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.
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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.