Tag Archives: Downtown Tacoma

Jack and Mimi’s Cheap Date: Pacific Grill and Old Milwaukee Cafe

Chad and Pat, owners of the Old Milwaukee Cafe

Chad and Pat, owners of the Old Milwaukee Cafe

For the third installment of Jack and Mimi’s Cheap Date, Mimi and I had decided to go to the Pacific Grill. I had heard they had a new menu and I wanted to go someplace nice. Not to mention, I’d been meaning to go to dinner at Pacific Grill ever since owner and chef, Gordon Naccarato was kind enough to join me for 5 Question Friday last year.

We arrived Friday night without a reservation and sat at the bar until there was a table ready for us. We looked over the menu which included many small plates that were intended to be shared family style. Mimi and I talked about how to work this into the rules of ‘Jack and Mimi’s Cheap Date’ which are that we order the two cheapest entrees on the menu. And then something happened.

“I don’t care what we do next,” Mimi said, “but no matter what I’m ordering the Soy Whiskey Whiskey Chicken.”

This was not the cheapest thing on the menu but at $8.95 it was also not the most expensive.  The description said “chicken thighs marinated in soy, garlic, bourbon + ginger w/ smoky sweet potato salad.“  I entirely understood why Mimi wanted it.  However, since rules are rules, it was clear that we were no longer on a ‘Cheap Date’. And so I ordered a full plate of ‘Stan the Man’s Killer Clam Linguine’ for $24.

Mimi’s chicken was tender and juicy, but the real treat was the smoked potato salad. The clams in my clam linguine were crazy good and the full plate was indeed full. Luckily I had a big appetite. Later, Gordon stopped by our table and we finally met face to face. He told us how the dish I was eating was named for his father, Stan Naccarato who used to make that dish all the time when Gordon was younger.

Mimi and I had a great dinner at a great place, but we still had a column to write. We were too full of good food to go somewhere else. So Saturday morning we decided we’d fix this problem by having ‘Jack & Mimi’s Cheap Breakfast’.

And so we went to Tacoma’s Old Milwaukee Café on 6th Ave. Mimi had been telling me about this place for weeks and I’d never been there. Located at 3102 S. 6th Ave., the Old Milwaukee has been a local favorite for fourteen years. It’s run by a couple named Pat and Chad. She waits tables. He cooks. There are eight tables and the whole place probably couldn’t fit more than twenty people in it comfortably.

When we arrived around 9am on Saturday morning, all of the tables were taken and there were a couple of people already waiting. We needed a table for three as Mimi’s mother had chosen to join us for breakfast. While there was no list, Pat made it clear that we were to sit when and where she wanted us to sit. As she put it, “I’ve got you handled.”  We were seated after 15 minutes.

Mimi ordered two eggs sunny side up along with home fries and English muffins for $6.99. I ordered thick sliced bacon and scrambled eggs with hash browns and English muffins for $8.99. We also had coffee.

The atmosphere in the place was friendly though I noticed a few parties arrive and leave as they saw that the entire place was packed. Unfortunately Mimi had to work at ten and ended up leaving before our food had arrived. We let the waitress know that while Mimi was leaving, we’d still be bringing the food to her.

My bacon and eggs arrived. The first thing I noticed was that they weren’t kidding about the thick sliced bacon. It was good, thick, and tasty. The hash browns were just that right balance of crunchy but not burned.

When it came time to go, our waitress had the cook freshly make Mimi’s eggs. I asked Mimi later what she thought of the food to go. She said, “I liked it. It’s also the simplest thing I’ve eaten there.”

So there you have it. Jack & Mimi’s Cheap Date didn’t go exactly as planned, but I think in this case that was mostly a good thing.

–          Jack Cameron

Jack & Mimi’s Cheap Date by the numbers:

Pacific Grill
Address: 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402
Soy Whiskey Chicken: $8.95
Stan The Man’s Killer Clam Linguine: $24

Old Milwaukee Cafe
3102 6th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98406
Two Eggs: $6.99
Thick Sliced Bacon and Eggs: $8.99

*Note: Jack & Mimi’s Cheap Date does not include drinks, tax, or tip. I’m a bit of a drink snob, tips are very subjective, and sales tax is 9.5% for those who need exact numbers.

5 Question Friday With Poison Apple’s Jooley Heaps

Photo of Jason McKibbin & Jooley Heaps in front of Poison Apple

Owners Jason McKibbin & Jooley Heaps in front of Poison Apple

Last year Jooley Heaps was nice enough to participate in 5 Question Friday to talk about her store, Box Top Vintage, a vintage clothing store in downtown Tacoma. Box Top is no more but in its place is Poison Apple. I stopped by her shop a couple weeks ago and invited her again to let us know what she’s up to these days and how her new business is different from previous endeavors.  If you haven’t been to Poison Apple, you’re missing out, but I’ll let Jooley tell you about it.

1. What is Poison Apple?

Poison Apple is a different take on what I was successful with through Box Top Vintage. Vintage clothing was starting to become lackluster for me and I enjoyed selling novelties, retail, art and super fun stuff more. I teamed up with Jason McKibbin (who I’ve known for 20 years) and made it more pop culture with my items as well as comic books, action figures, cool dvds, music, etc.

