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Weekday Restaurants in Tacoma

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A couple of weeks ago I was in Tacoma for a job interview and, thanks to chowhound, had a couple of good meals at Il Fiasco and Indochine. My partner and I will be back in mid-July on a house buying trip and will be staying at a hotel that only provides breakfast. What would chowhounders recommend for everyday meals? Sandwich shops? Dinners that cost $10, not $30? Once we are relocated to Tacoma we will gradually explore the expensive restaurants, but in the meantime we need good "everyday" restaurants. We will be in North Tacoma, Fircrest, and downtown, though anywhere in the city limits or the Mall area is reasonable. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Crc, The Spar, in Old Town, has excellent pub fare. (They make their own "Spar" chips which are hot, homemade potato chips.)
    Tatanka Takeout (Pearl St.) makes fabulous buffalo tacos.
    Engine House #9 (just off sixth) makes very good fish tacos.
    The Pick Quick is worth the short drive to Fife. This South Sound landmark only has outdoor, picnic seating. Their burgers, fries and shakes are outstanding. (Hence the constant line to order.) El Compadre` (40th & McKinley is authentic Mexican--not steam table American Mexican.) The Southern Kitchen (Sixth & Division) does catfish for breakfast (yeah!) good lunches and dinners served Southern style. Fife Bar and Grill (just off Port of Tacoma Road on 99) fits the gap just below fine dining (very affordable). Their Chowders are excellent. All of these Chow-worthy restaurants make their own food from scratch and are not Sysco infested. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks! That's very helpful.

      1. Adding to these:
        * JT's Louisiana BBQ on Sixth Ave
        * The bento teriyaki place on 6th Ave and Alder has great tempura (lots of food-dinners $10 and under; chicken teriyaki's pretty good, too)
        * Vuelve a la Vida--housemade tortillas, excellent carnitas
        * Lele's Vietnamese food in the Hilltop district or in Lakewood
        * MSM (Magic Sandwich Makers) on 6th Ave--looks like a convenience store on the outside--just says "MSM Deli and Liquor Store," or something like that. Large deli sandwiches, made super-fast.
        * Soup at the Metropolitan Market in the Proctor District: N 24thish and Proctor--or their other deli offerings. Lovely cioppino--you have to go to the seafood section of the store to get it, though; it's not near the rest of the soups.
        * Tacos Guaymas is a local chain (I think)--pretty good Mexican food (tongue's on the menu, so it's gotta be authentic, right?)