Tag Archives: port orchard

New Kitsap Restaurants of 2010: Part 1 of 4

So, so much to eat and try. In 2010, nearly 30 new eateries opened in Kitsap County, and nine got new owners.

Some new eateries were highlighted in various Kitsap Sun articles and blog posts throughout the year, though some we admittedly missed. I plan to visit the new restaurants in more detail in the coming months and invite you to share your impressions on any of the new eateries of 2010.

I’ll be stretching this blog post out into four parts through this week because that many restaurants makes for one awfully long blog post and — let’s be honest — so I can get as many eyeballs back to the Food Life blog as I can.

We’ll go alphabetically based on a list of new restaurants provided by the Kitsap County Health Department:

John Strasinger the owner/ chef at the new Bay Street Bistro cooks zucchini at the downtown Port Orchard location.

Bay Street Bistro – I talked with chef and co-owner John Strasinger about his new restaurant a month and a half after it opened in late July. Strasinger tries to procure as many ingredients as he can from local farmers, and has worked to build up the restaurant as a neighborhood dinner spot. Recently, they’ve started serving lunches and this fall put a savory gorgonzola-laced cheesecake that’s just as good as a mouthful on its own or on a cracker.

Boogaloo’s – The name filed with the health department is “Boogaloo’s Shrimp Shack”, but the sign out front says Boogaloo’s Bar-B-Que. I’ve also seen it referenced on sandwich-board signs around town and in a Kitasp Sun sports story as Boogaloo’s BBQ and Boogaloo’s Barbeque Pit. Whatever it’s called, it opened this summer in a tiny building on Bremerton’s waterfront boardwalk. Owned by Tony Thomas of the former Soul Brothers restaurant chain in Bremerton, which had its local heyday in the late ’90s. I was away in college, so I missed it the first time around, but word is that the brisket is just as heavily smoked and tender as it was back then.

Burger Me Now – This spot on the plaza at Highway 303 and McWilliams, between Safeway and Toad House is exactly what the name would imply: a burger joint. Burger Me Now offers a variety of burgers, from a $6 standard to a $7.45 teriyaki chicken burger as well as seafood and chips. I’ve not tried it yet. I can’t seem to go near the Toad House without wanting a beer, and get distracted. We’ve been talking about it for months, but someday Mike Moore and I are going to put out a roundup of burger joints — including this one — on the Kitsap Peninsula and immediately surrounding areas.

Chet’s Place – This is the latest offering at 610 Callow Avenue in Bremerton, spot to a former Mongolian Grill/Nightclub, the Ponderay Cafe and Lounge (gosh, I loved the Ponderay’s German sausage and potato pancakes), El Camino’s and others. Chet’s Place serves up soul food including grits, hush puppies and fried okra. It also has a lounge because there has to be some place to get a 9 a.m. beer on Callow Avenue, right?

Deane’s Pizza a& Subs – I feel that I almost have to like this place since I almost share a middle name with it. That said, I haven’t actually tried it, but if you want to, it’s across from Fred Meyers in that plaza with the 24-hour fitness place and Emerald City Smoothies. They offer — you guessed it — pizza and subs and opened in May. The pizzas offerings seem to go beyond the standards with things like taco pizza and alfredo pizza.

Der Blokken Brewery – This Manette brewpub opened in spring to fanfare from the local brew geek community. In addition to a hard-to-find-on tap lineup of beers, such as Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish and Der Blokken’s own Black stout, they offer a lineup of pub fare including a gorgonzola burger, chicken wings, occasional steak special and a personal favorite poutine, the gravy and curd smothered fries of French Canadian fame.

El Pueblito Mexican Restaurant – This Gig Harbor-based restaurant opened a Port Orchard branch on Lund Avenue, near Bethel, this spring. It’s family-style Mexican with dishes such as arroz con pollo, burritos, enchiladas, etc. The handful of online reviews for this place are mixed.

Port Orchard Restaurant Bay Street Bistro Working to Build Community

The new Bay Street Bistro in downtown Port Orchard location. Photos by Larry Steagall, Kitsap Sun.

On a recent afternoon two hours before opening, John Strasinger could be found sitting at one of his restaurant’s tables picking through a bin of yellow wax beans.

They’d been brought to the Bay Street Bistro that afternoon freshly picked from a Port Orchard farm.

“Kitsap produces some absolutely beautiful produce,” he said.

During the growing season, about 80 percent of the produce used at the restaurant, which opened in late July, has come from local farms. Some things, such as lemons, olives and garlic needed for Italian-style dishes, either don’t grow here or aren’t yet grown in enough abundance to fully support a restaurant. Continue reading

Love Tomatoes? Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Bainbridge Markets Hosting Taste-Offs

I used to hate tomatoes, the squashy, mealy things that made their way into my salads were less than appealing. But two small events forever changed my perception of these lovely vegetable-y fruits.

The first was a caprese salad I’d had a few years back. While I couldn’t seem to replicate that taste for the longest time, I’d been softened on the idea of raw tomatoes.

