The Olympia Farmers Market: Holiday Market

The change of season at The Olympia Farmers Market means beautiful fall and winter produce and wonderful handcrafted items from some of your favorite local artisans. Shop local first and grab a handmade centerpiece, holiday inspired table runner, hand blown glasses and wood serving tray to present the perfect farm-to-table meal. The Market will have plenty of baked goods, cheeses, jams, sauces, seafood, fresh and cured meats and more to create memorable holiday meals!
Holiday Market Hours at The Olympia Farmers Market runs every Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm, November through December 19th. You’ll find fresh produce, artisan foods, inspired art and jewelry, practical and whimsical gifts – something for everyone on your holiday list! The Market will be closed December 25 and 26 and will reopen Saturday, January 8, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. January, February, and March the Market will be open every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

ABOUT THE OLYMPIA FARMERS MARKET: In operation since 1975, The Olympia Farmers Market is home to over 100 vendors from the South Puget Sound area. Now open year-round, over 150 days a year, we see approximately 500,000 visitors a year. We have a dedicated staff and a volunteer Board of Directors who are committed to our mission “to promote and encourage the development of local, small-scale agriculture and ensure a dynamic market balance for small, local growers and others to make available their products to residents of this community.” We are proud to be an active component of the Olympia community for 45 years.

Centrally located on the waterfront of downtown Olympia, in close proximity to the Hands on Children’s Museum and WET Science Center, area residents and visitors can enjoy local farm fresh produce, artisan foods, wine, plant starts, cut flowers, fresh and cured meats, dairy, fresh baked goods, seafood, jams and preserves, confections, handcrafted gifts, local arts and more, with restaurants and plenty of covered seating, all set to live music.

Olympia Farmers Market

Toscanos Responds to Challenges with Renewed Community Involvement

During the winter when restaurant dining rooms were shut down because of COVID, Toscanos Italian Grill in Puyallup, like other restaurants, began to serve family-style, takeout and curbside meals. This became a successful formula for keeping the business going and its staff employed. Toscanos also began a practice of giving back to the community by preparing meals for local healthcare workers and first responders.

The challenging years of 2020 and 2021 brought many changes to Toscanos. But through all that change, the restaurant has rekindled its core belief in supporting the community. After an extensive renovation, Toscanos reopened its dining room and bar in the spring. Soon their sun-splashed patio reopened and things seemed to be returning to something like normal. But as summer continued, the stress and pressure placed on understaffed healthcare workers mounted. Toscanos responded with more meals for these heroes. And on Labor Day, to honor their 17th anniversary, Toscanos provided lunch for the entire staff at Good Samaritan Hospital.

After a conversation with Good Samaritan’s leadership, the Toscanos ownership and management team felt and heard the struggles of local healthcare workers that they still need the community’s support. The hospital staff is exhausted both physically and emotionally and they really need to know that the community is behind them. To answer this need, Toscanos will be providing individual meals to the healthcare workers at Good Samaritan Hospital Christmas week 2021.

Toscanos dining room, bar and even business model may have changed during this past pandemic year but the restaurant’s unwavering commitment to the community has only grown stronger.

For Additional Information
toscanospuyallup.com

MORGAN LUCAS

Wines to Enjoy this Holiday Season

Prime wine tasting season may be over, but that doesn’t mean full-bodied reds and refreshing white wines can’t make the winter holidays that much more special. Washington State is known for its rich and abundant vineyards, so here are five top-notch Washington wines to indulge in and celebrate.

Rose of Sangiovese 2020

Barnard Griffin
Columbia Valley
Vintage style

A wine that tastes like a summer memory. Bursting flavors of strawberry, melon and pineapple with every sip. Pair this juicy rose with a lemony clam linguine.

Grenache Blanc 2020

JM Cellars
Yakima Valley

This white holds a touch of vintage European flavor from nine months of aging in French oak barrels. Crisp citrus notes make this wine pair perfectly with fish-focused dishes, especially fish tacos!

