Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

Steve in Olympia's Profile

Title Last Reply

Restaurant Recs near Centralia?

Correction: The nice folks at La Tarrasca are from the Micohancan state, not Oaxaca.

Restaurant Recs near Centralia?

Let me be the first (of many) to recommend La Tarrasca, a small mexican place on Main Street. The mother and daughter, from the mexican state of oaxaca, produce wonderful chile verde, chile colorado, homemade tortillas, excellent mole, and fabulous flan. Not to be missed. (Closed Tuesdays)

Please help! Restaurants in Olympia which deliver

Since this thread is more than seven years old, and Babette's mother had just turned 85 years old in April of 2005, your advice might not be very timely.......but thanks anyway.

Olympia and Lacey area update?

Virtually next door to the Ramirez Tortilla Factory in Tumwater is a new Indian place (and the only Indian place in Tumwater). Sri's Corner/Biryani Pointe is definitely worth a visit. CurryCorner in Hawks Prairie is probably still the best Indian food in Thurston County, but Sri's Corner is a close second, and may be more convenient for many. They have an excellent lunch buffet (and inexpensive), but you are also allowed to order off the menu as well. They have been open for only a few weeks, and it is the owner's first attempt to run a restaurant (or any other business, for that matter), so there may be a few quirks as they get going. The place was totally full at lunch today, and it was a good sign that several folks indicated that they were repeat customers. They will soon be opening a section of Indian groceries adjoining the dining area. The Tikka Masala and the Korma in the buffet today were quite tasty. Check them out....

Long shot, but here goes for Grand Mound

If you fail to go to La Tarasca, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Seriously. Chile verde, tacos adobada, chile colordao, mole, worth a pilgramage from anywhere in western Washington (closed Tuesdays, and they often close for a few weeks in January, when they visit family in Michoacán). Call ahead.

Grand Mound, itself, is very small, with few choices (I haven't tried Costa Nayarita). In nearby Rochester is a new place, Mason Dixon Line BBQ. Here is their website (but I haven't been there):

Olympic Club in Centralia?

The Olympic Club is certainly an authentic piece of history. If you look carefully, you will notice that it was originally constructed with two sets of doors/partitions. In the old days, you would step off the sidewalk into an area with a lunch counter, where families could dine. If you stepped through the next set of doors, you would notice that the lunch counter ran right through the thin partition, and it became the bar. This was a very common feature in small towns, where a single all-purpose establishment was the town hotel, family restaurant, and bar. We should all be thankful that McMenamin's has preserved this place.

Very good Mexican food in Tumwater~!

Yes, officially known as the Ramirez Mexican Store & Tortilla Factory, they have recently expanded their restaurant to accommodate their new-found (and well-earned) popularity. Eat-in or take out, it is frequently packed around lunchtime.....get there early! 5105 Capitol Blvd in Tumwater.

Any restaurants worth the money in Olympia?

Can you be more specific on the location of the Mero Mero taco truck? I haven't seen it. Thanks!!!

Olympia and Lacey area update?

Yes, La Tarasca goes on vacation for a few weeks each January. They are also closed every Tuesday, even if it is Cinco de Mayo.

The taco truck at Nisqually is still funtional, but it is perhaps only average in quality. It is OK, but not worth a special trip.

As for Curry Corner, it is one of my favorites. The cook was formerly at Mehfil in Lacey. The metal plates are traditional Indian and Nepalese thali plates. As Wikipedia says: "Thali (Hindi: थाली [t̪ʰaːli], meaning "plate") is an Indian meal with contents varying from one regional cuisine to another. A thali is a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray. The round tray is generally made with steel with multiple compartments."

Next door to Curry Corner is anexcellent philippine place, Cebu. Good food, but no beer or wine, last time I checked.

Curry Corner
9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516

La Tarasca
1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

What's new in Olympia & Centralia?

A2, the Cajun restaurant in Olympia, has come and gone. Its last day of business was May 27.

Has anyone tried Taqueria Juquilita in Chehalis WA?

Taqueria Juquilita is located at 917 SW Cascade in Chehalis. They have a taco truck that visits my town (Olympia) and it gets good reviews, but I am wondering if anyone has tried the restaurant in Chehalis.

I know that it is hard to drive past La Tarasca to go anywhere else, but I was just wondering....

La Tarasca
1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

What's new in Olympia & Centralia?