The second event was a taste-test politely pushed on me at the Bremerton Farmers Market. A variety of colors and sizes of tomatoes were cut and arrayed on a table. I tasted several varieties, and I was in love.

My aging refining taste buds also helped.

Fresh-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes were what I’d been missing. Now I grow a few of my own and fear not a homemade salad covered in tomatoes.

So with this love of tomatoes, I’m excited to share some upcoming tomato-related events happening in Kitsap.

Several farmers markets are hosting tomato taste-offs to allow local growers to show off their fruits. And it’s also a good chance to see just how many kinds of tomatoes are out there.

The first happens Saturday, Sept. 4 on Bainbridge Island. They’ll be judged in three categories: Cherry Tomatoes (bring 6 for judging), Salad Tomatoes (bring 3) and Slicing Tomatoes (bring 1).

There’s a prestigious panel of judges and prizes for all first place winners. Buy Local Radio will broadcast from the event.

Tomato tasted-offs in Port Orchard and Poulsbo are both on Sept. 11.

The taste-off in Poulsbo They also have three categories: Cooking/Canning Tomatoes (Roma, Black Plum, Purple Russian, Florida Pink, San Marzano, etc.); Cherry/Pear tomatoes; and Slicing/Salad Tomatoes (Black Krim, Brandywine, Mayan Gold, etc.).

For the taste-off in Port Orchard, categories are Cherry tomatoes, Roma or paste or Slicing/beefsteak.

Check the links above for entry forms, times and other rules.

Food News for Port Orchard, Silverdale and Bainbridge Island

A lot of local food news has come out lately. In our little publication, Chris Henry wrote about the rebirth of the old Tweten’s/former Gino’s restaurant as Lighthouse Restaurant and Lounge. It’s being run by an experienced restaurateur, Josh Wood, who previously worked for and managed restaurants in Gig Harbor and Westport.

Also in Port Orchard restaurant news is that the barbecue spot on Highway 166 closed in mid-December, making it the second one to close in that building.

Bainbridge Island’s Four Swallows made this year’s Saveur’s 100 list for its blackberry slump . The gourmet food, wine and travel magazine annually puts together a list of 100 of the magazine’s favorite food, drinks, people and places.

In Silverdale, Aloha Kitchen has been serving up Hawaiian cuisine for the past couple months. I haven’t had a chance for lunch there yet, but have tried their guava and passionfruit cakes, which were sweet and delicious. The fruit comes with the filling and on top of the frosting. I recommend it.

Looks like the local eating out must-trys has gotten just a little bit longer.

Alaskan Seafood Available at Poulsbo, Port Orchard docks

If you’re looking pretty fresh seafood (frozen at sea), Sound Food reports that Troller Point Fisheries is offering their sustainably harvested seafood today through Friday in Poulsbo and in Port Orchard this weekend.

They’ll be in Poulsbo today and Friday and at Port Orchard marina Saturday through Monday.

A Tour Inside Carter’s Chocolates in Port Orchard

Sometimes, my job is so rough. Like this week I had to go sling a video camera to a Port Orchard chocolate maker who gave both me and entertainment reporter Michael Moore a taste-included lesson on gourmet chocolates.

You’re feeling sorry for me about now, right? I didn’t think so.

It ended up being such a fun assignment (yes, I assigned it to myself), I went back to Carter’s Chocolates in the South Kitsap Mall to take video of Matt Carter dipping the chocolate and to learn a little more.

Since there was so much material, this is going to be a two-post deal. This first is to share Michael’s story, which appears in Friday’s A&E section in the paper and to show the resulting video. Next week, I’ll add in footage from my first video scouting trip, in which Carter dropped some chocolate knowledge on video.

But until then, here’s the video of Carter giving the basics of his shop and his chocolates:

Sharing Nutrition Tips for Those with COPD and Heart Disease

After reading a post about cooking classes, blog reader Sharon O’Hara contacted Creative Cooking School instructor Lois Sietman about teaching her proper nutrition for those with restricted eating requirements for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Here’s what Sharon shared with me about the in-home lesson where they talked and apparently also made muffins:

“She was interested and mentioned being caregiver for her father the final ten years of his life as a cardiac patient with nutritional needs similar to ours.

Photo by Sharon O'Hara
Photo by Sharon O'Hara

The date was sepugetst for February 17 at my house… a trial run and a student of one – me. COPD cooking and nutrition classes are another EFFORTS inspired idea based on our need to be educated.

Lois has been in the food industry 27 years, including 8.5 years as the Pastry Chef at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle.

A few gems from Lois:

– Vegetables in their raw state are harder to digest. Cooking vegetables starts the break down process and makes the fiber in them easier to digest.

– When combining foods, usually two foods from the same food group are more compatible and therefore easier to digest.

– Fruits should be eaten alone and generally later in the day. Fruit pushes the body toward an alkaline state which inhibits digestion of future meals.  The exception is melons.

– Talking increases gas. Talking adds air to our stomach and uses oxygen in our system we need to breathe easier.