Best Friends Red Blend 2018

Mellisoni Vineyards
Columbia Valley

A beautiful Tuscan blend that comes from a fun Mellisoni story, (you’ll have to visit the winery to hear all about it), this red harbors tart cherry, fig and sweet thyme helping it pair well with herbs and hearty vegetables, along with peppered short ribs.

Signature Syrah 2018

DeLille Cellars
Yakima Valley

Aromas of wild blueberries and violets hit the nose on this Syrah, while smokey flavors fill the palette. Try pairing this wine with deep berries and smoked gruyere cheese.

Malbec 2018

Lone Point Cellars
Columbia Valley

Intense, rich spices such as vanilla and anise and hints of huckleberry envelope the mouth of the one that drinks this malbec. A rubbed tenderloin steak pairs beautifully with this wine.

NATALIE BENSON

Two New Taprooms Opened In Centralia

There are two new, family-friendly taprooms in Centralia.  Insert Coin, an arcade bar with a full-service restaurant, and The Juice Box, a taphouse and kitchen, both opened in late summer of 2021.

Owners of Insert Coin, Keli and Dan Coleman, used to travel for work and fell in love with other arcade bars they visited around the country.  They looked at each other and thought, we could do this in Centralia, so they found a location and started renovating the building they bought.

When the pandemic hit, they found themselves with some time on their hands, so they began the envious task of locating nostalgic video games. “We found them wherever we could, on OfferUp, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace,” said Keli Coleman.  “It took about a year,” she added.

Now with more than 100 games, 30% of which are ticket redemption games that kids love, the Coleman’s arcade bar also features the first of its kind in Lewis County: self-serve beverage taps.  With 26 taps that include ciders, wines and several craft beers, patrons pre-purchase a digital RFID card that charges by the ounce poured.  They then serve themselves just the right amount of a specific beverage to accompany their delicious meal.  Insert Coins’ restaurant menu includes stuffed burgers made from fresh beef purchased locally from Reichert’s Choice Meats, and pizza with fresh dough from Kalama Sourdough Bakery.

If you enjoy technology, then Insert Coin has even more fun in store for you with a serving robot that brings your meal to you.  “It looks like a shelf on wheels,” said Coleman.  Insert Coin has a slushie machine and a self-serve frozen yogurt kiosk with three flavors and six different toppings where your dessert is created by the kiosk to your specifications.

There is a mezzanine party area that can accommodate parties of 30 or less at Insert Coin and the team regularly produces gaming tournaments.  Past events have included Super Smash Brothers, Pop-A-Shot, and Street Fighter.

Insert Coin is open Monday through Thursday 3-11pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-2am, and Sunday from 11am-11pm. Insert Coin was recently voted by readers of the Chronicle as the “Best New Business in Lewis County.”

Another new establishment in Centralia is The Juice Box, a 5700 square foot taphouse and kitchen located at 216 South Tower.  With 30 beers in their taproom and a beer hall bar that features eight more brews and a stage for live performances, The Juice Box also has a front area bottle shop and a large outdoor patio in the back.

“We bring in beers from all over the world Germany, California, New York and, of course, many brews from Washington and Oregon,” said one of the owners, Michael Perozzo.  He added, “We do, after all, live in the beer mecca of the world!”

The Perozzos and the Althausers (also owners), each with four kids, wanted to make a community house like you see in so many towns around the world with family-friendly atmospheres.  “We wanted to bring people together and create community, but we wanted to do it where kids were also welcome,” said Sarah Althauser.  You’ll find large tables throughout the restaurant and people are encouraged to move around and explore.  Patrons from separate parties are invited to sit together and get to know others from around the area.

Open every day of the week (including Sundays) from 11:30am to 10pm, The Juice Box’s menu features gourmet brats made locally at Dick’s Brewing’s NW Sausage and Deli.  The team then piles the brats high with lots of crazy, delicious stuff.  There are Italian, Latin-inspired, and traditional German brats.  They even feature a Banh Mi brat.   You’ll also find a variety of salads, quesadillas, and charcuterie boards.  One of their most notable boards features salmon from Briney Sea Delicaseas in Tumwater.   Dessert lovers aren’t left out with ice cream from local maker Nea’s Ice Cream and cookies from Pacific Northwest Cookie Company.

