Eating/Drinking


hotreadyyyyThe $5 large pepperoni or cheese pizzas are ready to be picked up at the new Little Caesars on the corner of 11th and Callow, across the street from Safeway. I see stacks of pizza boxes in my basement’s future.

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Wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking.

The Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Egg’s and Issues series kicks off Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m., which means that those of you with a free morning and a few extra dollars (there’s a no-host breakfast) in your pocket are free to attend at The Cloverleaf. First up is the marquee race in this year’s election season. Five mayoral candidates: Daryl Daugs, Carlos Jara, Patty Lent, Will Maupin and Mike Shepherd will be on hand, presumably putting down eggs, talking about how their fountain parks would have been different, and pointing out the under-represented folks around town not benefiting from downtown’s development. We’re gonna do our damndest to get out of bed in time. Depending on how much wine is left in that box at home, it may not be so easy.

The entire series (ht/Kitsap Caucus):

July 7 – Bremerton Mayor: Daryl Daugs, Carlos Jara, Patty Lent, Will Maupin and Mike Shepherd

July 14 – Bremerton City Council District #7: Carol Arends and Gentry Lange

July 21 – Port of Bremerton Commissioner, District #1: Gene Hart, Lynn Horton and Roger Zabinski

July 28 – Bremerton School District, Position #1: Cynthia Large, Christianne Martin, Scott Rahm and J. David Rubie

August 4 – Bremerton School District, Position #4: David Boynton, Cynthia Galloway and Bruce Woolnough

August 11 – Bremerton School District, Position #5: Ruben Garcia, Carolynn Perkins and Kent Watkins

<i>Anthony's Happy Hour runs from 3 to 6:30 p.m. daily.</i>

Anthony's Happy Hour runs from 3 to 6:30 p.m. daily.

Anthony’s is the Starbucks of seafood. That is to say that it’s predictable, generic, you can get it in any town, and in its genre it’s the best this town has to offer (I’m still waiting for Bremerton’s great coffee shop, but that’s another story that I’ll get to when I’m up to it. Why is it so difficult to serve good coffee in a comfortable setting? Do I really have to listen to the radio commercials over burnt drip?)

While I was entertaining out-of-town guests this week, we took in an outdoor lunch on the Anthony’s deck when I noticed two things: a killer happy hour and a complete asshole. First, the former.

Bear in mind that I haven’t experienced the hh situation first hand yet (I’m on my way right now. Please tell me if I should unpack), but I have had the oyster shooters ($.50 each) and regional microbrews ($3) that are enough to make this well-timed (3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily) happy hour worth a second look, and three hours of your time. Like I said, I’m on my way, as long as I don’t have to sit by the same guy I did last week.

This is why cell phones shouldn’t be allowed in any restaurant, and certain people should not be allowed out of their home without a permission slip. Consider the following:

A family of three are on the deck. I assume they’re tourists because their paper shopping bag says “Westin” on it. (Kids, if this is the hip new grip a la Gap and Banana Republic shopping bags for lunches were in the ’90s, please let me know.) At one point the couple’s daughter had a conversation with her father about a phone call she was about to make. And before the waitress had taken their lunch order — they already had drinks — she struck up a cellular conversation. Upon the waitresses return, the father informed her that they were not ready to oder because “She’s on the phone. Give us five more minutes.”  Then he took his turn on the phone. Seriously. These people exist. What happened? Missed the boat to Bainbridge?

Several minutes later we learned that it was convenient for the family of three to order because the older woman at the table announced “OK, we’re ready!” as the waitress attended to diners not too busy to be bothered by fresh drinks and salmon patties. Damn.

Image courtesy of the EatThisShit blog.

Image courtesy of the EatThisShit blog.

I couldn’t help but notice a little career fair, Saturday afternoon outside the old Blockbuster building at the corner of 11th and Callow. It appears that Little Caesars doesn’t think the neighborhood is saturated enough with cheap pies and parmesan. And maybe they’re right. Although, I must admit I’m not much for classic delivery-style pizza, the Hot & Ready concept tickles me where I itch.

