Hot, Lukewarm or Freezer-Burned, With Grog’s Joe Rieke

Each week we ask a pro what’s hot, lukewarm, and freezer-burned in the food world. This week’s guest: Joe Rieke, Bartender at GROG in the Ballard Annex Oyster House

Hot: Ballard breweries! Almost 10! All within walking distance of one another! All making great beer! How are you not spending every Saturday afternoon touring tasting rooms?

Lukewarm: Housemade. I love the innovation and the want to “make it better,” but sometimes ketchup needs to be Heinz. The almost feverish rejection of ready-made products is dying down a bit. I don’t ever want to see this hit the Freezer-Burned column, but not everyone can afford to be—nor should be held to—making everything from the ground up.

Freezer-Burned: Cold Service and the lecture. I miss all the smiling industry folks of yesteryear; someone happy to take my order, someone who doesn’t glare over their tortoise shell frames at me while they explain what an amaro is, someone with hustle in their step and a laugh in their throat. A dying breed, these folks are adored, loved, and more importantly tipped accordingly. We aren’t at Portland levels of customer loathing...yet. Click here for our review of GROG.

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