Padded black booths surround grills beneath gleaming hoods, which reflect the glow of sunset-orange walls as they sweep away rising warm air and spice-steeped aromas. On Palace Korean Bar & Grill's tabletop skillets, chefs sizzle menu items such as pearlescent curlicues of kimchi and cuts of seafood as well as bulgogi, spicy slices of brisket also known as Korean barbecue. During the all-you-can-eat special, silverware jangles endlessly like a knight looking for his car keys as diners tuck into bottomless helpings of marinated beef short ribs, tender marble brisket, spicy pork belly, and jumbo shrimp.
True to its name, The Schooner Pub and Galley has a distinctly nautical theme. When entering the tavern, visitors ascend a rope-lined gangway that leads to the front door. Once inside, they're greeted by other sea-inspired quirks, from a ship's wheel on the wall to an anchor painted on the floor to a complimentary scurvy vaccination at the bar. But instead of walking the plank, diners are asked to order hearty plates of baby-back ribs, cheeseburgers, and fried Alaskan cod. 16 beers fill the taps, accompanying dishes with brews such as Blue Moon and Angry Orchard hard cider. After their feast, guests can get competitive on three 8-foot diamond pool tables.
When even the most inexperienced chef visits Dinners Done Right's spacious kitchen, she can whip up 12 meals in two hours; gourmet ones?from apricot-glazed pork roast to chicken fajitas. It all sounds a bit unrealistic, until you consider the hefty head start visitors have on the typical from-scratch cook, who typically only has scratch. The building blocks for each of their meals await?freshly pre-cut and prepped?at stations throughout the company's kitchen. With the assistance of a hostess, easy-to-follow instructions, and all the necessary kitchen tools, visitors simply combine the ingredients into freezer-ready containers, first seasoning them to taste with a host of spices and herbs. When customers get home, they can freeze their handiwork for a future quick and easy meal or bake, grill, or slow-cook it to impress dinner guests on the spot.
Beneath the softly glowing paper lanterns above the sushi bar, chefs at Happy Teriyaki #4 are hand rolling maki destined for both individual plates and the all-you-can-eat sushi bar. But it's the signature sauce, fresh vegetables, and charcoal-broiled meats in their teriyaki dishes that are their claim to fame: the restaurant earned the title of Best Teriyaki in Evening Magazine and KING 5's Best of Western Washington awards in both 2011 and 2012.
The owners' pride in their work is not only evidenced by their artful and flavorful culinary creations but also by the restaurant's inviting ambiance. Colorful Japanese screens add a touch of authentic flair to the dining room, where high-backed, private booths prevent fellow guests from copying homework. Beyond praising the "fast, tasty and affordable" food, Jennifer Johnson of the Weekly Volcano commended the staff for "service [that] has not only been efficient and swift but pleasantly provided."
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.
Completed in 1869 with the final blow upon the golden spike, the first transcontinental railroad made nationwide travel commonplace, introducing passengers to seldom-experienced regions of their country. The Boxcar Grill’s traditional American fare gives diners the chance to taste transcontinental standards without leaving their seats. Using the locomotive as its logo, the restaurant celebrates the tradition of travel by featuring popular local dishes from across the United States. Avocados and wine make their way up from California, and chipotle peppers give dishes a southwestern kick without the need for spurs. Northeastern chowders bring East Coast flair, along with tastes of Philly in the form of the city’s popular cheesesteak.