Whether visiting the Museum of Glass or another Dock Street destination, two casual drop-in eateries make for a quick meal at an affordable price – happy hour bar eating at Woody’s on the Water, and a quick sandwich and homemade dessert at Dock Street Sandwich Company.
Both restaurants are in the Thea’s Landing residential building and both are well priced and good places to take visitors from out of town.
A look at dining at both:
Woody’s on the Water
Where: 1715 Dock St., Tacoma
Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. daily
Info: 253-272-1433 or www. woodystacoma.com
Happy hour is 3-6 p.m. daily at Woody’s, with bar eats half off during that time. It’s one of those places where you can drop in casually and eat in the bar, or come later for dinner dressed up and ready to enjoy a waterfront view meal.
Woody’s comes highly recommended for happy hour by TNT Diner blog readers. TNT Diner reader gmaglenda raved about the coconut prawns ($5 during happy hour; all prices listed here are happy hour prices) at Woody’s, and I can see why – the flavors were a complicated meld of spicy, sour and sweet.
The prawns wore a sweet breading coated in coconut, and fried just to the right degree of crispy yum. Sweet, plump shrimp were jacketed inside. The orange sauce was chunky with threads of sweetened orange zest and dotted with spicy red pepper flakes. A vinegar-marinated salad with cukes and red onions offered a sour pairing to the spicy-sweet orange sauce. This is a dish worth double ordering.
The spinach and artichoke dip ($3.50) was the best bargain of our visit. The creamy, cheesy, gooey dish overflowed with spinach and artichokes and came with a generous pile of fried flour tortilla chips. Some of the chips flew overboard as our server dropped off our plate, and she returned with garlicky crostini to finish off the dip. She noted that we already had fried flour tortilla chips with the shrimp ceviche and thought that we would appreciate the garlic crostini with the spinach- artichoke dip. And she was right – we did. The crostini was just the right texture for the gooey dip. Be careful not to let the dip cool too much; the cheesy layer on top congeals into a solid cheese casing. And beware of solid cheese casing – it requires a knife to get inside to the good, gooey stuff.
Some of the fried flour tortillas with the ceviche ($4) were just a touch overdone and tinged with unsavory bitterness. The ceviche actually was just cooked bay shrimp marinated in a lime, onion, tomato and cilantro sauce – not a traditional ceviche dish with raw seafood “cooked” in a citrus bath.
The trio of slider burgers ($3.50) – in flavors of cheddar, barbecue and onion straw – probably would have been far better had they been watched on the grill. Two of the three buns were burned, and the meat was overcooked on all three.
Tenderloin tips ($5) were another bargain. Meaty pieces were happily swimming in a zippy, deeply flavored merlot peppercorn sauce that provided a scoopworthy companion to the crostini. It was paired with a meaty portion of deliciously chewy quinoa on our visit, but usually it’s served with garlic mashed potatoes, our server told us.
Dock Street Sandwich
Where: 1701 Dock St.
Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays; closed Sundays
I wanted to start with dessert first at Dock Street Sandwich Company. The homemade fudge, pie and other desserts beckon so temptingly from the display case. The display case faces the door, which I think is done on purpose to attract passersby who may glance in through the windows in the Thea’s Landing building.
If you come only for dessert, you should stay for the sandwiches. The bread is fresh, the vegetables crisp and the meat generous. The Dock Street Dip ($8.89) was a sturdy, oversized meal with five generous layers of roast beef (yes, I counted), melted cheddar, sweet sautéed red onions, a smear of prepared horseradish on a toasted French roll. It came with a side of au jus, but the dipping liquid wasn’t necessary because the juicy roast beef basted the sandwich. I’m still thinking of that sandwich many, many days later. I ordered it with a cup of soup ($1.99) and was pleased that the roasted vegetable soup didn’t rely on salt – like so many restaurants do – as the flavor driver. This soup was smooth, with bits of chunky vegetables for texture, and a mild flavor from the slow-roasted veggies.
The turkey avocado ($6.99) also came piled high with layers of turkey breast, crisp green leaf lettuce, snappy skins-on cucumber slices, a slice of provolone cheese and a layer of guacamole.
The sandwich was delicious and flavorful, but slippery from the layer of guacamole – so much so that the cukes shot out when the sandwich was squeezed. A layer of sliced avocado might have made the sandwich easier to handle.
For finishing (or starting, if you’re like me), do order the peanut butter pie. It was a little bit savory, a little bit sweet and a lot chocolaty. I liked that the filling was dense, but didn’t taste like a peanut butter puck. The rich layer of chocolate on top was thick and chewy. The chocolate cookie crust added another level of richness that proves to all mankind that chocolate and peanut butter really can be the best companions in desserts.
Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270