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Recipes, resources and food inspiration from people and places in Kitsap County. By Kitsap Sun Web Editor Angela Dice.
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Posts Tagged ‘bremerton’

Learn to bake Norwegian holiday cookies

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
sandbakkels

If you’ve ever seen those impressively pretty plates of Scandanavian cookies and wanted to learn to make your own, now’s your chance.Oslo Lodge, Sons of Norway in Bremerton will host three, free cookie baking workshops.I heard about it somewhat late (in today’s paper), so the first one, in which the group baked Spritz cookies beginning at 9 a.m. today will probably be tough to make in time (about 15 minutes as of this posting).

The next two, however, are coming Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, also starting at 9.

On Sept. 26, they’ll bake Sanbakkel (pictured), which is A tender almond cookie baked in tiny tins.

On Oct. 3, it’s Krumkake, airy cookies baked on a special hot iron with decorative etching and rolled into a cone.

Registration is required. Call 360-373-1503 or 360-377-7356.

The classes are at the lodge on Warren Avenue, at the north end of Olympic College’s parking lot near the bridge.


Restaurant Q&A: Silver City Restaurant and Brewery

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Megan Moran pours two beers for a Tuesday night crowd at Silver City Restaurant and Brewery.

 

Brothers Scott and Steve Houmes, sons and grandsons of restaurateurs and former owners of Top Notch Burger restaurants in Bremerton and Silverdale, opened Silver City Restaurant and Brewery in 1996. Last year, Silver City opened its Bremerton brewery to expand its beer-production capacity and increase restaurant seating in the space formerly occupied by brewing operations.

As part of my work on Kitsap Sun’s upcoming restaurant guide (due out in October), I interviewed co-owner Scott Houmes. A portion of the Q&A will appear in the guide, but Food Life readers get the full, uncut version. Well, uncut except for the parts where I didn’t type nearly fast enough (or forgot to type as I listened) and consequently portions of the conversation were omitted.

How did you and your brother decide to start a brewery?
We decided it was a good fit for Kitsap County. It’s something that we had a passion for as far as the food industry and great craft beer. We thought at that time that Kitsap County was ready for it.

How did you meet brewmaster Don Spencer?
We went on a recruiting trip for a brewmaster. We knew that brewmasters were kind of a brotherhood, so we took a tour of Thomas Kemper [which formerly brewed in Poulsbo]. We wanted to meet a brewer and put the word out there. In 1996, they didn’t have Monster.com or any of those things, so we were doing it the old fashioned way. … We took a tour with Don Spencer and after the tour, we took him aside and said this is what we were doing and if you know anyone, spread the word. Luckily, Don didn’t tell anybody and we ended up hiring him shortly after that. Being a brewmaster is a pretty coveted position. He was able to come in and create his own recipes and styles and brew what he wanted to brew and brew what Kitsap County would like.

About 50 additional seats have been placed in the area formerly occupied by the brewing operation.

How’s business?
Good. We have a good following. We just finished an expansion that we’ve been working on for the past eight to 10 months. Our business grew and grew every year since we opened in ’96. In the past five years, we’d have a waiting a line at the door every week, and we knew we needed space for more guests and our beer was becoming more and more popular so we took the brewing operations from the site… We have a production brewing facility down in in Bremerton and we’re now distributing our beer throughout Western Washington. We were able to open 50 more seats for our guests and eliminate the wait for our tables.

After 15 years, you still have steady business and a social media following most local businesses could envy. What do you think has kept Silver City so popular?
I think being a brewpub or this style of restaurant and brewery lends itself to having more of a neighborhood feel, a place that the community can call their own. The beer is brewed in the area … a lot of people have learned about craft beer through Silver City. It’s not just part of another chain. It’s a locally owned place that they can feel good about, that’s the first thing. And No. 2, we have a great staff with a great level of service, second to none and we offer a great selection of food that you can come and eat in any attire … with flip-flops or a tie.

You moved brewing operations to Bremerton and expanded the restaurant in the vacated vat space, how have the changes gone?
It’s gone over great. It’s given the operation a lot more space for the guests. The wait time has been reduced and it’s expanded our brewing capacity. We’re able to produce more seasonal beers on a consistent basis, give more variety for our gusts and it gives a better flow for the restaurant. One of the main things our guests would always comment on was a long wait for a table and it was cramped quarters in there. …Having people hungry and standing in line for 45 minutes is not something anybody wants to do.

