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Restaurants on the move: Porter’s opens on South Tacoma Way, and updates on Upper Crust and Sidebar Bistro

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Oct. 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm | No Comments »
October 4, 2011 4:00 pm
The smoked pork ribs at Porter's Place Southern Cuisine & BBQ are supple, smoky and three-napkin good.

More than six months after closing in the perch situated above La Quinta hotel, Porter’s Place Southern Cuisine & BBQ has reopened on South Tacoma Way. Owner Alton Porter resumed business last week. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday-Monday. Click “more” for details.

Alton Porter and family operated Porter’s for about six years near the La Quinta before relocating the restaurant to the space that formerly housed the Friendly Duck Restaurant on South Tacoma Way.

Last October, I gave Porters high marks for the smoky, supple, juicy pork spare ribs that were just about falling off the bone. The sauce was too cloying for my palate, but ordering the barbecue naked solves that problem. I’m a fan of the restaurant’s potato salad – creamy skins-on red potato salad with a slightly sweet mustard dressing.

Porter’s long has been a popular barbecue entity in Western Washington. Before its most recent location near La Quinta, Porter’s operated a restaurant on 72nd in Tacoma. Porter’s also has operated a barbecue concession at Seattle’s Safeco Field.

The flagship restaurant for the locally-owned, family run restaurant is Dixie’s, a restaurant I gave top marks to a decade ago when I was a reviewer at another newspaper. Dixie’s claim to fame is “The Man,” a spicy habanero barbecue sauce that is not for the weak. I’ve tried it twice and lived to tell about it.

Porters’s Place Southern Cuisine & BBQ
Where: 5026 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Closed Sunday-Monday. Call first.
Contact: 253-383-7603 or

I checked back in with Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery owners and they’re still scouting for new locations. The popular North End restaurant that has served eclectic European eats and baked goods since 2007 lost its lease at the end of July, but owners Loren Robinson and Leo Nichols are searching in several Tacoma neighborhoods for a new location. Fans of Upper Crust’s baked goods and pastries can still find them weekly at the Proctor Farmers Market, held 9 a..m.-2 p.m Saturdays through Dec. 17 at North 27th and Proctor.

Tacoma’s Sidebar Bistro, a restaurant I awarded high marks for stellar execution of sandwiches and flaky, giant chicken pot pie, has closed. The sister restaurant next door, Hot Rod Dog also is closed, but the Hot Rod Dog downtown on Pacific was open this week. A sign on the door at Sidebar, 1101 Tacoma Ave. S., says a coffee shop is opening. Stay tuned for more details.

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