A Recap of our joint birthday extravaganza on 6th Ave
Adam’s and my birthday are the 20th and 21st of November, respectively. This is perfect fodder for all sort of sordid and exciting joint birthdays in the future, but our first foray into this – celebrated a couple weeks ago across much of 6th Ave – was relatively tame all things considered. We convinced nearly 30 friends and relatives to join us on a crawl which started at Masa and ended in disarray, with 8 different restaurants visited in between. Each location had a “required” drink and food purchase. Whoever crossed the most items off their to-do list was crowned the unofficial GCF badass of the night. This write up is a recap of that evening with highlights, lowlights, and hopefully a few words of wisdom from one blogger who’s twenties are officially behind him.
Adam’s got a couple more year of irresponsibility and debauchery ahead of him however.
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 Attend 1022′s new menu party on 10/22
Hilltop. A place infamous to those in even the most remote places. Even Pullman, Washington. I’m not sure how a kid like me, growing up amid wheat fields and fraternities was allowed to develop any preconceptions about a geographical locale within a city on the other side of the state. The mention of Hilltop would elicit Compton-esque visions of drug trafficking and gang violence, all enshrouded within a stinky cloud of Tacoma Aroma so thick one could barely make out the unsavory spectacle before facing a mugging and/or an untimely death. Once I moved to Tacoma, and faced the reality that is Hilltop today, I felt a little…well…let down.
Hilltop. You used to be so…exciting. Whatever happened to that mystique? What will rural white boys fear beyond the comfortable confines of their idyllic little towns? Good luck attracting Anderson Cooper any time soon. Luckily for us there are a few places keeping Hilltop funky, keeping souls lubricated and expectations high. Places like 1022. The most literate bar in Tacoma is ready to teach you a few things.
We finally wake up early enough to hit a breakfast spot. We don’t want to start off such an endeavor at any old pancake house, so we opt for Dirty Oscars Annex – purveyor of unique breakfasts and a damn fine bloody mary.
Breakfast is changing Tacoma! There is a foodie-focused change happening in Tacoma’s breakfast scene, as many Gritty City restaurants have begun vamping on the most important meal of the day. No exception to this is Dirty Oscar’s Annex which offers up some crazy dishes like elk hash and Cap’n Crunch french toast.
I drove by Dirty Oscar’s Annex countless times before ever entertaining the idea of actually going there. The sign out front barely covers the ghosted “SAX” sign from the building’s previous incarnation, there are only a few dark windows facing the street – giving one the impression something seedy or exclusive is taking place inside, and the beer signs in said windows are more akin to a sports bar than hip cocktails and eats. None of these things scream “come in, we’re friendly, spacious, and have one of the best breakfast menus in town…not to mention some badass bloody marys.” Maybe that should be their sign. Perhaps it’s a bit long.
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.