Posters on the street side window of Malarkey's Pool & Brew advertise sweet deals for almost every day of the week. "253 Tuesdays" offer $2 well drinks, $5 pitchers, and three tacos for $3. "Tall Boy Thursdays" give you 16 oz. tall cans of Keystone Light for just $2.
There are so many reason to like Malarkey's, but the main two are: The food is excellent and the prices are beyond reasonable.
Peg and I had stopped in a couple of weeks earlier for a late breakfast on the way to the Grand Cinema. We were hurried and didn't get a chance to really enjoy ourselves and the food, but what we had was enough to bring us back. This time we tried a late lunch after seeing a movie at the Grand Cinema. Malarkey's is on the corner of 6th and Tacoma Avenue. The Merlino building where the Grand is located is about a hundred feet away, so the location is really convenient if you like interesting films.
The Merlino is the art center of Tacoma - their sign says so. Besides the location of the Grand Cinema (art movies so to speak) the Dukesbay Theatre is also located in the building.
The mission of Dukesbay is to present theatrical works that reflect and celebrate our diverse society in the Pacific Northwest and to provide artistic opportunities for local actors who represent a diversity of ethnicity, age, religious background, training/experience and acting type.
Spilling over to Malarkey's strange art. There are metal sculptures welcoming visitors to the pool hall and restaurant. They stand by themselves and fastened to the wall. Personally, I love the concrete floor with it's cracks and wear patterns. It gives you the feeling of modern art wherever you look . . . if you constantly look down at the floor.
Peg was in the mood for a burger. She chose the Bacon Cheeseburger. She forgot to order her burger medium rare, but the burger was still good. It looks like one of those burger commercials where the hungry athletes squeeze down on the side towards their mouths which forces the rest of the burger to look bigger. This burger needed no tricks or special photography. I had a bite and managed to get bun, onion, burger, and bacon, but then I'm a professional.
Peg ordered the tater tots to go along with her burger.
Not being able to finish her burger she offered the last third to me. I was pretty full by then but lifted up the bun and found a nice piece of bacon for me . . . and then found another for Peg. Good burger, good bacon.
On the menu the Fish and Chips caught my eye. Half a pound of cod and half a pound of fries, The waitress shook her head and said they were out. I had to ask, "Do you usually have it?" "No," she said. I laughed. I love honest people. I checked on breakfast. "Do you serve it all day." The answer was yes.
I looked over the sandwiches and ordered a French Dip with provolone cheese. I asked for deep fried potato chips. The menu mentions they have a quarter pound of meat on their sandwiches. I think they lie.
When the sandwich was delivered, it looked like more than a quarter pound of roast beef and with each bite it tasted like it was more than a quarter pound of beef. The chips were excellent by themselves, but I really like sour cream with hot chips like these. I got one container of really cold and thick sour cream . . . and then another, also. I couldn't eat all of my chips and Peg couldn't eat all of her tater tots (we shared back and forth of course) and Peg didn't finish off her burger, but there was no left-over French Dip!
The cook stepped around from behind the counter and welcomed us. I pointed to my plate and said, "That was a great French Dip sandwich." He beamed. We asked his name. He answered, "JJ." JJ has only been working there for two weeks, but he has a great attitude. I hope he does well at the restaurant.
If Malarkey's was a diner (and opened earlier than 11:00 A.M.), I'd be eating there several times a week. When we got our bill for the meal I questioned it, because it didn't seem like enough. "Did you add in the glass of wine?" Yes. The burger was half off. I should have known. It was Monday!!! As we sat at the table, a regular customer brought JJ a bag with a container of soup and a sample cup of soup from the little restaurant next door. The sample was chicken and hominy. It looked good. I think it tasted good. JJ knocked it back like a whiskey chaser. He just nodded his head.
As Peg and I waved goodbye, JJ shouted after us, "Come back tomorrow . . . Three tacos for $3!"