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Best of Olympia 2018: Cascadia Grill

Readers' pick: Best overall restaurant

The Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Kababs will impress steak lovers. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

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The menu at the Cascadia Grill sets the tone for an enjoyable and festive dining experience. With classifications such as "Who Wants a Snack?", "Hand Held Stuff," and "Fork and Knife Stuff" and menu items like "Exactly 5 Chicken Legs" and "Cohos Gone Wild," you can be assured that the staff at the Cascadia Grill, voted Best Overall Restaurant in Olympia, is there to make your dining experience family friendly. However, don't be fooled into thinking that they don't take their food seriously, because the attention and care to great food is evident.

The atmosphere at Cascadia is sincerely welcoming. Dark wood is partnered with bright lights and eclectic pictures that cover nearly every wall space. Of course, any restaurant dedicated to Northwest cuisine must have a wood-carved bear and beaver to welcome its diners. Finally, local artists perform live music Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Cascadia offers plenty of simple dishes with an added twist. For instance, The Garcia Takes a Dip sandwich is a Mexican-driven creation of an au jus dish with shredded pork, jalapeno, pepper jack cheese and a cup of pork au jus for dipping.  Another simple offering with flare is the wedge salad, which is served as a generous slice of iceberg lettuce and the expected gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes and bacon, but with added red onions and pumpkin seeds. And obviously, it must have a fun name like He's Goin With the Wedge.

Cascadia is much more than burgers and salads; there is a fine dining side to this place as well, just without the traditional stuffiness. The Simply Ahi is exactly that, simply a well-prepared, black pepper-encrusted rare ahi served atop sesame-seasoned vegetables with Asian dipping sauces. Additionally, the Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Kababs are a must-try for any steak lover. They are tender and full of flavor, driven by the smoky bacon, and served resting on a kale and spring mix sprinkled with a citrus dressing that thankfully spills into the fried russet potatoes.

And the beer, don't forget about the beer! There are more than two dozen local, sometimes rotating, selections from breweries such as 7 Seas, Elysian, Narrows, and Fish Brewing to name a few. Don't worry -- if wine is your adult beverage of choice, they've got you covered here, too. The list includes local wines from the Columbia and Willamette valleys as well as selections from California, Argentina and France.

Owners Jeff and Julie want to fit in with the quirky, relaxed vibe that is Olympia, but they also want to add good food across a variety of favorites and pair it all with great service. They have stuck with their goals, and Cascadia has become a unique restaurant in a city that thrives on eclectic.

CASCADIA GRILL, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 200 4th Ave. W., Olympia, 360.628.8731,

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