I recently went to Royal Thai Bistro for the first time, at the recommendation of some of my Twitter buddies. Feeling a little peaky, I really was in the mood for pho, but didn’t want to drive all the way to my favorite pho spots (Pho V&V or Pho King).
Browsing their menu online, I saw they had beef noodle soup. Consider me intrigued. I’d never seen beef noodle soup on a Thai restaurant’s menu before.
I ordered it take-out, brought it home and was pleasantly surprised. First of all, it’s a huge portion if you order it take-out. I’ve since been back to the restaurant and ordered it eating in, and it was probably half the size. When you order it take-out, you get a full soup container of broth and herbs, and a full container of noodles. Let’s just say I ate it out of a mixing bowl, and it was a good four servings.
The soup has a deep, rich beef broth — more unctuous and flavorful than any pho I’ve ever had. I keep comparing the soup to pho, but it really isn’t the same thing. The noodles in Royal Thai Bistro’s soup are more akin to the rice noodles in pad Thai. When you order, they ask you the level of spice you’d like (as opposed to pho, where you add your own). The broth is laden with cilantro, crushed peanuts, some bean sprouts and lots of quality beef. I’m not entirely sure the exact cut of beef they use, but it’s a higher quality than you’d normally get in pho. It’s more of a tender steak.
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Tacoma business and Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles was on ABC’s Shark Tank this past Friday. I interviewed Aly Cullinane back in 2011 when the business was just starting out, and they have grown exponentially since then.
While the “sharks” may not have bit on Shark Tank, Aly and Lynnae really did an excellent job presenting their business and representing Tacoma on national TV.
Because they weren’t successfully funded on Shark Tank, Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles now has a Indiegogo campaign running to help them meet their business goals for growth.
Best of luck to you, Aly and Lynnae, it looks like you got some great feedback from the “sharks”!
Check out the video of their Shark Tank appearance below.
I thought I’d do a little re-blog of this post I did a few years ago on my cooking blog, A Big Mouthful, about Duris Farm in Puyallup and their amazing refrigerator dill pickle recipe.
Duris is now open for the summer — and it’s the perfect place to get all your pickling supplies! If you’ve never pickled before, don’t worry. It’s actually super easy with their recipe (below), and you can pick up everything you need as a one-stop-shop at their stand.
They also have other vegetables and their own canned and pickled items for sale.
Over the years, this has become my go-to pickle recipe. Give it a try!
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Bridgett Crews and Krista Keithly, the ladies responsible for the awesome Hilltop Pop Shop, have another venture started early this year. Free-Range Kitchen, a culinary incubator located on Tacoma’s 6th Avenue, is a way for small food businesses to get started in a relatively low-risk way. It’s a pretty cool idea, and one that was needed in the South Sound.
It was an idea born from necessity. Bridgett and Krista needed a permanent place to produce their local, organic fruit popsicles for Hilltop Pop Shop. They also wanted to share the knowledge they’ve learned from their own food business, while fostering a sense of community.
Free-Range Kitchen is more than just a commercial kitchen. Upon first meeting Bridgett and Krista, I was immediately impressed with their passion and dedication to the community and desire to help small food businesses become successful.
The concept: Free-Range Kitchen creates an low-cost opportunity for fledgling food businesses to start up and learn the business, as well as a commercial kitchen in which to produce their food or products. Businesses utilize the commercial kitchen part-time, and many sell their goods at local farmers markets.
Starting a food business is often a daunting process. There’s insurance, licenses, food handler’s cards…and that’s all before you can begin doing what you actually love, cooking or producing a food product. Then you add up the equipment costs to get started, rent for a production space, and you get the idea. It’s expensive and can be confusing for new business owners.
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