Very close to the Phoenix Inn is the Olympia Farmers' Market, with several excellent food stands for lunch (but closed Monday, Tuesday, & Wed.). Good exemples are curry, mexican, yakisoba, german sausage, etc.

Today, I made my first visit to the small hole-in-the-wall mexican cafe inside the Ramirez Mexican Store & Tortilla Factory in the 5100 block of Capitol Blvd. in Tumwater (located behind the Happy Teriyaki). It was very good and very, very cheap (tacos for $1.49, lunch plates from $3.49). Taco meats included al pastor, birra, lengue, pulled pork, shredded beef (barbacoa), etc., etc. The market itself features an excellent meat counter, mexican baked goods, fresh tortillas, etc. The cafe has only 6 or 7 tables and it fills up fast for lunch (I saw lots of take-out orders). Quick, friendly service. I am looking forward to trying the chile verde tacos next time.......

What's new in Olympia & Centralia?

New places in Olympia include A2 -- the new cajun place from the owners of Cicada (great frog legs), the piroshky truck on the westside on Harrison Avenue, Tofu Hut near St. Martin's University, and a fast-food Thai place (Phad Thai Express) about to open near the corner of Cooper Point and Mud Bay Rd. Also, Narai Thai in downtown Olympia is new (haven't tried it yet, formerly Spicy Ginger).

But you won't go wrong with Cicada (yummy sweetbreads) or La Tarasca (Cinqo de Mayo is fast approaching).

Tofu Hut
4804 Pacific Ave, Lacey, WA

La Tarasca
1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

Spicy Ginger Restaurant
320 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501

good indian in Seattle?

I would second the endorsement of Curry Corner in Lacey (actually north of Lacey, on Martin Way, just before the long downhill to Nisqually).

Their cook used to be at the former Mehfil restaurant on Sleater-Kinney in Lacey. (Sleater-Kinney was a street long before it was a grunge band.)

Curry Corner shares a strip mall will Cebu, a good philippine restaurant (no alcohol).

La Tarasca in Centralia. What to order there?

The owner and her staff are always doing the hard sell on the carnitas item. This is the only complaint I have about this wonderful restaurant. I assume that the carnitas are easier to cook, less labor-intensive than the dishes requiring sauces, and therefore more profitable.

In any case, I find it slightly annoying. A herd of charging elephants could never prevent me from ordering my favorite meal of chile verde and tacos adobado. Let's go!

La Tarasca in Centralia. What to order there?

Sambamaster, I defer to your travels in Mexico. But if you know of a finer mexican restaurant anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, please tell us ASAP!!!
At La Tarasca, as others have indicated above, I love the tacos adobado and the great flan -- and, of course, the tortillas. If you like a lot of meat, then the carnitas are for you. My personal favorite meal: start with an order of fried jalapenos (very cheap), then the chile verde (to die for), with a taco adobado as a side order. Finish the meal with some flan (it is large enough to share), and I am a very full and exteeeeemely happy boy.
My only criticism: They are closed every Tuesday ----- even this year when Cinqo de Mayo was on a Tuesday!!!! Blasphemy!!!

Ground Beef Woes :(

Stewart's Meats (located in McKenna, past Yelm) maintains a stall at the Farmer's Market in Olympia, and you can place special orders with them and pick them up at the market (located at the Port of Olympia, at the north end of Capitol Blvd.).

You might also want to check out Western Meats, located on Capitol Blvd. mid-way between Tumwatrer and Olympia.

Any recommendations for Ocean Shores eateries?

By far, your best bet is Gabelli's Parma Restaurant, 116 W. Heron St. in Aberdeen. A small, family-run place with a focus on northern italian cuisine ----- great pastas, homemade desserts. Great gnocchi and ravioli, but I can never resist their rotolo. Trust me on this.


For some spectacular northern italian cuisine, you can't beat Gabelli's Parma Restaurant on Heron Street in Aberdeen. Wonderful pastas, homemade bread and desserts, not to be missed. Gnocchi, rotolo, etc. A small family-run place. Expensive by Aberdeen standards, but worth it.

Great new asian place in Lacey (Olympia) - Tofu Hut

We had a very pleasant dinner at the Tofu Hut last weekend -- a good variety of Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes. Reasonable prices, good selection, and excellent food. The owner of Tofu Hut was previously the owner of Osaka up until 2002 (the sushi restaurant in Tanglewild near Lacey), and she recognized us as regulars at her previous place. She and her daughter Soo are gracious hosts, and we look forward to many return visits to try more items on the menu.

