The Rosewood Cafe, peeps.

That is where you must lunch or sup next time you find yourself in the fair city o’ Tacoma.

Mr. Fresh Scratch wants you to be sure to know that he gets all the credit for discovering this little gem. He’s so happy because we never spontaneously eat anywhere. It’s always been planned where we’ll go. Always. At least since about a year before we were married and we went to Chicago with no idea where to eat. We’d wander around, peering at menus, waiting for the best thing to come along, eventually starving and having to settle for something average.

Food is important to me (have you gathered that yet?) and such a part of life and all experiences of culture, etc., that I never wanted that sort of ChicagoGate to happen to us again.

So, before there was Pinterest, there was “clipping,” a secret, odd little habit my cousin Evie and I have had for years. You know how you might rip out a place you want to go or something from, say, “Sunset” magazine and shove it in a file or drawer somewhere?  Well, we have an elaborate system made up of blank journals dedicated to entertaining, gardening, travel, craft ideas, recipes, etc. We neatly cut tons of ideas out of every magazine we read and paste them into our appropriate books. And so, whenever I go anywhere, I look into my “clippings” for a restaurant in that area that I once flagged.

On this day in Tacoma, however, all of the places I hadn’t been yet didn’t open until late afternoon, and we needed lunch, man! I panicked. I wasn’t used to not having a plan. I didn’t want to eat at some crappy joint.

After driving around nearly aimlessly (the horror!), Mr. Fresh Scratch found The Rosewood Cafe on his iPhone.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The Rosewood is located near the University of Puget Sound on a residential corner. It has lots of old paned windows, giving it the feeling of an old-time garage. Inside, there are a dozen or so simple tables, plus a bar on one wall of windows, facing out toward the street. It’s cozy and sweet, decorated with local artists’ work, but is nothing too fancy. There are shelves and shelves of wine, as the restaurant also serves as somewhat of a wine shop. The clientele consisted of a few parents with young babies, and lots of  college students: college students studying with their friends; college students having the all-important re-hashing of the night out before; college students out to lunch with their visiting parents.

Inside, I am still a college student, so I felt right at home!

The menu was completely reasonably priced and offered something for everyone. Mr. Fresh Scratch had the ciabatta club sandwich and a bowl of beef and barley soup. Both were scrumptious and hearty and perfectly portioned. I had a personal chicken pot pie (I’ve been on a pot pie kick, as you will witness in tomorrow’s Monday Meal Madness). It had a perfect, butter-laden crust, mushrooms, carrots, yellow squash (unusual! I loved it!), and an amazing graviness. I was sad when it was all eaten-up and wanted to order their chocolate pot de creme, but decided to save it for another day.

Luckily, that day will be Friday with my BFF!

Mr. Fresh Scratch and I headed over to the Grand Cinema after lunch, followed by popping into the award-winning Corina Bakery after the flick for a lemon bar. It was the perfect date trifecta: lunch, George Clooney movie, treat. I think this is a perfect place for a date or to meet up for lunch or dinner with a friend. Or, perhaps, to go solo with a good book after trekking to Metropolitan Market, which is not too far down the road.

Tacoma, I am surprisingly smitten with you after all these years.

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