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Tacoma Restaurant Week is back

Three-course dinners for $30 and three-course lunches for $15 at the area’s best restaurants

Asado sets the table for Tacoma Restaurant Week -- indulge in their Prawn Puttanesca among the offerings. Photo credit: Asado

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One of the favorite parts of my job here at the Weekly Volcano is being challenged to dine out at establishments that aren't necessarily on my radar or among those I tend to have in my boring routine. We all do it; we know what we like; how we like it and we are creatures of habit. Cue Tacoma Restaurant Week -- not only do I love it because, who doesn't love a deal -- but TRW presents the perfect excuse to indulge in a restaurant establishment that you might not otherwise. Three-course dinners for $30 is quite enticing, especially when you consider the participating establishments are best known for quality, delectable fine-dining journeys.

Take Asado for instance. Their fine-dining fare takes everything to the next level with Argentinian flare and flavor. Their TRW menu will feature favorites like the Pablano Chicken Corn Chowder; the Mixta Petit boasting skirt steak, jumbo prawn and Uli's Chorizo Sausage; or the Asado Burger crafted with in-house ground sirloin and chorizo, fried provolone, serrano ham, sautéed onion and peppers, pablano aioli and a Macrina Bakery bun. Asado General Manager Chris Casella says of TRW, "It's a great opportunity to introduce new diners to Asado flavors."

Fine-dining staples in Tacoma will be on the scene in The Melting Pot, Stanley & Seafort's and El Gaucho. Each known for providing reliable, elevated dining journeys.

Two participating places always feel a bit off the beaten path: Bar Bistro and Boathouse 19. Both craft delectable fare, so use TRW as an excuse to jump in your car and make the trek. Boathouse 19 is doing both lunch at three courses for $15, and dinner! Relaxing on their deck, one of my favorite go-tos is perfection -- the Blackened Rockfish Tacos with local rockfish blackened with Cajun seasoning, strawberry-mango salsa, slaw, chipotle lime crema, corn and flour tortillas and corn salad. Yum! They also have an uber-fresh Hawaiian Ahi Salad with marinated ahi, Asian slaw, cucumber, sesame dressing and chili oil; and their Sweet Potato Tacos have my attention with miso and maple-roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, coconut, cilantro sauce, radish sprouts, toasted pumpkin seeds, corn and flour tortillas and corn salad. For dinner, you'll also find their Strawberry Salad and Crawfjsh Rigatoni. Finish that all off with the tasty Passion Fruit Burnt Cream or famous Lemon Cheesecake Jar. It's Tacoma-famous, trust me.

Venture to Ruston for the highest saturation of Restaurant Week participating establishments. WildFin, Duke's Chowder House, C.I. Shenanigans and The Lobster Shop are all in the mix. You could indulge in lunch at one, and a day of exploring the Sound before hitting up another for dinner. You'll have earned it with all the walking in between.

The Lobster Shop is also doing lunch and dinner, save for Sunday lunch. Have you seen the Lobster Shop during brunch? It's one of the busiest in town, hands down. Their TRW pickings are heavy on the seafood, naturally, and includes starters like the Ahi Nachos with Hawaiian ahi, crisp wontons, avocado, cilantro slaw and sriracha aioli. For lunch and dinner, the Thai Seafood Stew is packed with our friends from under the sea including wild-caught salmon, gulf prawns, Manila clams, penn cove mussels, coconut curry broth and jasmine broth. Dinner classics like the Maine Lobster Salad and Steak and Mushrooms are also available.

For more information and menus, visit:

TACOMA RESTAURANT WEEK, April 7-11 and April 14-18, at various locations

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