The Juice Box is also making good use of their stage.  They have bingo every Monday night, regular live music, and once a month they host great comedians featured on Last Comic Standing and America’s Got Talent.

The Centralia Downtown Association (CDA) is committed to revitalizing its historic downtown.  Dedicated to developing and promoting historic Downtown Centralia, they have embraced the Main Street Four Point Approach that is used in over 1200 cities across the nation.  The CDA unites and empowers residents, merchants, and civic leaders to promote, beautify, and develop a vibrant and prosperous downtown that celebrates its history and preserves its historic charm for all Centralians and visitors. by Lynn Castle

For more information, visit downtowncentralia.org

Create your Fall Charcuterie Board

The Fall season is here, so ENJOY the best charcuterie board with your loved ones, neighbors and friends. Also, stretch yourself a bit and invite someone new.

10 oz figs
Red grapes
1 Honeycrisp apple
1 Bartlett pear
Roth Cheese, Grand Cru
Roth Cheese, Buttermilk Blue
Roth Cheese, Smoked Gouda
1/2 c chocolate hazelnut spread
12 oz dark chocolate covered pretzels
1 small baguette, sliced
8 oz blackberries
1 plumcot or other stone fruit
1 package oat rosemary raisin crackers
1 c rosemary Marcona almonds
8 oz cocoa truffles
3.5 oz dark chocolate bar
10 oz dark chocolate covered almonds
4 oz rosemary crostini rustic crackers
6 oz cured meats

Instructions

  1. In a large prepared board, place the two cheeses in the center.
  2. Place the chocolate almonds, truffles, and Marcona almonds in small bowls on the board. Fill another small bowl with hazelnut spread.
  3. Arrange the rest of the foods around the cheese and bowls on the board. Leave a whole apple, pear, or plumcot (or stone fruit like a peach) for a beautiful garnish!

Crockett’s—Good Food for Good People

When you use the highest-quality, locally-sourced ingredients, people tend to notice. Like one diner from Auburn wrote recently in her restaurant review of Crockett’s Public House, located in Puyallup:

Crockett’s uses rice oil for their deep-fried items and oh my goodness they are so good! My favorite is the deep-fried fish and calamari. The calamari dipping sauce is crave worthy and I can’t help but dip everything in it. I haven’t had anything on the menu that didn’t taste absolutely fantastic.

With over 35 years in the restaurant business, the owner of Crockett’s Public House and three other South Sound restaurants, Shaun Brobak, was recently asked what’s the most compelling thing he’s learned in the restaurant industry.

Brobak’s answer came to him quickly, “People’s lives have gotten busier and dining out isn’t something they do as a special occasion. It is an everyday part of their lives.”

Hence the importance of takeout during the recent lockdowns to both Brobak and his clientele who craved the special recipe menu items offered by his restaurant group (which also includes Trackside Pizza and .

“During the pandemic, it was difficult to do a lot of adjustments or changes to the menu that we typically do, so for takeout we focused on what we’ve always done well,” said Brobak, adding, “We hope to begin some new recipe and menu development as we move along.”

This award-winning restaurant, which has been featured on national food channels, has some menu items that likely will never change. For example, their much-loved Eggs Benedict has always been featured on their incredibly popular weekend-only breakfast menu.

Other intensely popular items include their top-selling fried zucchini, sloppy Joes or grilled artichokes featured by Guy Fieri in 2011 on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Maybe your favorite is their authentic green chili burger or their rich and delicious lobster mac & cheese.

Crockett’s Public House
crockettspublichouse.com/puyallup

LYNN CASTLE

Elise Landry wins “Chopped Next Gen”

As a contestant and winner on the first season of the Food Network’s show “Chopped Next Gen,” Elise Landry became the chef on everyone’s mind in Olympia almost overnight. Her new restaurant, Chicory, which she co-owns and runs with her husband Adam Wagner, went from just getting open to having to close down online orders to focus on in-restaurant diners in a time when most restaurants were struggling to make it during the COVID-19 health restrictions. 

