Editors note: I’m working with high school journalism students at Seattle University’s Journalism Summer Workshop this week. This is one of several articles written by students that the News Tribune will publish this summer. — Sue Kidd
By Rebecca Harris
Eating your way through the Taste of Tacoma – it’s a combat for your concentration, fighting for the focus of your taste buds — but Donavan Maples hopes that Half Moon Bay Bar and Grill’s first appearance at the food festival this weekend will provide a taste seafood lovers won’t want to forget.
Half Moon is located in Westport – or, as general manager Maples calls the coastal town, "the cousin of Ocean Shores." Maples’ access to fresh crab and fish guides what he cooks.
He’ll showcase the fresh flavors of our Pacific waters in his cooking this weekend at the Taste. More than 30 vendors will serve food at the annual festival.
Maples’ restaurant has appeared at a few other festivals, winning Washington’s Best Bloody Mary, taking Best of Show at St. Martin’s College Wine and Food Festival in Lacey, Wash. and Best Clam Chowder on the Coast at the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival, but Maples hopes that he and his crew can introduce his family-run restaurant to Tacoma while he’s serving his seafood concoctions at the Taste of Tacoma.
Half Moon will serve fresh Dungeness crab cakes –made with peppers, onions and panko bread crumbs – topped with a Creole aioli sauce, a zesty Dijon mustard and mayonnaise mixture with herbs and spices. In addition to that, he and his staff will serve a seafood melt with Dungeness crab, shrimp, a trio of cheeses, onions and peppers atop ciabatta bread finished with parmesan. They’ll also serve their popular fish and chips and the $3 signature taste will be their award-winning New England-style clam chowder, made from scratch in their kitchen.
"They are all fresh Northwest seafood," Maples said of his menu items. "The melt has the sweetness of the Dungeness crab and the base of shrimp, mixed with a cheesy blend, the taste of the seafood, crab and cheese all come together like a seafood pizza—it’s delicious."
Rebecca Harris will be a senior, and the editor of the Viking Vanguard, at Puyallup High School this fall.
Heading out to the Taste of Tacoma? Here are details of the festival:
Taste of Tacoma
When: Today through Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. today and Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Point Defiance Park
Admission: Free, but bring cash. The food will cost you.