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2018's Fall Tacoma Restaurant Week

The best darn dining deal in Tacoma

Creole cuisine reigns supreme on Bar Bistro’s fall TRW menu. Photo credit: Bar Bistro

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Being frugal can be a good trait, it helps you save money for life's necessities, or if you're lucky you can tuck dollars away into savings for retirement or ... I dunno, whatever savings goes towards. Knowing when to treat yo'self is also a positive trait. Self-care is good for the soul and allowing yourself to indulge on occasion keeps you sane during the daily grind. Here's some good news for those who are both frugal but interested in a little self-care -- Tacoma Restaurant Week is back! Not familiar with TRW? Here's the rundown: a plethora of participating dining establishments curate special dining menus that include a three-course dining experience for a demure $30. A few even offer a lunch option at a lower rate. This season's festivities take place Oct. 21-25 and Oct. 28-Nov. 1.

If you're hankering for something exotic, Wabi Sabi has got your number. Delectable Japanese cuisine can be consumed in an ambiance that will transport you from the threshold to the very last bite. Indochine in Tacoma's downtown is serving up exotic flare for both lunch and dinner. Features that will have you salivating include fresh spring rolls, Habanero and Mango Hot Wings and their Bo Kho Vietnamese Beef Stew. The stew boasts a rich and complex flavor matrimony, with beef brisket slathered in spices like star anise, curcumin, smoked paprika and cinnamon setting the tasty foundation. If you're looking for lighter fare, the Shawarma Salad features more delightful spice kicks like turmeric, fennel, cardamom and garlic-marinated chicken breast that is served up with organic leafy greens, seasonal veggies and tahini dressing.

Fine dining features include the Melting Pot, where diners are encouraged to take their time embarking on a fondue adventure you won't find anywhere else. Stanley and Seafort's serves up solid standbys and something new that entices the average diner to indulge without the hefty tab that comes along with it. And El Gaucho provides a super swank vibe. Dimly lit, old school-style with a piano man tickling away in the background, you envision the Rat Pack sitting at the rail. Lobster Shop Executive Chef Justin Mevs communicates what most participating establishments would likely echo in response to why they continue to participate with TRW each and every season, "We really enjoy participating in these types of events as it allow us to reach out to the community and remind our guests that we aren't exclusively a special occasion restaurant."

The Lobster Shop is a classic Ruston Waterfront staple serving up starters like Ahi Nachos, Pecan Crusted Brie Cheese or Lobster Bisque. The main course options include rich bites from Beef Short Rib Bourguignon, prepared with fresh foraged mushrooms; Lobster and Shrimp Mac and Cheese, boasting creamy, beloved Beecher's Cheese; and Seafood Risotto. The lunch menu is a cool three courses for only $15. Desserts won't disappoint with house-made caramel pumpkin spice ice cream, pear bread pudding or the café au lait crème brulee -- the perfect sweet finale.

The waterfront hotspots galore doesn't end there. On the itinerary you'll discover Point Ruston's WildFin, Duke's Chowderhouse, Johnny's Dock and CI Shenanigans. Each serving up their brand of family-friendly, seafood-focused foodie fare with views that inspire PNW amore. Boathouse 19 Chef Ta'ani Ma'ama curates a menu full of fresh seafood fare that matches the view. You'll spy house favorites like Clam Chowder, Cajun Prawn Fettuccine and Huckleberry Ling Cod making the cut. Bonus: their mason jar desserts delight. I can't get enough of the Almond Roca Coffee Toffee Jar, myself.

Just off the beaten path is Bar Bistro. Owner Eric Poulin says, "We're excited to highlight some excellent Creole cuisine like our Shrimp Creole Stew and Seafood Etouffee being offered on the Tacoma Restaurant Week menu. Bar Bistro is very fortunate that our Commis Chef brought an authentic Louisiana heritage to our kitchen. Chef Nathan Hawes and I are both excited to highlight some of Jasmine Laster's passion for the culinary arts and her family's heritage on this fall's menu offerings." Also just a hop away is Table 47 in Gig Harbor. With a menu that specializes in farm-to-table fresh offering, the small toll paid to the ole bridge troll is well worth the excursion.

Now go forth and dine!

Wabi Sabi, 2919 South 38th St., Tacoma,

Indochine, 1924 Pacific Ave.,

The Melting Pot, 2121 Pacific Ave.,

El Gaucho, 2119 Pacific Ave.,

Stanley and Seafort's, 115 East 34th St.,

Lobster Shop, 4015 Ruston Way,

WildFin, 5115 Grand Loop Rd.,

Duke's Chowderhouse, 3327 Ruston Way,

Johnny's Dock, 1900 East D St.,

CI Shenanigans, 3017 Ruston Way,

Boathouse 19, 9001 South 19th St.,

Bar Bistro, 1718 99th St. E.,

Table 47, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr. NW,

Go to for a full list of menus.

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