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Dusty’s Hideaway

Come for the ambiance, stay for the grub

Burgers and Fluffer Nutters like Ma used to make, in a more rad space. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: The McKinley Hill Neighborhood of Tacoma is a hidden gem just across the freeway from the bustling downtown. Known more for its eclectic residents and quaint shops, it hasn't traditionally been the "go-to" for dining in town. However, Dusty's Hideaway has converted a house into what they hope to be a destination that combines quality American-styled eats with a feeling of home. This week, Dutch and Jackie head up the hill to share their thoughts.

DUTCH: I really enjoyed the homey feel of walking into a house and ordering a meal. And though the house is split into two parts; one part family restaurant and one part bar, the backyard includes both a play area for small children and a fire pit for us adults on these cool summer evenings. The whole setup really makes you feel relaxed and comfortable as if you are simply visiting a neighbor.

JACKIE: Much like her sister store, Zodiac Supper Club, the ambiance is executed to perfection. It's an entirely different beast. The sultry Zodiac's down to earth, hippy artist sister from a dessert town. Loads of art, funny fresh finds and plants can be spied throughout. It delights me to be able to enjoy such a neat space with tiny humans in tow. The service is fabulously friendly and efficient, informed but unpretentious.

DUTCH: Burger options take up a great deal of the menu ranging from a simple Classic Burger with cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard to the Dusty Burger which adds a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and a secret sauce to the classic. I tried them both -- how could I not? Be warned that you should be hungry if you plan to attack anything beyond the Classic Burger. I'm not ashamed to admit that it was more than I could handle. I do believe, however, that the quality and flavor of the Classic sets the standard for every other burger. It is incredibly hearty despite its simplicity, and when partnered with fries and a side of the housemade ranch, it alone will bring you back.

JACKIE: It's worth noting the hand-formed patties. I'm a sucker for details such as these. I even tried the Vegan Burger with a Beyond Burger Patty and Chad Cheese; both satisfied the burger hankering and is an excellent choice for those with dietary restrictions that don't want to just eat rabbit food. The Honey Hot Chicken Sandwich is craveable! Breaded and deep-fried chicken thigh boasts a delightful crunch with each bite dripping with the spicy honey sauce. There's a nice depth to the heat, not overwhelming with fresh cabbage and sliced pickle bringing it all together. I paired mine with the Deadwood Sour. The perfect balance of bourbon, lemon and strawberry purée was served up in a boot-shaped mug and I couldn't have been giddier.

DUTCH: I was so excited to see the Fluffer Nutter on the menu. This is a true classic from my youth. Peanut butter with marshmallow cream on rustic white bread is grilled into a melty rich delight. And if having your sandwich grilled doesn't take this to the level you are hoping, simply add some bacon or banana and you will struggle to contain yourself. Man, I miss being a kid!

DUSTY'S HIDEAWAY, 11 a.m. to midnight, daily, 723 East 34th St., Tacoma,

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