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iheartgrittytacoma's Profile

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Best German food

Hard to find around Tacoma . . . get in contact with the folks at Hess Bakery and Deli in Lakewood These folks are so sweet and they have amazing sandwiches. They would also know best who else might have authentic German eats

Good eats in Tacoma?

I am not sure about El Campadre, but the others I am familiar with. The Rock Pizza is more bark than bite and is frequently overrun by the younger crowd due to their notoriously strong and large drinks, for really good pizza, take the family for a small hike up to Puget Sound Pizza . . . best pizza in Tacoma on Saint Helens, just a 10 minute walk from where you are staying. Pabst Blue Ribbon is the name of the game there. Just plain good homemade pizza, decent prices and locally owned.

Asado is very good, but very fancy and pricey. Always crowded and noisy too, more of an adult restaurant. If you do go, be prepared to fork out some moolah, but the Hanger Steak and a glass of Malbec is killer To be honest, I prefer it's sister restaurant across the street for service and food. It's a little less intimidating and the food has never steered me wrong, call it upscale Mexican bistro.

Steffie's is a hit and miss, lots of jerked food, and service can be super slow. Vuelve a la Vida has THE BEST authentic Mexican in Tacoma. Forget Mazatlan, this place has the real stuff. Next to my favorite taco truck, this is where we go when we crave Mexican.

The Parkway and the Spar are both great bar/tavern places but more adult atmosphere. I have never seen kids in the Parkway, but if you have a chance they have great bar food there and are so friendly. The Spar may let you bring the wee ones in the cafe section during the day. One of the few places that can pour a real black and tan in Tacoma. Their homemade potato chips make my arteries clog just thinking about them, but they are so stinkin' good!

One I missed off my pervious list was Engine house No. 9 or "E9" to the locals. GREAT beer, and decent grub Fire pasta and a Tacoma Brew are my favorite combo there.

A couple more you may want to Google are Babblin’ Babs Bistro, Over the Moon Café, East West Café, Gateway to India, Duke’s Chowderhouse, Crown Bar, and Tatanka Take-Out.

Let me know if you have any more questions and I would be happy to help!

Good eats in Tacoma?

Oh Beerlovingmom, welcome to T-Town! I hope you and your family have much rest and fun on your trip to Tacoma! I LOVE this town and hope you do too! Since you are staying at the Marriot I will try and make this as user friendly as possible. You are super close to the commerce bus station, which almost every bus that runs in Tacoma stops thru so you already are making headway!

My favorite family friendly beer haunt is The Harmon Brewery on Pacific Avenue. I am a big fan of the fish tacos with garlic parmesan fries and their brewed on the spot Mt Takhoma Blonde Ale. Local Tacoman Pat Nagle, owner of the Harmon, has done a good thing with his beers, and has great staff and food to boot!

Next on the list and also on Pacific Ave is Paddy Coynes Irish Pub. Best place in Tacoma to get your tatties and neeps groove on and throw back a pint. I am a Smithwicks girl and my hubby is a Guinness man so this has become our Sunday Dinner go-to place. They have some of the best hamburgers, meatloaf, and Shepard’s pie too! Totally kid friendly in early evening, very authentic Irish Pub feel!

I know some may scoff at my next rec, but I cannot deny the powers of The Ram. The food is good, but not stellar, the hamburgers are amenable with enough blue cheese, and the beer flight is decent. Kid friendly and right on the water off of Ruston Way, I enjoy an occasional weekday dinner there with the girls and throw back some Big Red IPA.

For breakfast you must seek out Southern Kitchen right off of 6th Ave. They have no website but please do not let that deter you. It may look like a shack but it will feel like your grandma’s living room. Best sausage gravy with grits and real sweet tea! Great prices and awesome staff!!

If you are in the mood for something a bit more refined, head over to the Proctor district and duck into Europa Bistro. Alfredo the owner from near Naples Italy can often be heard speaking in loud Italian from the kitchen. My favorite is the Linguine Veronese with a glass of whatever that lovely waiter recommends. Families are welcomed and atmosphere is kid friendly.

I could offer a zillion more suggestions; so just let me know if you need something more specific. The pierce transit trip planner online can help you plan out all bus transportation and make sure to take a ride or two on the light rail while sight seeing. Leave time to check out the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum, and Point Defiance Zoo while you are in town. The Visitor Center office on the street level of the Marriot will have tons of good info for you too! Happy visiting!

