Puyallup diners will have to wait at least another week for Irish food. The new bar Twisted Kilt Pub & Irish Eatery downtown is open for soccer viewing, beer and sandwiches, but the full Irish menu is on hold until the owners can fix a venting hood in the kitchen. Repairs should take about a week longer, said owner Bryan Purdy. Click here to read more about the pub and menu.
While South Hill is the place for forgettable chain restaurants, downtown Puyallup is really becoming a diner's destination with the recent additions of Crockett’s, Northwest Vintage and It's Greek to Me. Click "more" to read about two restaurants I recently sampled – the newer Savory and Sweet Café and Kanpai, a downtown institution.
YOUR TURN: Have a favorite downtown Puyallup eatery? Comment below and tell other readers about it.
Savory and Sweet Café and Catering CompanyWhere: 201 S. Meridian, PuyallupInfo: 253-445-5922 or savorynsweetcatering.com
Karen Fisher started the Savory and Sweet Café and Catering Company in 2006 in the transit building at 107 Stewart. Café traffic wasn’t as high as she would have liked, so she relocated last November to Meridian. She operates the location full time as a catering company and serves lunch Tuesday-Saturday in the cafe. I popped in anonymously for a quick lunch and ordered a pesto panini ($7.50) from her sandwich menu. House-made walnut basil pesto impressed with flavor, and the grilled sandwich was perfect – a thin and crunchy exterior filled with melty, gooey mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. This is a place to take your mother or grandmother for a quick café lunch, the small dining room is cute, bright and quiet.
Kanpai Japanese RestaurantWhere: 402 N. Meridian, PuyallupInfo: 253-840-2158
Don’t let the strange L-shaped dining room, the aged interior, or shocking red booths fool you into thinking this is just another little teriyaki hole-in-the-wall, the food at Kanpai is the real deal Japanese. Kanpai serves food with some thought behind the composition and presentation. I was impressed with the aesthetic of the food, even the garnishes, which range from salmon skin salad to sliced cucumbers in a vinaigrette, were imaginative. While it can be challenging to find dishes such as broiled mackerel or black cod on other Puyallup Japanese restaurant menus, Kanpai offers those and more: udon, donburi, katsu and a long sushi list. The town is full of teriyaki and a few really decent sushi restaurants, but the style of this Japanese restaurant is more aligned with Tacoma’s Fujiya or Kabuki -just without the atmosphere.
On a recent visit, I dug into a platter of sushi and found a remarkable assortment of fish – both fresh and well priced for the quality. The $18.50 plate fed two easily and the boat-shaped platter came with a California roll, simple tuna roll, and a half dozen nigiri. The presentation reminded me of how Sushi Tama treats its sushi – someone in the kitchen pays close attention to detail. I like that.