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Restaurant Rally – juicy burgers and Tacoma’s best kabuli chana

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Restaurant Rally is here and that means diners get 30 percent off food at participating restaurants through Nov. 19. The discount is good for dine-in and take-out food through today (Nov. 17) and for take-out food only Nov. 18-19. This week, I’m writing about my favorite take-out eats. 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

As a diehard flexitarian in my food choices, I add meat-free dining days in between my meat-sweats outings. In celebration of flexitarians everywhere, I’m featuring my take-out favorites at Gateway to India, with a huge selection of vegetarian fare, and the delicious beefy burgers from Farm 12. 

GATEWAY TO INDIA

This Tacoma treasure, with a sister restaurant in Gig Harbor, has a 20-year reputation for its flavor-walloped Northern Indian cuisine and its devotion to vegetarian options. Meat lovers will find plenty of butter chicken, goat curry and lamb in myriad configurations on the menu, but for vegetarians, the choices run plentiful.

I rated Gateway to India at the top of my previous tours of Indian buffets and if there’s one more thing (of eleventy thousand) I’m mourning about the current dining restrictions, it is the halt of that fabulous buffet built for meat avoiders. 

The good news is that you can buy everything from the buffet as an a la carte dish. For vegetarians that includes cinnamon-spiked kabuli chana with the most delicately textured chickpeas you’ll eat at any Indian restaurant. The mushroom mutter swims in a super spiced creamy sauce and the daal maharani sports waxy lentils in a kicky gravy. Curried green beans can be so ordinary, but the peppery heat in that dish brings me back for seconds. Buttery artichoke hearts push apart with the nudge of a fork, and are suspended in an assertively spiced tomato sauce. Remember extra naan for scooping up those delicious spiced sauces.

Both locations are open and serving for Restaurant Rally, but are only open for dinner. Third-party ordering and the restaurant’s online ordering are excluded from the discount. 

GATEWAY TO INDIA

Check hours and Restaurant Rally info here: gatewaytoindiarestaurant.com

TACOMA: 2603 Sixth Ave.; 253-552-5022 

GIG HARBOR: 6565 Kimball Drive; 253-851-2688

Farm 12
The airy dining room with roll-up garage doors at Farm 12 in Puyallup.

FARM 12

You’ll need four napkins, maybe five, and possibly a second person to tackle the half-pound burger at Farm 12, my favorite restaurant opening in 2019. The restaurant celebrated its one-year-anniversary last week. When you eat at Farm 12, you can eat there knowing you’re doing endless amounts of good. The restaurant comes with a lofty mission as a companion to Step by Step, the non-profit foundation that champions and supports moms. Krista Linden is the head of the organization. Linden is one of those people who makes everything she touches better. She carries the soothing demeanor of a kindergarten teacher, with a fierce inner warrior who champions women and their struggles. 

fish and chips
An order of fish and chips from Farm 12.

As we close out what has been such a trying year for non-profit agencies, consider making a donation to Step by Step. And also commit to eating more frequently at Farm 12 where you might just meet one of Linden’s clients tableside.

And the burgers. Oh, those Farm 12 burgers. They’re towering, built on a sturdy house-baked brioche bun with flame-licked beef a half pound thick, and served however you order (for me, that’s with some pink inside). Goo comes from a generous swipe of aioli, and be sure to order yours with cheddar (an add-on). Pickled onions and gem lettuce cut the burger’s richness nicely. Blocky hand cut fries come with lots of surface area, with crunch on the edges and creamy insides. Those same outstanding fries come with the fish and chips, which is also an excellent dish to order, but there’s also an option for sweet potato waffle fries. Those are also excellent. The restaurant’s sloppy Joe sandwich should be on your must-order list.

burger
A burger with fresh-cut fries from Farm 12.

Did I mention Cake Wednesdays? Pastry chef Hannah Russell debuts a fabulous multi-tier cake every Wednesday, but there’s cake on other days, too. Be sure to gaze at the pastry counter up front where Russell’s skills as a pastry magician are on display behind glass. Order anything (and everything) from that pastry counter. 

galette
A galette from Farm 12.

Note on dining after new restrictions begin Nov. 18: Farm 12 will transition into dine-in service by using their giant event center, with big garage doors they will roll up to keep a breeze going. Linden plans to turn the events center into a winter wonderland with out-of-this-world decor. Put it on your radar for when you just need to go out to eat somewhere, but want to be safe doing it. 

PLEASE NOTE: Farm 12 is closed until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 to accommodate for the winter decorating mentioned above! More details here.

FARM 12

Where: 3303 #B  Eighth Ave. SE, Puyallup; 253-697-9486; https://www.farm12.org

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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