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Olympia, Wash


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Going to Olympia this weekend.

We will be going to the Mark and a place called Trinacria. Will also check out the very retro Spar and the hip and groovy watering hole called The Brotherhood Lounge, bedecked in the finest black velvet paintings and old film posters, as I recall. A brief visit to the Farmers Market is slated for Saturday of course.

Any one out there have some other recommendations?

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I think the one and only place I've been to in Oly is the Fish Brewing Company. Kind of cool for a brewpub, small, homey, but if you're a beer drinker they make some of the finest Northwest style beers around. Some, if not all, of the beer is organic.

If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?

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Shelora,

You will love the Trinacria, it is by far my favorite restaurant in the Olympia area. Eugenio makes some insanely good food. My favorite is the Spaghetti Alla Matriciana, but everything is good including the lasagna and the pizza (split the Sicilian #1 if you get a chance, spinach & raisin calzone!). Great, now my mouth is watering and I have to sit at my desk for another hour.

The Mark is nice for cocktails, and Fishtail is a great place to sit and drink a beer (or several). The Lemon Grass (downtown) is a very good Thai place, at least by Oly standards. Gardner's is another restaurant in our rotation, but after that it gets pretty bad around here.

The spar is great for breakfast, although a place called "The Place" is even better (out by Mud Bay).

The Brotherhood has been renovated, but I haven't been there since I saw Thunderfist play there about 5 years ago so I don't know if they took all the funkiness away. I know you can't get Oly stubbies any more, so what is the point in living really?

As a public service announcement, places NOT TO EAT AT in Olympia:

*Brewery City Pizza. Always named best pizza in the Olympian survey, and it is awful. The sauce is thick, overly sweet, and applied too liberally. The toppings generally have no taste.

*Any mexican place.

*Any chinese place.

*The Olympia Oyster House. Outside of the Fish & chips, I find the food inedible.

Have a good time!

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I lived in Oly from 1998 to 2001, so my opinions might be a little dated, but...

Here's another place to avoid: the Water Street Cafe (overrated, blech)

A good place to try: Mini Saigon for Thai food. Very Americanized, I'm sure (I've never been to Thailand), but damn tasty and cheap.

And the best coffee: <a href="http://www.batdorf.com/bb/retail.cfm" target="_blank">Batdorf & Bronson</a>.

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I moved away from Olympia in 1990 (The Evergreen State College, class of 1990) and haven't been back since a friend of mine who was in a band (Sky Cries Mary) played a bar down there.

The only reason to go to the Spar is that Raymond Chandler describes it in his short story Goldfish. Most of the places I would recommend aren't there anymore as far as I know, but The 4th Avenue Tavern used to have the best pizza (at least in the 1980's...if your time machine goes back to the early 1970's I'd say Luigi's in Lacey).

Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater were not known for their fine cuisine, but you could get a decent drive-through burger at Eagan's Big Tom, but I concur about Batdorf & Bronson is an excellent place for coffee. There is an Anthony's down there and there might be some good restaurants on either side of Budd Inlet. If it's still there, there was a restaurant with a great view of the Tumwater Falls (across from the old Olympia Brewery). The Mekong used to be the only Thai restaurant in town and they were good.

Assuming you are visiting from Seattle, imagine the quality of restaurants something better than Aurora but not as good as 15th North East.

(BTW I used to deliver pizza's for Brewery City in Tumwater in the early 80's and back then they were better than any other delivery place).

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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but you could get a decent drive-through burger at Eagan's Big Tom

The Eagan's in Tumwater got plowed over to put up a Burger King and Homestreet bank. There is a new Eagan's by Kildow nursery, but it is not the same to me (maybe I'm overly nostalgic for the time when Kim Kelly would give us all kinds of freebies out the Big Tom's window).

If it's still there, there was a restaurant with a great view of the Tumwater Falls across from the old Olympia Brewery). (

The Falls Terrace, great view but terrible food.

