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3uilt Tacoma

Every table is the cool kid table in this cafeteria

3uilt’s Biscuits and Gravy flanked by a tasty cup of Valhalla joe. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: Jackie and Dutch head to downtown Tacoma to explore a counter service-style stand-alone eatery within the 7 Seas Brewery warehouse. This sounds crazy, but it is a new concept that is becoming popular throughout the South Sound. Pronounced Built, but spelled 3uilt, they were up for the adventure.

JACKIE: Dutch, this space is something else. It's a vast, cafeteria-style space, except rad. First off, the space houses 3uilt, Valhalla Coffee and 7 Seas Brewing. If that's not a tasty matrimony, I don't know what is. Large, lacquered wood tables and benches make up much of the seating with the bar taking the spotlight in the center of the room. There are a couple pairs of couches for a comfy café vibe and other tables lining the walls. It's easy to meander around to drink it all in before you even step up to the order window to get your sustenance started.

DUTCH: Everyone seemed to be throwing down the shucked-to-order oysters on the half-shell, but I went a different route and ordered the warm Bavarian-Style Pretzel, which came brushed with fresh butter and topped with black salt. Thick, warm and soft, it was also large enough to share as an appetizer, or a perfect size for an individual snack. The pretzel comes with a choice of cream cheese, non-dairy vegan cheese made from cashews, or my favorite, the 253 Pilsner cheese sauce for dipping.

JACKIE: Mmmmm, pretzel. As I perused options, I was delighted to see that there were plenty of tasty choices for those who are vegan or vegetarian. Not that I am either, but it delights me to see those with dietary restrictions can easily navigate the menu. Plus, the establishment prides themselves on building relationships with local food purveyors, including the likes of OlyKraut and Taylor Shellfish. Oh, also, the pizza pie options are both quirky and diverse.

DUTCH: There are several up-scale sandwiches available, and the Davinci's Dip is like no other sandwich in town. Layers of Pastrami and turkey are grilled with hearty, white cheddar, Eastern European-styled kraut, and au jus for dipping. This is a flavor explosion of salty and spicy where the turkey works as a good balance to the other extreme flavors.

JACKIE: Did you know they are open for breakfast? Any day of the week you can breeze in as early as 7 a.m. to get your day started. Valhalla baristas will craft some of the best roasted bean concoctions you've sipped, let me tell you. And 3uilt has a breakfast menu that includes easy grab-n-go items like baked goods from Macrina Bakery & Café or a rotating selection of breakfast sandwiches. I indulged in their Biscuits and Gravy. The cheddar rosemary biscuit was herbaceous and savory, perfectly toasted edges and then smothered with a sausage gravy that teased with sweet and peppery notes throughout.

DUTCH: The 7 Seas open, family-style atmosphere works well with 3uilt's casual come-and-get-it style of dining. Grab a large table to share with others and wait for your buzzer to go off, and then head up and pick up your order.

3uilt Tacoma, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily, 2101 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma,

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