The ULTIMATE Thanksgiving Cooking De-Stresser

you can go out and battle the lines this weekend at the grocery stores, but if you really, really want to take the stress out of shopping AND cooking on turkey day, but don’t mind putting down a little cash, area grocers offer some take-home solutions. Actually, some of them look cheaper than making it yourself, though you may have to fill in a few sides.

I checked in with the stores and got some info on prices and content for you. I didn’t call every single store, so you should probably check ahead

DEADLINE ALERT: If you’re in Poulsbo or just want a Central Market meal, you have until Saturday to order one of these dinners. Details below. Safeway’s orders have already started filling up, so ordering earlier would be better.

You can order through the day before Thanksgiving, but the deli needs time to thaw a turkey so don’t expect to call Thursday morning. They also have ham and rib dinners, but I think that’s just sacrilege.

Classic Turkey Dinner – $44.99
This includes a 12-pound turkey, 2.5 pounds stuffing, 3 pounds mahsed potatoes and 30 ounces of gravy.

Ultimate Turkey Dinner – $59.99

You get all that comes in the classic turkey dinner plus 2.5 pounds green been casserole, cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie.

I knew someone who did this one year and said the food was fantastic. At $100 bucks, it should be, though when you think about it, it comes out to about $12.50 per person and Central Market usually does a pretty good job with their prepared foods.

Dinner for eight is $99.99, which includes a 12-14 pound turkey, 2 quarts each of stuffing, mashed poatoes, yams and green beean casserole, cranberry sauce and gravy. (I may have missed something because my notes became illegible at this point as I started daydreaming about and drooling over all that food.)

The latest they’ll take orders is on Saturday. No more orders after Saturday.


So this isn’t as free-wheeling as just ordering the whole thing via phone, but it may make you feel better about at least helping to prepare the food. If you’ve never heard of the Dream Dinners in Poulsbo , they’re a company that puts together the ingredients and instructions and you come in and do up the rest in freezer-friendly packets. You reheat the night or day you want to eat it.

They offer a Holiday Side Station option that’ll serve 6 modest portions for $36.45 (you could always double it). It includes a savory stuffing with sausage and pecans, a green bean casserole, ) home styled mashed potatoes with rich gravy and buttermilk biscuits.

The one catch is that when you set up a Dream Dinners thing, you have to commit to buying and make enough dinners for 36 servings. They don’t all have to be the holiday sides, you can make a bunch of different dinners for beyond Thanksgiving.

You also have to sign up for a session to make it and the only options before Thanksgiving are at 5 p.m. tonight and 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday.


The traditional dinner serves six to eight people. It’s $39.99 for a 12-pound turkey, 2.5 pounds of mashed potatoes, two pounds of stuffing, gravy, a green been casserole and an apple or pumpkin pie.

For $20 more ($59.99) you can up the sides to five pounds of mashed potatoes, four pounds of stuffing, more gravy and 3.5 pounds of green beans and a big pie.

They also offer spiral ham. But again: turkey.

Call the deli to order. I read a few online reviews of the Safeway dinners, and people said it was so-so, but it’s pretty inexpensive and the stress savings might be worth it. Each store has a limited number of dinners they make, so I would order soon. The Port Orchard store said they only had about 10-12 order open.

Dinner is $39.99 for an 8-12 pound turkey, two pounds of stuffing, two pounds of mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, a dozen diner rolls and an 8-inch pumpkin pie.

The Bainbridge store said they’re not doing turkeys this year, but they will have all sides available in the deli case, and they’ll be open on Thanksgiving Day until 3 p.m. They’ll have hot case dinners, just not turkeys.

Note: If you’re still wanting recipes out of me, they’re coming. I’m going to focus mostly on sides, and I’ll make a little video about how to prepare a bird, though I’ll be demonstrating on a chicken.

Finding Fresh Farm Eggs and Other Farm Goods in Kitsap

EggsA reader had suggested I tell people where to find fresh farm eggs in Kitsap County. I started searching around the Internet and came across a very cool interactive farm map created by the  Kitsap County Extension of the Washington State University

Well, that made it pretty easy for me to share info with you.

You can search for farms that grow or sell local food by product.

Here’s what they had to say about eggs and other dairy:

I organized it by region of the county:

Poulsbo/North Kitsap

  • Greenwoodes Farm – Sells eggs and vegetables if you join their CSA program
  • Harley Bob’s Eggs – Eggs are sold off the farm and delivered to restaurants and retail buyers. They also have a farm stand, but they ask people to make an appointment.
  • JJJ Farm – They sell by special order and are closed to the public
  • Kowalski Farm in Kingston – They sell by appointment

Bainbridge Island

Silverdale/Central Kitsap

Port Orchard/South Kitsap

In Bremerton, I didn’t see any farms to buy fresh eggs, but CJ’s market on Park Avenue apparently sells eggs from Pheasant Field Farms as well as other locally grown or made products.

And since we’re on the subject of eggs, I’ll be trying out some new tips I got on making the perfect (or at least a better) omelette. I’ll let you know how it turned out soon.