Lunch spots close to I 5

La Tarasca is the unanimous Chowhound Choice. I make the Seattle-Portland run quite regularly, and there is absolutely no alternative. It is a must-do. Period. You will thank us. Really.

lunch in Olympia

La Tarasca on Main Street in Centralia is a favorite of chowhounders for its killer mexican food. It is about half way between Seattle and Portland. I believe they are closed Tuesdays. Definitely worth a trip!

Help! Olympia recommendation please...

Since you mentioned Quality Burritos, several comments:
(1) Not exactly the likely place for a "milestone birthday" celebration with a $100 gift certificate (unless you wanted to buy 14 burritos).
(2) Bring your down jacket, and insulated gloves. The landlord won't fix the furnace, and frostbite is a distinct possibility......

Racha in Olympia (Capital Mall)

Please let us know if you get a reply to your e-mail to Racha. I was there several times earlier this year and the food was very good, but it looks like things have changed. If you got on their e-mail list, the discount coupons were good.

As an alternative, if you haven't been to the expanded and remodeled Lemon Grass in downtown Olympia, it is worth a trip. And up the street, Bamboo is always a safe backup.

Pud Ba Mee

On thir internet site, Racha lists this dish on their lunch menu at the Queen Anne location, and both the lunch and dinner menu at their Woodinville store. (By the way, Thai Go is owned by Racha.)

Olympia food help needed!

I wouldn't consider Cicada to be the best place for a toddler. It is more of a quiet, upscale place (and I have had mixed results there, including very slow service and cold food).

In downtown Olympia, a good standard for Thai food, in addition to Lemon Grass (often crowded, a small place) is Bamboo, on 4th Avenue, one-half block east of Capital Way.

The Ranch kitchen in the Governor's House hotel (on capital Way) is a good BBQ place, as is the South Sound BBQ about 6 blocks up Legion Way from capital. Both would be kid-friendly.

Several Vietnamese places downtown are inexpensive and reliable --- Little Saigon, Saigon Rendezvous, etc. Chopsticks on Legion is also a popular asian choice.

Recommendations for Winlock, Vader, etc, WA

In a few weeks, I will be camping for a few days in Winlock, WA with a large group of cyclists. We don't all want to descend on a single restaurant, so I am looking for multiple dinner recommendations in the area of Winlock, Vader, Napavine, or Toledo.

We probably aren't interested in fast food, or any super-fancy places, and cyclists generally prefer "healthy" foods, but all recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

(I am pretty familar with Centralia places like La Tarrasca and the Olympic Club.)

Thanks in advance for any help!

Dinner suggestions--Port Angeles and Westport, WA?

In Aberdeen, Gabelli's Parma Italian Resturante (116 W. Heron St.) is not to be missed. Wonderful northern italian cuisine in a small, family-run place. Great pastas, fantastic desserts, etc.

Thai Garden in Olympia Mall

Unfortunately, there are not many signs of life at the new Thai Garden location --- the interior is still bare concrete. So don't hold your breath!

The new Thai place in the mall across the street is pretty good --- I had a very nice $8.95 lunch special there last week, and some good spring rolls. It is called Racha, a spin-off of the Seattle restaurants (they also have some fast-food outlets around Seattle, such as Westlake Mall and the Uwajimaya food court). They are also starting a chain of franchise places called Thai Go. Who knows, there may be a market for fast-food Thai!

Folks in Olympia shouldn't neglect the downtown restaurant Bamboo for Thai and Vietnamese food that is always reliable -- and inexpensive (while you are waiting for Thai Garden to be reincarnated).

Dining near Seatac and in Olympia

Thanks for the report --- it is great to get some feedback on our local recommendations. And it is nice to get an out-of-town perspective on our local favorites (La Tarrasca, Xinh's, Ranch House). Obviously, you made the right choices during your brief stay in Olympia! (I will be at La Tarrasca for Cinqo de Mayo!)

By the way, Xinh's is in Shelton because of the Taylor Shellfish Company, which owns the restaurant. Ms Xinh was one of many southeast asians working as an oyster shucker for the Taylors, until they discovered her cooking skills and set her up in the restaurant. If you ever get a chance to see the Dirty Jobs TV episode on geoduck harvesters, Xinh's is prominently featured.