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

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Tag: Tacoma Wa restaurants


More sushi spin: Red Tuna plans a January opening in Tacoma

Poke is a bargain at Tacoma Mall Boulevard's Sushi Revolution at $2.50 a plate. Red Tuna will be the second conveyor belt sushi restaurant in the Tacoma Mall neighborhood when it opens in January.

James Kwak is planning a January opening for Red Tuna, a 200-seat kaiten sushi and robatayaki restaurant at the Tacoma Mall, 4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma.

The 6,000 square foot restaurant is under construction now in a space near the Forever 21 store.

Kwak previously owned a sushi restaurant in Kent called Kaiten Sushi, named after the style of sushi where sushi chefs prepare small plates of rolls and nibbles, which are then placed on conveyor belts for self-service dining. Read more »


First bite: Porter’s Place reopens on South Tacoma Way

Porter is a name synonymous with barbecue in Western Washington. Alton Porter opened Porter’s Place in Tacoma in 1994, the same year his late father, Gene Porter, opened Dixie’s in Bellevue. Later came the family’s barbecue stands at Safeco Field.

If the name Porter doesn’t register, these words just might: “Have you met ‘The Man?’ ” Read more »


Off the radar: Tacoma and Lakewood strip malls hide culinary treasures

Jennifer Jones, left, Jesenia Fonseca, center, and Erica Rembert grill meat on the tabletop burner at Cham Garden Korean BBQ in Lakewood. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

Strip malls suck up moments of our mundane lives. The stores within often signify the boring check marks on our vast to-do lists: drop off the dry cleaning, get the nails done, pick up that package, grab a quick coffee, look at carpet samples. Back on the road again.

But sometimes – just sometimes – strip malls hide culinary treasures that invite you to sit, savor and enjoy hand-crafted food that seems woefully out of place in a suburban setting.

Here I’ll tell you about three remarkable finds. They’re all in strip malls. Don’t judge them by their exterior. Judge them on their food. Read more »


Massimo in University Place opens Sunday (finally)

A month delayed by electrical and plumbing issues, but Massimo, University Place’s newest restaurant will open Sunday.

The restaurant, which I previously wrote about here and here, is the new tenant for the building that formerly housed Captain Nemo’s on Bridgeport Way. Massimo is a sibling restaurant to the Purdy Italian eatery of the same name that Massimo and Cindy Terracciano opened in 2009. They previously owned Terracciano’s in Gig Harbor at 3119 Judson (that restaurant now is Il Lucano) Co-owner Rich Johnson, who has worked with the couple since their first Gig Harbor restaurant, will manage the restaurant.

For those who recall the 80s decor of Captain Nemo’s, wipe that memory because the restaurant has been stripped and rebuilt. Read more »


Parkland dining: 208 Garfield and Margret’s add to an already interesting eating neighborhood

Braised short ribs with horseradish glaze and creamed potato (foreground) and Saint Marcellin fondue with green apple, ciabatta and sweet cherry conserve at 208 Garfield in Parkland. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The sophisticated Italian restaurant Marzano. The mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant Reyna’s. The now-defunct Cajun eatery From The Bayou. Parkland long has been a destination for interesting dining.

Here’s something even diehard foodies might not have on their radars for the neighborhood near Pacific Lutheran University: Parkland is enjoying another culinary awakening.

New Parkland restaurants give reasons to head to the land of the Lutes. There’s Bruno’s European restaurant, whose cabbage rolls I wrote about last week (the restaurant relocated to Parkland from Lakewood earlier this year). And in May, I wrote about Yummers, a funky new cupcake shop with irreverent flavor combinations and a solid student following.

Here are two more you should track: 208 Garfield, a restaurant operated by PLU with dishes that reminded me more of Manhattan than Tacoma; and Margret’s, a plucky, cute and hidden sandwich cafe with an emphasis on scratch cooking that recently was taken over by two culinary school graduates. Read on… Read more »


X Group Restaurants purchases Tacoma brewpub Engine House No. 9

The bison burger at Engine House No. 9 in Tacoma. Will the purchase of E9 by X Group Restaurants mean a menu change for the longtime Tacoma brewpub?

In case you missed it, C.R. Roberts from The News Tribune’s business team reported that X Group Restaurants, which owns Asado and Masa on Sixth Avenue, has purchased the brewery pub Engine House No. 9, located just around the corner from Masa. Read the story here. I’ve messaged Joel Mertens, the chef of X Group Restaurants, to ask him if he’ll oversee the menu and kitchen, but a question in the meantime: If you could change anything about E9, what would it be? My first thought would be to keep the big cookies for dessert and don’t change the bison burger much, but feel free to ditch the bland tater tots from the menu, or at least season them properly

UPDATE: I heard back from Mertens and here’s what he had to say about the E9 menu: Read more »


Taste of Tacoma 2011: Wear your stretchy pants and use these tips for navigating the festival

Corn gnawing is a spectator sport at Taste of Tacoma.

Whatever your strategy for grazing your way around the Taste of Tacoma, here’s one tip to add to your arsenal: Look before you buy.

Taste of Tacoma is a visual feast with hundreds of people parading plates of every cuisine imaginable. You can predict what is worth buying from watching diners wander by with plates of food, or from listening to their suggestions. Last year, passers-by told me a restaurant was serving $2 egg rolls, while a nearby booth offered eight for $5.

My strategy was to cruise the restaurant booths first and look at the offerings before committing. Pay attention, watch the plates of food, and ignore your mother’s advice and do talk to strangers.

Click “more” for other tips and tricks for working your way through the festival. Read more »