You know it, you love it. We meet a few of you and enjoy some beers at the Parkway Tavern.
The Parkway Tavern…best beer selection in Tacoma. ’nuff said.
On Historical Landmarks Not So Historical
You know, I in good conscience could have ended the post there. The Parkway beer selection alone is good enough to make it a worthwhile destination. Even if the place had only one bathroom, wobbly tables, and a staff consisting of one Brett Michaels I would still consider it a wonderful stop along the Gritty City Express. Not long ago that was a frighteningly close description of this bar-in-a-house, but the Parkway has become so much more in just the past eight or nine years in which I’ve been privy to its existence. Once a grimy space-challenged room with few taps and low popcorn ceilings, the Parkway is now a shiny cathedral for hop worshippers to pay homage to the religion that is craft beer.
Frisko Freeze. You’ve seen it driving down Division on your way to work, maybe you’ve been there a time or two or you’re a lifer, any way you need to get back over there for a burger and a shake. We headed down with a few friends, stood in the cold, ate, chatted and shot some video. Sit back, watch our silly little video, then throw on a coat and head down to Frisko Freeze to get your own greasy delights.
As always, head down, stand in line just to let them know you heard of them from us and receive nothing! Except a good burger!
1201 Division Ave Tacoma, WA 98403-1317
Our second installment of our Dinners With Sandy. This time we get swanky at Maxwell’s
Maxwell’s Speakeasy. Did you know we had one? Nothing seemed illicit, but maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. Despite its central location Maxwell’s seems to be fairly isolated on its corner at 6th and St Helens, apparently enough to once host a very exclusive, although legal drinking club. Walk in any direction and you’ll hit a great food joint – Corina’s, Stink, Puget Sound Pizza, Doyles, The Tap Room, and The Hub are all within a block or two – but the only immediate neighbors of Maxwell’s are an inordinately elaborate intersection and The Fabulous Fifties Hall, which is quite a conversation piece. What’s the deal with that place anyway? Maxwell’s is a place Adam and I probably wouldn’t have made it to if not for our lovely host Sandy. Not for the overt swank, or the equally swankily priced menu, but for the simple “removed from everything else” feel the place has. Dunno, maybe it’s just me.
The restaurant is classy. It feels like the lobby of an upscale hotel circa 1920, complete with chandeliers and sepia-toned walls. The wood is dark and the lighting soft. They definitely nailed the rat pack vibe. Above the dining room the careful eye will notice a small set of windows which apparently once housed the now defunct drinking club. For a mere $1000/year you too could have been an exclusive drinker. I wonder what it’s like up there? I imagine a smokey room full of tuxedos and girls selling cigarettes on trays. I predict a sweet theme party!
We get treated to dinner at Quickie Too, a vegan soul food restaurant on Hilltop
Gritty City Food is a labor of love. We love food and we love Tacoma. We’re not journalists and we don’t make a cent off the site (but we are certainly open to offers). When it comes down to it, this website is simply a vehicle for two guys with no culinary training at all to wax poetic about their favorite food and drink. We’ve met those who think any food critic should broadcast flaws with the same gusto they praise the food, perhaps wishing that we too turn our pinkies out and do our best impression of the waif-like journalist in Ratatouille. Good news. We’re not food critics. We’re just food nerds. Big dif.
We had the pleasure of meeting another food nerd in our travels, her name is Sandy. In fact Sandy shares our passion for the reveal, the sharing of excellence, so much that she graciously treated the GCF boys to dinner at Quickie Too, a vegan soul food joint on MLK. And I gotta say, I was ready to bust out my Ratatouille pessimist persona for this one, but I just couldn’t. The rat won me over. (There was no rat in this scenario. That was an allusion.)
T Town Taster for Tatanka Takeout. Yay alliteration!
BBQ pulled bison sandwich
Tatanka Takeout in Ruston has been a staple for Point Defiance visitors for years. It features burgers and sandwiches showcasing it’s namesake: bison, but has an equally large vegetarian menu full of grilled vegetables and fake meat. The place has a gritty Western theme with cowboy boots wrapped around the legs of their outdoor tables and the world’s most uncomfortable built-in stools made from what look to be former tractor seats. These must have been some skinny farm hands because my hips were spilling over the side – and while I’m no waif, I’ve got nothing on the average Tacoma ass.
The pulled bison BBQ sandwich was a messy one. The meat was extraordinarily lean, as advertised, but a bit chewy. The sauce was good, and the grilled onions nice, but this place doesn’t hold a candle to the pulled meat sandwiches at a joint like Papa Jones. Of course, the sandwiches at Papa Jones are pork, chicken, and beef – all less healthy options than bison. The Tatanka menu is loaded with pro-bison propaganda. Did you know that bison has 1.8 g of fat per 3 oz, compared to 3g for chicken and turkey, or 18g for beef? Now you do! In addition to burgers and sandwiches, the menu features such things as bison sausage, bison tacos, bison burritos, bison chili, nachos and taco salad.
Bison not your thing? Don’t worry, there are a few items featuring organic chicken, and as I already mentioned, the veggie offerings are pretty substantial. The veggie BLT was large, but pretty standard all things considered. The fake bacon is exactly the same stuff you’d find at the store. It would be neat to find some homemade somewhere. Business advice is always free here at GCF!
Tatanka takeout is closed for the month of November, so stock up now!
Tatanka Take Out
4915 North Pearl Street
Ruston, WA 98407-3119
A written post about 6th Ave’s newest up-class experimental meat and veggie restaurant.
Unless you’ve been entombed within the shrouds of the Murray Morgan bridge the past few months you’ve probably heard of Marrow on 6th Avenue. It filled the space formerly occupied by Beyond the Bridge across the intersection from Jazzbones; however, unlike the short lived cafe that preceded it, Marrow has managed to bring something fresh and new to 6th Ave. In fact, Marrow seems to have reinvented classy.
The place is new-industrial a la the Ace hotel in Portland with Bulleit whiskey bottles suspended on steel tethers in the entryway and mind-blowing light fixtures consisting of only exposed 25watt bulbs. The tables are clean butcher block and the chairs aluminum (my only beef). The waitstaff and patrons are generally well dressed but sporting gauged earrings and tats. The menu plays a similar role. Think of a paradise where insatiable carnivores frolic happily alongside mild mannered herbivores. Kind of like those pamphlets Jehovah’s witnesses persistently leave in your screen door with pictures of little kids merrily riding lions in some sort of weird rapture scenario. The menu (a single sheet cleanly thumbtacked to a hunk of cork board) is two sided: “Marrow” – containing a carnivore’s dream line up of savory and unusual meats, and “Arrow” – an impressive list of unusual vegetarian dishes that looked good enough to sway the meat eaters. Adam and I resisted however. We ate meat. A lot of it. Five different sources in fact. Beef, pork, bison, lamb, and clam.
I feel like frickin’ Ted Nugent.