Tag Archives: Reviews

Bainbridge Island Legacy

After a long and tiring week, we decided to find our spirits in some Friday night spirits. Imagine my dismay when I entered the busy liquor store to find our favorite (if you could call it that) vodka sold out. Vodka spirits have always been a bit hard for me to swallow, so I was left amidst a sea of clear bottles feeling dismayed and lost. I didn’t want the throat-burn or bite of many of the regular vodka choices and cringed at the thought of settling on a less-than-tolerable bottle of the clear stuff.

After a few minutes of standing there staring at the shiny bottles, I found the most beautiful label staring back at me. It was a pewter-colored label advertising a product from here, from just down the road–Bainbridge Island. With nothing to lose, I picked up this comparably priced-bottle and took it to the register, leaving behind the bottles of flavored Ciroc, Smirnoff, Platinum, Absolut, Pinnacle, and so many more.

Legacy, the organic vodka made by Bainbridge Organic Distillers, is wonderful. It is smooth and sweet without being too sweet and has a slight hint of vanilla. It is our new favorite.

Legacy, Bainbridge Organic Distillers' vodka, is made from wheat grown in Washington.

In addition to batting a-thousand on taste, Legacy has other great selling points. It is a local product made by a family-owned distillery that uses 100% USDA Certified Organic products. Bainbridge Island is beautiful and supporting anything from our state just makes sense. Also, since Bainbridge Organic Distillers is still in its infancy and small, it needs help getting its products ready for the public. Saturdays it offers family, friends, and supporters a chance to come in and help bottle as part of the BOD Squad. BOD Squad participants get free organic t-shirts.

In addition to vodka, the distillery offers organic Heritage Gin and Battle Point Whiskey. Neither are available in liquor stores at this time, but in time we hope to see these products alongside Legacy Vodka in state stores. Presently, customers can purchase the gin at the distillery and sign-up on a waiting list for the whiskey, which is distilled in limited batches.

Bainbridge Organic Distillers is now open for tastings, tours, and sales Mondays through Fridays, 10-5, and Saturdays, 10-3. For more information, visit their website or call (206) 842-3184.

Anarchy on the Hill

The Tacoma Anarchist Network’s latest publication, Anarchy on the Hill, is now available at different spots around Hilltop. We found our copy in a newspaper rack at Speed-E-Mart, located at 1101 S. 19th Street.

Anarchy on the Hill is a recent publication by the Tacoma Anarchist Network.

Anarchy on the Hill begins by giving an introduction that includes the purpose of the publication. It also contains chapters on the roots of anarchy, a brief history of Hilltop, and a study in gentrification. Midway through the publication is a chapter about advertising, propaganda, and the Spectacle. There are also chapters containing commentary on politics in Tacoma, various insurrections around the world, and finally, a chronology of anarchist rebellions in the Northwest from 2007 through 2010.

Anarchy on the Hill provides much information about Hilltop and Tacoma, but fails to cite its sources, leading us to question the credibility of its remarks. For example, the publication asserts that “[Mark Lindquist] chooses the direction his underling prosecutors will go in pursuing charges against specific people. For example, after the killing of four cops by Maurice Clemmons in 2009, the prosecutors office chose to retaliate against people who were the same race as Clemmons. In 2010, it brought conspiracy charges against 36 alleged members of the Hilltop Crips. . . ” Without any citations or evidence to support this claim by the Tacoma Anarchist Network, Anarchy on the Hill gives a sense of twisted logic.

Despite its shortcomings, Anarchy on the Hill is worth taking a look at. It gives an other-than-mainstream view of life is on Tacoma’s Hilltop. It also attempts to explain how we arrived at the community we live in today. Hilltop has seen much change over the years and there isn’t much left that paints a picture of the past besides some old buildings and trees, visual reminders of the way it once was.

A solitary tree at the S. Cushman edge of Hilltop's Ferry Park has seen so much change.

We were very honored to find one of our blog’s photos of S. 12th Street, “Fall Sunset,” in Anarchy on the Hill. It shows progression for us here at hilltoptacoma.com. It tells us that people are finding our blog and photos when they search for information about Hilltop. We would have appreciated a photo credit, but you know how it goes with anarchists–they don’t believe in following all the rules.

You can find more information about the Tacoma Anarchist Network on their website. Many of their events at the M11 Social Space, located at 1212 S. 11th Street, are advertised and open to the public.

Pho King

Pho King is a small Vietnamese restaurant on Hilltop’s Martin Luther King Jr. Way. It the words of one of it’s regular customers, “Pho King is delightful.” It is a little bit hidden beneath a cover of MLK’s old neighborhood trees and definately worth a regular visit.

Pho King is located at 1020 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Tacoma.

It is a small, slightly hidden, Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Hilltop, Tacoma.

Pho King’s staff is friendly and warmly greets each customer with a smile. Servers often allow a choice of tables. Pho King’s menu contains over 50 items, including specialty beverages like bubble tea and Vietnamese soda. In addition to dine-in, Pho King offers a take-out option. There is also a kids’ portion of pho offered to children, ages 12 and under.

Customers who dine in get to enjoy cream puffs and ice water while they select from the menu. The cream puffs are lovely. 

Before each meal, Pho King serves cream puffs and ice water to each table.

The menu includes appetizers, pho (noodle soup), rice plates, rice vermicelli, special items, and beverages. The appetizer menu’s Chicken on Stick is delicious. Customers can order pho with meat, including many cuts of beef, meat balls, and chicken. Pho King also offers a 100% vegetable pho with fried tofu and king mushrooms. All pho choices come with broth, carrots, broccoli, green onions, white onions, and cilantro. Also served is a plate of add-ins, including bean sprouts, basil, lemon, and jalapenos. The prices are reasonable with the most expensive item coming in at under $8.

Pho Ga, or Chicken Pho, is only one of Pho King's many offerings.

The interior of the restuarant is painted in warm browns and oranges. It looks a bit like a job in the works, as some trim pieces are missing around the floor and other areas. This does not detract from the visit, though, as the food and customer service make up for anything lacking in the decoration department. The television is almost always on, giving diners something to watch while waiting. One aspect of adornment that certainly adds to the authenticity of Pho King is its collection of photographs from Vietnam that are spaced throughout the restaurant. They show a life much different than ours.

Pho King's photographs of Vietnam add to the warmth of the restaurant.

Pho King is a happy place eat. It has a steady stream of regulars and wonderful food. It is a perfect addition to the Hilltop community.