Tag Archives: The Red Hot

Jack and Mimi’s Cheap Date: The Red Hot


The first response I received to last week’s article The Red Hot’s Twitter favoriting it. I took this as an invitation for this week’s edition of Jack & Mimi’s Cheap Date. For those unfamiliar with the concept of this column, it’s fairly simple. One day each week, my girlfriend, Mimi and I go out on a date somewhere in Tacoma using only $20.

This is not the first time I’ve been to The Red Hot. It’s a hot dog bar located on Tacoma’s 6th Avenue. Their beer selection tends to be a wide variety of craft brews, many of them local. Their hot dogs and sausages are so popular that Cheney Stadium just made a deal to sell them at the Tacoma Rainiers games this season.

The Red Hot was originally located next door in a small space that is now a tattoo shop. When the bridal store moved out, The Red Hot moved into their present space. By comparison, this new location seems gigantic.

Mimi and I sat down to eat and looked at the menu. Since they serve mostly hot dogs and sausages, the difficulty wasn’t finding something within the $20 budget. It was choosing from the many options. After some debate, Mimi selected the Rainier Rueben hot dog described on the menu as “1000 Island dressing, spicy brown mustard, Swiss cheese, and topped with sauerkraut.” And I chose the Big Kahuna: “Smoked sweet & spicy Hawaiian sausage, Saigon sauce, onions, cole slaw, & topped with grilled pineapple rings.” For beverages Mimi ordered a Snoqualmie Root Beer. I ordered a pint of the No-Li Spin Cycle Red.

One of the great things about The Red Hot is that the service is often blindingly fast. It seemed like our dogs were ready in just a few minutes.

They weren’t lying about the sausage. It was sweet and spicy. It might have been a bit spicier than I prefer, but that’s just me. The pineapple rings were nice, but kind of unwieldy on the sausage. Once I really got into it, the combination of flavors along with the Spin Cycle Red made for a very enjoyable small meal. The Spin Cycle is a solid Red. I’m not very familiar with the No-Li brewery in Spokane, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for their brews in the future.

Mimi’s first reaction to her Rainier Rueben was that the sauerkraut was amazing. Lately she’s been on a bit of a Rueben kick, ordering a Rueben whenever it’s on the menu. So her praise of their sauerkraut is well earned. She said the Snoqualmie Root Beer was smooth and not overly fizzy.

A few years ago if you would have told me that you were opening up a hot dog bar in Tacoma, I’d say you were crazy. These days, The Red Hot is one of my go-to locations when I’m looking for good beer and a small meal for a good price. It doesn’t hurt that just a couple doors down, you can get incredible ice cream at The Ice Cream Social.


The Red Hot is located at 2914 6th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98406.

If you would like to suggest a place for a future installment of Jack & Mimi’s Cheap Date, go ahead an contact me at jackcameronis@gmail.com or send me a message on Twitter.

– Jack Cameron

Good To Have A Wingman

The Red Hot

Wingman Brewers' debut at the Red Hot

A few weeks ago Wingman Brewers’ Ken Thorburn was nice enough to participate in the first 5 Question Friday. He said that the first Wingman brew would be debuting soon and he wasn’t kidding. On the evening of April 21st, Wingman Brewers debuted their P-51 Porter at 6th Ave’s The Red Hot.

Prior to that night I had only been to the Red Hot a couple of times. I remembered that the Red Hot had a good beer selection and great hot dogs but I also remembered that it was really small. So when I arrived around 6:30pm I wasn’t surprised that there was a line outside the door.

While waiting in line I finally met Ken Thoburn and his cohorts in person. They all seemed like friendly, good people. Ken said I should stop by their place sometime and I told him I’d take him up on it. It was at this point that I suddenly had a fear. What if their beer sucks?

Now personally I’m not that big of a fan of Porters anyway. Many of them seem more like a meal than a beverage and that’s just not my thing. That’s not to say that I never drink them, but odds are if I’m out having a beer, I’m drinking an IPA or an ESB. That said, I was still looking forward to the P-51.

Once I got inside, I was surprised to find that despite the place being packed, it really wasn’t overcrowded. I could walk around without spilling other people’s drinks. I got to the bar and asked the cute bartender for a P-51. Moments later the dark beer arrived. I paid for the beer, stepped away from the bar and took a sip. The dark, rich flavor wasn’t overpowering, but it did linger. I took another sip and smiled. This was a good brew.

Less than two hours later, the P-51 keg was empty. Wingman’s debut was clearly an unqualified success. Best of all, when I walked out of the Red Hot, I didn’t have to lie to Ken when I saw him.

A week later, I stopped by Wingman Brewers to take a look at their operation. I’d never been to a brewery before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew they were small and just getting started, so I wasn’t expecting huge vats and that sort of thing.

I walked into their nondescript building on Fawcett Street and saw Ken. There are jobs people do because they have to pay the bills. Then there are jobs people do because it’s what they love to do and if they’re lucky enough to make money, then great. As Ken gave me a tour of the place, I could tell that this was clearly something he loved. The light you can see in someone in the process of attaining their dreams is something that’s real.

They have their wall of kegs, a wide assortment of malts, beer in various stages of completion, and their precious few hops (there’s a hops shortage). In their office, there are stacks of posters and other promotional material, and a few bomb-shaped tap handles. While the P-51 Porter is currently the only brew available from Wingman, their Ace IPA and Pin-Up Pale Ale are coming soon. Ken also told me of a few other brews they’re working on over the summer and into the fall. Wingman Brewers isn’t big, but they have big dreams, good ideas, and great beer. Like the title of this post says, it’s good to have a Wingman.

For the latest on Wingman Brewers, go to their site and sign up for their newsletter. http://wingmanbrewers.com/

-Jack Cameron