Since Coldstone Creamery closed, I’ve had my eye on the now-vacant space next to Round Table Pizza in Westgate for a while. I’ve hoped it would turn into a little neighborhood deli or cafe…or something…anything, except perhaps a frozen yogurt shop. Lo and behold today I see signs go up for Yeti Yogurt, a Pacific Northwest chain with four current locations and six more locations slated to open in the coming months.
I don’t hate frozen yogurt. In fact, I like it very much. Your choice of flavor and toppings, with less calories than ice cream…all good things. But there is a Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt kitty corner to this location. Aren’t two frozen yogurt shops in one block a little much? Not to mention, the countless frozen yogurt shops popping up all over Tacoma and the South Puget Sound and the soon-to-be Gibson’s Frozen Yogurt Truck coming next month (see my article in the Weekly Volcano on that here).
Too much of a good thing? Maybe. Either way, Yeti Yogurt in Westgate is slated to open this summer, as is another location in Fircrest. There’s a location at 176th and Meridian in Puyallup that’s already open.
Yeti Yogurt in Westgate
This past weekend, I went on a solo road trip to Moses Lake, WA to visit one of my best friends, Koree, and to meet her new baby boy. I can’t think of a better reason to go over the pass to the east side of the state. Bonus: I ate at some really fantastic places, much to my surprise.
Okay, I know – it’s pretty bad that I had the impression that Eastern Washington is a gastronomic wasteland. Sure, there aren’t many fancy restaurants or big-name chefs, but if you know where to look, the eating’s not at all bad on your journey over I-90.
A trip east of the mountains isn’t complete without stopping at a fruit stand. It might sound a little cliche, but there’s a reason everyone does it – the local produce is fresh, vibrant and priced really reasonably. I stopped in Thorp at the Red Sky Orchards stand. I actually meant to stop at the larger, more touristy Thorp Fruit and Antique Mall, but I was actually glad I stopped an exit or two short at this smaller spot. With gorgeous Yakima apricots, sweet cherries and wine tasting, it was a great place to stretch my legs and pick up some snacks. I also got a bottle of apricot wine that sounded pretty great.
I stopped for breakfast in Ellensburg at the Yellow Church Cafe, at the recommendation of a Twitter friend, Rob. Twitter is my favorite way to get good restaurant advice in areas I’m not familiar with. What I found was a comfortable interior in the converted church built in 1923, and a menu of homemade items that was hard to choose from. I went with the eggs Benedict with curry hollandaise. It was phenomenal, with perfectly poached eggs and fluffy potatoes. The best kind of road food.
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Walking around Downtown Tacoma this weekend, I noticed a change at Pho 701 Bistro and Bar. There were new signs in the window, and a new name, the Orange Door. Immediately, I hoped Pho 701 had not gone out of business. There had been quite a few business changes in that space before, and I’d hate to see it happen again.
I talked with the owner, Toan Pham, and he informed me it was just an update to the business, not a new owner. “The name change was more to fit our demographics of an downtown location,” Pham said. “Ownership and chef did not change. Our clientele are more diversified, and we as restaurant grew with the changes.”
Pham also explained to me there is an updated menu, but the pho is still present. New items include wok stir-fried drunken noodles, Shanghai noodles (wok fried lo mein noodles), chow mein, provincial clay pot pork and eggs, crab rangoon, wonton soup, as well as more vegan items.
I haven’t eaten there in a few months, but previous visits have included friendly service, clean decor, a relaxed atmosphere, decent prices and tasty food.
Orange Door Tacoma
Orange Door Tacoma
Orange Door | 701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA | 253-627-9225 | Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Grassi’s Garden Cafe, located upstairs in Grassi’s Flowers & Gifts in Downtown Tacoma, is moving after 21 years at their current location. The cafe, along with the flower and gift shop, will be moving from the historic “Mack Building”, the triangular building on South 17th and Pacific. The last day at their current location is April 25th.
Why the move after so many years in the same location? “We would like a location with easier parking for our guests,” says owner Melanie Grassi. This makes sense — the stretch of Pacific they’re currently located on has minimal parking spots, and they compete for space with visitors to UW Tacoma, retail shops and restaurants.
So far, it’s undetermined as to where they’ll be moving to. “We are currently in negotiations and hope to announce future plans soon”, says Grassi. Along with the move, there are plans to change the menu, as well as some other “surprises”.
Until then, everything in the boutique is 50 percent off, and there’s still time for a loaded cobb salad or crab omelet.