Monthly Archives: November 2011

Polar Plaza Coming to Tacoma for the Holidays

Skate to your heart’s content. Wear an Ugly Sweater to get $1 off admission. Watch the Thunderbirds Hockey Team take the ice. Enjoy live music. Choose your Christmas tree. Shop for gifts. Do it all in one central location.


This holiday season Tacoma residents won’t have to trek to Bellevue or Seattle to experience an open-air outdoor ice skating rink with all the trimmings. Tacoma will have their own. The Franciscan Polar Plaza, which will be located directly across from the Tacoma Art Museum at Tollefson Plaza on Pacific Avenue, will be open from November 25 through January 2, 2012.

The skating rink will measure 40 feet by 100 feet and can accommodate 150 people. Admission will be $8 and skate rental will be $2. After paying these fees you can stay all day if you like and enjoy the music, special events, and purchase coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

I am really looking forward to this although I don’t ice skate, but I do love to watch skaters. To get there and avoid the parking crunch, I think I’ll park at the Tacoma Dome Station and take the Tacoma Link light rail to the Polar Plaza. That’s all free so I can spend more when I get to my destination.

Classic Restaurant Opens in Kent Station

Last month Cal’s Classic American Tavern introduced diners to their own brand of comfort food with incredible taste when they opened in Kent Station in Kent, Washington.

Popcorn with brown butter and sea salt

Although, the new dining option is called a “tavern,” it’s definitely family-friendly. Located at 504 Ramsay Way in Kent, the restaurant seats 110 in the dining area and up to 65 at the bar.

A few of the bar tables come with their own spigots for beer, so you charge what you think you’re going to drink and then keep pouring until the tap runs dry. Sounds like fun to me.

A couple of their appetizers called my name before I even ordered a drink – popcorn with brown butter and sea salt and fried peanuts. The popcorn definitely rated as a lively, fun and tasty appetizer. I’ll have to return to try the fried peanuts.

A very tasty hamburger according to my grandson.

Chef Shannon Galusha, who has worked at both the French Laundry and the Bastille Café & Bar, puts his own spin on classic comfort dishes like Chop Chop Salad with green beans, potatoes, olives, Feta cheese and tuna; Open Face Meatball Hoagie comes with fennel in addition to the whole milk mozzarella and tomato sauce and Wood-Fired “Old Forge” Pizzas including one with Shepard’s Pie toppings. Of course there’s tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, pot roast and chicken pot pie, but probably not the tried and tired recipes you’re expecting. You can stay home and open a can of Campbell’s. To really savor comfort food, you need to visit Cal’s.

As many ingredients as possible come from the area including farms in the Kent Valley and Skagit County. Taylor Shellfish and Carpinito’s Farm are also represented. All the purveyors used at Cal’s are listed on a gigantic whiteboard posted in the dining area.

The covered, heated outdoor patio and fireplace, can accommodate 40 people for most of the year – just not in the intense winter months.

Cal's decadent brownies are served with a glass of milk and a very rich chocolate sauce.


Open 11 a.m. – midnight, Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.