Varsity Grill

Varsity Grill
1114 Broadway, Tacoma

With its casual, bustling atmosphere and walls studded with ten plasma televisions, Varsity Grill is the place to be on game day—or on any day. With generous portions of enticing food, this sports bar is an excellent locale for lunch or to unwind after a busy day.

For starters, try one of the two signature items. Buffalo chicken strips are fried to a golden brown and tossed in homemade wing sauce. Served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing, this classic appetizer is a small meal in itself. Sour cream and guacamole accompany Varsity nachos; crisp tortilla chips are smothered with pepper jack and cheddar cheeses, tomatoes, green onions, and your choice of chicken or beef.

The full bar features a rotating selection of domestic and microbrews; just ask your server what’s currently available. Inclined to sample a new specialty cocktail? The menu offers close to a dozen signature drinks. The grapefruit Collins is a blend of Finlandia Grapefruit vodka, Pama and sweet and sour. A hint of grapefruit with a pomegranate undertone make it tart and invigorating.

One of their biggest sellers—both literally and figuratively—is the Varsity burger. This diner chose to make the double patty burger a knife and fork affair! This American classic is made with one pound of fresh ground beef, two slices of cheddar, and two huge slices of applewood smoked bacon, all topped with an onion ring and blue cheese dressing. Served with some of the crispiest, best fries around, this is definitely a meal for a hearty appetite.

A fresh salmon filet is basted in garlic herb butter and grilled to moist, succulent perfection. The accompanying subtly seasoned fresh vegetables do not detract from the seafood’s distinctive, delicate attributes; nor does the rice pilaf. The natural aroma and flavor of the salmon is allowed to shine.

St. Louis Ribs are slow smoked until falling-off-the-bone tender, then basted with homemade Varsity BBQ sauce; the condiment is mild—smoky and sweet. Available as a full- or half- slab, the pork is served with fries and lightly dressed coleslaw.

Sandwich choices are plentiful—choose anything from a BBQ pork sandwich to a club wrap or a French dip. The eatery’s BLTA is a remake of an old classic. It’s composed of house-smoked applewood bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and mayo on a fresh croissant.

The menu includes almost every burger variation ever thought of, both chicken and beef. Three different cuts of choice, juicy steaks are served. The restaurant also serves up favorites like chicken penne and fish and chips.

Save room for dessert! The jumbo apple turnover, made in-house, is a must-try! With its paper-thin layers of flaky filo crust, it is reminiscent of apple strudel. Encased in the tender pastry are tender apple chunks in a thick caramel-colored sauce laced with cinnamon. Served on a caramel-drizzled platter, this treat is enough for at least four people.

The eatery is close to downtown businesses, the theatre district, and UW Tacoma. With a different special or promotion every day of the week, a relaxed mood and quality fare, Varsity Grill is the place to try the next time you’re in Tacoma.

Janae Colombini