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Taco Tuesday in Tacoma: Try these from Hilltop Kitchen and Social Bar and Grill

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on June 17, 2014 at 7:00 am | No Comments »
June 17, 2014 8:13 am
Asparagus tacos from Hilltop Kitchen in Tacoma.
Asparagus tacos from Hilltop Kitchen in Tacoma.

With bars everywhere serving up taco Tuesday specials, I thought it time I started an occasional taco Tuesday spotlight. I’m searching beyond those ground beef tacos with the crunchy shells to find tacos with bigger flavors, better ingredients.

Today’s taco trip takes me to Hilltop Kitchen for veg-friendly candied lemon peel and asparagus tacos and tender-as-they-come steak tacos at Social Bar and Grill.

Candied lemon peel added brightness to crispy asparagus.
Candied lemon peel added brightness to crispy asparagus.

Hilltop Kitchen
913 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma; 253-327-1397 or

Two things to love at Hilltop Kitchen are Chris Keil’s Latin-leaning cocktails and the kitchen’s talent with tacos.

In eight configurations, taco orders come in servings of three. Think of these tacos (like the bar’s cocktails) as Latin in foundation, Northwest in spirit. Priced $10-$12, the tacos present a light meal, but are best for sharing.

Half the tacos at Hilltop Kitchen are veg-leaning, with base vegetables of mushroom, cauliflowers and roasted carrots. Spring flavors showed up in snappy asparagus ($8 lunch/$10 dinner) paired with long tangles of candied lemon peel. There’s only about one more week left in the current spring menu, so get ‘em fast.

Steak tacos from Social Bar and Grill, with a black bean quinoa salad.
Steak tacos from Social Bar and Grill, with a black bean quinoa salad.

Social Bar and Grill
1715 Dock St., Tacoma; 253-301-3835 or

Tacos at Social Bark and Grill, the Foss waterway restaurant with one of the finest this-is-why-we-live-here waterside views in Tacoma, come in five choices – rock fish, oyster, steak, chicken and pork.

Tacos here come topped with crunchy-slippery contrasts – bits of diced radish and onion set against griddled onions and peppers. Acidic marinades and earthy spices ratchet the flavor.

The grilled steak version pictured here was a happy hour bargain at $6. Flanking the taco trio was a black bean quinoa salad. Delicious – and a decent meal for six bucks.

Fish tip: Rock fish is a must-order item at Social. Order it as tempura dipped fish and chips, or as fish tacos.

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