Back to Features

Shop till you starve

Where to dine after you've done the malls

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

The deals available to consumers this holiday season may, if expert predictions prove right, stagger the mind. But more importantly, they’ll leave a little extra for lunch or dinner.  Forget the extra sweater, a good meal means more holiday cheer than cotton and gabardine.

To assist the merry mall shopper, I provide my annual list of best eats after the shopping beats you down.

Tacoma Mall

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse outside the doors leading to the Food Court offers the best food closest to the mall.

Next, the Adriatic Grill Italian Cuisine (4201 S. Steel St.) joins Red Robin and TGI Fridays as mall pit stops.  The food satisfies the masses with Italian standards with higher-end fish and steak plates.  Try the salmon, chicken manicotti and steamed clams.

Sandwich nuts should skip Subway or Quiznos — even if it’s less distance to haul those shopping bags — and instead shimmy over to Jimmy John’s (4027 Tacoma Mall Blvd). 

Jimmy John’s is fresh — in fact, the crusty French bread far exceeds the quality of the competition. Although service is fast, the sandwiches at Jimmy John’s taste close to homemade. It’s the bread that makes the difference. It is the right combination of chewy and crusty.  But wait, my shopping friends, the slices of meat and vegetables taste crisper, more flavorful, and less processed than the competition as well.

The only drawback, however, comes when you try to enter or leave the Jimmy John’s area.  Think navigating Hot Topic sucks? Try the intersection in front of Red Robin — a nightmare.

Lakewood Towne Center

There was a time this shopping center drew nothing but gangsters and mall walkers, but the decision to raze the covered mall and add big box stores such as Old Navy, Marshalls and Joe’s paid off.  Food wise, I like the Moon Rise Café (6020 Main S.W.). 

The café opens for breakfast featuring a killer French toast, which should be ordered with dark rye bread. The combination of egg and rye tastes hearty — perfect for the strength you’ll need to fight over the last size 10 at Ross with someone you don’t know.  For lunch, fuel up on the organic brown jasmine rice with vegetables, or take in the café’s Monte Cristo, which made the Weekly Volcano’s top 21 sandwiches.

Other notable eats in the Towne Center include the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue (10417 Gravely Lake Dr. S.W.). The short ribs and crinkle cut fries will kill you, but we all must die of a heart attack eventually.

Or, take a slightly healthier approach with salads, burgers, chops, and excellent fajitas at the Ram Restaurant & Brewery (10019 59th Ave. S.W.).

Capital Mall in Olympia

After a day of people watching — seeing how the other half shops — I’m ready for more entertainment and will take a quick right and then another into Fujiyama Japanese Steak House & Bar’s parking lot (625 Black Lake Blvd. S.W., Olympia) outside the mall’s parking lot near Macy’s.  Who doesn’t love an evening of Singapore slings and Japanese chefs creating volcanic eruptions from a stack of onion slices over a large grill surrounded by a horseshoe seating arrangement where complete strangers stare at each other for an hour or two? What really gets my Ginsu knives in an uproar, however, is enjoying a little cabaret accompanied by decent cuts of meat.  Fujiyama has just that.

It’s not a cheap form of family entertainment though. Dinners run $15.50 to almost $40, and kids’ meals are $7.50 to $12.50. A steak meal starts at $17.50; add seafood such as shrimp or scallops and you enter the $21.50 to $25 range. You won’t leave hungry, and you’ll also feel the quality warrants the price.  If all else fails and dinner taps you out, you can always give your relatives coupon books for back rubs and mowing the lawn like you did for your folks when you were a kid.

Read next close


Squeak and Squawk

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search