Shakabrah Java's short-order wizards whisk together a menu of meaty, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly breakfasts, earning the diner the 2011 award for Best Breakfast from Tacoma Weekly. During morning hours, veggie skillets brim with a kaleidoscopic harvest of yellow squash, zucchini, and tomatoes; chefs can accommodate vegans by replacing the eggs with marinated tofu. Between bites, diners can sip cups of MarketSpice tea that come directly from Pike Place Market, or mimosas, beers from taps and bottles, and wine.
Set in Rosebud, a 19th-century mining town, Boom Town takes audiences 145 years back in time on a whimsical Old West adventure. World-class circus performers, including many drawn from the ranks of Cirque du Soleil, use mining equipment and other colorful props to execute a variety of stunts and maneuvers worthy of double, triple, and quadruple takes. The acrobatic action takes place within the fittingly historical walls of the venerable Pantages Theater, a former vaudeville venue and movie house. Before or after the show, head down the street to Pacific Grill, where chef/owner Gordon Naccarato oversees a menu rich in nautical delicacies such as weathervane scallops ($30) and turf-based tastes including grilled lamb T-bone chops ($32).
It may be called Moon Rise Café, but this sunny breakfast and lunch spot is anything but sleepy. Sunshine streams in through big front windows, illuminating plates heaping with hearty omelettes, scrumptious sandwiches, and hashbrowns made from potatoes that have been peeled, cooked, shredded, and de-thorned by hand. Breakfast favorites, which are served all day long, include benedicts layered with ham, turkey, bacon, or tomato slices, eggs scrambled with salmon and cream cheese, and platters of French toast or pancakes. Come lunchtime, burgers and homemade soups join a lineup of sandwiches, including a triple-decker monte cristo served with raspberry jam and sour cream. But no matter which menu you prefer, the quality of the food is guaranteed to impress since the chefs at Moon Rise craft all the dressings, jams, biscuits, and breads fresh each day.
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.
The list of ingredients that chefs fold into crepes at Savor Creperie is a bit staggering. On any given visit, you might be tempted to indulge a sweet tooth with a crepe drizzled with creme de coconut and mango lime sauce, or one stuffed with banana, toasted coconut, and Nutella. Then again, the savory-side of the menu has much to recommend it as well, such as crepes with smoked salmon and Boursin, or those rolled up with shredded pork, cabbage slaw, and hoisin.
Of course, no one says you need to compromise, and Savor's chefs have created a number of crepes that combine both sweet and savory ingredients, pairing fresh thyme and aged gouda with juicy pears, and sneaking slices of crisp apple into leek and chicken fennel sausage crepes. Crepe scrambles, meanwhile, sate breakfast cravings any time of day, with a filling of scrambled eggs and a choice of fixings, such as bacon, mushrooms, and brie. And no matter which crepe you choose, the kitchen staff are happy to replace their traditional batter with a gluten-free version to accommodate food allergies or just give the town wheat millers a short break.
King5 placed Memo's Mexican Food among the top five Best Burrito spots in 2009 and 2010, and for good reason. Each jumbo burrito overflows with some savory combination of top-sirloin steak, Mexican-style pork, roasted vegetables, and perhaps some guac or sour cream. But burritos aren't the only draw to this 24/7 University District diner. Memo's chefs also serve taquitos, tortas, crispy tacos, and chimichangas, as well as all-day breakfast items including huevos rancheros and ham-and-egg scrambles. They handcraft secret hot sauces that have been known to set off the mouth's built-in sprinkler system. And to ensure customers fully enjoy their plates, they build their meals from all-natural ingredients and cook with vegetable oil, never lard.