Situated right in Tacoma’s downtown university-and-museum district, Harmon Brewery and Eatery buzzes with out-of-towners and locals alike, all in search of hearty food and frothy microbrews. With a 15-barrel brewery on site, Harmon maintains a steady flow of signature ales, including seasonal varieties, such as a black IPA brewed from five malted barleys and the One Hop Wonder IPA laced with melted Right Said Fred tapes. To complement the pints and the warm, cozy atmosphere—modeled after a ski lodge—the kitchen churns out belly-warming food, such as burgers topped with blue cheese and bacon, homemade stone-baked pizzas, and panko-crusted fish and chips.
At North Point Bar & Grill, shoots of smoke unfurl through the air, unfurling around the legs of a pool table and winding around cool glasses at the bar. The Tacoma Weekly explained that the bar is owned by a Puyallup Tribe member, making it one of a limited number of refuges for local smokers. The piece also lauded the eatery’s adventurous food items, including deep-fried Oreos. Aromas from the kitchen also hint at all-day breakfast entrees, steak dinners, and fiery hot wings. At the bustling bar, the clatter of pint glasses and silverware punctuates the noise from DJs, live bands, comedians, and mimes who skipped class too often.
As one of the city's newest stand-up venues, Tacoma Comedy Club welcomes talented local and national yuk peddlers to its stage Wednesday–Saturday nights. A peek at its calendar reveals a host of rotating acts, such as the recent laugh-inducing likes of improv comedy king Ron Osborne and Comedy Central guest comedian Ty Barnett. Drop in March 17–19 for an intensely animated set by Michael Malone, whose imaginative take on life through his View-Master has landed on stages across 27 states on the National Lampoon's Comedy Tour and NBC's Night Shift with Kevin Ferguson.
Metronome's passionate baristas employ brewing mastery and fervency for quality coffee to concoct myriad menu items of precisely crafted caffeinated beverages and café fare. Six different brewing methods, including trifecta, pour over, cold brew, french press, and Chemex, steep their own takes on flavorful beans in contests to court patrons’ palates. Espresso shots ($1.25) condense liquid buzzes into miniaturized portions for consumption in steamy sippables such as cappuccino ($2.50), mocha ($3–$4.20), and traditional lattes ($2.50–$3.70). A collection of carefully selected Mad Hat teas—such as the soothing My Throat Hurts ($2.50)—and freshly squeezed orange juice ($3.25) warm the hearts of noncoffee consumers and solid fare, including loaded-pancake pockets ($3.50) and savory cheesecake ($6), befriend mouths to gain access to stomach pool parties.
Blending light tapas with imported desserts, an array of wine, and dancing, Pastíche's confines conjure up Old-World sentiments to create relaxing and romantic evenings. Pleasing vino virtuosos, Pastíche pours an assortment of 17 red wines, including Hugger Mugger pinot noir from Walla Walla Valley, Washington ($8/glass), and the 2007 Baer Winery ursa red blend ($15/glass), which was born out of alchemists' failure to blend merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot into a brick of pure gold. Glass tilters can also choose from 10 white wines by the glass, including the Tucker Cellars muscat canelli ($6) or Delaporte sancerre ($9).
It's not hard to see the Northwestern roots in Bar Bistro's menu. An entree of seared coho salmon is laid upon tomato broth studded with Dungeness crab, and the classic cioppino blends red snapper, scallops, clams, and mussels in a fennel broth. The stronger influence, however, actually comes from lands closer to the opposite corner of the country. Chefs rely on tons of Caribbean flavors, such as in their jerk-rubbed baby back ribs and grilled pork chops, which they pair with dirty rice and plantain chips. They even draw from Mexican ingredients, which can be found in dishes such as chorizo mac 'n' cheese.
But of course, this is Bar Bistro, so there's just as much attention paid to the selection of spirits. The Northwestern influence is there again with the craft beers, including Fremont Interurban IPA, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, but there's also nationally popular crafts such as Victory Golden Monkey and Left Hand Milk Stout. The specialty cocktails quite literally take center stage on the drink list, and for good reason. Artisanal ingredients flavor many of the elixirs—orgeat syrup sweetens the Swizzle Tizzle's blend of dark and spicy rums, and fresh strawberries and blood-orange liqueur add fruity notes to the Bourbon Kiss.