Restaurant Review

With the build out of Point Ruston, the waterfront along Ruston Way feels busier than it’s ever been.  I’m sure that isn’t true, because it used to be lined with the sawmills that helped fuel the early Tacoma economy (and fed materials for the building booms in San Francisco and elsewhere), not the roller-bladers and a seemingly endless parade of dogs we see now.  Back in the 1890’s, it would have been a different picture. St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber built the biggest sawmill in the world, or so they said, and lumber was big business in Tacoma.  A spot by the water was needed to get the logs in and the boards out. Ruston Way was where much of that sawmilling happened, so I’m thinking the waterfront was a bit busier then – with all those logs and tall ships and workers, and the occasional sawmill fire to keep things lively.  But, in a little miracle of recovered public land, Ruston Way is now a nice, park-filled place to walk, jog and roll. There are lots of pricey restaurants on Ruston Way, but I’ve always been rather fond of a quick bite at Northern Fish OId Town (2201 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402 - ).  It is mostly a fishmonger (and has been for a long time – you can find the building on the historical train layout at the Washington History Museum in Downtown Tacoma), but also has a takeout window for fish and chips, clam chowder, crab cocktails and the like. It isn’t far from my house, and I like to make it a lunch stop on a weekend stroll. I can snag some food and eat on their deck, or find a sandy spot or grassy spot or even a picnic table (so many options) in Jack Hyde Park and enjoy one of the best places to be in Tacoma – the boats and trains and cars and water and the people – oh my gosh, the people watching.  I also usually pick up somethings fishy to cook for dinner (like rock fish or dover sole – the cheap and tasty options) – they are a fishmonger, after all.  They’ll even pack your fish on ice for you, so you don’t have to rush home. Lunch-wise, I like their halibut and chips, but their cioppino (San Francisco’s gift to the culinary world) is also quite good. Most things are made to order, and it can take a few minutes to get your food.  So sit on their deck, give your dog a good scratch behind the ears, and wait for some seafood awesomeness. 

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