At Chepo's Mexican Restaurant, cool margaritas wash down zesty appetizers and classic Mexican entrees. Diners can start off by sharing mini beef tacos, before moving on to main courses such as grilled chicken quesadillas or tamales made with tender, seasoned pork. Chepo's also accommodates vegetarians with dishes such as vegetable burritos.
At Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant's two locations, familiar enchiladas and corn tamales draped in rich chili sauces pour from the kitchen on rainbow-colored fiesta ware, which also delivers house specialties such as prawns sautéed with dungeness crab and vegetables and Cancun tacos filled with halibut and pico de gallo. Burgers and chicken strips provide a similarly hearty alternative to deep-fried chimichangas packed with beef, chicken, or pork chile verde, which is also available by the bowlful. The cantina's design adds to a festive atmosphere, its tangerine walls painted to resemble an arcade overlooking the sea and its carved, wooden chairs painted to resemble the hollowed-out burritos that carried the conquistadors across it.
At Tan Alaska, four different levels of tanning beds wait ready to bronze the skin of patient tanners. Specialized tanning lotions aid in this process, some with ingredients of caffeine, or hemp. Meanwhile, spray tans eschew the sun for quick, easy tanning, while hot tubs await, water bubbling, for relaxing jaunts away from the harsh colds of winter.
Inside a cozy shack painted with a mural of sloping mountains, the baristas of Lazy Mountain Espresso brew coffee and craft steamy or frosty cafe beverages. Specialties include the Hatcher Pass, flavored with blueberry and white chocolate, the Pioneer Peak, which combines praline with caramel mocha, and a revved up smoothie made with Red Bull. Patrons can nibble on soft pretzels made fresh daily, ham and cheese croissants, or jumbo cookies.
The Grape Tap's first-floor dining room blends the comforts of a 1930s pioneer-style home with the aesthetic touches of contemporary decor. But beneath the floorboards lies a secret. Under the tables, slabs of stone carve out an airy cellar where dozens of wines, from pinot noir to riesling, wait through time. Stuccoed ceilings arch above the stock, and lounge-style seating with benches and throw pillows adds comfort to dining and gives lonely patrons something to hug.
Nestled amid such comforts, The Grape Tap's guests can sample flights or bottles from the underground stash, as well as pints of more than two dozen beers. They can also pair their sips with flavors from chef Pat Mathias's menu of seasonal produce, gourmet cheeses, and meats seasoned with exotic spices. The filet mignon sliders, for example, pair ground-tenderloin mini burgers with cambozola cheese, caramelized onion, and a creamy pecan spread to create something deep and hearty. The Grape Tap also hosts events throughout the year, such as live music performances in the backyard during the summer.
Before opening Taco Del Mar's startup location in Seattle in 1992, its founders spent years surfing California's coastline and devouring fish tacos and stuffed burritos. During this time, they developed a bottomless appetite for the local specialty—a taco with fried fish, shredded cabbage, lime juice, salsa, and a mystery white sauce—and decided to make it their signature menu item. Since then, the chain has opened locations in more than 20 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.
The restaurant's Spokane location gives locals a taste of California-surfer cuisine and mission-style eats inspired by the Latino restaurants of San Francisco's bay area. Fresh guacamole dresses tortilla chips, and proteins such as seasoned pork and fried Alaskan cod fill tacos. Cooks roll meats such as braised chicken or ground beef into burritos or edible origami. The foodsmiths also whip up vegetarian and vegan options.