In a slight tangent from usual GCF content, Derrick and Adam find themselves browsing the shelves at 6th Ave’s newest co-op grocery store.
El Guadalajara feeling a little bit of sign envy
It’s funny, we spend countless hours enjoying, discussing, and arguing about food served to us in restaraunts, but we’ve never once discussed the grocery store food we all rely on for actual sustenance. We’ve never gotten in fisticuffs over where the best beer selection is, where your average box of cereal can be found cheapest, or the benefits of organic foods vs. everything else. It honestly never even crossed our minds. This is what happens when you’re mired in first world problems – like this: my Bugatti Veyron Super Sport reeks of Clive Christian Imperial Majesty Perfume! This is one of those problems.
To help rid ourselves of this problem, we are having our first ever grocery post. It’s a short nod to an establishment literally keeping us alive. Hooray for living! In this instance we are celebrating life at the Tacoma Food Co-op, a precocious young and burgeoning member-owned store on the corner of 6th and Junett.
The GCF boys get greasy at Marcia’s Silver Spoon.
On Roads, Magical
South Tacoma Way is a yellow brick road of sorts. Along this long and winding path through the Nalley Valley you’ll encounter giant teapots, dusty flea markets and more used car dealerships than you can shake a broomstick at. There was even a monkey at one point at the B&I. Although it didn’t fly. And it wasn’t a monkey, it was a gorilla. The only significant difference really is that there’s no wizard at the end of this yellow brick road, just Lakewood. Which is worse. So much worse.
[Ah, it's so nice to be able to be the giver of the regional jokes for once, rather than the recipient. Suck it Lakewood.]
One of the locations you’ll find on South Tacoma Way is Marcia’s Silver Spoon. It’s a bit divey, but what on South Tacoma Way isn’t? As Adam and I pulled up outside Marcia’s we were greeted by an empty can of Steel Reserve, a likely welcome for any place within stone’s throw of the Java Jive. I’d never given the exterior much thought before, and after some long glances I felt equally void of thought. Totally nondescript. The signage hadn’t been changed in a couple weeks and it’s hard to tell where Marcia’s ends and the Lucky Silver Cafe begins. What’s the story there anyway? They must be related right? This area wasn’t exactly renowned for its abundance in silver.
Perhaps I would have asked that question had I not been busy consuming an omelette the size of Toto.
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.
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.
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!