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Restaurant Rally – poke bowls and the most decadent brunch burger

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Mill

Welcome to today’s installment in support of Pierce County’s Restaurant Rally

Today’s featured restaurants are Happy Teriyaki and The Mill Steakhouse & Spirits.

I’ll be writing about locally owned restaurants throughout the rally, which takes place Nov. 8-12 and Nov. 15-19 at about 300 participating restaurants all over Pierce County. (Friday and Saturday dining is excluded).

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The brunch burger at The Mill Steakhouse & Spirits in Milton.

Restaurants that participate in Restaurant Rally give diners a 30 percent discount off dine-in or take-out meals (third-party delivery/ordering is not included in the program). Where applicable, I will note if the restaurant has outdoor seating, and whether it’s covered and heated.

Read to the end of this article for more info on Restaurant Rally, or click here

Happy Teriyaki
Happy Teriyaki has multiple locations in Pierce County.

HAPPY TERIYAKI 

Poke bowls. Sushi rolls. Wok classics. Satisfying ramen. Inexpensive and fast. 

Think of Happy Teriyaki, at least the ones owned by Tim Bartz, as all-purpose stops featuring the greatest hits of quick and inexpensive Japanese food. 

There are several Happy Teriyaki locations, but not all are owned by Bartz, who also owns TheKoi, the upscale sushi restaurant in downtown Tacoma.

Poke bowl
A tuna poke bowl with edamame and marinated cucumbers from Happy Teriyaki.

His Happy Teriyaki locations are in downtown Tacoma, DuPont and Fife. Of those three, the DuPont and Fife locations are participating in the Restaurant Rally discount program. 

What I always tell diners to order first are the poke bowls. Diners can select from a long list of ingredients to create a rice bowl that’s as complicated or as simple as you like. The traditional way to eat a poke bowl is with raw tuna, and Happy Teriyaki does great work with its jiggling cubes of ruby red tuna, but not all diners eat raw fish. I’ll steer you to the chicken and tofu options for the restaurant’s poke bowls. There are also other fully cooked options. Add edamame, avocado, tobiko and a host of other snappy veggies. Low-carbers can skip the rice and ask for all veggies.  

Happy Teriyaki poke
Happy Teriyaki offers poke bowls.

Other must orders include the restaurant’s quick-and-satisfying and not at all fancy ramen, the wok classics, yakisoba and, of course, fresh sushi rolls.

HAPPY TERIYAKI

DuPont: 1100 Station Loop, DuPont; 253-912-0700

Fife: 4910 Pacific Hwy E, Fife; 253-896-3668

Notes: Open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday. Order directly from the restaurant, not through a third-party option because only direct restaurant orders come with a 30 percent discount for Restaurant Rally. 

Mill
The outdoor patio at The Mill in Milton.

THE MILL STEAKHOUSE AND SPIRITS 

If you don’t have plans for brunch this Sunday, you need to fix that. One of the first places you should add to your list for Restaurant Rally weekend brunch dining is The Mill Steakhouse and Spirits in Milton.

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A brunch burger at The Mill Steakhouse & Spirits in Milton.

Chef Alex Anton has devised a list of brunch basics with chef spins. One of my favorite brunch items on his menu is the brunch burger. The burger is built with a fat housemade pork sausage patty so big, it requires some maneuvering to get a big bite out of it. Each bite has more decadence than the previous: criss-crossed slices of bacon with fatty edges, a drippy fried egg, and gooey cheddar. Crisp crunch comes from a slice of tomato, triple layers of green leaf lettuce. I like that there’s a smear of fruit jam for the mildest hint of sweet and the brioche bun is buttered and toasted. 

biscuits
Biscuits and gravy from The Mill Steakhouse & Spirits in Milton.
biscuits
Biscuits and gravy from The Mill Steakhouse & Spirits in Milton.
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A brunch steak at The Mill Steakhouse & Spirits in Milton.
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The bloody Mary at The Mill Steakhouse & Spirits in Milton.

If you order anything else, make it the brunch steak with a Dungeness crab topper or the restaurant’s biscuits and gravy. You’re doing it wrong if you don’t get the bloody Mary.

THE MILL STEAKHOUSE AND SPIRITS

Where: 900 Meridian Ave. E., Milton; 253-831-4936; https://www.themillofmilton.com/

Notes: Open for lunch and dinner daily and weekend brunch on Sundays, beginning at 9 a.m.. Reservations highly recommended. Order directly from the restaurant, not through a third-party delivery or app. Only orders placed directly through restaurants receive the Restaurant Rally discount. 

PIERCE COUNTY RESTAURANT RALLY INFORMATION 

  1. Third-party ordering and delivery services, such as Uber Eats, Grub Hub and Door Dash, are excluded from the program because the program is intended to directly support local restaurants, not give money to technology companies. (Read more about why that is here).
  2. Tipping etiquette suggests diners should tip on the full amount of the bill, not the discounted amount. Treat servers well, they’re stressed enough as it is.
  3. State regulations require dining room capacity remain at 50 percent, and only dining parties of 6 and fewer will be seated
  4. Make a reservation if the restaurant accepts them. Cancel the reservation if you can’t keep your reservation. Empty tables = lost revenue.
  5. Booze is excluded from the promotion.
  6. Diners can get the 30 percent discount on dine-in service and take-out meals at participating restaurants. Confirm with the restaurant that they’re participating before you order.

Restaurant owners have advice for how you can navigate Restaurant Rally here in this story.

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