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Margaret's Café

The smell of this downtown Tacoma cafe’s roll is so sweet

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The phrase “good things come in small packages” came to my mind recently while I was patiently waiting in line this week at a staple T-Town location.

In downtown Tacoma, there’s an absolutely charming business with an equally charming

owner, and both are small and cozy.

Margaret’s Café

Margaret’s was opened by Margaret Erwin in 2002, and it offers some of the absolute best soups, salads, quiche, and treats.

If you haven’t been, you’ve got to check it out.

I’m addicted to any one of her incredible homemade soups, crisp, fresh salads, and her daily specials are always irresistible.

Margaret’s is so good that even critical Trib reviewer Ed Murrieta likes it.

Here’s an insider tip: If you’re on a time crunch during your day, consider calling or faxing your order to Margaret and her staff, and they’ll have it ready and waiting for you. So many people love Margaret and Margaret’s that the lunch line can get lengthy. The phone number is 253.274.8788 and the fax number is 253.272.2299.

One of my favorite things about this place is the fresh rolls that come out of her kitchen. You can often smell them at the street side, and I have to fight myself from ordering two. Also, I try to avoid her fresh brownies, but Margaret has my number.  She puts them right in front of my face at the counter. That’s just not fair.

Another favorite thing is simply Margaret herself. She is 100 percent sweet and kind, and everyone in this city knows and loves her. She arrives at work at 4 a.m., and even sometimes 3:30 a.m., to prep for her breakfast and lunch rush. That’s dedication!

Her dining room is simple yet personal, and you really get the feeling that you’re sitting right outside of your mother’s kitchen.

Quite unlike your mother’s kitchen, Margaret’s building is situated just below Tacoma City Hall and the mind of this pocket-sized woman is completely filled with everything that’s going on here. There’s no cafeteria in City Hall, so if you show up at Margaret’s and you eavesdrop on the conversations going on there, you can hear your government working for you.

Speaking of community, did you know that Margaret’s son is Pat Erwin who is the principal at Lincoln High School? She’s obviously proud of him, and he’s a great guy. While Margaret is working to feed our bellies, her son is working to feed our young minds. That’s a great team!

Margaret’s is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., so be sure to stop by and check these digs out yourself.

Tell her that Natasha sent you, and you’ll get a first glimpse at Margaret’s heart-warming smile.

[Margaret’s Café, 754 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.274.8788]

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