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Grazing around The Grand

Where to eat before and after the Tacoma Film Festival

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Let’s face it. The dinner and a movie shtick is old … unless you’re in the vicinity of Tacoma’s Grand Cinema. The Grand has so many post-flick dining options available that the Weekly Volcano has decided to provide you, dear reader, with a short list of dining spots within walking distance. Trust us, Red Robin and the “The Bourne Whatever” ain’t got nothin’ on “Sicko” and Infinite Soups. 

Infinite Soups

445 Tacoma Ave. South

Speaking of Infinite Soups, it’s right around the corner, offering soups that are like a journey into space — not quite infinite, but as close as you’re going to get in the ghetto. For as little as $2, you can get your hands on simmered sensations with coconut curry, Italian onion, Portuguese Garlic and West African Peanut. Take a tour of the place that one local soup nut called “Soup Nazi” good. Bring cash and plan to sit somewhere else — Infinite Soups is take-out only.

One Heart Café

604 Fawcett Ave.

Those looking for a place to sit and sup soup can get a few Infinite Soups selections nearby at the recently unveiled One Heart Café, the second café opened by South Carolina native LaMont Green. The place formerly occupied by the Kickstand Café is now unabashedly adorned with colors, décor, art and words that just scream love for the world. Within two minutes of walking into this place, I had a cup of vanilla-almond tea and was listening to Painted Lady, played by a resident DJ — just plain ill. If you’re not into being comfortable and at peace, stay away. Teenage cynics and their stunted adult counterparts will likely cringe at the ambient joy. For those interested in an inimitable good vibe, beautiful, ecumenical art, and a healthy slate of sandwiches, specialty salads, soups and wraps, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Over the Moon Cafe

709 Opera Alley (Court C)

Across the street from PSP at the entrance to Opera Alley lies Over the Moon Café. Over The Moon offers Northwest and European cuisine. Lunches consist of soup made from scratch, fresh salads and sandwiches. Dinner has Italian and French elements, with a great lineup of nightly specials, steaks, fish and fowl. Try the asparagus with blue cheese appetizer, but be prepared to work it into future weekly budgets. It’s that good.


Corina Bakery

510 Sixth Ave.

Back up the hill, dessert can be found at Corina Bakery, named for owner Walter Gaya’s daughter. Recently expanded, the bakery has some of the most elegant décor I’ve ever seen in a restaurant, or anywhere else. Gaya’s creations range from six-inch slices of cake to homemade puddings and pies. Gaya’s creations are as elegant as the décor, with basic ingredients whipped into stacks of sin. Try the German Chocolate Cake, Lemon-coconut cake, cheesecake, vanilla pudding and lemon bars.

Doyle’s Public House

208 St Helens Ave.

For a more Northern European vibe, a short walk north will take you to Doyle’s Public House, or Pub — minimal, dark woods, low light and a bunch of sweet import beers — Stella Artois, Smithwick’s and Theakston’s Old Pequiliar, to name a few. For the famished, Doyle’s offers soups, salads, sandwiches and classic pub fare such as Bangers and Mash and Guinness Stew.

Stadium Bistro

206 St Helens Ave.

For those sporting a more persnickety palette, Stadium Bistro offers some of the best food in the city, courtesy of resident Chef Pete Weikel. With a basic bar, Stadium Bistro is about food. The place is a carnivore’s dream — seafood, pheasant, lamb, beef and venison adorn the menu, along with homemade soups and salads sprinkled with things like pears and goat cheese.

City Lights

445 Tacoma Ave. S.

Just down the street, City Lights offers beers on tap, classic diner food and 21 pool tables.

The menu is classic and full of standards like grilled sandwiches and steaks. City Lights also serves breakfast, and serves great, big, basic burgers, including a killer onion burger. If you’re into onions, try the onion rings. If you want a Snickers, there’s a vending machine.

St. Helens Café

206 St Helens Ave.

Heading north from City Lights, St. Helens Café has a nice, sparse menu offering classic fish and chips — chunky Alaskan cod fillets crisped in special house batter; classy burgers with several cheese choices, including the blue kind; pastas and salads. Do not miss the fish and chips, and just get three pieces (choices range from one to three) — you’ll want more if you order fewer.

Puget Sound Pizza

317 S Seventh St.

For some of the best pizza ever, hit Puget Sound Pizza, just down the hill from The Grand. PSP serves a killer breakfast and offers early-a.m. Bloody Marys. Pizzas range from favorites such as Hawaiian, pepperoni and chunky combos to in-house specialties with artichoke and pesto. There’s a nice time-warp thing going on there, with several decades of decorating themes colluding to round out a Platonic pizza experience. Oh, and karaoke on the weekend!

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