When are you going to open a tasting room at the brewery?
That’s a good question. With the growth of the distribution business, it’s kept me on my toes. We’ve darn near tripled our production from what we had four years ago, so we’ve been busy with that and busy with remodeling the restaurant… The type of business we can open up down here is limited because of lack of parking in our industrial area. You can’t open a 50- to 60-seat restaurant with 15 parking spaces, so it will be something more like a tap room with a lack of food. If we can’t get them someplace to park, they won’t come.

The biggest excuse is: it’s been a matter of time. We have had it open for keg sales and bottle sales out of the brewer since the first of January. We sell between 20 and 30 kegs a weekend.

People can go down there and pick it up?
They can call ahead and order and we make sure its ready nine times out of 10 for the weekend.

What beers do you have under development?
As in new? We have our year-round beers, our most popular being Ridgetop Red and the Fat Scotch Ale, our Indianola Pale Ale, the Panther Lake Porter and our Bavarian Hefeweizen and Whoop Pass IPA.

We also have beers that we like to have our seasonal beer rotation and right now, we have our Oktoberfest … We’re one of the few that brew a traditional Oktoberfest lager. Our next seasonal lager will be our winter bock, which we’re very excited about.

When will (the winter bock) be out?
That will be out the beginning of November.

Is this the first year for the winter bock?
We brewed it on an annual basis at the brewpub, but now as far as distribution, this will be our first year.

Our seasonal beer this summer was a Ziggy Zoggy and it was very successful. It’s a great summer, easy-drinking beer with some honey notes to it much like a summer pilsner but very sessionable. … I don’t know if you’ll find that in the dictionary. What we mean is that you can drink them in succession.

Tell me about menu changes over the years.
Basically the guests have helped determine our menu over the years. We re-order the fresh sheet on a rotating basis. We bring out new items on the fresh sheet, an appetizer, several entrees and a dessert. They coincide with the season. For the fall, we have bratwurst and schnitzel. In the wintertime, you’re going to have more of  hearty dish and such. With those items, depending on how well they’re received and how well they sell determines what goes on the menu in the future.

We can’t just keep adding to the menu, though, to keep the flow of the kitchen and the restaurant. … Some restaurants just have a huge menu, and order to do what we do, we keep the food fresh. We just can’t offer a million different items.  … Something like a schnitzel, where it would be very popular, it won’t go on the menu because its a fun thing to have every season. It’s nice to change to the menu, but it’s also hard because people get in the habit of having their favorite item. … You have to make those tough decisions.

How do you decide which new beers to introduce?
They’re all inspired by Don Spencer, our brewmaster. … Throughout the years, we’ve had up to 40 different styles. We have a small brewery here called our pilot brewery where we can brew two kegs of beer at a time, so it can start in that fashion, and we’ll put that beer on at the pub and see how it’s received. If the brew is successful, it would evolve into a pub series beer that’s mainly for the pub. We’ll brew 20 barrels, that’s 40 kegs, and that wil be on at the pub for four weeks or so. Based on the success of the beer, not only the sales but how it fits our lineup, will determine that.

Some beers will be seasonal, but like the restaurant menu, you can only have so many brews year-round. Our brewery is getting larger, but it’s not that large.

Do you home brew beer?
No, my brother and I are restaurateurs. Since we opened the new facility, I’m more of an overseer of the brewing operations and brewing distribution and he’s more of an overseer of the restaurant. We come from a family of restaurant owners. Both my grandfather and father were in the business. My grandfather started a chain called Kings Table and my father joined it in late ’60s, early ’70s. They were part of growing it all along the West Coast.

What’s your favorite beer and food pairing?
My favorite, let’s see here. I would have to say my favorite pairing is a Ridgetop Red with our firecracker wings because a red is nice and sweet with nice caramel notes, and not overpowering, and the firecracker wings have a spicy ginger and garlic to it. Most wings are just spicy, but with ginger and garlic to our wings, its very unique. The spiciness slows me down so i don’t eat too much.

