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Tacoma Eats


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Hey All, I'm currently doing my pediatrics rotation at Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma and they've provided me with an apartment in the area. I'm wondering if any of you have a list of Tacoma Faves for me to try while I'm livin' down South.

Thanks!

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The Southern Kitchen - Tacoma's best kept secret. Breakfast menu includes a dish called Hog Heaven. Every pork product you can think of as well as pancakes and eggs. Lunch and dinner meals start with a corn cake the size of a plate which is then buttered and salted by most customers. Standard southern fare done the proper unhealthy way FRIED. Wash it all down with ice tea that will rot your teeth on the spot. I would not eat there more than once a month out of fear of a heart attack but it is well worth the risk everyonce in a while.

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Vuelve a la Vida! best mexican I've had since escaping from California!

Real tamales & posole, Good guacamole and per my fish eating friends kick-ass Ceviche.

look for the sign with the sombrero-wearing octopus shaking his maracas

5310 Pacific Ave

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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Welcome to Tacoma land. You won't be disappointed in the eats. Contrary to popular belief, Tacoma and Pierce County has lots of great food. The scene down here is LEGIONS ahead of suburban King County.

Here is a pretty good thread mentioning from earlier this year mentioning some local restaurantsold tacoma thread linkage

Off the top of my head, here are some choice spots:

Tacoma/Sixth Ave

Il Fiasco, Tacoma, Sixth Avenue District. Upscale Italian

Gateway to India, Sixth Ave., quality Indian

Wild Orchid, Sixth Ave., Thai

Southern Kitchen, Sixth Ave., good southern

It's Greek to Me, Sixth Ave., Greek street eats

Silk Thai, Sixth Ave., Thai

Six Olives, Sixth Ave., martini and small plates; kind of a scene

Tacoma/Proctor

Europa Bistro, Proctor, European/Ital.

Pomodoro, Proctor, Thai

good shopping: Metropolitan Market, Proctor

Tacoma/misc

The area on 38th Ave. near Tac Mall district is called "Little Saigon," lots of great Vietnamese joints over there, and shopping for ingredients

East West Cafe, Tac Mall Blvd. Very good Vietnamese and Thai

Peanut Sauce Thai, Tac Mall Blvd

Wendy's II, really good Vietnamese, Tac Mall Blvd

Taqueria Guymas, Tac Mall, great little taqueria Mexican joint

Taqueria El Rinconsito, S. Tac. Way, really quality authentic taqueria eats

Indochine, allegedly opening in downtown Tacoma, but who knows??

Parkland

From the Bayou, Parkland, great southern

Marzano's, Parkland, fine Italian

Mi Piacci, Parkland, casual Italian

Lakewood

Korean!! Everywhere you look on South Tacoma Way, you will find a Korean restaurant or grocery store. Yummy.

I'm sure I'm missing a million great places, but I can post more as I think of them.

It's pretty cool to have more Tacoma threads. There really are plenty of good eats down here (really, really... seriously not kidding people. Come on, I'M NOTMAKINGTHISUP!! ) :raz:

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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Oops. Meant to write that Pomodoro is Italian, NOT Thai. You could probably figure that out from the name though, har.

There are some new wine bars around Tacoma worth investigating. You could look on the News Tribune's web site for reviews of wine bars.

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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LainerX, have you eaten at any of our recs? Or anyplace not on our list?

I was thinking of organizing either an eating/shopping morning/afternoon on a Saturday in February of Little Saigon (the area on 38th east of Tacoma Mall) or the Korean eating district (along South Tacoma Way).

I'm guessing White Lotus and a few of our other posters would be game, how about you or anyone else? Off the top of my head Saturday Feb. 19 seems like it would be a good day.

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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LainerX, have you eaten at any of our recs? Or anyplace not on our list?

I was thinking of organizing either an eating/shopping morning/afternoon on a Saturday in February of Little Saigon (the area on 38th east of Tacoma Mall) or the Korean eating district (along South Tacoma Way).

I'm guessing White Lotus and a few of our other posters would be game, how about you or anyone else? Off the top of my head Saturday Feb. 19 seems like it would be a good day.

OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!

You DID get permission for this already didn't you?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! :shock::shock::shock:

What will be the substantive contribution to food and wine education?...

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I graduated from the University of Puget Sound last year so here is 4 years worth of places:

I'd second the rec's for 6 Olives, Greek to Me, Southern Kitchen, Silk Thai (on 6th Ave).

For Mexican, Tacos Guyamas on 38th is GREAT (pass on the burritos and get tacos).

Katie Downs on Ruston Way on the waterfront has the best pizza in town.

Lonn

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  • 1 month later...
Hey All, I'm currently doing my pediatrics rotation at Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma and they've provided me with an apartment in the area.  I'm wondering if any of you have a list of Tacoma Faves for me to try while I'm livin' down South.

Thanks!

Here's a few my wife and I like:

Primo Grill (already mentioned) and Il Fiasco, both in the same neighborhood. Both could be termed upscale.

Speaking of upscale, I see nobody is mentioning the pricy waterfront restaurants on Ruston Way...These have great views but for tasty food I'd try:

Le Le on Martin Luther King (near the hospitals!) but stick with the Vietnamese dishes.

Mekong, a Vietnamese place out near the Tacoma Mall.

For Indian food, try Gateway to India on 6th Avenue, the owners are really nice.

And, I'd be remiss not to mention the Thai restaurant my wife and I own -- Galanga Thai Cuisine, on Broadway in downtown Tacoma. Web site at www.galangathai.com. Take out or eat in!

