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Terrible National Park Eats

I spent the day driving around on the Olympic peninsula, home of Olympic National Park. Ok, so I didn’t have the best day… for so many different reasons. Olympic is nice, but man, I’ve never been to a national park that was not enclosed before. It was just not visitor friendly and you have to drive in and out, and not to mention lack of signage. Within the park, there’s essentially nothing to eat. So be forewarned, eat before you start driving all up in it, or bring food with you. This Hard Rain Cafe place, right on the outskirts of one of the entrances of the park, did have some hot food. So I ordered a burger. It was gross. But since I was absolutely starving, I ate this “meat” patty anyway. Seriously folks, it had tons of potential. The roll was big and great. But what passed as meat wasn’t really meat. It was a thin imitation of real food. Do you remember food from school days? The “grade D but edible” stuff they would feed you in the school cafeteria? Well, this meat was worse than that. Something that you’ll see a lot of in the Seattle area, or maybe just in the pacific northwest, is teriyaki joints. So once I got off the peninsula and headed back to Tacoma, I grabbed some food in the city of Olympia. Let me tell you something about Washington state outside of the big city. There isn’t much to eat. If fast food isn’t your thing, the pickins are slim. That’s why I ended up at Paul’s Burger Teriyaki. I drove around for a good 20 minutes looking for any other options, but found zilcho. So I guess this place sells teriyaki, along with burgers. I wanted tons of food, so I went with the shrimp and chicken combo. The teriyaki sauce was way too sweet. It was basically precooked meat, and then they threw uber sweet sauce on top. The shrimp was weird too. Cold. But the chicken wasn’t bad, even if the sauce was way too sweet. Rice good, salad good, the adorable little korean people who ran the place good. I was pretty much as starving as I was earlier in the day, so I inhaled it.

Paul’s Burger & Teriyaki
3959 Martin Way East
Olympia, WA
360-455-3328

Tacoma Pho

In preparation for my national park visits, I ended up staying in Tacoma. What’s in Tacoma? Not much. But it’s a pretty large city south of Seattle. They even have a sports dome. They also don’t have much in the way of food after 8 o’clock on a week day. I drove round and round, did some research on the internet, but didn’t really find anything. So I just drove around.
So this is how I ended up at Pho Tai. It had a big “grand opening” sign on it. I thought why not. The place is swanky, and much fancier than your typical pho joint. They serve typical pho place fare, pho, bun, rice plates, etc. Here’s my bowl of brisket pho. Not the best, but not terrible either. Completely mediocre. But plenty of food and really quite cheap. And I was hungry, hungry, hungry, and so I wolfed it down. The pacific northwest in September. Really, it’s pho weather. But it’s probably pho weather every day up there.

Service was friendly. The food came out fairly fast, but not as fast as places back home. I think they’re a Seattle area chain. Oh, and it’s run by Koreans. How could I tell? Some of the prices and menu items were written over by hand, and I totally saw that it’s korean handwriting. Believe me, I know. So eating at nighttime in Tacoma, it’s definitely an option.

Pho Tai Tacoma
3814 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA
253-471-4221

Denny’s? Really?

Yes, seriously, Denny’s. Looka here, when you’re driving around SEATAC, there’s pretty much nothing to eat. And I mean nothing! We just needed a snack.
A with her chocolate shake.
Denny’s hash brown. Don’t any of you poo-poo this. I love me some denny’s hash browns.
I also got the caramel apple crisp a la mode. I was wavering between this and cheesecake and our super friendly server recommended this. Dude, it was so good. And now, I promise not to go to a Denny’s again for another 5 years.

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