Showcase Tacoma got cooking today, and some of downtown Tacoma's best restaurants – or at least some of the best ones in the direct vicinity of Harold M. Tollefson Square, the location of the arts-and-culture event that also spreads to the UW Tacoma campus -- got cooking, too.
Food at this year's festivity is a little scaled back from last year. For instance, The Harmon, which among other things last year, served terrific barbecued turkey legs and its Fuggles-hopped Extra Special Bitter ale, is only serving mini burgers and bottled water this year.
For a taste of The Harmon's beers, slide over to Pacific Grill's patio space atop Tollefson Square at Pacific Avenue and 17th Streets. Pacific Grill is serving The Harmon's blonde ale, along with Mach 5, a pale ale from White Pass Brewing Company (the beer's named after a run at White Pass ski area). One of the investors in White Pass Brewing Company is an investor in Pacific Grill. Pacific Grill is one of three places in the state serving Mach 5. The other two are the White Pass ski lodge, and the Fircrest Country Club.
Mach 5 is a semi-cloudy beauty with a firm, creamy head. Like most Washington beers, it leads with hoppy high notes, but sweet straw notes mellow the finish. Pacific Grill is serving it on the plaza for $5 a pour.
Pacific Grill is also serving salami sandwiches, seafood cocktails, mini burgers and Asian chicken salad. At TwoKoi's tent, the offerings include chicken and sushi bento boxes. The Rock is serving pizza slices. Hot Rod Dog's menu speaks for itself. Click here for a list of other food vendors, or check out Showcase Tacoma, now thorugh through Sunday.