Leaving behind a long career at Western State Hospital, Terry Waller opened her Olive Branch Cafe inside the Hidden Treasures antique mall in March 2012, and closed it just over a year later in search of a bigger and better space. Now, she's open again in a downtown Tacoma neighborhood.
Much like her former location, the re-imagined Olive Branch is full of antiques and collectibles, the menu a mix of homespun sandwiches, soups and tea.
Waller knows her way around a sandwich griddle, considering her only restaurant work was volunteering at a coffee house through her church. Her sandwiches are built on sturdy bread, flanked by soups or salads. The chicken pesto is a true find, but the Reuben is another must try. Find Olive Branch at 731 Commerce St. More details here.
And here's another sandwich find in the same neighborhood. DiLoreto's Cafe opened in June 2012 as a tiny 11-seat diner. Owner Chris DiLoreto, with his fiance Jen, later bumped up the cafe to a half dozen tables. The airy cafe is outfitted with antique signs from neighboring Sanford and Sons. On a first visit, try the BLT, bargain priced at $6.99 for a full sandwich (or $4.99 for half). The sandwich on toasted sourdough came with triple layers each of bacon, lettuce and tomato, with a healthy swipe of mayo. Also try the French dip ($7.99). Find DiLoreto's at 746 Commerce St., Tacoma. More details here.