But, do we really need another marginal pizza joint in West Bremerton? We’ve already got Pizza Hut, Boston’s (above marginal, for sure), Papa John’s, Papa Murphy’s, and, of course, the the new shop that moved into the old Garlic Jim’s locale: Mad Moose Pizza. This place is an enigma to me.

I watched with great anticipation as the restaurant came together — it’s on my route, corner of Sixth and High — anxious to for a drinking hole in the neighborhood. During its soft opening it didn’t have beer. Then they added beer, tore down a wall, and started building what appears to be a bar. Up went a fish tank, in come a few handles, and … well, up went a carpet cleaning sign. The bar door’s perpetually propped open by a fan. It’s always closed before 8 p.m. From the street it looks as much like a carpet cleaning business as it does a pizza joint. I still have never been, partly because the reviews have not been good, but mainly because THEY’RE NOT OPEN WHEN I GET HOME FROM WORK. Pizza shop closed before 8 p.m.? Gah!!!

But, like I said, they have a happy hour: 4 to 6 p.m. (I’ve seen the sign through the front door.) Yes, I’m going to try this place. Any more early reviews I should know about? Is this place the next Second Park Lounge? Right, “what’s Second Park Lounge?” Exactly.

Capitol Hill's Oddfellows Hall. Flickr photo by <a href=

Capitol Hill's Oddfellows Hall. Flickr photo by LookatLao.

There’s a story in Saturday’s New York Times about a Beacon, NY, a blue-collar city whose downtown was wiped out when industry (Nabisco, etc.) pulled out. But, they bounced back. And downtown’s low-rent, historic brick buildings became magnets for art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Sounds great, no? It sounds a lot like the downtown Bremerton of not so few dreams, eh? But, the parties over. Almost.

Beacon’s taken a beating in the recession. Fewer tourists are coming into town. Fewer locals are going out to eat. And town’s rebound is on the verge of deflating. Perhaps they hit at just the wrong time. And perhaps Bremerton will come of age right as the economy’s picking up. With Ron Sher on the line for a the Penny’s building, and empty condos on the waterfront, it’s not such a crazy idea. But, here’s what catches my eye about Jodi Rudoren’s NYT piece:

A couple of brave entrepreneurs, including Poppy’s, a grass-fed burger shack, and Isamu, which serves sushi and Chinese food, have even opened in recent weeks.

There are a couple of bright spots: At Homespun Foods, where everything on the menu is under $10, sales rose 12 percent in January (“People are still going out for that chocolate chip cookie,” said Jessica Reisman, the chef-owner.) and Artisan Wine Shop has sold 10 percent more bottles in 2009 than at this point last year (though the average bottle price is down 8 percent).

Enter The Patio (and, sort of, the rest of Manette).

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All illustrations by Jessica Randklev.

All illustrations by Jessica Randklev.

As our “paper” of record so eloquently put it, “Angel’s Homestyle Buffet has closed. The news Wednesday surprised one customer…” I however, was not surprised. Anyone who gave as much of their life to Angel’s as I knew this day was coming. And I’m going to miss the East Bremerton eatery. Because ….

Angel’s Homestyle Buffet was where I learned that refrigeration is a luxury.

Angel’s Homestyle Buffet was where I learned that mine is the only house not serving ice cream from a machine.

Angel’s Homestyle Buffet was where I learned that washing your hands is for IHOP

Angel’s Homestyle Buffet was where I lost my manners.

Angel’s Homestyle Buffet was the first place I tried custard.

Angel’s Homestyle Buffet was where I learned that weight watching is a spectator’s sport.

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halehale…for a brewer’s night at The Manette, that is. But, please, everybody come out to The Manette Wednesday night (5:30 p.m., Hales Pints are $3) and hassle the Hale’s rep until he/she agrees to set up shop in Tim Ryan’s building by the Admiral. We already know Mike Hale wants to open up in Kitsap this year. Let’s show these people that Bremerton knows how to drink!

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