HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >

Discussion

Olympia and Lacey area update?

  • 22
  • Share

I visit family here once or twice a year but only now did it occur to me to look into the Chowhound angle on the area. Reading Seattle and this Board, I've noted these places, and wonder if anyone might add to, correct or fill out these ideas:

1. Curry Corner on Martin Way E in Lacey: people as far away as Seattle say it's really good

2. La Tarasca, in Centralia, which lots of CHers describe as one of the better Mexican places anywhere in the region

3. Cicada in Olympia; many mentions, sounds a bit upscale

4. Bread Peddlar in Olympia

5. A taco truck at a gas station off the Old Nisqually exit (anyone one know how to check on whether this is still active?)

My own preferences go to quality ethnic dining, but basically I'm enthused by any kind of excellence or quirky ambience and fun.

-----
Curry Corner
9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516

La Tarasca
1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Hi there - IMO, Curry Corner IS very good. Modest strip mall ambience, no reservations, high quality. La Tarasca is quite nice and quirky, women-owned, more Indian in style. Cicada can be excellent, imaginative chef with occasional off-days. Not that pricey, nothing in Olympia's particularly "upscale." Bread Peddlar has lovely sandwiches, in particular. They're snooty about how your pronounce your French. Donno about no taco trucks. Try Iron Rabbit, also in Olympia - outSTANDing burgers and fries and other, more imaginative foods, but it's the best place in town for B&F. Locally owned, nice staff.

    -----
    Curry Corner
    9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516

    La Tarasca
    1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

    Iron Rabbit Restaurant & Bar
    2103 Harrison Ave NW Ste 1, Olympia, WA 98502

    2 Replies
    1. re: rcallner

      Thanks for the feedback. I found the ham and cheese sandwich at Bread Peddlar to be superb. As in France, it is simply a matter of simple but superb ingredients. More generally, their breads are the real deal.

      My hope is to try Curry Corner before I leave town. I'm suspecting that La Tarasca might be on vacation now. No answer when I called.

      1. re: Bada Bing

        Oh, yes, you've hit on the most wonderful sammich at Bread Peddlar, the comte and ham.

    2. I tried Curry Corner with a party of 7 and we all enjoyed the food very much. I would have preferred a slightly hotter spicing across the board, but the flavors were solid and the preparation, too. If I lived in this area, I would go frequently.

      All that said, I was not delighted by some aspects of the presentation. From the general chaos of our group--several of whom knew little about any Indian foods--we ended up following the waiter's suggestion of getting 4 different curry lunch specials to share. The amount of food was
      said to be adequate for 7 people, and that was true. But they serve these lunch specials on thin metal trays with variously sized wells for rice, the main curry, some lentils and/or aloo ghobi, and a rice pudding. The trays make sense for an individual, but they were very awkward to pass around, and the food lost temperature before we could get our sharing out of the way. In addition, the plates we were given were downright cold, so the food was soon room temp or less. On any future visit with a group, I'd order a la carte.

      Another front: I tried Tofu Hut in Lacey and that place was delightful: a tasty pad thai and bul-go-gi. I will go again tomorrow for some other tastes. The menu is eclectic Southeast Asian.

      -----
      Curry Corner
      9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516

      Tofu Hut
      4804 Pacific Ave, Lacey, WA

      5 Replies
      1. re: Bada Bing

        Yes, the funky metal-plateness of Curry Corner is definitely an aspect of its personality.

        Tofu Hut is the other place I was going to suggest! Their various types of soon-du-bu jigaee are really nice - they're very pleasant people, Korean, actually, and even though it's not Korean, the low-sugar cupcakes from Bearded Lady are a nice dessert treat.

        -----
        Curry Corner
        9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516

        Tofu Hut
        4804 Pacific Ave, Lacey, WA

        1. re: rcallner

          On a lark last summer I took the 603 bus to Oly and met my home town
          bud for coffee and pastry at the German bakeri. It wasn't like I was used
          to in Germany, I tell you what, it was way over priced. I'll stick to Hess's in
          Lakewood.