“It’s been amazing. We’ve had such support from the community,” noted Landry when I caught up with her on a warm summer Monday watering the plants in the restaurant. “In a small, tight-knit town like Olympia, not only does everyone feel connected, but there is already a deep appreciation for sustainable and locally sourced food. We felt like we fit in.”

Growing up in Kansas City, Landry loved her upbringing and region, but wanted to be closer to nature. After a quick scouting trip to the PNW, the couple retrofitted a motorhome, drove West, and spent two summers working in restaurants on Orcas Island. The dream was to open a restaurant of their own and everything came into alignment just when the pandemic hit. 

The process of opening Chicory started long before the pandemic and included navigating new building owners, leases, small business loans, and lots of renovations. Landry shared that, for a while, every day began by watching YouTube demonstrations and learning by doing. From hanging drywall to replacing a water heater, they had to figure it out. “There was no turning back.”

Veterans of many restaurants and kitchens, Landry and Wagner see Chicory as a platform to talk about sustainability and food systems, but also to rewrite the rules and create a truly healthy work environment for staff. “We want to create a place where our staff feels respected and valued.” 

They are walking the talk. In addition to showing care by baking a staff member’s favorite cookie on their birthday, bigger changes have been made at Chicory. Instead of customers leaving tips for their individual server, a 20% service fee is added to the bill which is shared by all employees. This new norm shifts some of the financial inequities experienced by all staff in the restaurant industry and has become common practice in restaurants in major metropolitan centers like Seattle and San Francisco, but has yet to be more widely adopted. In addition, they will be offering a special class with a personal trainer to learn stretching exercises to help alleviate some of the physical stress created by restaurant work. “It’s important to encourage both physical and mental health for our staff,” noted Landry. 

As she finished up watering the plants, Landry paused. “We have amazing light in the restaurant in the mornings when we are closed. I can just imagine a floor of yoga mats and potentially offering wellness classes to others in the restaurant industry,” she said. It might be a dream right now, but this next-generation chef is about more than an amazing menu or time in the spotlight. With Chicory, she is here to change restaurants one small step at a time. Hilary Ryan

Team — CHICORY (chicoryrestaurant.com)

Crumbl Cookies: More than Just a Cookie

When you step inside of Crumbl Cookies, it feels as if you have stepped inside a secret bakery. The vibe is vivacious and magnetic. Cookie lovers can watch each step of the process at Crumbl: from bakers putting together top-shelf ingredients, to each crumbly cookie baking to perfection.

These mouthwatering cookies are definitely not just another cookie. Crumbl has perfected their cookie recipe over the years, and, based on the line out the door, they must have nailed it. They feature unique flavor combinations, such as Buckeye Brownie, Lemon Poppyseed, Biscoff, and Churro, along with classic crowd favorites like Milk Chocolate Chip and Chilled Sugar Cookie. Flavors rotate weekly, so there is always something fresh to get excited about. Also, as a bonus for the ice cream lovers out there, there is Crumbl Cream— the same extraordinary cookie flavors transformed into ice cream. With over 140 flavors, and the masterminds always working on new things, Crumbl lovers have plenty to look forward to.

Crumbl’s swanky pink boxes, easily personalized online, give guests an adorable gift option. Also, if you aren’t up for making the in-store visit, you don’t have to miss out on a cookie; Crumbl offers both curbside pick-up and delivery.

Owner Doug Clark stated that he has always done everything the “opposite of everyone else.” Doug is most excited about sharing the experience with customers.” Crumbl strives to provide excellent customer service, and as they rapidly grow they are constantly adapting their procedures to ensure customer satisfaction.

In addition to the Puyallup location, they are opening a new Crumbl Cookie in Bonney this summer and have plans for a Tacoma store, as well. If you’re in the area, be sure to enjoy the Crumbl cookie experience for yourself.

