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Jan 19, 2004 04:06 PM

Best Eating in Tacoma/Gig Harbor?

  • s

This may be a tough recoomendation, but what do people feel are the best places to eat in Tacoma/Gig Harbor? I'll be up visiting relatives in Feb., and don't feel like trekking to Seattle.

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  1. Actually, eats in the area have improved measurably in recent years (unfortunately AFTER I moved from Tacoma to Seattle). A bit farther away than Gig Harbor, a top choice is The Beach House at Purdy, just off Hwy 16 (I hope that's the right hwy), very near the bridge at Purdy. Contemporary, stylish NW flair, my only complaint on our one visit was over-garnished plates. The Tacoma paper named it the top restaurant last year, if I remember correctly.

    In Tacoma proper, there's a new El Gaucho (upscale retro steak house, the original's in Seattle), very good beer and brew-pub eats at Harmon Brewing, Primo Grill on 6th Ave quite good for casual NW-style dishes. I haven't been to From the Bayou, but hear great things about their Louisiana fare (in Parkland near PLU). There are probably more options other chowhounds will pass along.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cynbad

      another enthusastic recommendation for from the bayou!!! it is possibly the best of it's kind in western washington. also, there is a small bbq joint in downtown gig harbor whose name escapes me right now that i found to be quite good.

      1. re: chowhound

        to all chowhounders-please excuse my major error in my previous post. not quite awake when posting. the name is bighound not chowhound. i would never try and pass myself off as "the" chowhound. that name belongs to all who participate here.

        1. re: bighound

          A double up woohooo! for From the Bayou! That place is really an excellent find. It's located steps away from PLU on the same street as Marzano's and across from a really great little pizza place called Mi Piace.

          I've been to From the Bayou three times in the last few months and have fallen in love with it. It has one of the best women's bathrooms of any restaurant I've been in (you have to go to see why).

          The gumbo is especially good and what I would consider one of their signature dishes. You can order it solo as a meal (it's $10-$12 and is a very fine meal on its own) or it comes as a smaller portion with most of the entrees. I prefer the chicken and andouille gumbo. On one visit, though, the seafood gumbo was superior (whoever was in the kitchen that day really got it right).

          The kitchen staff puts entirely too much rice in the gumbo, which I find distracts from the lovely texture and flavor of the gumbo (the rice tends to absorb the gumbo and it becomes kind of a gloppy mess). Here's what I would recommend and what I plan on doing on my next visit: order the gumbo light on the rice or ask for the rice on the side. When I complained about my rice overpowering the dish last time, they brought me a new bowl of gumbo with a smile (great customer service).

          For entrees, the menu right now has a halibut dish with a crawfish and red pepper sauce that is dazzling. Hubby likes the fried catfish.

          The little jalapeno corn biscuits are addicting. Dessert is a scary predicament. Their dessert tray has more than a dozen choices. The menu boards are really clever and artful and the decor is really downright cool.

          This is a great restaurant for a romantic evening, just be sure to ask for a seat in the back alcove (the room that used to be for private parties) or a seat in the corner by the bar.

          I've included a link to their menu below.


          1. re: gc

            My favorites are Gateway to India- on 6th Ave.- nothing like it if you like a litte spice to your chow, and Silk Thai also on 6th is new- also good. I've been trying to find a Dim Sum restaurant in the Tacoma area. I miss this since moving from Seattle. Any suggestions?

    2. I second Cynbad's suggestions. (Especially From The Bayou.) Also worth visiting is Marzano's in Parkland (call for reservations, you'll need them) and The Cliff House on Brown's Point. Europa in Proctor has excellent Italian. In Gig Harbor itself, the Tides Tavern is a local classic for Fish & Chips, beer and people watching. If you want REAL Mexican (not fake, American steam table Mexican) I suggest El Compadre`. After your visit, let us know what you liked.