Some of comedy’s most seasoned veterans and next big things wring laughs from audiences during standup performances at Tacoma Comedy Club. Now in its third year of tickling ribs, the venue stuffs its calendar with a slew of popular faces from TV. On Wednesday, open-mic night brings emerging voices to the stage to test out fresh material so that audiences can get a sneak peek at the laugh-masters of tomorrow and the microphone models of today.
• For $30, you get a seat in section 6A (rows 25 and up) or 18A (rows 15 and up) (a $49.50 value before fees, or up to a $58.64 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $52, you get a seat in section 6A (rows 24 and below), 7A (rows 23 and up), 8A (rows 25 and up), 16A (rows 25 and up), or 17A (rows 23 and up) (an $89.50 value before fees, or up to a $102.84 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $82, you get a seat in section 7A (rows 22 and lower), 16A (rows 24 and lower), or 17A (rows 22 and lower) (a $149.50 value before fees, or up to a $164.36 value online, including all ticketing fees).
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.
If you want a side of two-step with your steak, then downtown Tacoma is your best bet. An homage to country cooking and culture, Steel Creek treats visitors to certified Angus steaks and burgers, potent whiskey cocktails, and a lively dance floor. Tuesdays and Thursday nights mean lessons in two-step and line dancing, which prep students for the live music and DJs at weekend country parties.
Before the revelry begins, guests pair entrees from prime rib to pot roast with drinks that incorporate moonshine and sweet-tea vodka. Whiskey enthusiasts, meanwhile, consult a long list of drinks from both local distilleries and other countries. If you're feeling lucky, you might spin the Drink Wheel for instant cocktail specials, or feed fake oats to the mechanical bull in hopes of gaining its trust.
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.