By Mary Ellen Psaltis
Grabbing a cup of coffee is a classic but not unusual experience in Thurston County. Forza’s new location in Hawks Prairie (130 Marvin Road SE) elevates the basic coffee purchase to a richer experience – a dash of cozy restaurant mixed with ideas from the British pub and a measure of European coffee house. It’s enough to get you to stay all day.
And that would be just fine with Forza’s new owners Christine and Tom Forrey. Their motto of “Hosting Life’s Connections” allows your day to unfold gently and completely. Start off with ordering your favorite morning brew then have a seat. Your drink will be delivered to you. Hook up your portable devices, check your mail and read the news. Minutes melt to hours.
Now you’re hungry. No problem. If you are still in the breakfast mood, order a bagel (Bagel Brothers) or perhaps a sweet treat (some from John’s Mountain Home Bakery.) If it’s later than you thought and you are ready for lunch, choose from a selection of Panini sandwiches, flat bread pizza or salad.
As the afternoon fades to evening, there are microbrews on tap and wine to pour. Friday and Saturday evenings are booked with local and regional musicians – guitar players, bands, and singers. The ambiance at Forza is suitable for the whole family. Music begins at 7:00 pm and ends nightly by 10:00. As corporate owner Rich Jennings suggests, “You can enjoy your evening and still be at home in bed by 11 pm.”
Tom Forrey will spend part of his time baking pies in Forza’s bakery, which has its own separate space. Most days customers can select between apple, triple berry, chocolate chiffon, coconut cream, and lemon meringue pies. Keep your eyes open for a weekly special (like rhubarb) and for a gluten-free key lime pie.
Christine’s mother Maureen McLemore (retired) has been recruited for her muffin and carrot cake making abilities. She has promised to make pavlova, an elegant creation of meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit, on Fridays during the summer. Named for Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, the dessert is said to originate from ‘down under,’ either Australia or New Zealand, depending on which story you believe. I’ll be back for that.
This new model for Forza makes it “so much more than a coffee shop,” explains Christine Forrey. A conference room (with a sliding door) will seat up to 16 people. You can reserve the space by purchasing a $25.00 coffee card. The drive-up window has it’s own staff and coffee machines. It’s right on the side of the building but you won’t see a trace of it when you are inside. A large kitchen, in back, rounds out the space.
Corporate owner Alan Tandy and Rich Jennings have a goal to open 400 Forzas nationwide over the next ten years. Northwest residents already know we love our coffee; it’s a pleasurable experience to share.
Whether you have barely the time to get through the drive-thru or have ample time to come in, relax and get plugged in, the Forrey’s invite you to become part of the Forza family. Christine is excited to add coffee sales to her resume. Stop by for a taste.
130 Marvin Rd. SE in Lacey
Forza is open seven days a week.
Photos courtesy Priest Photography. To see more photos from Forza’s grand opening, click here.
By Katie Hurley
If you’ve ever read a restaurant menu or a food magazine, you’re likely familiar with wine and food pairings… wine and food with complementary flavors. A growing trend in the food industry is beer and food pairings. Northwest Sausage & Deli and Dick’s Brewing Company in Centralia have recently started offering “Beer Pairings with the Brewer” on Thursday evenings.
Every Thursday from 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Northwest Sausage and Deli will offer a special food and beer pairing in addition to their regular dinner menu. This pairing changes each week and might include a couple different appetizers or an appetizer and an entrée. Often, the beer that is paired with the food is also incorporated into the recipe.
Owner Julie Young talks with enthusiasm about beer pairing. “We started experimenting with our beers and the smoked products we already had at the deli, combining both of those aspects,” said Young. That experimenting has evolved into some interesting combinations like Cajun Beer Burgers, seasoned with spices and beer and topped with beer-braised onions. On the side were Beer Battered Pickles. “Yummy!” said Young. This was paired with a refreshing IPA and resulted in a sellout.
Another popular sellout is Smoked Pork Loin stuffed with Andouille Sausage, paired with Dick’s Best Bitter. Young’s favorite, though, is the Apple, Cheese and Bacon stuffed Chicken Breasts, paired with Dick’s Imperial IPA, which is strong and a little sweet. Other recent features include Smoked Pulled Pork Sliders, Beer-Boiled Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce and Smoked and Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos.
Upcoming events will offer tantalizing pairings like Pan-Grilled Rib Eye with a Sweet-Hot Mustard and Beer Sauce paired with Dick’s Golden Ale on May 23. On May 30 they will feature a Smoked Tri-Tip Gyro served with a 4-bean salad that is paired with Dick’s Best Bitter.
Most of the recipes are the creations of Head Brewer and Brewery Manager Dave Pendleton. Dave does all of the smoking and prep work, and he is assisted by Brandon Bock, who is both the Brewer and the Deli Cook. “They enjoy working together each week perfecting the Beer Pairing menu item,” says Young, who owns both Dick’s Brewing Company and Northwest Sausage & Deli. Both companies were started by her father, Dick Young, and Julie was determined to carry on her dad’s dream after his passing.
Many of the products used in the recipes, such as the Smoked Pork Loin and the Andouille Sausage, are available at Northwest Sausage & Deli and Dick’s Beers are available at Northwest Sausage & Deli and many other retail outlets.
Beer Pairings with the Brewer – every Thursday, 5-8:30 pm at Northwest Sausage & Deli, 5945 Prather Road, Centralia. Reservations for Thursday nights are recommended – 360-736-7760. Open Monday-Saturday 9:30-5 and Thursdays and Fridays until 9:00 pm.
Click here for a calendar of upcoming Beer Pairing events with Dick’s Brewing Company.