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Fern Room

Spend an evening eating, drinking, and listening to all that is the 1970’s

Check out Jack, Chrissy and Janet’s favorite dish on the Fern Room menu, The Regal Beagle Burger. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: With vintage and retro so popular, the space formerly Tacoma Cabana, the new Fern Room is oozing with a 1970's vibe. From the décor, to the music, to the menu itself, everything is a journey to the past. Jackie and Dutch boogie on in to get the skinny.

JACKIE: Holy transformation, Batman. Owners Robyn and Jason Alexander have proven to be masters of the remodel. Situated in what was once Tacoma Cabana, the Fern Room boasts a retro vibe that has you reminiscing about your cool aunt's study. Fake ferns, vintage lamps and macramé owls adorn every corner. There are plenty of Instagram-worthy nooks to take advantage of while you imbibe. The menu keeps it kitschy classic with grasshoppers, cosmos, whiskey sours, salty dogs and classic beer and shot combos. I sipped on the Spaghetti Western to start. Bourbon, Galliano, Vic's Mix and bitters provide a boozy, slightly sweet and tart sipper floating around crushed pebble ice.

DUTCH: I loved the funky drink menu that included the Grasshopper which was a staple at all my parents' parties in the 70s. I thought twice, but ultimately chose a can of Rainier. On my next visit, however, I'm going to have to give the Salty Dog of grapefruit vodka, grapefruit juice and a salted vanilla grapefruit cordial; that's a lot of refreshing grapefruit! Or, the Fern Room Daiquiri deserves a look with its concoction of rum, brandy, gin, Vic's mix and cream. Truly, I think I could spend a Friday night here just journeying through the drink menu.

JACKIE: The Deviled Eggs boast "grandma's recipe" with bacon, dill, a pebble of pickle and green onion. These are just like grandmama's. The tacos come as a trio and highlight tender pork, rainbow slaw and cotija cheese. The only thing stopping these from being pure perfection was a bump of some kind of spicy sauce. But really, that's just me nitpicking.

DUTCH: The dinner menu reads like a trip through the TV dinner section at the grocery store. The fish sandwich, Salisbury steak or the Swedish meatballs have all occupied my freezer at one time or another. I ordered the Swedish meatballs which were handcrafted with beef and pork, and then laid over wide egg noodles and smothered in a mild brown gravy. The dish is finally garnished with chopped green onions that highlight a freshness that you will not confuse this plate with anything in your freezer.

JACKIE: I had to indulge in the Regal Beagle Burger. Another classic and a fun nod to sitcoms of eras past. A beef patty is sandwiched between a golden browned bun with fresh lettuce, onion and tomato, crisp bacon, pickle and a dollop of mayo and ketchup. Sometimes one does not need to reinvent the wheel to delight the taste buds.

DUTCH: I'm a sucker for a good tavern burger, and the Regal Beagle Burger hit the spot for me as well. I appreciate the extra effort found in the seasoning of the patty itself. But the dish I appreciated the most, at least nostalgically speaking, was the tomato basil bisque and grilled cheese sandwich. Though the tomato soup of my youth was out of a can, the fresh taste offered by the basil bisque certainly ups the stakes on this favorite. Sorry Mom . . . you're gonna have to make some changes. Reverting back to my childhood, I was unable to resist using the soup as a dip for my grilled cheese sandwich, and the pairing was everything I expected it to be, and I left completely satisfied.

FERN ROOM, 5 p.m. to midnight, Friday-Saturday, 728 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.222.4184

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