Breakfast in Bellevue

Being from Tacoma, my eastside knowledge is limited when it comes to my favorite meal. I am meeting a good friend of mine for breakfast and need an appropriate spot! Us gals would like a comfy place to chat, steamy mugs of good coffee and good homemade breakfast grub. No FSA crap (gag!). Nothing too fancy either. Good food, friends and brew are the criteria. Somewhere near downtown is preferable as her condo is right down the street from the park. Thank you for the help!!!

Breakfast in Tacoma

Some would say that Tacoma lacks in the breakfast department, but I beg to differ, you just have to look a little harder. Breakfast happens to be one of my favorite meals. There is something to be said about a steaming cup of coffee and lots of pig fat first thing in the morning! Here is a rundown of some of our favs;

Southern Kitchen: Leper is right in his assertion that one visit will make you a regular. This is the only breakfast spot in Tacoma that I have discovered that feels like you’re in your neighbors’ dining room. Everyone is super friendly, the sweet tea is sweet and served in huge Mason jars, the prices easy on the eyes, and the catfish is a great way to start the day! Really good sausage gravy too!

Paddy Coynes: This pub does a killer breakfast on the weekends, albeight a little bit spendy. I have had the Irish Sea Frittata and the Galway Toast on several occasions and have been very pleased. Seafood was not overcooked, healthy portions, and the Galway Toast infused with orange with marmalade with an Irish coffee makes for a happy morning! Hubby digs the Corn Beef Hash, no skimping on the portions.

Puget Sound Pizza: Best sought out after a heavy night of partying :). Cheap mimosas and the Shuster Parkway scramble filled with eggs cheese, sausage, potatoes, onions, and bell peppers does wonders at soaking up the vestiges of a sour belly. My favorite is the Pirate Spuds, filled with veggies and cheese . . . . I can’t wait till they make a breakfast pizza!

Alfred’s Café: I don’t know if they still have the Monte’ Cristo on their breakfast menu but it is the best in Tacoma! Have not been there in a while, but if you can ignore the sports bar ‘tude, and feel the love in the food, you will be just fine.

Marcia’s Silver Spoon: A hole in the wall on South Tacoma Way, please do not pass by this place for breakfast. The pancakes are huge, the grits are delicious, and everything else rocks. Known for having almost everything made from scratch and well recognized among foodies, Marcia’s cannot be missed. The grease is a little thick, and the service can be spotty, but it’s totally worth the trip.

Hob Nob: I used to love the HobNob and looked forward to holding their huge mugs of coffee every Saturday morning, but have not been back for a while. All the sudden the sausage gravy tasted like glue, the pancakes got smaller and the seafood was overcooked. On a last chance attempt I ordered a taco skillet with no jalapenos as they like to make my lips all puffy. My skillet arrived heaping with jalapenos. On the second attempt, I was about to take a bite, when I noticed the chopped tomato still had the label on it. Ick. So sad, I used to love this place!

Affairs Café: The best pancakes in Tacoma are actually in University Place. If you don’t mind the drive to Bridgeport, please go eat the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with raspberry syrup, so good! The owner Gay Landry is very sweet, and her food is fabulous. Definatly not your greasy spoon, a bit on the fancy side, which is great for a girls brunch, or breakfast with the parents. The have huge skillets like the Puget Sounder full of crab and shrimp, and I dig the crab cakes benedict too.

Hope this helps! Let me know your findings!

Seattle-Tacoma Couple in Knoxville 12/13-18, Need Eating Guidance!

We have since returned to our excursion in Knoxville, and I am happy to report we found a special place in our palate for Litton's! While simplistic in accutrouments and presentation, that was by far one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. My husband and father echo similar sentiments. The patty was sensational, and the homemade buns were very complimentary to the patty in taste texture and size, yum!

We also had sunday lunch at the Appalachian Musuem. Chicken dumplings, sweet tea and deviled eggs! My southern husband was in heaven. Even served on styrofoam plates, the love in the food was easy to detect.

The other stand out, but not in a good way, was Flemings. When we arrived our group of 7 was seated in the middle of the restaurant. We had asked that the waiter speak over by my dad who is hard of hearing, but he refused to do so, which left my dad in a lot of confusion as it was very noisy. It was 45 minutes before our orders for appetizers were taken, and then another hour after that before our entree order was taken. Our appetizers arrived sans one that was ordered, the raw tuna had a tinny flavour from sitting under the heat lamp. Once again, we waited another 45 minutes before our food was brought out. It was now 10pm at night and everyone was hungry and tired. Several complaints were made to the waiter that were met with apoloigies and "we're really busy", which made no sense becuase the place had cleared out by 9 pm. When we received our food, the prime rib was almost raw, the beef flemington almost a rock, and the new york strip was as tough as a hard tack roll. We had asked to have the dishes re-cooked as they were ordered, and they said they could only accomodate the NY strip, since they were trying to close. After all was said and done, absolutly no compensation was given, we were charged for things we didn't eat, and had to pay a gratuity that was unwarranted due to our large group ending in a $885.00 bill. Myself and another member of my family contacted the restaurant to complain and was not dignified with a response. Never again will I, or any member of my family, set foot inside a Flemings.

