Pho 701 Becomes Orange Door + Menu Update

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 | 701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA | 253-627-9225 | Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Breakfast at Babblin’ Babs Bistro

If you’re looking for a gourmet, one-of-a-kind breakfast or brunch in Tacoma, look no further than Babblin’ Babs Bistro in the Proctor District. Their menu is a pleasure to read through, and gets your appetite going with the detailed descriptions and unique culinary combinations. Owners William and Shannon Mueller bring elevated food to a family dining experience, and breakfast is available all day on weekends.

It was a hard decision for my husband, who loves a sweet breakfast. The “Basse Busting Buttery Banana Butterscotch Bacon Bliss” ($15) caught his eye, with fresh banana waffles, butterscotch, homemade vanilla gelato and crumbles of pancetta. He ended up ordering “The Italian Swine Meets the French Pig Sandwich” ($15), with pancetta, pepper bacon, custard eggs, tomatoes and gouda in fresh baked naan bread. Yes, you read that right — naan. It’s a fun take on a breakfast sandwich, paired with either their nicely spiced home fries or sweet potato hash. It’s quite a hearty portion, and I didn’t think he’d be able to finish it, but in his words, “he couldn’t resist the harmony of flavors”. (I might be rubbing off on him a little too much. Do I sense a food writer in the making?) Continue reading →

Eat your Quinoa at Marrow

Last night I found myself having a quinoa-themed dinner at Marrow Kitchen and Bar. How did this happen? Pure coincidence. Out with my brother Jeff, and my husband Casey, the quinoa was calling. And why not? Quinoa is healthy and flavorful, and a great thing to incorporate more into your diet.

My brother and I both ordered the special, which was a quinoa-crusted cod with crisp roasted potatoes and a spicy aioli. I’ve never had quinoa-crusted anything…but it’s a genius idea.¬† The quinoa gets perfectly crunchy, and imparts a nutty flavor. Fantastic take on fish and chips.

The wild mushroom quinoa burger is a staple on Marrow’s Arrow, vegetarian menu. According to my husband, the best veggie burger he’s ever had. With fried fennel and tomato jam on a brioche bun, I’d have to agree with him.

Marrow mushroom quinoa burger

If you’re looking for more great quinoa dishes in Tacoma, check out Choripan by Asado’s quinoa bowls — with your choice of tofu, pork, steak, chicken, chorizo or sausage. Seriously flavorful.

Marrow Kitchen and Bar, 2717 6th Avenue, Tacoma. 253-267-5299. Tues.-Sat. 4 p.m.-2 a.m., 21+.

Galanga Thai Cuisine

My husband and I have a Friday night Thai food ritual. Each week, like clockwork, our cravings for Thai lead us around town, trying new places and revisiting old standbys.

Galanga Thai Cuisine is a favorite of downtown Tacoma dwellers and workers. Its central location and consistently quality, flavorful food brings customers back again and again. A recent visit to Galanga sealed the deal as one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Tacoma.

Continue reading →