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Upscale dining in aisle one

The Metropolitan Market - an early pioneer

The Metropolitan Market in Tacoma is the original gourmet grocery store in the South Sound. Photo credit: Jake de Paul

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ANNOUNCER: Before there was Harbor Greens, Trader Joes and Whole Foods, The Metropolitan Market in Proctor came down from Seattle to provide our area an upscale grocery experience that includes take-and-go delicacies hard to find, at the time, anywhere else.

JAKE:  You want me to eat at a grocery store?

JASON: I have been stopping and grabbing lunch there for years.  How is this not a restaurant?

JAKE:  True. I'm a big fan of soup and salad for lunch, and Met Market has lots of options.  The salad bar is loaded with fresh vegetables and pastas for any kind of salad you may be craving that day.  And the soup bar has no less than 10 fresh choices on any given day.  I'm a big fan of the creamy soups like the rustic potato, corn chowder or the clam chowder.  I always make sure to box up a few of the house-made garlic croutons because they go great with either a salad or a substitute for crackers in the soup.

JASON: My go-to has always been the meat chili, which used to be there daily but now is hit or miss. In fact, I go there a little less now because I can't rely on getting a pot of the area's best chili.

JAKE: There seems to be endless options of prepared dishes when it comes to the main course as well. You can order pasta sauté such as Penne alla vodka sauce, linguine Alfredo, and even macaroni and cheese made to order for as low at $5.99.  Additionally, they offer herbed pork loin, roasted turkey breast and even prime rib sliced to order.  Each will make you think you are eating at a four-star restaurant, except you can take it to go or to one of the many outdoor tables.  The best deal, however, is the prime rib sandwich served on a fresh baked baguette, drenched in au jus and then piled with thinly sliced, aged prime rib.  Ask for a side of au jus for dipping.

JASON: One year, I ordered an entire Thanksgiving meal from the Met.  They do an amazing job providing moist meats and hand-crafted sides.  

JAKE:  On the way to the checkout lane, hit up the bakery and grab The Cookie.  A huge chocolate chip cookie made fresh at nearly any given moment is just the right end to whatever you choose.

JASON: The cookie just might be one of the most "famous" things the Met does.  I was at a Rainier's game ordering their new hot cookie and the person next to me asked if I had tried the chocolate chip at the Met.  It's rapidly gaining quite the positive reputation.  But that's not all, the Met has a huge case of cakes and cupcakes that are equally amazing, and decorated to the nines.  If you need a go-to hostess gift, you can pop in any time and find something that will impress family and friends.

JAKE: Okay, I get it, a grocery store does make sense in this column.

The Metropolitan Market, 2420 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.761.3663,

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