Tell me about the best beer you’ve ever had and why it was so memorable.
That’s a tough question … I’ve come to appreciate every beer for its own style. I used to be a real hop-head and say nothing was good unless it was an IPA or Double IPA, but the longer I’m in this business, the more I appreciate the number of styles there are and the number of flavors there are. My next favorite beer is the beer I haven’t had yet, and I’m going to ponder over.

What’s next for Silver City?
A lot of people have encouraged us to grow over the years. They say, ‘Open a restaurant in my town’ up and down the Kitsap Peninsula down to Gig Harbor and up to Port Townsend and Sequim. Growing up in this business. … What it takes is time away from our family and time away from a lot of our restaurants and it turns into a big battle. This business is hard enough as it is with one restaurant and one brewery. … We’re more content with ensuring our business in Bremerton and Silverdale do what we say we’re going to do as far as having great operations, great food and great beer rather than grow it and expand operations. We’re planning on making Silver City as good as it’s ever been if not better.


Weekend food events: Lavender festival foods, Bite of Seattle, strawberry festival

Friday, July 15th, 2011

For this week’s food news roundup, I thought I’d serve up a few ideas for food-inspired day trips this weekend.

 

Lavender on the Tongue

As part of this year’s Sequim Lavender festivals, a new one called Lavender Farm Faire has been added, an it includes a culinary program with food, crafts and cooking demonstrations at Carrie Blake Park (click for a Google map). The festival started Friday, but goes through Sunday.

Five cooking demonstrations will happen Sunday, though Sunshine Lavender and Herb Farm will host several a day today and Saturday. Among what’s cooking will be a four-course meal made by Cedarbook Lavender and Herb Farm with a spring green and asparagus salad with cranberry lavender vinaigrette, roasted red potatoes with Herbs de Provence (with lavender, of course), grilled flank steak with lavender pepper marinade and sautéed pears with lavender honey.

Farms also will offer lavender-laced (and non-lavender) foods throughout the fair. The wine and beer garden also will offer a taste of Olympic Cellars’ lavender infused wine Mélange Nouveau. Purple Haze restaurant will have a variety of food and lavender cocktails (margaritas and cosmopolitans).

For more information, visit sequimlavenderfarms.org.

Bite of Seattle

Across the water on the other side of Kitsap this weekend is the annual Bite of Seattle at the Seattle Center.

For those who’ve in the past grown tired of going and getting filled up on only one giant plate of taste (or bursting at the seems when you try to top off two plates with a Shishkaberry),  this year’s festival requires participating restaurants to have actual bite-sized portions for $3.75, the Seattle Weekly reports.

Over at the Fisher Building, local celebrity chefs will offer near-hourly demonstrations for The Bite Cooks portion of the festival. And in the Alki courtyard, for $10, you can get into The Alley, hosted by Tom Douglas for tastes from both established and new Seattle restaurants. Most proceeds from the Alley benefit Food Lifeline, so you can feed your soul a little as well.

Strawberry Festival

Vashon Island is home to a festival more than a century old (though it apparently has had several names over the years). The Strawberry Festival has a variety of vendors, like those you’d see at a variety of small-town festivals, including booths with strawberry shortcakes, smoothies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries.  The weekend festival also includes what I’ve decided should be a requisite at any festival, an early morning pancake breakfast (with strawberries!). A shuttle leaves every 30 minutes from the ferry terminal. It’s $1 each way.

Pike Place Chef Demos

On Sunday, Pike Place Market hosts another of its Sunday chef demonstrations with Burce Naftalay of Le Gourmand at noon and Seth Caswell of emmer & rye at 2 p.m. Next Sunday is the second annual “Master of the Market” cooking competition.

 

Note on next weekend

The brewer lineup for Bremerton’s Summer Brewfest on July 23 was announced this week. The event will include 24 breweries, including Kitsap’s half dozen commercial breweries.

The same day (or maybe before) also is supposed to mark the opening of Bremerton’s Toro Lounge on Pacific Avenue.

And lastly, as I just mentioned earlier this afternoon, Sunday will be the inaugural Sunday farmers market in Bremerton.

