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Seattle Chowhounds move to Olympia....and starve! (long)

Charles in Oly | Jan 4, 200401:50 PM

First let me say that I’ve been enjoying these boards for a couple years now, but this is my first post, and I come to you in my hour of need. My wife and I moved back to Olympia to be closer to family about a year ago, after 4 years of living and eating in Seattle. We love Olympia, but we had no idea how much we would miss eating out.

Distance has forced us to trade in Salumi for Meconi’s; Salvadoran Bakery for El Guanaco; Thai Tom for Lemongrass; Le Fournil for San Francisco Street Bakery, etc., etc. These are all ok, but none inspire me to CRAVE like their Seattle counterparts do.

Last night, desperate, I poured over the last two years of posts on the PNW board looking for any insights into the Olympia food scene. Maybe there was something I was missing. I was encouraged to find several discussions about Olympia food. Your good reviews for Pho Olympia sent us out the next morning, snow pouring down, across town for Pho Olympia in Lacey. Sigh of relief. Excellent Pho! It was just what we needed. Thank you all!

Now, mind you, I don’t expect in a small town to find equal replacements for all my favorite foods. But, I thought I would at least be able to find one dish - one bite - that would make me miss the food in Seattle just a little less.

I’ve come to the conclusion there are few, if any, restaurants here that can be recommended across the board for great food, so I’ve revised my search to great bites. Do any of you have favorite dishes anywhere, upscale or divey, that you adore in Olympia?

From past posts, I see I will need to try Osaka, return to Capitale, and perhaps venture to La Tarasca in Centralia and Peanut Sauce in Tacoma. Beyond those, has anyone tried the asian market over by Wendy’s on the Westside? How about Vic’s Pizzeria? Little Saigon? New Moon? Plenty? A taco truck somewhere?

Here’s what little I know: We are among those who think Trinacria is very good. I noticed many of you saying there was no good pizza in Olympia, but we love ordering a take-out thin crust pizza from Trinacria with housemade sausage. It’s fantastic! Be sure to order early as the owner will only make it depending on how busy the restaurant is.

I thought I had a real find over the summer when I discovered authentic Philly cheesesteaks at the Clubside Cafe - sweet peppers, Tasty Cakes and all. The first few times we went there were awesome. But sadly, the quality after that was really inconsistent. I’ll try again sometime.

I had a very good first experience with Korean barbeque at Seoul in Lacey. And Gardener’s is always good - we often get the chicken picatta. We tried New American Grill for breakfast but we thought the food was pretty inconsistent. Several people have told us dinner there is excellent, so we’ll try that sometime. The sandwiches at Luna’s Deli are also quite good, with quality ingredients and fresh baked bread.

Please, Olympia Chowhounds, there has to be some hidden gems here. Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope.

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