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Welcome tkenney... Nice to see another eG person posting from Pierce county. Also, thanks for qualifying yourself as connected to Galanga. My family and I have been to your lovely restaurant. It was a little more than a year ago. We were sorely missing a good green papaya salad since returning from our Christmas-New Years holiday in Chaing Mai. Although you didn't have it on the menu at the time, you made one specially for us. IMO it still is the best green papaya salad we have had here. Great to have you on board. wl

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Welcome tkenney! It's good to have another Tacoman among us. I have not tried your restaurant yet, but now have a great excuse to. I just discovered a great new Thai place on 38th called Taste of Thai 38. Have you tried it? It's been open about a month. Small and interesting, ... and they seem really focused on balancing flavors just the way I like it (not too spicy, too sour, too salty or too sweet.. everything just melding all together in balance).

I work near Sixth Avenue and eat along that neighborhood frequently, so I was so glad to see your post mentioning Primo and Gateway to India (the owners are just really sweet.. and make a mean mango lassie).

I've also eaten more times than I can count at Southern Kitchen and It's Greek to Me on Sixth and I've had a few experiences with Silk Thai and Wild Orchid. I'm itching to try Ezell's, which just opened on Sixth.. or is about to?? (Ezell's has closed its other Tacoma locations). Have you been? Anyone else? I'm assuming the menu will be the same as the other locations, but you never know...

I've tried Le Le too, but I think many of the dishes I've sampled have really lacked flavor, or it could be I've ordered things that aren't their specialty. For Vietnamese, I really prefer Wendy's II on Tacoma Mall Boulevard. Right now, they're my favorite (besides my favorite banh mi joints in the ID along 12th and Jackson.. the banh mi nexus of the universe).

edit: typos, blabbing, yada yada.

Edited by girl chow (log)

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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Welcome tkenney... Nice to see another eG person posting from Pierce county.  Also, thanks for qualifying yourself as connected to Galanga.  My family and I have been to your lovely restaurant.  It was a little more than a year ago.  We were sorely missing a good green papaya salad since returning from our Christmas-New Years holiday in Chaing Mai.  Although you didn't have it on the menu at the time, you made one specially for us.  IMO it still is the best green papaya salad we have had here.  Great to have you on board.  wl

Did Ezell's have Tacoma locations in the past? I wasn't aware of that. There was once one in the U District in Seattle.

I mainly remember going to their mothership -- a tiny takeout place across from Roosevelt High School in Seattle. On a weekend night there would be a line out the door. Tasty! A chicken breast with incredibly crunchy skin/batter outside contrasting with the moist white meat inside. That was a few years ago -- I hope their quality has held up.

I've taken to calling that stretch of 6th Avenue (roughly between Trafton and Pine Streets) with a lot of restaurants/bars "the Wallingford of Tacoma" for the density of its commercial life. Better start buying up real estate on the blocks nearby.

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Ezell's had two locations in Tacoma until recently.

The one I went to every few months or so was located on Pacific Avenue and 56th... kind of a seedy neighborhood and I don't think they did well in that location.. it didn't seem like it was open for too long. I can't remember exactly when it closed, but it's been in the last six months or so. They also had a location on South Steele Street inside the mall (??). I never went to that location and I don't know when that one closed, but it was probably within the last year or so?

The Sixth Ave. location really seems a good fit for an Ezell's -- and yes, Sixth Avenue is our own little Wallingford, isn't it? It could potentially even become a Fremont.

The only thing Sixth Avenue needs now is a Vietnamese joint and/or a banh mi shop, then it'd be perfect. Oh, and a place to buy Philly cheese steaks.

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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  • 2 months later...

I've been to EVERY Korean place on S. Tacoma Way and none of them are very good. I cant remember the name but one place has pretty good kimchi soup.

Ezell's on Pacific Ave. and 72nd(still open) is OK(good spicy fried chicken) but not very nice inside. Ezell's on 6th Ave. suffers from really bad and slow service and they just dont have it together. 30 minutes for 3 pieces Chicken that was already cooked when I ordered it is UNACCEPTABLE.

Vuelve a la Vida on Pacific ave has very good tamales and has a really good Enchiladas Suizas Plate with Guacamole , Rice, Beans and 6 OZ Steak for $8.

Europa Bistro has nice food but service can be slow and its often cold in there.

Pomodoro's is another place that is overrated and not very good.

The Melting Pot is TERRIBLE.

Primo Grill - Havent been yet.

El Gaucho & Gary's Steakout- Havent been to either yet but both seem like a huge ripoff.

Hooters- Annoying chain with bad food and bad service but they have pretty good hot wings if you order them like I do "Ten Wings, All Drums, Three Mile Island Sauce, Extra Crispy and Extra Saucy. Blue Cheese and Celery"

Edited by joeforte (log)
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I've been to EVERY Korean place on S. Tacoma Way and none of them are very good. I cant remember the name but one place has pretty good kimchi soup.

Wow, you sure must have eaten a lot of Korean food. There are dozens of little joints along that stretch. I've eaten a good handful of them, but I'm far from writing off the whole neighborhood.

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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Yah I went twice a week for almost 4 months, going to different ones almost every time! Some places, I went to twice. There are a few places that seemed more like mouge type places that had blacked out windows that I did not make it into. Maybe a hidden jewel lies in one of them? BTW stay away from the late night Pho Spot on S. Tacoma way.

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