In the end we took away a fondness for sweet tea, Litton's fabulous burgers, and the bitter taste of Flemings. Thank you for your words of advice!

Seattle-Tacoma Couple in Knoxville 12/13-18, Need Eating Guidance!

My husband and I will be in Knoxville for 5 days for my sister's college graduation, staying near Cedar Bluffs. We are HUGE foodies and eager to try new cuisine. We are spoiled at home with lots fabulous eateries who use local fresh ingredients, and have unique menus. Would love to try any foodie treasure wether it be comfort food done right, or something fancy but delectable. We are not big chain fans with a few exceptions.

I would like some input on Flemings too. I am told we are having dinner there on Sunday evening. I hear it is a steakhouse chain like Ruths Chris Steakhouse or Mortons. Anything I should try or stay away from?

Thank you for all your good advice!

Looking for local Farms and Dairy that deliver


Thanks for the heads-up :). I was unsure of the quality of the beef available from P.O. so I appreciate your reccomendation!

Looking for local Farms and Dairy that deliver


I appreciate the information! That list of CSA's will come in handy! I wasn't sure how many people were familiar with the CSA concept. Last year, I did get a farm share fromTerry's Berries in the Puyallup Valley and was overwhelmed with the amount of goodies in their smallest share. I gave as much away as possible, and canned, dried, and froze the rest!

My husband and I recently read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, both of us felt compelled to change our eating/buying habits after having our social concience pricked :).

Thank you for all the good information, and I appreciate the reccommendations too.

Looking for local Farms and Dairy that deliver

I recently started getting fresh fruit and veggies from Pioneer Organics and have had great luck! Are there other farms and dairys that deliver that you reccommend I try? I am in Tacoma. I would love some fresh milk and cheese or local beef. Local and fresh only, as I want to support our farmers!

Irish Pub/Food

There is also a Paddy Coyne's in Tacoma downtown. Their Guiness stew and Irish soda bread is a killer combo. They know how to draw a Guiness too. Their shepards pie is a meal by itself. On the not so Irish-y side of the menu, their burgers are super good and devoid of grease. I know you said no burgers, but this one is worth mentioning. A healthy patty on a ciabatta roll with all the fixin's like tillamook cheddar, bacon, and sauteed onions. It satifys my burger craving without feeling like a grease trap. Beware of the music, though. That irish folk music gets going so fast, and I swear it makes you drink faster!

San francisco chowhound seeking graduation dinner recommendations in the Tacoma/Seattle area

I am in love with Pacific Grill in downtown Tacoma. Their menu is a bit small, but the quality is consistently superb. It may be a little pricey but well worth it for a special occasion and please call with that reservation, I am sure they could accomodate you! The chef/ Owner Gordon Naccarato is an active member of the community and very respected. His staff loves him too, which says a lot. This would be my first pick for seafood in Tacoma.

Bellevue/Kirkland - Bar Dining

The Purple Cafe down by the waterfront in Kirkland is a favorite of mine. Good small plates and great wine selection.

Olympia, Wa. Restaurant needed

Shoot! Sorry about that! I keep thinking it's tuesday . . . that's what happens when you work all weekend! You might want to try Mercato, they are open and their food is pretty decent too!

Olympia, Wa. Restaurant needed

That's easy peasy! Check out the Mark on Columbia. Chef Lisa Owen uses some of the freshest local ingredients for her italian inspired eats. Never experienced a bad meal. The pasta is heavenly!

Help with feeding 15 in Seattle???

I hope you get this in time, Beecher's mac and cheese in the market is a must! You can buy it in nice big pans. Ditto on Whole Foods and Dish D'Lish.

Coastal Washington & Oregon road trip eats?

Okay, I am infatuated with the life and culture of the 101. This is my favorite trip to take and repeated as often as possible! Here are a couple of our fav digs.

42nd Street Cafe: This place is in Seaview/LongBeach, food is good, but not consistently. My favorite is the Ravioli stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, sautéed with red onions and apples in a cider Madeira glaze. When it's good it's amazing. Watch out for a long wait though.

The Port Bistro: In Ilwaco. Small venue was a little drafty but the saffron risotto was right on. Can get pricey.

