EAT SPECIAL: hash browns

By Ken Swarner on February 4, 2010


El Gaucho Tacoma

Why We Go: The upscale steakhouse brings New York-ish service and ambiance to Tacoma. While this town has several upscale eateries, never before has it had a restaurant that creates an experience that leaves diners feeling as if they had stepped into another world, where every attention to detail is designed to make them feel pampered and important. El Gaucho is so much more than Angus beef and fine wine - it's about a vacation resort that doesn't require a plane ticket to enjoy.

The piano bar is a nice touch, and the bartenders are friendly and attentive.  It's the sort of bar where one feels inclined to sip martinis, sidecars, old fashions and Brandy Alexanders.

What We Eat: It may bum you out, but the best hash browns in Tacoma remain locked up during the breakfast hour. You could take your bed-head down to El Gaucho for some, but no one is home at 8 a.m. You must wait until dinner with a wad of 20s in your pocket to get at these babies. Worth it? You bet your tater tots.

The large slab of shredded potato arrives crisp but not chewy or hard. Fresh in flavor, the slices are thick enough to soak up the beef juices yet thin enough to be light and airy.

At El Gaucho, diners choose from a list of sides creating the classic indecision of our generation - baked potato or hash? You've heard the story a million times. Choose the hash people - it gives your four-star meat the accompaniment it deserves.

What We'd Change: Um ... um ... um, well, yes, it's expensive to eat at El gaucho. Lower price tags would be nice.

[El Gaucho, dining 5-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, 4:30-11 p.m. Sunday, 2119 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.882.0009]