El Tufo, the Spanish themed tapas bar next door to sibling business Stink Cheese and Meat in Tacoma’s St. Helens neighborhood, has a new chef and menu.
Bruce Derby, who counts Doyle’s Public House, Dirty Oscar’s Annex, and Social Bar and Grill on his resume, replaces Ben Marcus as chef. Marcus has joined the staff at Doyle’s in the St. Helens neighborhood.
The new menu follows the same tapas theme. Small plates with small-ish price tags ($5-$8) drenched in Spanish flavors and ingredients. El Tufo also is a wine bar with the longest, and most thoughtful, Spanish wine list I’ve seen in the area. That’s a pet project of El Tufo and Stink owner Kris Blondin, who toured Spain last year in search of new varietals and flavors for her businesses.
As for the tapas, new on the menu is patatas bravas y huevos chorizo ($7), a mixture of potatoes, red peppers and chorizo, topped with over-easy eggs. Pollo al ajillo ($7) is skewered chicken with a lemon-sherry sauce. Fechas de quesa azul ($5) combines the nutty funk of blue cheese and pecans stuffed into dates.
Derby said he’s eager for diners to try the croquetas de pollo ($8), which he described as croquettes with a “nice blend of chicken, cheese and bacon, pan-fried and served with a spicy smoked tomato sauce. The dish has a surprising amount of complexity for being a straightforward and simple dish.”
Another menu favorite for Derby is the pimientos con nata ($6), which he described as “house roasted red peppers in a (smoked paprika) cream and goat cheese sauce with toasted baguettes for dipping.”
Some old favorites still linger on El Tufo’s menu. The queso frito — fried mahon cheese in tomato sauce ($6), a personal favorite — is a holdover, along with the Spanish tortilla ($7) and flatbread with grape chutney, blue cheese and speck prosciutto ($8).
Find El Tufo at 630 St. Helens Ave., adjacent to sister store, Stink Cheese and Meat, 628 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma; 253-426-1347, stinktacoma.com.
LUNCH ON LUMPIA
Lumpia World has found a new home in Tacoma through the winter. The Lumpia World food truck will serve its menu of lumpia and Filipino lunch plates from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Wednesday between the intersections of South 9th and 11th Streets on Broadway in downtown Tacoma.
Owner Derrick Ellis, who operates two Lumpia World trucks and a deli-style lumpia restaurant inside the Lighthouse IGA in Browns Point, said the menu will include the truck’s typical list of lumpia with dipping sauces, pancit noodles and larger lunch plates (typically adobo or katsu).
For more information on the restaurant, visit lumpiaworld.com.