Peggy and her friend Joanne took advantage of an art tour of studios along Opera Alley in downtown Tacoma on Saturday. My job was to drop them off, pick them up, and then take them to lunch at Pacific Grill. I was warned that the art tour might only take forty-five minutes or so. I finally gave up and called Peg over two hours later. She said, “Come and get us.” When I picked them up they were bubbling over.
Since it was early in the day, I easily dropped them off on the corner of 15th and Pacific. I then circled the block (actually two blocks plus) . . . after waiting for two trolleys, driving up to Market, and then back down the hill at 15th, turning left on Commerce and finally parked in my usual spot midway down the block. There is almost never anyone parked on this street. Evenings after five, you can use valet parking at the restaurant. It makes life easier.
Peggy and Joanne were at the bar with a seat left for me on the end. Pacific Grill offers Happy Hour prices at the bar all day . . . every day. In truth, however there are only two pages on their Bar Menu, where you can get half off, but that’s okay. The food is excellent, so I’m not really complaining . . . just explaining.
Joanne had not been to Pacific Grill before. Peggy and I tried two new items and a favorite. All three of us were in for a treat.
The Turkey Sandwich was Joanne’s choice, with sliced roasted turkey breast, griddled Telera roll, tomato apple chutney, Dijon mustard, white cheddar cheese sauce + PG potato chips for 14.95. For a buck and a half you can add blue cheese or bacon jam. She ordered as advertised.
Peggy and I tried two new selections: Reuben’s Potato Skins, and a Sausage Roll. The Potato Skins came with pastrami, grilled onions, vintage white cheddar, crushed caraway + classic Louie dressing for 13.95. If I ordered this again, I would also order the bacon jam and perhaps some Dijon mustard to give it a little more kick.
The Sausage Roll had fennel-spiced house-made pork sausage, pastry dough w/ chia seeds, Beecher’s naturally-smoked cheddar, sweet onions. and marinara for 12.95. If you’ve never tried chia seeds, you might be in for a surprise pick-me-up. Besides the crunch they give salads and bakery goods, native Americans in mid-Mexico use chia seeds soaked with lime juice as an energy drink. It’s a pepper-upper like coffee. All three of us liked the sausage rolls and the little dish of marinara. I would definitely order the rolls again.
My trouble with the Happy Hour Menu is the Smoked Salmon. This appetizer features local cold-smoked Columbia River steelhead w/ ‘everything’ lavash crackers, red onion, capers + cream cheese for 12.95. You can order one more cracker and steelhead for 2.95. Peg and I simply love this item. We held back at lunch, but when we come for dinner we usually order the appetizer to start us off . . . with the extra cracker etc. as well as an additional order of the appetizer just for me. This appetizer just screams Pacific Northwest. I could eat several orders all by my lonesome. If it came with chia seeds I could probably keep ordering all afternoon.
With Happy Hour pricing, these great snacks are a treat to our taste buds, they fill up the stomach nicely, and they send you back out into the world with a pleasant smile on your face and a few bucks left in your pocket.