s entry into our market place. WinCo bills itself as employee owned and is non-Union.  While that fact has its own impact on how people feel about spending money at WinCo I have to say….I spend way LESS money there. The Wall of Values is a great place to be shocked and amazed by their pricing.  I can stand there, mouth open, reading the big signs and looking at the depth of their stock and think, “Well, I wasn’t going to get Spaghetti-Os but at 88 cents a can….who can resist?”

I never really like THE IDEA of going grocery shopping. I do however, LOVE grocery shopping while I’m doing it.  While I’m cruising those aisles and comparing prices and trying to resist the temptation to buy Easy Cheese, I am in my element.  I’ve been in most of the grocery stores around Tacoma and there are more than a few I would never consider stepping in again.  Some are dirty, some have rude or stupid employees and amazingly, some have those skinny aisles that will not, in any fathomable way, fit more than 1 cart (what?). WinCo isn’t one of those grocery stores and I am happy to spend my hard earned money there. And seriously, in real estate right now, it IS hard earned!

At an average savings of $1.00 per item (yes!!), I can easily save over $50 on a typical grocery shopping trip. That’s worth driving an extra few miles and bagging my own groceries, for sure. Sometimes it’s not worth the crowds and the packed aisles, which can be overwhelming.  But if you time it right, you can get in and out without bruised elbows or stepping in spilled coffee creamer (which can get really sticky between your toes, if you are wearing new, neon green flip-flops… just sayin’)

I still pop over to Fred Meyer for last minute kind of grocery shopping but WinCo has definitely added value to our shopping options in Tacoma. Plus, the Easy Cheese is way too affordable to pass up!

The Linnie Sapphire

Around MY Tacoma

Around Tacoma isn’t a blog about COOKING. I believe there are plenty of foodie blogs out there, so that’s a good thing. Still…. I really want to share with you one of my latest cooking adventures. Mostly because it turned out perfectly, but also because I LOVE the new cooking gadget I got to use!
I admit, the gadget is not mine. It was a gift for a friend and we used it together and I did LOVE it and now I covet it…..daily!
Check out… The STUFZ ULTIMATE Stuffed Burger System which was doubtfully purchased on the internet (I didn’t find too many stuffed burger systems around Tacoma) at www.stufz.net. I say doubtfully because, while I was interested in the ultimate outcome of the gadget (I’m getting to that) it looked a bit, well, cheap. However, I placed my trust in the bright red plastic glory of it!

I chose to fill my very first experimental STUFZ burger (say the “Z” like you mean it!) with a mish mash of cream cheese, mild green chiles, spices…not too HOT, and some pepper jack cheese. Getting the shape of the pocket where the stuffing goes was the only thing that wasn’t straight forward.  That, my friends, is because we were skimping on the meat.

This is one BIG burger!! Those stuffed monsters came off the grill looking like red meat masterpieces and were quickly G.O.N.E! This is one great gadget and my works of art certainly made dinner in Tacoma a fabulous thing. I can not wait for the next one. What should I put in it???

The Linnie Sapphire

Ever Wonder…. WHAT’S HAPPENING IN TACOMA??

Ok, ok! I know you’re used to snappy posts about what we’ve been up to Around Tacoma but it occurred to me recently… if I didn’t already LOVE Tacoma and all the cool stuff we find to do around here, what then?  So I went looking and boy, did I find plenty!  Right here on the internet!

I know, you’re saying “Naw, you really found information on the internet?”. Really, I did!

Besides all of the fantastic blogs published by the many opinionated Tacomans out there, I found a plethora (cool, I got to use that word in a sentence) of super stuff about our city and all around Pierce County.

I will never have to say “Hmmm… what is there to do this weekend?” again and neither will you! Here are just a few links to local pages….

http://www.traveltacoma.com/

http://www.tacomadome.org/

http://www.hellotacoma.com/

http://www.tacomachamber.org/

http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/parks/parks.htm

http://www.tacomascene.com/event.html

http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/

Have Fun Around Tacoma – The Linnie Sapphire