Friday, February 20, 2009

Tacoma: Food, Proctor, and History

Robb and I finally took a day last weekend to be tourists in Tacoma. Tacoma's backend literally bumps up against Federal Way's backend, but the only time we had spent in Tacoma involved work or hospital visits. (Oh, and that time when we visited the zoo.) So, last weekend, we decided to stop being Seattle snobs and see what Tacoma had to offer.

Of course, like most of the reasons for our adventures, the reason for this visit involved food. We get a subscription to the magazine Seattle Metropolitan which discusses all things Seattle and tends to have reviews of restaurants, shows, etc. It's rare that the Seattle magazine will discuss a Tacoma restaurant, but apparently this authentic Mexican restaurant was so tasty, that Seattlites could not be denied. So we headed to Vuelve a La Vida to check it out. This restaurant was definitely authentic (no chips and salsa, but plenty of weird meats like marrow and tongue), and very tasty. We tried a fish cerviche to start, which was amazing. My burrito was pretty good. And Robb had three soft tacos, each with a different meat: pork, goat, and marrow. Robb's trying to eat 30 new foods before he turns 30, so when he saw marrow on the menu, he felt compelled to try it. He thought it was okay and tasted exactly like what you think marrow will taste like. All I know is that I tried a bite and I have to say that I don't care for marrow. After paying a very reasonable bill, we headed out. We'll definitely be stopping there again.

After lunch we headed to the tiny Proctor neighborhood. We'd heard nice things about this area of town and wanted to see what it was all about. Plus, this is where the Tacoma Metropolitan Market is which we wanted a peek at. Proctor has the potential to be nice. However, on a Sunday afternoon it is basically shut down. Almost all of the stores were closed. So we quickly walked around and then left for our next destination.

Like all good Pacific Northwest towns, Tacoma honors the salmon.

Our final stop of the rainy afternoon was the Washington State History Museum in downtown Tacoma. This small museum presented displays on everything from Native American culture, to the logging business, to the Japanese interment camps during WWII. It was a nice little museum, with lots to learn and a lot of interactive displays. The building the Museum was housed in was gorgeous and was right next to the historic Union Station. Right before the Museum closed we headed upstairs to the special exhibition on Washington: Then and Now Photos. This exhibit was really neat. It showed photos of Washington landmarks taken decades ago, alongside photos of the exact same spot taken in the past few months. To see the changes were really remarkable; and at the same time, the lack of changes were really interesting as well.

The first picture is of the Museum. The second picture is of Union Station, now a courthouse.

All in all, Tacoma's not a bad place to visit. There are some other "attractions" that we still need to visit, so I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this city soon...

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