Conveniently located directly next to the Garfield Book Company, 208 Garfield could easily be confused for just another cafe character. And while, especially in the morning hours, it does indeed sling out espresso and fresh baked pastries, 208 seamlessly transcends to wine bar status in the afternoon, serving up clean plated gastro pub type cuisine.
208 Garfield's lunch menu includes a variety of tasty paninis, salads and sandwiches available throughout the day. Their Happy Hour Menu, which goes live at 3 p.m., adds a variety of cheese plates and larger entree like dishes such as a Slow Roasted "Pure Country" Pork Belly with a brown sugar glaze served with pickled mustard seeds and a shaved fennel salad ($7). This pork belly is among some of the most tender I've eaten. The brown sugar glaze loaned a nice sweetness and, when paired with the mustard seeds, certainly balanced sweet and savory together. To accompany the pork belly I suggest their onion soup, paired with a mixed green salad ($5). The soup-salad combo is a hearty meal in itself, and exceptionally priced.
208 Garfield also features a lovely selection of Washington and Oregon wines and local craft brews. For those looking for something refreshing minus the alcohol you can find tasty herbal spritzers infused with lavender, elderflower and vanilla.
If this post was called Eat These Two Dishes Now, I'd suggest the Tuscan Bread Salad ($6). Using toasted Grand Central ciabatta bread - a Pacific Northwest native - as the base 208 then tossed the salad with fresh red peppers, tomatoes, red onion kalamata olives and fresh basil. This bread salad was a satisfying matrimony of distinct flavors, including a Mediterranean-esque flavor profile. It's perfect for the carb lovers.
SLOW ROASTED "PURE COUNTRY" PORK BELLY, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday with happy hour 3-6 p.m., 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with happy hour all day, 208 Garfield St. S., Tacoma, 253.538.5990