2. How is it different from your old shop, Box Top Vintage?

What’s different is the store makes more sense than Box Top. Box Top was all over the place. Things are more organized, the paint colors work well together, the logo and cards are the same, thus the branding is more recogniziable. My friend JD Elquist and his team of boy wonders had a lot to do with helping me realize that. The shop is also more open and not as clustered together, making it more easy to shop.

3. Besides your own shop, what is your favorite local business?

Tacoma has a lot of businesses that I think are wonderful. Dorky’s, Embellish, Blitz florist, Dagmar Peterson “Henna Zilla”, Learning Sprout, What? Shoppe, Republic of 253, Top of Tacoma, Puget Sound Pizza, The Mix, Lulu, A little touch of magic, Cresent Moon Gifts, Supernova, Mad Hat Tea, Hell’s Kitchen, Pacific Grill, DOA, Comic Book Ink, there are literally SO many that I adore and that exist from coffee to vintage clothing to everything in between, Tacoma has a truly great mix of shops and people that run them. I know I’m leaving a bunch out, but that will give your readers a little work to do smurfin’ around to find them 🙂

4. You’re having an event this weekend. Could you tell us a bit about that?

We are having a free all ages open to the public event here on Saturday April 28th from 3-6pm. Phoenix Jones and Purple Reign, who are real life superheros, are coming down from Seattle to talk to folks and kids about domestic violence and bullying. These issues very important to Jason and I and we think that it will be a great event to be a part of. I’m stoked that they have the time to do it. Way cool.

5. What are your plans for the future of Poison Apple?

The door is wide open for world domination for the future of Poison Apple. We will continue to have super awesome gifts and products, we have a busy vending schedule of shows, events, and cons we will be at, and hope to have in store events. We are from Tacoma and love it and will always be apart of anything local we can sink our teeth into.

If you’re in downtown Tacoma, you owe it to yourself to check out Poison Apple. It’s located on 907 Pacific Ave.  You can also check out their Facebook page. I’d like to thank Jooley for taking the time to participate in 5 Question Friday and hope everyone can make it to Saturday’s event.

As always, if your or anyone you know wants to be part of 5 Question Friday, email me at jackcameronis@gmail.com

5 Question Friday with ART BUS’ Angela Jossy!

If you’re part of the art or business community in downtown Tacoma, you probably know Angela Jossy. A self-described ‘Duchess of Downtown’, she seems to work on more projects than any three people should take on. One of the more interesting projects she’s been involved with is the ART BUS. I managed to get Angela to take time out of her busy schedule to help me with the triumphant return of 5 Question Friday. Here she is.

1. What is ART BUS?

ART BUS is a tour of art exhibits in the downtown vicinity of Tacoma WA. We do it every Third Thursday during Tacoma’s Art Walk. The cost is $10 to ride and $20 to be a VIP and get a gift bag with gift certificates and discounts to Tacoma businesses. ART BUS is sponsored in part by The Weekly Volcano. Every month we have a different celebrity guest tour guide and we typically invite people who know a lot about Tacoma like city council members, arts commissioners, civic leaders, community leaders and etc. We also feature a different artist each month with our ART BUS buttons, which serve as the ticket to ride.

2. How did you get started with the ART BUS?

ART BUS is an idea that we tossed around for a while because the galleries are really too far apart to actually walk to them during art walk. People used to joke around that it was really more of an art drive than an art walk. So in March of 2010 I decided to make it so and we’ve been rolling ever since!

3. Where in Tacoma is the most under-appreciated art location?

ALL of Tacoma’s art locations are under-appreciated. A large percentage of people who live in Tacoma, let alone people outside the area, don’t even realize what an exciting art scene we have here. Far from being sedate and high brow, our art is exciting, inspiring and sometimes even shocking! This is not your Grandma’s art scene and its sprouting through everywhere – not just art galleries but restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, vacant storefronts and even dentists offices! If you give them a wall or an empty space of any kind, Tacoma’s artists will give you something to talk about over the water cooler.

4. What other projects are you working on?

I’m working on a fundraiser for the Go Red Campaign called the Love Squared Acoustic Dinner Party in February. I have a new blog I unveiled in December called the Duchess of Downtown Tacoma Blog. And I’m working on a 26-week cross-promotional project for small independent businesses because I feel the biggest impediment to people shopping local is know what to buy and where. So I’m going to use the most powerful mechanism at my disposal to change that – word of mouth advertising. I’m going to introduce people to the business owners, what they do, why they do it and how you can support them. Please find and friend me on Facebook if you’d like to hear more about that. I feel strongly that the one tangible thing that is within my power to do to help us politically, environmentally and economically is to support our local businesses. Remember, 75% of the money you spend at a local business stays and circulates in our community.

5. What’s next for the ART BUS?

We just found out recently that ART BUS received a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission. The way that grant works is you spend the money and they reimburse you so we are looking for a sponsor to match it. Then we can do more regional marketing, get a banner for the side of the bus, get a portable PA system and things like that to make it even better than it is already. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor of ART BUS should contact me at angela.jossy@gmail.com.

I’d like to thank Angela Jossy for taking part in 5 Question Friday. You can follow ART BUS on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tacoma-ART-BUS/151270941559625 or check out their website at  http://www.TacomaARTBUS.com

5 Question Friday is a weekly feature at TacomaStories.com where I give a 5 Question Interview with someone in Tacoma. If you’d like to participate in 5 Question Friday or would like to suggest someone, email me at jackcameronis@gmail.com.

-Jack Cameron