          What is a good place to try for dinner in Olympia? I'm tiring of the seafood places
          in Tacoma.

          1. re: Johnny West

            Hm, dinner in Olympia, especially fish? Well, I like the crispy fish at Thai Garden - the nephew of the owner assured me they have their service issues firmly in hand. PS hot there means hot. Racha in the Capital Mall makes a very nice catfish. Lemongrass is quite reliably good, too. Water St. Cafe is mostly very good, with a few off notes - their spicy coconut fish is always delicious. Cicada is usually very good but has been known to miss its stride, occasionally. I have to admit, Olympia's not a true fine dining town. Sigh.

            -----
            Thai Garden
            1202 S 11th St, Tacoma, WA 98405

        2. re: Bada Bing

          Yes, La Tarasca goes on vacation for a few weeks each January. They are also closed every Tuesday, even if it is Cinco de Mayo.

          The taco truck at Nisqually is still funtional, but it is perhaps only average in quality. It is OK, but not worth a special trip.

          As for Curry Corner, it is one of my favorites. The cook was formerly at Mehfil in Lacey. The metal plates are traditional Indian and Nepalese thali plates. As Wikipedia says: "Thali (Hindi: थाली [t̪ʰaːli], meaning "plate") is an Indian meal with contents varying from one regional cuisine to another. A thali is a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray. The round tray is generally made with steel with multiple compartments."

          Next door to Curry Corner is anexcellent philippine place, Cebu. Good food, but no beer or wine, last time I checked.

          -----
          Curry Corner
          9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516

          La Tarasca
          1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

          1. re: Steve in Olympia

            My son and I tried the Taco truck/bus at Nisqually (exit 112?). We thought it was simple but excellent. Utterly fresh, good ingredients. Had steak, chicken and carnitas tacos.

            FWIW: we also had dinner with family at the Budd Bay Cafe, and I was not very impressed. I ordered cioppino, which was okay, but they used too much salmon proportional to the other seafoods, so the texture and flavor were oilier and less clean than I like. My son ordered baby back ribs, off their special menu, and they were genuinely no good. Rather tough meat, bland sauce...

        3. Across Martin Way from Curry Corner in back of the Chevron station is Pattaya Thai. Clean and flavorful. A great option in the greater Olympia Thai scene.

          Pattaya Thai
          9323 Martin Way E.
          Lacey

          -----
          Curry Corner
          9408 Martin Way E Ste 2, Lacey, WA 98516

          1. I've lived in this area for a long time. Before the Iron Rabbit, a Skippers incorporated that location.

            Anyway, if you want Thai food, simply go to Lemon Grass or Mekong Thai in downtown Olympia.

            If you want a burger, go to Eagan's in Tumwater. There's also a location in Westside Olympia and on the Eastside near Ralph's Thriftway.

            If you want Mexican, try Peppers in downtown Olympia.

            Or if you want a sandwich, go to Meconi's. There is an establishment in Lacey, near Saint Martin's University, and in Olympia, near the capitol...across from Subway.

            -----
            Lemon Grass Restaurant
            212 4th Ave W, Olympia, WA

            Iron Rabbit Restaurant & Bar
            2103 Harrison Ave NW Ste 1, Olympia, WA 98502

            1 Reply
            1. re: Shiggy

              Funny how taste can be but I disagree with all your suggestions . The Lemon grass is popular b/c I think people in this area don't really know what excellent thai food tastes like...everything there is all the same,bland,boring menu,no diced mint chicken...i could go on.

              Peppers: nothing special there. The last time a bunch of us went,the wait staff were all laughing & joking in spanish.They just looked at us. The place was almost empty. It took them 5 min's to greet us & bring menu's!It's avg mex fare loaded with yellow cheese ....

              And Meconi's! All you get is this enormous white tasteless fluff of wonderdough wrapped around a pittance of meat & veggies! it amazes me people go for this!

              Eagan's if you like greasy burgers where you wait behind car exhaust fumes for smooshy fries & greasy burger.

              I'm sorry but in my opinion Olympia is a sad place to live as a foodie.

              The curry corner is the best indian food in this area without doubt...portions are huge.

