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Dining news Pierce County Restaurant Rally Tacoma dining Tacoma restaurant news

Restaurant Rally – delicious ramen to go, Tacoma’s best baklava

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Restaurant Rally is here and that means diners get 30 percent off food at participating restaurants Nov. 15-19. Both dine-in and take-out food is included. Considering the rising virus numbers and that new restrictions were announced for dining today (read about the new restrictions here), diners likely are looking for take-out options. I’m coming through for you. This week, I’m recommending some of my favorite take-out items at local restaurants. Read to the end of this article for more info on Restaurant Rally, or click here. To find a complete list of participating restaurants, visit the county’s official rally website

Zen Ramen & Sushi Burrito
Zen Ramen and Sushi Burrito.

ZEN RAMEN AND SUSHI BURRITO LAKEWOOD

Soup is a take-out option that travels well and you should head over to Zen Ramen & Sushi  in Lakewood for a to-go bowl of ramen. 

The restaurant has three locations, but only the Lakewood location is listed as participating in Restaurant Rally (the other locations are in Parkland and Tacoma). 

Zen Lakewood serves 9 styles of ramen with one veggie version with a soy broth. Otherwise, the other 8 versions start with a base of porky tonkotsu (which is pork bone broth). Diners can go plain Jane with a mild chashu or order up the spicy scale to the holy-heat-sweats kamikaze style with a triple punch of ghost pepper, habanero and hot pepper oil. 

And sushi burritos? Those travel well, too, for take-out. Think of Zen’s version of a sushi burrito as just one giant maki roll. Rolled up in soy wraps, they’re filled with the same ingredients you can get on sushi rolls, plus plenty of cooked options. For you seafood avoiders, check out the chicken tempura burrito. Did I mention the poke bowls? Plenty of options for seafood eaters and meat eaters alike.

As I wrote in this story when the Lakewood Zen opened in June, the Lakewood location is managed by Sanghee and Scott Lee, whose brother Jamie Lee owns Zen Ramen and Sushi in Parkland (the original) and Tacoma (opened in June). 

ZEN RAMEN AND SUSHI BURRITO 

8534 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood; 253- 582-6713; https://www.facebook.com/zen.ramen.58; https://www.instagram.com/zenlakewood/

Notes: Closed Mondays. Take-out included in promotion. Third-party delivery and ordering is excluded. Alcohol is excluded.

baklava
A wedge of baklava from Mediterranean Palace. The baklava also is sold at Sluggo Brewing.

SLUGGO BREWING

I don’t know that there’s harder working or more cheerful restaurant owner than Ammar Mannaa, who operates two restaurants in the Dome District with wife Sorada. While his Mediterranean Palace stall in Freighthouse Square is not participating in Restaurant Rally, his Sluggo Brewing restaurant is. 

At Sluggo Brewing, you’ll find a wide range of Mannaa’s specialties: garlicky hummus, crispy-creamy falafel, gyro sandwiches piled high with shaved lamb and drizzled with tangy tzatziki, plus hand-rolled dolmades.

Baklava
Baklava from Sluggo Brewing and Mediterranean Palace.

But you must save room for dessert. Because Sluggo has Mannaa’s secret weapon: baklava. 

As I wrote in October in my tour of baklava, the scent of orange blossom wafts from the baklava before you can even bite into the honey-soaked treats. Mannaa’s walnut baklava are cut into blocky squares, not the typical triangles, which tastes so much more substantial. Walnuts and honey syrup saturate each flaky phyllo layer. Order one to eat and another to take home. They store in the fridge very well. 

SLUGGO BREWING

Info: 409 E. 26th St., Tacoma; 253-272-1047

Web:  https://www.sluggobrewingtapandkitchen.com  

Notes: Open for lunch and dinner daily. Take-out included in promotion. Third party delivery and ordering excluded. Alcohol excluded.

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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