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Trick or eat?

Enjoying proctor treats without having to beg for food

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For many a Hallow’s Eve, the Proctor businesses have opened their doors to wee ones on Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m., for safe and sane trick-or-treating as parents stroll behind.

For those who are childless, still hanging from the night before, or reluctant to join the throngs of would-be Paris Hiltons, the most appealing option may be more voyeur than vampire. Since Halloween began at least in part as a harvest festival, it’s only natural that some of us may wish to celebrate in a more discreet fashion.

Fortunately, from swank to snack, the Proctor District affords many prime spots for both eating and seeing. Whether you choose to eat light (perhaps in hopes of squeezing into a Dacron mermaid outfit later on) or to make a whole evening out of the meal, it’s comforting to know that you needn’t subsist on candy necklaces or Sun Maid raisins, even if it is for only one night.

Pour At Four

Pour At Four provides just enough sustenance to keep one going all night at a price only slightly more than a burrito (on Halloween proper, one needs to save cash for alcohol and cabs, even in the most self-disciplined circumstances). Owner Mark Merrill created the perfect small-bites menu to accompany his massive list of single-pour wines. October at Pour at Four is zinfandel month. Their feature zin, Gnarly Head, seems appropriate to pour Wednesday.

Close Encounters: A seat at one of two window tables affords a close view of those tykes tossing out the apples. Ignoring the back room, almost every table has a view through the large windows and glass door. Even at the high bar, one has a view of the raunchy Lindsay Lohan while stuffing one’s face with Pour at Four’s New Orleans bread pudding.

[Pour At Four: A Wine Bar, 3814 N. 26th, Tacoma, 253.761.8015]

Babblin’ Babs Bistro

Babblin’ Babs Bistro now has more Babs for the buck. The Proctor District bistro’s expansion is complete with three areas for Chef William Mueller to reach including a private conference room.

Billed as “a world of flavors,” Babblin’ Babs’ Bistro doesn’t disappoint. Chef Mueller fuses French techniques with a casual flair, crafting exquisite breakfast sandwiches, fresh lunch fare, and dinner specials featuring locally sourced and organic (when possible) products.

Items like Lavender lattes make us drool and go back for more, while exotic flavor combinations in his special dishes make us glad we did.

Close Encounters: The two tables next to the front window provide the best viewing spot, although Babs’ open kitchen concept proves attention competition.

[Babblin’ Babs Bistro, 2724 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.761.9099]

Pomodoro Italian Cafe & Bar

Watching the trick-or-treaters from the tables next to the windows at Pomodoro is akin to viewing it from a glass-bottom boat: you can see everything — the tallest wigs and the largest clown shoes — from literally inches away. It’s as close as you can get to the action without wearing makeup.

Every time we open their door, a rich smell envelopes our nostrils. Garlic, bread, pasta, onion and herbs all combined to make a scent so delicious we want to roll up in it and take a nap. Pomodoro offers almost 10 different desserts and a nice choice of after dinner drinks and liqueurs, not to mention a worthy wine list.

Close Encounters: Two tables nestle up to the windows in the dining room, although most can catch a glimpse halfway toward the back. If you prefer the bar, grab the end spots on the high bar. Of all the Proctor eateries, this is the liveliest.

[Pomodoro Italian Cafe & Bar, 3819 N. 26th, Tacoma, 253.752.1111]

Europa Bistro

Few places make you feel like you’d want to eat there every night. Europa Bistro is such a place. This small bistro restaurant packed inside the Proctor strip oozes good feelings. It’s a five-senses kind of place. A heady roasted garlic scent floats from the open-air kitchen while diners watch the chefs prepare entrees ranging from comfort food such as chicken saffron pasta to roast duck salad and on to hearty dishes such as filet mignon with sautéed mushrooms in Marsala sauce.

Close Encounters: The best view of the trick or treat show are the three tables next to the front windows or at the end of the bar. Good luck trying not to lose yourself in the delicious food and swirling Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra music.

[Europa Bistro, 2525 N. Proctor, Tacoma, 253.761.5660]

Knapp’s Restaurant & Lounge

Should one require a less exotic meal to accompany a night of extremism, Knapp’s Restaurant & Lounge serves up grandma’s best. At worst, Knapp’s is reminiscent of unexceptional roadside diners, but at its best it’s homemade turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing at a reasonable price. On the lighter side, go with the popular Monte Cristo.

Close Encounters: With enough windows to contend as a small biosphere, one has a clear view of the front sidewalk. The cars out front can block the opposite sidewalk, and the bar has tinted windows, but your nose will be in the pulltabs anyway.

[Knapp’s Restaurant & Lounge, 2707 N. Proctor, Tacoma, 253.759.9009]


For a quicker pit stop, Starbucks (corner of 26th and Proctor) sells, well, you know.

Close Encounters: Huge glass windows and outdoor seating in the center of the Halloween action.

Other Proctor District Close Encounter Spots

Catch the action at these spots, too: 26th Street Cafe’ at Chalet Bowl, East-West Café, Fuji Teriyaki, La Fondita Mexican Restaurant (with new adjoining bar!), and Old House Cafe.



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