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The Cloverleaf

Mmmm ... pizza (drool)

Cloverleaf, a decades-long favorite. Because beer and pizza. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: A Tacoma landmark and favorite tavern for many locals, The Cloverleaf has spent over 60 years earning their reputation. It has been some time since Dutch and Jackie have hit up this local mainstay, so this week they head down Sixth Ave. for some cold drinks, world famous pizza, and other bar fare.

DUTCH: Truth be told, I never turn down an invite from friends that includes The Cloverleaf, between all the TVs to watch my favorite games, cold beer, pizza, and other food to snack on, there are a lot of good reasons to visit. One such appetizer that is worth the visit is the Fried Zucchini. Fresh zucchini is sliced and breaded before being deep-fried until perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and piping hot on the inside. Served with a side of ranch, this really hits the spot while waiting for the pizza to come out.

JACKIE: They'll even hook you up with a basket of popcorn, though I always decline. You gotta save room for the good stuff and popcorn is not why I came. Neither are the wings, though sometimes I'll indulge. While the Buffalo isn't spicy, they have a nice flavor with plenty of meat to slather in creamy ranch or blue cheese dressing.

DUTCH: With all the specialty pizzas on the menu, I like to go a bit unconventional when I visit. The bacon cheeseburger pizza with mozzarella, cheddar and Colby jack cheese, hamburger, bacon, tomato, dill pickle slices, fresh onion, and a special sauce that includes mustard literally tastes like you are eating a bacon cheeseburger. Another go-to for me is the taco pizza. A salsa base is topped with seasoned taco meat, mozzarella, cheddar and Colby jack cheese, black olives, onions and jalapenos, before being finished off with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. This combines two of my favorite game time foods -- pizza and tacos!

JACKIE: The Cloverleaf crust is what really sets it apart from the rest. I mean, the ooey-gooey cheese that leaves a mile-long string between you and your pizza pie with each bite is right up there, but the crust is everything. It's firm with a nice chew -- boasting a perfectly crisp exterior and crunchy, cheesy treat that runs along the edges. It's like the part of the corn dog where only the crisp cornbreading is left on the stick. You know what I mean? It's satisfying.

DUTCH: As much as I could live happily ever after just ordering the pizza here, I have to point out that the sandwiches here also shouldn't be ignored. The Reuben takes two slices of thick marbled rye bread and fills it with stacks of pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, plenty of Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut. Served with fries or salad, you will not feel guilty for ignoring the pizza menu on an occasional visit.

THE CLOVERLEAF, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, 6430 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.565.1111,

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