Stumbling across a restaurant frequented by locals is one of the great simple pleasures of traveling abroad, followed closely by bathing in gelato and loudly explaining why everything in America is better. Replicate that feeling with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of upscale pub fare and drinks at Vinum Coffee & Wine Lounge in Tacoma.
A recipient of the Weekly Volcano's stamp of approval, Vinum tickles taste buds with sparkling wines, smooth espresso drinks, and an array of scrumptious eats. Memorize the pathway to the exit by dropping crumbs from crostini such as the warm brie with kalamata olive spread ($6.99), or by mapping the floor plan on a pasta platter lined with breadsticks ($7.99). A check below the hoagie-hood of the roadster, alternatively, reveals roast beef, turkey, and provolone cheese ($7.99). The friendly wait staff can mesmerize hungry crowds by juggling bagels ($1.85 with cream cheese) and chili-cheese dogs with onions ($2.50) and then pulling a frosty assortment of beers from behind guests' ears. Vinum's selection of local and international wines, including Massimo Argentina malbec ($7/glass) and Maryhill Washington riesling ($6/glass), lures fans of hops-free libations, as do daily specials such as Mocha Mondays, where 16-ounce servings of chocolate buzz go for $2.50. Meanwhile, bubble lovers can imbibe a sparkling mimosa after a long week of ogling car washes ($7).
Vinum Coffee & Wine Lounge
Since coming under new ownership in early 2011, Vinum Coffee & Wine Lounge has injected its menu of sandwiches, burgers, and pub fare with shots sparkling wines, smooth espresso drinks, and craft beers. In the kitchen, chefs shuffle together hot and cold sandwiches, keeping things simple with french bread pizza or tomato and brie or recreating Old World flavors with the monte cristo or chicken carbonara from ingredients that include chicken, roasted tomatoes, and a plethora of cheeses. Burgers and hot dogs—having evolved from the same common ancestors as sandwiches—also populate the menu, arriving topped with chili, avocado, grilled mushrooms, and bacon.
To wash down bites, Vinum's bartenders pour craft brews that fall on all points of the taste spectrum, from the light wheat notes of the Haywire Hefeweizen to the moody malts of the Storm King stout. The full bar serves up a wide selection of liquors, a well as wines, such as Massimo Argentina malbec and Maryhill Washington riesling that tint balloon glasses with red and gold hues. Bubbly beverages include sparkling mimosas to soothe nerves after a long week of ogling car washes.