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Apr 28, 2010 12:17 PM

What's new in Olympia & Centralia?

I'll be back for business for about a week in Olympia/Centralia.

I'll be going back to my usual haunts, especially La Tarasca in Centralia, and I'll check out Cicada in Olympia this time around and maybe Burgerville.

Searching the board, there seems to be a dearth of posts for the area.

Is anything I should be checking out? Will probably make it to Seattle during one of the days off.

Any help is appreciated!

La Tarasca
1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

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  1. New places in Olympia include A2 -- the new cajun place from the owners of Cicada (great frog legs), the piroshky truck on the westside on Harrison Avenue, Tofu Hut near St. Martin's University, and a fast-food Thai place (Phad Thai Express) about to open near the corner of Cooper Point and Mud Bay Rd. Also, Narai Thai in downtown Olympia is new (haven't tried it yet, formerly Spicy Ginger).

    But you won't go wrong with Cicada (yummy sweetbreads) or La Tarasca (Cinqo de Mayo is fast approaching).

    Tofu Hut
    4804 Pacific Ave, Lacey, WA

    La Tarasca
    1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

    Spicy Ginger Restaurant
    320 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve in Olympia

      Thanks Steve - you helped me out last time too!

      Any good pubs - I'll be with a guy that definitely enjoys the microbrew.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Looks like I'm booked to come out this Wednesday May 12th to Olympia/Centralia.

        Staying at the Phoenix Inn again. Anything up around there? What about Lacey?

        I think we'll do Xinh's again!

        2 Replies
        1. re: ybnormal

          Very close to the Phoenix Inn is the Olympia Farmers' Market, with several excellent food stands for lunch (but closed Monday, Tuesday, & Wed.). Good exemples are curry, mexican, yakisoba, german sausage, etc.

          Today, I made my first visit to the small hole-in-the-wall mexican cafe inside the Ramirez Mexican Store & Tortilla Factory in the 5100 block of Capitol Blvd. in Tumwater (located behind the Happy Teriyaki). It was very good and very, very cheap (tacos for $1.49, lunch plates from $3.49). Taco meats included al pastor, birra, lengue, pulled pork, shredded beef (barbacoa), etc., etc. The market itself features an excellent meat counter, mexican baked goods, fresh tortillas, etc. The cafe has only 6 or 7 tables and it fills up fast for lunch (I saw lots of take-out orders). Quick, friendly service. I am looking forward to trying the chile verde tacos next time.......

          1. re: Steve in Olympia

            Just got in today - passed right by the Tortilla Factory on the backroads way back from work in Centralia. Are they only open for lunch?

            Had a forgettable lunch at Country Cousins in Centralia - one of the supervisor's bought us lunch there. A little too much of a greasy spoon for me.

            However, made up for it be having a superb local Wild Chinook Salmon, lightly grilled with a lemon/caper sauce at Gardner's Seafood & Pasta across the street from the Phoenix Inn. I somehow missed this place last time I was here. Their desserts are terrific as as well.

            Country Cousin
            1054 Harrison Ave, Centralia, WA 98531

            Gardner's Seafood & Pasta
            111 Thurston Ave NW, Olympia, WA 98501

        2. Slightly South West of Olympia is the Ranch House BBQ.

 It is a nice friendly place if you feel like a little drive.

          Ranch House Restaurant
          8807 Ahtanum Rd, Yakima, WA 98903

          1 Reply
          1. re: PaqpIn

            Actually I was there a couple years ago when they were in their temporary location during my last business trip here.

            I'm still full from the Sampler Platter :-)

            I'm still unsure how I could eat for half an hour, and the plate still looked like it hadn't been touched...

          2. Been eating well - I'll make sure I do more exercise, but its pretty hard when working.

            La Tarasca is still good - thank goodness! There is no such thing as a decent tamale in Canada.

            Tried Cicada the other night with my co-worker. It was very good. Some pretty bold combinations - some hits and misses. I think you have to be pretty open-minded eating here. Highlights were the fresh Quinault Razor Clams - flash fried with a tremendous spicy red curry/coconut milk sauce (see attached pic). My entree with the NW Shrimp & Grits was quite good too, with spotted prawns, fried leeks and greens over some of the best grits I've had (see attached pic). I was way too full for dessert though.

            Hopefully try out A2 in the next couple of days.

            Is Osaka in between Lacey and Olympia good?

            La Tarasca
            1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

            1 Reply
            1. re: ybnormal

              A2, the Cajun restaurant in Olympia, has come and gone. Its last day of business was May 27.