              Bread peddler is great but he has modified the menu & doesn't serve the tartes he used to....you can special order a tarte tatin but it'll cost you.

              The bistro around bud bay cafe has some good offerings.

              But really it's sad to think there are no restaurants offerring casual dining that has a warm PAC NW decor where you can find great eats. I wish Tom Douglas would bring 1 of his many restau's here. Olympia needs it badly.

              chezeve

            2. There are also a number of Vietnamese places that are selling banh mi, the very cheap and tasty French/Vietnamese sandwiches, almost always under $5. You can get them in vegetarian or meat style - it's a baguette roll made from rice flour, so it's light and crisp, filled with something savory, then a sort of coleslaw of julienned carrot, daikon, sliced jalapeno, and cilantro. They have them at Nami's, on Capital Way between Legion and 5th; Mini Saigon on Columbia between 4th and State; Da Nang on 4th and Water, and at a lot of the Vietnamese groceries around town.

              -----
              Mini Saigon
              111 Columbia St NW, Olympia, WA 98501

              1. One of the stands at the farmer's market in Olympia does a hangtown fry for breakfast. Serious stuff. Good crab cakes too. Sorry, can't remember their name or seem to find them Googling.

                Batdorf and Bronson... have never eaten there, but they do a mean macchiato.

                I'm not much for La Tarasca, but Tacos El Rey in Centralia is something special. Probably the best tacos I've had north of San Francisco. The buche... oh the buche. If you see a guy driving down the I5, leaning out his window, belting out an ode to a pig's esophagus... well, that'd be me.

                -----
                La Tarasca
                1001 W Main St, Centralia, WA 98531

                2 Replies
                1. re: jonoropeza

                  The Oly Farmer's Market stand with great crab cakes is Dingy's.

                  1. re: laliraja

                    Dinghy's does a great salmon burger - their coleslaw is very nice, and the people are really nice.

                2. Just moved here from northern Italy via Seoul after eight years in LA so hard to compare anything here with great restaurants from my past, but I think there are great plates of food to be had apart from the overall restaurant quality. I was especially excited to get into some Mexican again as there is none in Italy and poor facsimiles only in Korea.

                  For example, try the Camarones Ahogadas at Viva Mexico in DuPont. Maybe not quite up to what you'd find at a Sinaloense beach hut but nevertheless a refreshing, tasty protein hit. Yesterday drove down to Ramirez Market in Tumwater to shop for carnitas fixings and had their Pozole: wonderful tender chunks o' pork flesh falling apart under my spoon with deliciously crunchy chickpeas standing out in contrast.

                  What other standout dishes exist out there, Mexican or otherwise?

                  -----
                  Viva Mexico
                  1455 Wilmington Dr, Dupont, WA 98327

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: jumping_jehosephat

                    Virtually next door to the Ramirez Tortilla Factory in Tumwater is a new Indian place (and the only Indian place in Tumwater). Sri's Corner/Biryani Pointe is definitely worth a visit. CurryCorner in Hawks Prairie is probably still the best Indian food in Thurston County, but Sri's Corner is a close second, and may be more convenient for many. They have an excellent lunch buffet (and inexpensive), but you are also allowed to order off the menu as well. They have been open for only a few weeks, and it is the owner's first attempt to run a restaurant (or any other business, for that matter), so there may be a few quirks as they get going. The place was totally full at lunch today, and it was a good sign that several folks indicated that they were repeat customers. They will soon be opening a section of Indian groceries adjoining the dining area. The Tikka Masala and the Korma in the buffet today were quite tasty. Check them out....

                    1. re: Steve in Olympia

                      Ohhhh, very exciting. Thanks for the tip!

                      1. re: Steve in Olympia

                        Is there any Korean food of decent quality to be had in the "greater" Olympia area?

                        1. re: Tom Hall

                          IMO Seoul Restaurant on Martin Way in Lacey is the best choice. Good food, nothing fancy.

                          1. re: Tom Hall

                            Tofu Hut in Lacey is pan-Asian, actually, but they have bulgogi and some things that might interest you, and their food is generally well prepared.