Just a note

I apparently missed this when it went online in late May, but Bremerton’s Blackberry fest apparently got a nod from New York Magazine, which compiled a list of 50 food destinations in 50 states. They recommended the blackberry slugs and had this to say in general, “devotees can head to a three-day orgy of blackberry consumption: the Bremerton Blackberry Festival, held along the boardwalk in downtown Bremerton — a smallish Navy town southwest of Bainbridge Island on Puget Sound.” I pity the poor New Yorkers who’ll take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge and drive 50 minutes to Bremerton. Hopefully someone at the terminal will point them the right way.

 


Bremerton will have a second farmers market on Sundays

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Bremerton will have a Sunday farmers market on the boardwalk near the fairy ferry terminal starting July 24.

The Bremerton Farmers Market association announced the extra market Thursday.

Unlike the second market two years ago created after a market leadership disagreement, this new market is born of an attempt to liven up the city on Sundays and will be run by the same organization that runs the Thursday market at Evergreen Park.

Bremerton farmers market organizers were approached by city council members after Bremerton and Port Orchard agreed to run foot ferries on Sundays, said market manager Julia Zander.

Bremerton’s Thursday market has been growing with more vendors making more than last year and greater attendance (particularly on sunny days), Zander said.

Market leaders also have been working with the port and business associations. Bremerton councilman Roy Runyon offered to pay half the market’s insurance fee out of his own pocket, she said. The market association is working on securing funding for the second half.

“We think there’s a lot of momentum,” she said. “People are really excited about this.”

The market plans to run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be the only formal farmers market on Sundays in Kitsap County. The market’s last day will be Sept. 25.


More on Kitsap Food Co-op’s location announcement

Monday, June 27th, 2011
Map of the Youth Wellness Campus

Design plan for the the Youth Wellness Campus in East Bremerton. Click to see the wellness campus master plan.

I wrote an article for Kitsap Sun Sunday on Kitsap Food Co-op’s announcement of it’s future location at the old East High School campus in Bremerton, and here I wanted to offer a few more details about the project and the post-announcement conversation I had with board president Laura Moynihan.

One of the most frequent questions board members have heard in the past couple years is where the co-op would be, a question that has been difficult to answer.

From my understanding of the co-op’s situation, it’s been a sort of chicken and egg dilemma for the co-op: they need enough members and capital (which comes, in part from membership fees) to secure a location, but some people are hesitant to put a $200 fee on the line before they knew where it would go and how viable this project would be.

Conceivably, the announcement of a location gives the group an additional selling point for membership.

“Were really lucky to name a location that doesn’t require an infusion of capital,” Moynihan said.

In addition, the group has drawn some influential backers, namely Mayor Patty Lent, local architect Steve Rice, who has helped the Co-op look at potential sites, and members of the Boys & Girls club (the club’s director of special projects Stacy Dore’ was at Sunday’s meeting).

The East Bremerton campus has been conceptualized as a center for youth wellness issues. The youth wellness center, which would offer classes on nutrition and cooking and exercise, was the brainchild of former Mayor Cary Bozeman (though originally slated for Bay Vista, formerly known as Westpark). A design created by world-renowned and Bremerton-raised architect Steven Holl has three wings, one for health-monitoring (which may now include a dental center), one for cooking and gardening, and one for  play.

There will be a lot of money to raise both for the Co-op and other players on the East Bremerton campus. The Co-op is expected to cost $3 million to open. The Boys and Girls Club estimates the cost of it’s facility at $4.3 million, and the wellness center is estimated at $14 million.

“This campus makes everybody more visible,” Rice said at the meeting.

“We’re all stronger as one thing together,” he added.

Though so much is tentative, Moynihan envisions partnering with the schools and/or Boys & Girls Club on a demonstration garden, which was part of the campus’ original concepts.

The plan also included a year-round farmers market (which still is in dream-phase in Kitsap), which Moynihan said could enhance the visibility of the Co-op, and could possibly mean another partnership with the Co-op, which other area co-ops have done, Moynihan said.

One other thing of note is that this would put the co-op nearly next door to an Albertson’s. That could be an awful lot of grocer competition in one place, but Moynihan said it also could be an asset, allowing people to hop over for items they can’t find at the co-op.

On the subject of partnerships, Moynihan also said that the Co-op, when opened, wants to talk with the school district or area restaurants about procuring food for them.

The Co-op store itself has originally been planned as a 10,000 square-foot facility, with a 1920s grange-style look. Included inside may be a cafe.

