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.
The culinary team at The Office Bar & Grill pairs a stock of well drinks and tap and bottled beers with gourmet American-style pub food. Their eclectic menu includes spinach and artichoke dip with homemade pita chips, a chicken breast and pineapple burger drizzled with homemade teriyaki sauce, and fried-cheesecake bites topped with sweet raspberry sauce. While a jukebox spins customers’ favorite tunes, six high-definition flat-screen televisions keep patrons abreast of the latest sports scores. The Office Bar & Grill also entices clientele with a spacious outdoor courtyard and an arcade with sports-themed games such as Golden Tee, Silver Strike Bowling, and Extreme Referee Coin Toss!.
Beneath the exposed beams of a vaulted ceiling, rows of dark tables serve as a platform for Cork! A Wine Bar’s spectrum of reds and whites. Sourced primarily from the Northwest, these vinous sips pair with a menu of warm flatbreads, rich cheeses, and pots of fondue that melt and bubble like a herd of Peeps lost in the desert. Patrons can sidle up to the bar for a pour of shiraz or a sudsy beer before kicking back in one of Cork's two lounge areas where espresso-hued leather chairs huddle together around low-lit lamps and small tables.
Even on a menu packed with beastly feasts, the B.S. burger is peerless. Not because of its name, which stands for Black Star, or even because of its ingredients, which include a half-pound of charbroiled Angus beef, bacon, and red onions, but because of the gauntlet it throws down. "WE DARE YOU!" taunts the menu. "IT'S LOADED!"
It's a challenge eaters at Black Star are happy to take up. The B.S. anchors a menu of likewise audaciously-topped burgers, hearty sandwiches, and entrees with cavalierly hearty portions, and while they may not all come with the same overt, exclamatory dare, the sentiment stands. For the burger dip, a charbroiled patty dresses up like a french dip and plunges into au jus like a mime in a parisian dunk tank, and the grilled roast beef and cheddar smuggles tomatoes between thick pieces of grilled sourdough.
Even if they're from far away, customers find The Haven Pub to be a comfortable, familiar place. It's a classic neighborhood pub where dim lighting is punctuated by neon beer signs and sports games flicker on the television. It satisfies taste buds with a menu of pub standbys, such as burgers, BLTs, calzones, and pizzas. And it quenches thirsts with frosty beers and specialty cocktails such as the Shocktart, a lip-puckering blend of grape vodka and sweet and sour.
Pub visitors can spend an afternoon or evening playing pool, while special karaoke nights allow customers to be the entertainment, much like open mike night on the grocery store's loudspeakers.