2810 6th Ave, Tacoma

The tango. Gaucho crafts. Soccer. Siestas. Argentina is rich in culture, but you need not hop on a plane to enjoy authentic Argentine fare. Located in the heart of the Tacoma 6th Avenue business district, Asado Restaurant boasts traditional cuisine from the South American country. Loosely translated, asado means “Argentine barbeque” and is a classic method for cooking meat on a grill or over an open fire. Asado brings an ethnically unique alternative to the Tacoma dining scene.

A ceviche appetizer is generous enough for two. The tower of mildly sweet tilapia, prawns, and mild, firm sea bass is layered on pico de gallo and topped with creamy, refreshing guacamole. The seafood delicacy is accompanied by an Argentine staple, fried plantains, crunchy and lightly salted. Soft rolls are served with herbed, paprika tinted chimichurri butter. Other starters include vegetarian empanadas, chorizo and clams, and calamari frito.

The wedge salad is a savory blend of contrasting flavors and textures. Made with tender butter lettuce, velvety avocado, Serrano ham, tart grapefruit segments, and roasted corn, it is lightly tossed in avocado orange vinaigrette. Hoja Roha salad is created from red, frilly lolla rosa leaves, crisp ham, hard cooked egg, and pungent Cabrales bleu cheese; the medley is lightly coated with pistachio buttermilk dressing. Also available are quinoa, Caesar, and hierbas salads.

Asado offers the most complete selection of Argentine wines in the Northwest. Malbec is the most widely planted red grape variety followed by Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo. The influence of Italian immigrants has added a variety of Italian varietals to the vineyards.

Asado’s beef is all natural Black Angus and steaks are masterfully grilled over imported mesquite wood. Espalda Asado (flat iron steak) is presented over sweet roasted corn polenta finished with a hint of mild poblano chile. Al dente calabasita (butternut squash) gnocchi is served in a rich brown butter sauce, blended with rich macadamia nuts, wild mushrooms, julienne zucchini and slivered garlic cloves; it is a reflection of the Italian influence on the Argentine diet. Pita Puerco (pork chop stuffed with chorizo, cranberries, golden raisins, almonds, apples, and fennel) and Garron de Cordero (seared boneless chicken breast, caperberry, white wine lemon pan sauce, wilted arugula, and cherry tomatoes) are other entrees worth trying.

Dessert Crepas Dulces is a fried crepe purse filled with hazelnut butter, dulche de leche and pearl tapioca. It is accompanied by Olympic Mountain Pistachio ice cream and cherry sauce. Torta de Chocolate is a stuffed chocolate soufflé cake filled with caramel crème. It is complemented by white chocolate sauce and Olympic Mountain Madagascar ice cream. Crème brulee, dulche cheesecake, and pastels fritos (homemade banana donuts) round out the dessert menu.

Asado offers the fabulous flavors of Argentina using the freshest ingredients from the Northwest and beyond. Attention to quality, presentation and service makes it one of a kind. For a satisfying and unique experience, give Asado a try.

Mary Morgan