NIX THE ARK IN NACHOTTA. Bad service and mediocre food EVERYTIME.

The Sanctuary: In Chinook. I think they are still open but do some legwork and call about the hours. Will cost you lots of pennies but worth every cent. Menu varies so I don't have any recommendations other than eat whatever is freshest. Be warned that service is long, maybe a 2-3 hour meal.

I know this sounds silly, but my husband and I had the stinkin' best fish at a roadhouse in Seaside called Bigfoot's Pub and Grub off of 101. The decor kinda makes you shake your head, but everything we ate, while not necessarily pretty, tasted fantastic. Stuffed mushrooms, yum! Strong drinks too.

I better stop or this list will have energizer bunny proportions, but one more thing, once you get into Tillamook I strongly encourage stopping at those little shack cafes. Some of the best seafood on the west coast can be found there. Most of them are family run and they catch their own ingredients. Inquire with locals for the best ones.

Great food, great view in SEA?


Although it isn't too fancy and takes a little more planning on your end, laying a handpicked spread out while on one of our ferries will satisfy a water nuts need for a view.

Pack a basket with goodies from the Market, a nice tablecloth and some dishes and you are good to go for a unique meal. At Pike's you can get fresh bread, cheeses, fruit, preserves, you name it. I am not sure how they feel about alcohol or candles on the ferry but you can get really creative. It takes a little finesse but I am sure you could sneak a nice wine in an anonymous container.

Make sure that you check the schedules too to find a ferry trip that is long enough to enjoy your meal with leisure.

Is Filipino food embarassing?

Side Dish-

If you want to take a drive, locals in Tacoma rave about the Manila Diner on Center Street in the Nalley Valley. Our own Restuarant/Food critic Ed Murrieta has good things to say about it and I am glad he did. The food is unique and delightful. Check out his link for his review and next time you are down this way.

How to compliment a chef on a fabulous meal?

Wow, $100? I did some quick math and if you are single with no exemptions you should still get about $340 out of that paycheck. That includes all the state and federal taxes.

Infinite Soups opens in Downtown Tacoma

Infinite Soups is hitting the comfort spot, especially amid the snow, hail, and err, sn-ail as my spouse says! The space is small, right next door to City Lights Billiards on the corner of 6th Ave and Tacoma Ave. There is no seating so it’s a grab and go kinda thing. They have bread and crackers too. Other than that it's straight soup baby. Sounds like a good way to cut overhead and invest in ingredients!

Their official open was yesterday. On my way home from work yesterday I swung by to grab a quart . . . or two! Only 7 bucks for a quart, and they come in cup and bowl sizes too. I tried several, the African peanut was unusual but I liked it, very hearty. Then I snagged a sip of the coconut curry and was hooked! Smooth green curry and coconut milk with just a hint of salt and a few veggies floating around, not sweet but the perfect amount of spice for me.

I ended up walking out with a quart of the coconut curry and the Italian sausage with tortellini which was also surprisingly hearty with a strong veggie broth I think. I have to admit I would feel guilty for gulping down more samples unless I was going to buy more, but I was sorely tempted. My spouse slammed down the Italian sausage but said the curry was too spicy for him.

This is their opening menu:

Turkish Tomato
West African Peanut
Corn Chipotle Chowder
Mushroom Hazelnut
Indian Vegetable
Pork Verde
Clam Chowder
Chicken Noodle
Italian Onion
Split Pea and Ham
Moroccan Lentil
Potato Green Chile Cheddar
White Lightning
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Vegan Chili
Spanish Ham and Bean
Portuguese Garlic Soup
Chicken Tamale
Tomato Basil
Basque Clam Chowder
Beef And Avocado Argentine
Curry Coconut
Italian Sausage and Tortellini
White Chicken Chili

Seattle, one weekend, on a budget


Funny coincidence. My cousin from Portland is driving up here to meet a friend who is from Texas today! They are staying at my crib in Tacoma and hitting up a concert in Seattle. Small world.

On a more foodie like note, Leper's recommendations are excellent. Uwajimaya is a great place to get your gastronome groove on. Some of the best Hanoi Pho is at Saigon Bistro there. My spouse and I always snag a bowl when we are up there. I second Salumi and Serious Pie too. If you can, head over to Capitol Hill for more cheap eats. Coastal Kitchen breakfast isn’t half bad and easy on the wallet. Another pretty rockin' place is Elemental at Gasworks Park. Gotta get there early, it gets filled up fast. They serve small plates which can be pretty reasonable. Also if you can hit Sitka and Spruce, they are a new favorite for out towners for me!

