Welcome to the first ever Gritty City Food blog banter! Yay you! For our first foray into this dialogue-styled post, we chose Stink – a deli/meat and cheese shop on 628 St Helens Ave. It seemed only fitting. Tacoma is so well known for it’s aroma, and Stink is the perfect example of how that aroma is shifting toward a more delightful odor. We’ve traded burnt socks and rotten eggs for aged cheese and cured meats. I think we got the better end of that bargain. This post features both Adam and I in our most robust and finest – instant messaging over Facebook, typing between mouthfuls of inspiring drink. Enjoy!
Adam: One of the douches two was sitting on his porch on a clear August evening, one with just enough orange in the sky to remind you of the warmth that was in the day and just a hint of the fall that is just around the corner.
Derrick: Oooooh, waxing poetic.
Adam: The second, in his little light green house just off of S Verde St, sits at his computer, blue light emanating from its screen, beats his brow over the blog post that he will publish this night, even if the pre autumnal moon rises.
Derrick: It’s white.
Adam: Oh, I guess mine is green.
Derrick: So, Adam (in my best interrogator voice) what did the name “Stink” conjure up in your seedy little mind?
Adam: Well, I didn’t quite know what to think when you first told me about Stink… but once I heard the words, “Meat and Cheese” I knew I’d like it….and I don’t mean Velveeta and Oscar Meyer bologna.
Derrick: I told you about Stink? I didn’t’ realize I was so enlightening…
Adam: You did and you are!
Derrick: Awwww…. I realize that some might be turned off by the title, but I think it’s great. It’s safe to say the best meats and cheeses stink like ass. Sweet sweet ass.
Adam: If you’re talking about Pork ass, I might be very into that.
Derrick: The place is smallish, clean, there is obviously inventory stacked with beer and a deli case with $ per/lb. meat and cheese, so my first thoughts were that Stink would specialize in distribution and sales, not their food.
Lucky for us, the food was bomb.
Adam: Agreed- I did enjoy the color choices for the walls, very Euro, plus the European style signs hung about the shop were great for the feel.
Derrick: not to mention the Euro-style….who am I kidding? I have no European experiences to harken back to. [sniffle]
So let’s enlighten our loyal readers about our meals today.
Adam: Yes, let’s.
Derrick: Numero uno: Drinks! The happy hour at Stink is actually quite good. Although, happy hour extends beyond drinks.
Adam: Yes! Our Pinot Noir was quite good. Dry and bold. Wines and beers for $3 a glass- can’t beat that! As a table holding 6.5, what was the damage?
Derrick: Well, the 15 month old wasn’t drinking…but we hit $18. A light round for us. And cheese plates for $5 – a stellar deal.
Adam: We put down a few $5 cheese plates , a few grilled cheese specials, a salami sandwich and a meat plate!
Derrick: Let’s talk about the cheese plates a bit, it may be one of the best happy hour deals in Tacoma currently.
Adam: Yes! I love the variety that they give you on the (plate?) slate slab- but I also really enjoy the grapes and candied walnuts- a good addition.
Derrick: And if you sweet talk the waitress and order two cheese plates you can have different cheeses on each. And the portions of cheese were very generous, and served with a warm sliced baguette.
Adam: And the meat plate…I have ordered on a few other visits and each time it’s a little different. This time we had a lovely salami, classic and not too greasy. Next was a light prosciutto and followed by a spicy cured ham. The fantastic meats are accompanied by crisp pickled vegetables, stone ground mustard (so good!) and balsamic vinegar and olive oil. If you are looking for a European experience (and I always am) look no further!
Derrick: Although it was evident by the single tear streaming down your cheek that you missed the pickled peppers from meat plates past.
Adam: It’s true.
Derrick: As you mentioned, there were salami and grilled cheese sandwiches today, both were delicious. As always, the salad was great. (Sandwiches at Stink are served with an amazing salad of fresh greens, grapes, feta and balsamic, and it is always great). The salami was perfect. Fresh bread, a delicious combo of salty salami, cheese, greens, and balsamic on a very fresh roll.
In addition to a nice little menu of sandwiches and salads, Stink has a rotating menu on a small chalkboard above the drink fridge. On any given day you will come across a new grilled cheese, macaroni, soup, and dessert.
Adam: What a crazy, yet delicious grilled cheese they had today! Blueberry avocado?
Derrick: It seems the grilled cheese may be one of the bigger crapshoots. Last time we were in they had a grilled American cheese with bologna and a bag of Fritos for $2.99. $2.99! And it was amazing.
I thought I hated bologna.
Adam: Overall, I think STINK is great. I think it’s unique, I think it’s in the same unique vein that runs so deeply in Tacoma.
Derrick: So here’s a hard one: what could make Stink better?
Adam: Ok- prices. Although I like the meat plate, $13 isn’t really worth it.
Derrick: Yeah, but you gotta wonder about the cost on those imported meats. I can say for certain that their cheese is about 33% less expensive than Metro Market. (Don’t get me started on the Met…)
Adam: True- It might be the make or break point for Stink.
Derrick: The place would definitely improve with a disco ball.
Adam: I think some Euro-house jams pumping through speakers would really step this place up.
Derrick: Your Euro obsession is making me feel a bit ostracized.
As always, mention us and get…no discount. But have fun stinkin’ up the place.
Tacoma, WA 98402 (253) 426-1347