Restaurant Review

Bars need deep fat fryers.  There is no law, but I’d vote for one if they put it on the ballot.  Beer begets onion ring begets beer – seems a natural circle beneficial to patron and pub owner alike.  But alas, not everyone is on board.  That said, there are some great bars in Tacoma with no deep fat fryers.  The Parkway (313 North I Street, Tacoma WA) is one such tavern.  They have an impressive selection of craft brews, and unlike many bars, have a substantial selection of beers that aren’t IPAs (what is it with local brewers and their love of hops – yes hops grow great in the Northwest – they dominated the Puyallup Valley until prohibition, when farmer switched to berries to stay afloat while organized crime enjoyed a period of growth and dominance – but there are other ingredients in beer).  Anyway, the bartenders at the parkway are exceptionally knowledgeable, and if it is a quiet night, they are happy to chat beer and offer samples until you find the brew that is right for you in that moment in time.  And I always feel like I’m in the presence of bartender perfection – the bar can be slammed, and it usually is on Friday and Saturday night – often standing room only - but the bartenders just get the job done – no one stands there without a drink.  They are a marvel of efficiency and attentiveness.  Despite lacking a deep fryer, the kitchen turns out good fare.  Many consider they have the best burger in Tacoma.  In my vegetarian years, I was partial to their bean burger patty with sautéed mushrooms and swiss cheese.  I still order that, actually.  Their soups and salads are worth eating.  Late at night, popcorn is the main option, and I’m good with that.  Their nachos are totally worth it, too – pub nachos – make no mistake.  The Parkway is about a 30 or 40 minute walk from my house, so I can justify an extra pint and some popcorn because of all that exercise.  I do always try to focus on healthy living.  The owners are good peeps – not friends, but friends of friends, which adds to the joy of patronizing.  I’d recommend weekday evenings – pleasantly busy, but not oppressive.  And a late lunch there is a joyful experience – great food, good ambiance, and maybe, if you don’t have to go in to work later, a good pint.;

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