While I can't contend with Harvest Vine (the best Seattle has to offer in my opinion), if you want to experience a more musical vein, head over to the Triple Door. Tiered diner seating in the theatre, with incredible food. It can get pricey but very well worth it.

Whatever you do, puleeze do not go to Ivars to eat clam chowder, the space needle for dinner or any other tourist traps. That is commercial Seattle, not authentic.


Sorry, it was Sundance grill, not Sunfire! Was in Tri-Cities this past weekend visiting the family and found out that Anthony's is now using the Sundance Grill property in Richland as a banquet and catering facility.

We went to the little Cafe in MarineLand village in Kennewick, sandwiches are still good! I gues TS Cattleman's is now just TS Steakhouse, the steak is as yummy and as good quality as I remember.

It sounds like a lot of the other places I had listed have gone downhill. Very sad! But I will keep my eyes open for any new finds over there!

Mom and daughter day in SEA, good lunch spots?

LOL! That's funny, I have never been there but that is one of the places I forwarded to my friend. I hear they had a great time! Thanks for the info!

Mom and daughter day in SEA, good lunch spots?

My good friend and her beautiful 3 1/2 year old daughter are seeing a show in seattle on Saturday. Any lunch recs? Preferrably downtown or within 15 minutes? Maybe something interactive, afternoon tea, pottery cafe? C'mon, I know some of you have kiddos! Give up the goods!


Okay, I grew up in Tri-Cites and if memory serves me correctly, the restaurant scene was for the most part filled with chains. Most of the good independents were quick to fold, very sad. So I will take a stab at this for ya, hopefully these places are still open and still good.

Apollo's Greek Restaurant: My dad's favorite. Decent Greek food, great people. The atmosphere is a little cheesy, but the food was always good. Had my first gyros here.

TS Cattle Company: Another family favorite. Steaks were always cut well and cooked perfectly. Live music was always a plus. Good place for out of towners.

Rattlesnake Mtn. Brewing Co.: Food was consistent. Portioned well. Not spectacular but a great standby.

Monterosso's Italian Restaurant: More genuine Italian than Olive Garden, space is a little cramped but service was always excellent.

Casa Mia: A chain, I know but the have the best pizza in the world. You have to try their potato gorgonzola and truffle pizza, yum!

Taco Trucks: Yep, they all pretty much rock, more authentic than any restaurant.

Green Gage Plum: A little whole in the wall with fantastic food!

I second the spudnut too. There are so many restaurants that I miss that are long gone like Blackberry's, the Sunfire grill, (ironically had the same space), Che Chaz, and a few others. I am interested to know about the new gigs like Bin No. 20 and Bonefish Grill. Any opinions?

Tacoma (finally) Gets Real Fish & Chips

Okay, so we checked it out. Not bad! Portions were sizable; fish was cooked perfectly in a great batter. Not greasy at all. The "chips" were a bit disappointing as I would have like something at little more unique to pair with the outstanding fish. Having run of the mill fries next to that good of fish is like putting ketchup on prime rib! Overall the place rocked. Clean, not cluttered, nice staff. I look forward to checking out their sirloin burgers too, and their pastas which they claim are fantastic. Sounds like I have a good weekend lunch place for the next few weekends!

On a side note, they should really put up some signage on St. Helens that tells people to enter from the back side of the building. The entrance is actually on Tacoma Ave I think. Saw several couples trying to get in but had no idea where to go.

Proctor bakery

Would it be Elena's on 26th? I've never been there, but know it used to be up there. If you are looking for a good bakery, I highly reccomend Corina's on 6th Ave right down the street from the Hob Nob on the corner of 6th and Fawcett. Mega good baked yummies here!

Restaurants with live music + good food? SEA

You might want to try the Triple Door, it's beneath Wild Ginger and across the street from Benaroya Hall. It's a theatre that has injected dining seating into it's auditorium. Seating begins 2 hours before the show which lets you get a kick start on dinner. The food for us has been a hit everytime, but I have heard conflicting reviews. I especially like the duck, chocolate chip souffle, and the seven flavour beef dishes. The last time we were there, this old swamp rock dude played his guts out, really impressive. The stage rocks, acoustics are usually good. Be prepared to drop some deniro though, sometimes the cover charge can get pricey but in my opinion totally worth it. Check out their website to see who is playing:

Tacoma (finally) Gets Real Fish & Chips

As it's only a few blocks away from my home and right next to my second home (Doyle's Public House :), you can be sure that I will be visiting ASAP! My husband and I plan to go together tomorrow evening, so if anyone heads there tonight, please let me know how it is!