I'm staying at the Olympic Club Hotel in Centralia this Friday. I'm looking for suggestions for either dinner or breakfast. I know they have a restaurant at the hotel, but is there anything else in town that is recommended? Thanks!
MaggieSue, Many Chowhounds have raved about La Tarasca (Mexican) restaurant. While I have not personally been there, local Puget Sound Chowhounds swear by the place. Otherwise, you're not in real Chowhound territory in Centralia.
Staying overnight in Centralia and not eating dinner at La Tarasca would be unwise in the extreme. Everything on the menu is wonderful, but my favorite is the chile verde. For dessert, the flan is essential. On this board, praise for this place is nothing less than universal. And the staff is great.
The location is on Harrison, about midway between your hotel and I-5.
I just visited La Tarasca for the first time, I had two tacos adobada and one pork tamale, refried beans and rice. Excellent all around, their corn tortillas and refried beans are standout.
Watch out for La Tarasca's hours, though. The last time I got there at 7:30pm and was the last customer - they locked the doors at 8. Call them or go early.
Other posters are right: La Tarasca is excellent and the rest of Centralia is forgettable, food-wise. But: enjoy the opportunity to sink into an armchair, chug a beer and watch a movie at the Olympic Club. It's fun! And there's a fantastic mural facing the south side of the main square, about two blocks from the club, depicting the "Centralia Massacre" in which Wesley Everest, among others, lost his life in the wake of WWI. The symbolism of the mural might be undecipherable without some guidance, but you can find that readily on the web if you google "resurrection of wesley everest". I'm also told that there's a pleasant walk to be had from a trailhead just across the RR tracks from the Club, but I haven't found it. Perhaps the folks there can steer you in the right direction. You'll need to work up a serious appetite for La Tarasca!