Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dukes Chowderhouse - Tacoma Waterfront

Duke's Chowderhouse
Tacoma 3327 Ruston Way Tacoma
WA 98402


On a recent quiet rainy Friday afternoon, Anne and I decided to go to a nice dinner and on to Tacoma Actor's Guild for David Auburn's Proof on its final days before closing. So where better in the Northwest than the waterfront. We'd heard that the local chain Duke's Chowderhouse had opened a Tacoma location not too long ago, and thought that would be a great place to dine before the play. We made reservations for 6:00, and had no problem getting a very nice table in a small window alcove, with a great view of the foggy and rainy Commencement Bay just before dark. The fireplace behind me kept us quite warm, and the alcove presented a very cozy feeling of intimacy.

The service was a bit on the slow side, but adequate. I ordered the fish and chips, Anne had the cedar plank salmon. We both started with a cup of chowder. That's where things went downhill for us. I'm not sure if it was just the batch we had, or if it's their chowder in general, but it was way over-seasoned and almost gelatinous like split pea soup. The seasonings so overpowered the chowder-ness of it that it became more like a thick sauce than chowder, with almost no clam action at all. $5.95 a cup.

After some time, we were getting quite antsy for the food, when the waitress again brought us cups of the chowder, and seemed to be on the verge of arguing that we had not already had this course. She set the cups down, looked at them, and finally relented and carried them off to (hopefully) their correct table.

At long last the food arrived. Anne's salmon was very nicely seasoned, served on the cedar plank (removed by the server). However, it was almost sushi-like inside and not in our opinions done. Tasty - just a bit raw. The salmon (which was a decent size piece) came with a simple Caesar salad served on the same plate - nothing else - $24.95. I had the fish and chips - two decent size pieces that were fairly pedestrian. Not bad, not great. $14.95

So all in all, it wasn't a bad experience - overpriced, but I'm sure the rent on the place is a big factor in that. Average service, average in most ways.

Our Ratings:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your review. I live in Tacoma on a limited income and this review is very useful. Good luck Dave and Anne on your restaurant adventures!