TNT Diner

Tacoma’s twists on churros: savory, eggy, filled, even as a waffle

Churros with dulce de leche at Casco Antiguo, a newly opened restaurant on the Foss Waterway.
Churros with dulce de leche at Casco Antiguo, a newly opened restaurant on the Foss Waterway. phaley@thenewstribune.com

From Disneyland to your local panaderia, churros are a dessert staple.

The Mexican street treat is pretty simple in concept: ridged, fried dough with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.

Lately, though, I’m seeing them with more twists, so to speak.

In Tacoma, I’ve discovered churros in the form of eggy missiles, savory chile-cheese bombs, even as a waffle. Read on.

CHURROS IN A SKILLET

Where: Casco Antiguo, 1901 Dock St., Tacoma; 253-212-0665; cascoantiguorestaurants.com.

Tacoma’s newest waterfront restaurant is a modern Mexican cantina with a menu devoted to a la carte tacos, Mexican entrees such as braised pork cheeks, and a terrific menu of tequila and cocktails. Save room for dessert, because the skillet of churros is worth a try. A half dozen missile-shaped churros are made with an eggy batter that yielded delicious chewy resistance (think: French crullers). They come dusted with cinnamon sugar, plus a side of sticky dulce de leche, the Mexican caramel sauce ($7).

Roasthouse churros 1
The churros at RoastHouse are cut into bite-size pieces and served with a tequila crema sauce. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

SAVORY CHURROS

Where: RoastHouse, 14506 Pacific Ave S., Tacoma; 253-535-6328; facebook.com/RoastHouseCucina.

This Parkland restaurant devoted to Mexican and Latin cuisine has a surprising find on its appetizer menu. Churros here are made with a savory twist. The molten hot churros have a savory batter filled with gooey cheddar and roasted Anaheim chiles ($7.50). They’re a purchased product, but Chef Nathan Hawes adds a house-made twist with tequila lime crema for dipping. Hawes said he starts the crema with chopped garlic cooked in tequila and then combines it with sour cream, mayonnaise, fresh cilantro and a few spices. The sauce also is served a few other dishes at the restaurant.

Montamara Kitchen churro waffle
The churro waffle at Montamara Kitchen is dusted with crunchy cinnamon sugar and topped with whipped cream. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

CHURRO WAFFLES

Where: Montamara Kitchen, 2208 N. 30th St., Tacoma; 253-314-5892; montamarakitchen.com.

Old Town’s Montamara Kitchen is known for its weekend brunch, but it also should be known for its on-and-off breakfast special, the churro waffle ($10.75). If it’s not listed on the specials on your visit, you still can order it off-menu, co-owner PJ Rutledge said. It’s a tangy, yeasty Belgian-style waffle with deep divots for holding more of that crunchy sugar with a heavy whiff of cinnamon. It’s topped with fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce. If you’re asked if you want maple syrup, say yes.

Plaza Guerrero churros
Churros at Plaza Guerrero come with a creamy filling. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

FILLED CHURROS

Where: Plaza Guerrero, 826 72nd St. E., Tacoma; 253-476-2394.

Tucked into the city’s best neighborhood for taquerias is a panaderia and grocery store called Plaza Guerrero. At the back of the store is a small selection of baked-on-site pan dulce. If you’re lucky, you’ll find churros in the self-serve bakery case. When I sampled these churros during my tour of Mexican bakeries last year, I marveled at their creamy filling and chewy texture ($1.25). Get there early, they run out fast.

Brewers Row churros 1
The churros at Brewers Row are dusted with a lot of cinnamon sugar. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

FRIED-TO-ORDER CHURROS

Where: Brewers Row, 3205 N. 26th St., Tacoma; 253-327-1757; brewersrowtacoma.com.

What’s better than churros? Churros that are fried to order.

While Brewers Row, a combination taproom, beer store and taqueria near the Proctor neighborhood, serves tacos and burritos, the one item not to be missed is the $1 churro. The Brewers Row version carries a chewy texture, especially after it is pulled from the fryer and freshly shaken in a big bowl of cinnamon sugar. I was handed a double-layered paper bag full of the hot, nearly foot-long treats. Let me tell you, the best way to eat churros is straight out of a bag.

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