Back to Features

Cool weather dish

How the South Sound dining scene is heating up

The same folks who bring us such wonderful dishes at Indochine, offer a fresh take on Thai at the Indo Asian Street Eatery. Photo credit: Facebook

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

As the weather turns, we head indoors. And we start thinking less about picking up that picnic food to go, and more about sitting down to something good. Fortunately, there's nothing stale with South Sound dining.  Here's a rundown of some eatery changes that happened while you were out boating.

Possibly the epicenter of the foodie revolution in Tacoma way back when, 6th Avenue is at it again with the addition of The Table (2715 6th Ave., Tacoma, 253.327.1862) this summer.  They pride themselves on "fresh, local, handcrafted" food items.  Take, for example their side, "ricotta and gnocchi mac and cheese" or "Brussels and butternut squash, roasted in duck fat."  Mostly, though, you have to love a place that serves a "dork burger" (60/40 blend pork/duck).

Maxwell's Restaurant and Speakeasy (454 St. Helen's, Tacoma, 253.683.4115) has recently reopened after extensive flood damage under the new ownership and a new leader in the kitchen, chef Andre Neeley.  

Up-and-coming on 6th Ave., existing food masterminds Steve Nacarrato and Robert Stocker (of Shake Shake Shake fame)will be bringing FISH FISH FISH! (and chips) and, next door, The Boom Boom Room.  The former will be focused on (you guessed it!) fish, and their friends, chips, while the latter will be a stylized nod to Mid-Century America sips and nibbles.  Design features are just coming together; Nacarrato says the restaurant will have bar seating for 10, overall seating for 49, "riffing off, not recreating" the feel of a Palm Springs swank lounge with classic drinks (Manhattan, anyone?)  This restaurant will not attempt to fill the hole left by the loss of Smoke and Cedar (closing the afternoon of Sunday, November 1). "anytime a restaurant closes it's hard being my brother, it's terrible." But, he suggests, "it's a tough location, hard to pull off a great restaurant at a golf course," he muses.

South of the Pierce County border, into Thurston County, find a new chef at the helm of the kitchen at Olympia's Three Magnets Brewery (600 Franklin St., #105, 360.972.2481).  Kyle Nuk adds his seasonal menu to the already established (and tasty!) list of beers on tap.  There is an all-ages dining area in addition to the taproom/bar area, so have no fear if you're dining with younger-than-21s.

Also in Olympia, visit Obsidian (414 4th Ave. E., Olympia, 360.890.4425), "coffee shop by day, bar and venue by night." Coffee - scratch waffles - Panini, and dirty rice with massaged kale salad round out this menu, while live music rounds out the ambience. You'll find a mixture between the energy of Three Magnets and Obsidian at south Tacoma's Edison City Alehouse (5602 S. Lawrence, Tacoma, 253.301.3593).  Not officially a live music venue, this establishment has hosted a live band in its brief tenure and sells roughly a million (okay, possibly less) beers in addition to offering up a variety of sandwiches.

Toward that bready goodness that sandwiches provide, with a family-friendly vibe, freshly opened Elemental Pizza (1702 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.4000) promises to bring some more good-food energy into the campus of the University of Washington, Tacoma. North of Elemental Pizza, in the formerly sweet and sedate space of the Hawthorn Tearoom, Montamara Kitchen (2208 N. 30th St., Tacoma, 253.314.5892) brings a new energy along with breakfast, brunch and wine (yes, please!)

And then there's always that yearning for the south we get when we've gotten to the cold, wet and grey time of year. So what better food than southern goodness to bring the temperature up?  Pacific Southern (3832 S. Pine St., Tacoma, 253.474.9898) is a great place to start.  In the space where Pine Street Landing was near the Tacoma Mall, find all things southern that your heart can desire - chicken and waffles, okra, hush puppies and grits.  Or for a bit of South-meets-Asia, head to the Lincoln district and dig in to Dragon's Crawfish (750 S. 38th St., Tacoma,  253.301.0020).  Even though the name nods to the owner's mother's establishment across the street, the food is distinctly Cajun-inspired - and BYOB (bring your own bib.)

Ending on an Asian accent - we wouldn't do our tour of new foodie-havens justice if we didn't visit Indo Asian Street Eatery (110 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.503.3527) in the Stadium district.  The same family who runs Indochine (1924 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.8200) right down the street from Elemental Pizza, have opened this fresh new take on Thai, with menu items like pork belly sliders and oyster pancakes along not-so-Thai Korean hot wings.  While not officially confirmed, one hot little rumor served in a bamboo steamer on a trolley is the coming of a dumpling restaurant (finally!) in the vicinity of the Mad Hat Tea Company.

It's a comfort to know that however predictably wet and grey the winter may be, warm, bright, and exciting food is just around the corner.

Read next close


How to get by

comments powered by Disqus