Back to Reviews


Tacoma’s food truck gathering spot has a community feel

Chowtown Flavorworks lumpia and hurricane fries. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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

ANNOUNCER: With the rise in popularity of food trucks in the South Sound, it was only a matter of time before Tacoma found a spot for people and trucks to gather on a regular basis. Friends Devon and Kristy secured a spot on Mildred across from Tacoma Community College where local chefs and entertainers can show off their talent. Dutch and Jackie made their way to opening weekend this past week.

DUTCH: I am digging on the community vibe of this place, though it isn't my neighborhood, it very much has the feel that I was in my own neighborhood. There are several large picnic tables, with games to occupy your time while you wait, as well as a fire pit to gather around if the day gets a bit chilly. I felt comfortable just hanging out and chowing down on some of the offerings.

JACKIE: The concept of a food truck pod is not new but is brilliant, and Tacoma has been hungry for something like Chowtown for far too long. It's a sight to see it in action. Each weekend features a different selection of food trucks -- each of my visits have provided me and my little humans with diverse menu selections allowing for them to indulge in their favorites like a pizza pie to share from Starvin Marvin's or a hot dog, chicken strips or cheeseburger from Arnold's Happy Days Food Truck. Perks when dining with kids include a giant Jenga game, Connect Four or cornhole, AND occasional movie nights hosted by the Tahoma Audubon Society or live music that turn lunch hour into a stellar experience.

DUTCH: I am always happy to find good soul food, and I was lucky that C n A Wings n Things from Puyallup braved the rain and showed up with fryer in hand. With offerings like gizzards, frog legs and alligator, there are several options for the mildly adventurous. Having enjoyed the frog legs before, I went more traditional this time around and ordered the chicken wings. This comes with two thick and moist chicken wings with possibly the crispiest skin you may ever sink your teeth into. Each order also comes with thick toast and small-sized fries that ensure every bite will be crunchy all around. Finishing the whole dish off is a house-made sweet sauce that is also available by the jar if you just can't live without it. My advice? Get the sauce!

JACKIE: I get googly-eyed when Bliss Ice Cream is present, I don't care how cold it is. Flavorworks is often present, too, featuring tasty Filipino fare like fresh Lumpia, delectable rice bowls and more. If they and Arnold's Happy Days are both present, I challenge you to compare the Hurricane Fries at Flavorworks (sriracha aoli, bacon bits, furkaki) and Arnold's Rainier Fries (cheese, Thousand Island dressing, sautéed onions). Both are rich and savory -- I'll go full fat kid every time. High cholesterol be damned.

DUTCH: I've been a long-time fan of Arnold's Happy Days, not just because of their burgers, but they also offer seasonal salads for those not wanting to tempt fate with their cholesterol level. This time around, I ordered the Caesar salad wrap which is large enough to satisfy nearly any appetite, and fresh enough to make sure I felt good about eating healthy at a food truck. With tons of chicken, romaine, and dressing . . . I was satisfied on every level.

JACKIE: If you don't have to worry about minding after tiny humans, the Thirst Responders are often in the house to quench your thirst with beer and wine available in a beer garden atmosphere. Sure, we might feel the chill of autumn approaching, but throw on your sweater and enjoy it under the canopy. This weekend on Friday and Saturday, the perfect excuse will present itself with Oktoberfest festivities! German pastries, Bavarian flavors and beer (duh) will be among the fun. Plus, they'll have a selfie booth and loads of games.

CHOWTOWN, noon-9 p.m., Friday-Sunday; closed Monday-Thursday, 1602 South Mildred St., Tacoma

Read next close


'The Missing Women Series'

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search