(BTW I used to deliver pizza's for Brewery City in Tumwater in the early 80's and back then they were better than any other delivery place).

BCP might edge out Domino's and Pizza Hut, but that isn't something to really brag about :biggrin:

Was Luigi's off of 4th in a blue house?

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Luigi's Pizzeria was near the corner of Sleater-Kinney and Martin Way, it went through a few owners until it became La Palma II (Mexican). Is Dirty Dave's still around? I can't remember if I liked the pizza or not.

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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I moved out of Oly back in 1977. The restaurant my family always went to for "special occassions" was The Falls Terrace down near the (now defunct?) Olympia Brewery in Tumwater. No idea if it is still there, or if it is even worth recommending anymore.

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I rue the day that Olympia Beer got too big for its britches and bought Hamms, and then Lone Star. It made it too easy for Pabst, then Heilmann's after, to buy them out and now I believe the Oly brewery lay empty. I used to love going to Falls Park and take the Oly beer tour (a couple times during the day during the summer) and drink free soda next to the gift shop). Someone should start up a microbrew in the old plant.

I get a teary eye whenever I see someone drinking an Oly in an old movie of the 1970's.

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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Someone should start up a microbrew in the old plant.

Miller sold the brewery to All-American Bottled Water Corp A stipulation of the agreement was that beer would never be brewed on the site.

All-American has been selling off parcels, and news is some developer is going to put 300 condos, offices, and retail down there.

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Miller sucks! Is Falls Park still open to the public?

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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  • 3 weeks later...
Also, don't forget about Casa Mia for pizza.

For Pizza the only place to go is Old School Pizzaria on Franklin between 4th and State. In my opinion, it's the best, most authentic New York style pizza in Washington.

I lived in Olympia from 1971 - 1999 and can say that it's no place to eat out. On the plus side most people are really good and interesting cooks. So dinner parties were always an occasion.

Best coffee in the NW: Batdorf and Branson. I still only buy my coffee from there.

Trinacria (sp?) is good, but is a bit tiresome as your only choice. This isn't their fault, it's Olympia's.

Steer clear of Falls Terrace unless they've changed hands recently. They were your standard "turf and surf" place that my parents went to for every anniversary. I think everyone's parents did the same thing.

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My trip to Olympia was a great success and I'm impressed with the new dining options there.

Our highlights were The Mark supper club - apple wood smoked organic chicken and beef were outstanding, excellent service and wine selection.

Trinacria - the best pasta I have ever had, big portions, Sicilian recipes, I'd never had.

Waterstreet Cafe and Bar - although ambious in the scale of the restaurant, the chef is committed to use seasonal, local produce, another great wine list and bar seating.

Luna's Deli - the only place to go after a tour and tasting of the adjascent Farmer's Market. Owners and cooks, Tom and Victoria Benenate run a clean operation using farm fresh and local ingredients, lots of to-go meals, soups, sandwiches and desserts. Surrounded by cars and a parking lot The owners have created comfortable outdoor seating with a flower and edible herb garden providing counterpoint to the surrounding cars and parking lot.

Fish Brewery - small space with great beers, many organic.

The Farmer's Market showed us outsiders how committed Olympia is to organic and sustainable agriculture. The new kid on the block are the wonderful cheese producers of Estrella Family Creamery. Their goat, sheep and cow milk cheeses were all flavourful, creative - the Valentina and the Black Creek Butter cheeses of particular note.

Of course, there is the Spar. A classic.

And how can I forget the artisian well water flowing freely in a downtown parking lot? You've got to see it to believe it. Folks were pulling up in their trucks at all hours to fill their plastic jugs.

And for a hip hangout for a cocktail, theres the Brotherhood Lounge with their walls of pictoral Kennedy rugs and black velvet torreador paintings. Great bartender - made a mean Manhattan with Maker's Mark.

This should provide the curious among you a full plate if you decide to go. Two days, two nights with a taco stand on the way out of town. Tacos California. Outstanding. The real deal.

Edited by shelora (log)
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