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Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Happy Hours


Happy hour report: Primo Grill’s new $5 menu

From the Primo Grill Happy Hour Menu: Garlic shrimp, Moroccan pepper puree with grilled house-made flat bread. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue neighborhood is designed for food lovers, but on Tuesdays when the Sixth Avenue Farmers Market springs up in the late afternoon, it’s where I head for in-depth “foodsploring.”

A recent trip found Old Milwaukee Cafe selling desserts. There was fresh pie, locally made cheese, ice cream, seafood and produce, too. A caterer called Miss Monica’s Bayou Oasis served Southern fare, and a new startup company called Hilltop Pop Shop had just begun selling its frozen treats there.

What I like is that the market is compact and easy to navigate, and it is just a block from the Tacoma Food Co-op, a store centered on selling Tacoma-made food and products.

A final destination after “foodsploring” on Sixth? Primo Grill for happy hour. The restaurant’s new $5 happy hour menu makes it one of the best deals in town outside of Masa’s all-day happy hour Sundays-Tuesdays (in the bar, they’re across Sixth from Primo) and Pacific Grill’s half-price bar happy hour all day, every day, in downtown Tacoma. Read more »


Happy Hours: The siblings of Sixth Avenue

The happy hour menu at Asado includes prawns in serrano ham (foreground), a steak skewer, and Asado burger dip (rear). Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Forget drink discounts, happy hour is about the food. Or, rather, it’s about the food if you’re a deal seeker who also happens to enjoy well-crafted cuisine.

For this installment of happy hour food deals, we headed to Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue, an eating district rich with restaurants and bars that offer deep discounts during happy hour dining.

We couldn’t write about every restaurant in that neighborhood, so we focused on just a few blocks along Sixth – from Pine to Oakes.
Within those few blocks you’ll find four restaurants with sibling connections: The first pair is Asado and Masa, located across the street from one another and both operated by X Group Restaurants. The second is Primo Grill and Crown Bar, located within about a block of one another and owned and operated by Charlie McManus with wife Jacqueline Plattner. Read more »


Happy Hour: Woody’s on the Water

Coconut prawns at Woody’s on the Water

I took another detour into happy land last week with a visit to a waterfront restaurant that a few TNT Diner readers recommended – Woody’s on the Water. (For my recent Happy Hour blog posts, see this story here, here and here.)

Happy hour is 3 p.m-6 p.m. daily at Woody’s, with bar eats half off during that time. TNT Diner reader gmaglenda raved about the coconut prawns ($5 during happy hour) at Woody’s, and I can see why – the flavors were a complicated meld of spicy, sour and sweet.

Read more »


Happy Hour: A tour of upscale eats at bargain bar prices

Pacific Grill’s happy hour menu includes grilled oysters with pancetta, left, meat candy, top, and cheeseburger sliders with garlic fries. Photo by Janet Jensen/The News Tribune.

Let’s end our week a little more happy, shall we?

Earlier this week, I took you on a tour of El Gaucho’s happy hour. Yesterday, I wrote about Merende. Today, I offer you a report of happy hours at three more Tacoma restaurants that serve noshable eats at bargain bar prices: Pacific Grill, Stanley & Seafort’s and Duke’s on Ruston.

Don’t think of happy hour as a time to swill the drink of your choice. Think of it as a time to graze. Cheaply.

Here, then, a look at happy houring on the cheap…

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Happy Hour: Merende

The hummus dip at Merende.

Here’s another dose of happy hour. Today, my happy hour stop is Merende. Yesterday, I toured El Gaucho’s happy hour menu. Tomorrow, come back for thoughts on happy hours at Pacific Grill, Stanley & Seafort’s and Duke’s.

Now for today’s offering….

Il Trattoria di Merende

  • Where: 813 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-722-1993;
  • Happy hour: 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 9 p.m-close Fridays-Saturdays and 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Sundays. Tapas plates are $5 each on the happy hour menu.
  • Five dollars makes me happy at Merende. It’s all I need – five bucks – to enjoy a plate of hummus with pita, or a helping of mushroom risotto, from the “everything five bucks” happy hour menu at Merende. I appreciate a menu full of $5 options. Here’s what I ate:

    Read more »


    Happy Hour: El Gaucho

    The El Gaucho burger, priced $8 on the happy hour menu. Photo by Peter Haley/The News Tribune.

    It’s happy hour week at the TNT Diner blog. Why? Because we can all use a dose of happy. I’ll have reports of five happy hours around town this week. Today, read about El Gaucho. Tomorrow, you’ll hear about Merende. Friday, you can read about Pacific Grill, Stanley & Seafort’s and Duke’s.

    Now for today’s offering….

    El Gaucho

  • Where: 2119 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-882-0009;
  • Happy hour:
  • 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 p.m.-close; 10 p.m.-close Saturday and 4:30 p.m. to close Sunday. Bar eats are half off during happy hour.

    El Gaucho’s happy hour usually makes me happy as a clam. Or at least that was the case before I sampled El Gaucho’s clams. I’ve given them my designation as "Tacoma’s grittiest." But the sand-laden clams at El Gaucho were just one of a few problems with their happy hour eats. Mostly happy hour there is a guaranteed good deal, and well executed – and the snazzy appeal of the deeply sunken dining room, a handsome room, tuxedoed servers and live piano music makes it a must-stop for any late night wooing you might need to do. Happy hour bar eats are half off during designated hours. A taste of what I sampled during two happy hour visits:

    Read more »