Back to Reviews

Wooden City

Wherein one of our reviewers finds their newest culinary crush

Wooden City Blistered Hungarian Wax Peppers. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

ANNOUNCER: Located on the far end of Pacific Ave. in downtown Tacoma just off the edge of the Stadium District, Wooden City takes over the spot formerly occupied by Café Vincero. Award-winning chefs offer a variety of selections ranging from wood-fired pizzas and burgers to oysters on the half shell and lamb Bolognese. Dutch and Jackie rushed down to check out the eclectic menu.

DUTCH: I was lucky enough to get one of the few seats outside and felt this deserved a cocktail. With a limited, but creative drink menu, I contemplated the Victoria, which is a frothy raspberry flavored vodka drink, but ordered a classic Brown Derby instead. A simple mixture of bourbon, honey and fresh grapefruit juice, it reminded me that sometimes simple is best.

JACKIE: While dining outside has its advantages (and patio days are coming to a close), the interior of Wooden City is a sight to see. The space barely resembles what it once was, with warm, exposed brick in the place of slick tiled facades. Though I'm a firm believer that the Edison bulb is reaching the end of its trending years (or maybe it's just wishful thinking), they abound here and bring home the hip, swank vibe. The tap old fashioned was a nicely balanced libation and good start to the meal.

DUTCH: There was no way I was going to pass on the Blistered Hungarian Wax Peppers. Two large eight-inch peppers are stuffed to the brim with a sweet sausage, cheddar, oil and chives, and wood-fired to a charred perfection. There's just enough heat to keep you humble, and the flavor balance will keep you diving back bite after bite. The dish comes with a side of warm ciabatta bread, which is ideal for spreading the goods on.

JACKIE: Those are a must on my next visit. I opted for the Salmon Toast. Um, more please. Boasting crème fraiche, beet relish, fresh dill and pickled onion, the Salmon Toast delights with rich, fresh, delectable nibbles. Besides, salmon never looked so sexy -- the presentation is on point. I'm looking forward to when the menu expands in both bites and sips because everything was expertly executed.

DUTCH: The Roasted Pork sandwich is an example of how the chefs here have taken a simple item like a sandwich, and transformed it into a gourmet hand-held meal. Roasted porchetta is combined with bacon, fresh mozzarella, wood-fired red peppers, basil and arugula, stacked between soft buns and served with fries. One of the most flavorful sandwiches you'll ever try, it's important to note that it is also one hot mess of a hand-held option. Before you dive in, ask your server for extra napkins ... lots of them.

JACKIE: The napkin rule doesn't end at the Roasted Pork Sandwich. Their Tavern Burger was luscious and juicy. The bun is that pillowy but firm perfection it needs to be to stand up to a well grilled patty, American cheese, grilled onion, crisp pickle chips and two secret sauces. Each component played their part in a symphony dedicated to some sort of burger Eden. I can't get enough; I might be obsessed. Not a creeper cyber-like sort of obsession, oh no, they prepared me a dreamy meal, so I think it's mutual.

WOODEN CITY, 4-11 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday, 714 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.503.0762,

Read next close


Olympia’s fall theater scene

comments powered by Disqus