The guidelines for what products will be sold still has to be determined by members. The overall philosophy, though, will put priority on purchasing foods grown and made in Kitsap then working out from there.

As Co-op vice president Kristina Kruzan said at Sunday’s meeting, “First we have to have a co-op before we know what we’re going to have in it.”

As part of Sunday’s presentation, a prepared video with words of encouragement from Lent and Bremerton School District Superintendent Flip Herndon also included some snapshots of the building and early conceptual sketches for the store:


Bremerton’s 15th Street Bakery has closed

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Bremerton’s 15th Street Bakery next to the Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe has closed. The owners of Hi-Lo had opened it as both a bakery and waiting area for the cafe after the death of the bakery’s previous owner Luigi Ferrari. But in recent months, hours had dwindled and this week, this sign was posted in the window:

The cafe still is open and regularly packed as usual. And if people in the neighborhood are looking for sweets and pastries, longtime Bremerton baker McGavin’s also is open about a half mile up Callow Ave. and still selling pink champagne cakes, too.


Lots of work going on in new Bremerton tapas lounge

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

As I was walking around downtown Bremerton late last week, I caught this site of Toro, the tapas (small plate) and martini lounge that’s slated to open this summer. The restaurant is the work of Bremerton businessman Carlos Jara.

By the looks of it, Jara isn’t just cleaning and moving into the former Badda Boom Badda Bing/Fillipi’s space on Pacific Avenue. He’s gutted the space for what looks like a full remodel, uncovering a tongue-and-groove ceiling, and based on a few photos from the lounge’s Facebook page, the color scheme will include some sexy reds, blacks and grays.

Toro Lounge in Bremerton


Cheap Eats: 31-cent ice cream scoops in Bremerton and Silverdale

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. today, Baskin-Robbins — on Sixth Street in Bremerton and in the Kitsap Mall — brings back its now-annual “31 cent Scoop Night.” You get a 2.5-oz scoop, up to three scoops, for 31 cents plus tax.

As part of the national promotion, some stores will host firefighters, who will scoop ice cream and ask for donations


Bremerton Bar and Grill opening delayed a day

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Downtown Bremerton’s new restaurant, Bremerton Bar and Grill, apparently is pushing back its opening date. Instead of opening Monday, it will open Tuesday, April 19.

Owner Neighborhood Grills has, though, started filling up the restaurant’s website (I’ll mostly ignore for now that any restaurant website anymore thinks its a good idea to make readers download pdf menus) and set up a Facebook page.

The important part, though, is that it will it open at 5 p.m., the tail end of happy hour (as advertised by Neighborhood Grills , it goes from 3 to 6 and 9 to close every day). The beers and drinks may be $4 and $5, but the happy hour food plates range from $3 to $7.


Food News Roundup: Trader Joe’s, another Bremerton restaurant, 2 Blackbirds

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

This week offered a fair amount of food news for Kitsap.

On top of news that already this year, two new Bremerton restaurants have or will soon open, we learn that there will be yet another. Early this week, Carlos Jara solved for the Bremerton Downtown Association the mystery of what’s behind the visqueened windows  in the old Filippis-then-Badda Bing spot on Pacific Avenue. He has taken over the spot and plans to open a tapas and martini bar. He told reporter Steven Gardner that he couldn’t offer details this week, but that he’ll talk about it more soon.

On Bainbridge Island, owners of the popular Blackbird Bakery announced that they will open a restaurant, according to the Bainbridge Conversation blog.

Also on Bainbridge, Northwest foraging guru Langdon Cook visited to teach a class on foraging for and cooking up stinging nettles. It’s part of a new series of classes, which opened this week, introducing people to the “Bounty of the Land.” Tristan Baurick had a story on nettles for Sunday’s paper.

Trader Joe lovers are eagerly awaiting the new store planned for Silverdale, and this week, Brynn Grimley learned that it may open as soon as this summer.

Brynn, who also teams up with local wine afficionado Mary Earl on the Cheers to You wine blog, also reports that several Manette restaurants will host a wine walk on Thursday.


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About This Blog

The Food Life covers people, place and events involved in the food community on the Kitsap Peninsula and surrounding areas.
Written by Angela Dice. You can contact me at angela [at] angeladice.com.

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