Crumbl Cookies
crumblcookies.com

MICHELLE KARNS

Olympia Brew Fest Cheers to Ten Years

Olympia Brew Fest is back for summer 2021! And they are drinking to ten years by featuring 20 incredible breweries with one fun party. 

The Fest’s first run was in 2010, so technically, last year would have been the decade mark. But due to the pandemic, they were forced to cancel, along with all other big Washington events. Thankfully, as restrictions lifted and the clouds of such a toiling year dissipated, the Brew Fest team could plan for their comeback and celebrate. 

As always, the festivities will be held at the Port Plaza in Olympia and guests can expect to feel the buzz of live music by popular, local talent, tasty food vendors, games and activities, such as a hula-hoop contest, the traditional Port Plaza Tower backdrop and beautiful waterfront views. What’s even better, this year, even more tents will be pitched to provide more comfort and to amplify the fun.  

For reasons on the side of precaution, Olympia Brew Fest is a little altered this year. In the past, attendance has reached over 2800, but this summer is limited to a slightly smaller number to allow some social distancing and the layout will be made more spacious. The scheduled hours are shorter and the normal number of 35 breweries will be reduced, to match the size of the crowd. 

Despite the changes and unknowns, there is no need to fret. Mike Marohn, the original organizer of Olympia Brew Fest, assures there are still good times and phenomenal beer to be had at the event.

 “[the Fest] is special because it’s all about the beer,” says Marohn. “We only do individual invitations to individual breweries, and we always taste the beer first. You need to make good beer, or you don’t get invited, period. We also always strive to give unique entertainment. For example, we once had a prince cover band and an Elvis impersonator. This year is a calypso band to get everybody in the right vibe.”

The Fest takes place August 7th, and tickets can be purchased online at their website, olybrewfest.com. Remember to get your tickets early to secure your spot at Port Plaza for quite the party, with good beer, good music and some serious fun.by Natalie Benson

Olympia Brew Fest (olybrewfest.com)

Heritage Distilling Expands to Tumwater

Fans of the Heritage Distilling Company, Washington state’s largest independently owned craft distillery, have good reason to be excited this summer as their’s newest location, in Tumwater, Washington, celebrates its first week of business. Heritage Distilling’s building is shared with South Puget Sound Community College as part of the school’s Craft Brewing & Distilling program.

“We are thrilled that Heritage Distilling is part of the new Craft District in Tumwater. Together we are joining forces with South Puget Sound Community College to be the anchor tenants in this historic venture,” said Justin Stiefel, CEO of Heritage Distilling Co. “Tumwater holds a special place in the Northwest for its history of craft beverage production. It is only fitting that a world class craft production and training facility, working with the community college, helps to revitalize this proud tradition in Tumwater using its Artesian water source. Playing on the old tagline of the historic Olympia Beer, we believe ‘it’s still the water’,” Stiefel added. 

The reserved space is over 11,000 square feet, including production, distillery tasting room, the distillery’s patented Cask Club®, private event space, retail space, and an outdoor patio overlooking the Craft District’s outdoor amphitheater, which will host live concerts and events. The new Heritage Distilling facility was designed by fi architecture of Gig Harbor, with Darrin Filand overseeing all aspects of design and implementation. 

“We especially want to thank the City of Gig Harbor and its residents who have supported us since we opened nine years ago,” said Jennifer Stiefel, President and Co-Founder of Heritage Distilling. “We are certainly not leaving Gig Harbor; retail sales will contiue at HDC’s Waterfront tasting room, even as we grow this new location in Tumwater.”
Upon its full buildout, the Craft District will feature a production brewery and tap room, winery tasting rooms, a small craft producers’ market, the community college, restaurants, retail shops, commercial office space and an outdoor amphitheater. It is located in the shadow of the old Olympia Brewing facility along I-5 and overlooks the Deschutes River. For more information, visit the HDC website or the new Tumwater location from 12-7pm daily.