Great Cuisine of India
9518 Gravelly Lake Dr. S.W.
Lakewood, WA 98499
253 581-1333


Mon – Fri: 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Sat – Sun: Noon-3 p.m.


Mon – Thur: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri: 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Sat: 3 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Sun: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Daily Buffet $8.99

Indian food is delicious. Some of it can be very spicy and the flavors can be unfamiliar to many people but Great Cuisine of India is a fine place to try new things. Serving the Lakewood area for 11 years, the family-run establishment is welcoming and bright. Service is attentive and the staff is happy to answer questions.

At $8.99, the buffet offered daily is a great way to try things, and our trip through the buffet line was interesting, with unfamiliar colors, and sauces, and names of foods we had not seen before. We tried the familiar, like plain green salad, very fresh, and mango custard, a sweet smooth dessert, and the unfamiliar such as Chicken Korma and Meatball Korma, main dishes cooked in yogurt, onion gravy, cashews, raisins, and spices, and Vegetable Pakora, a deep fried fritter-like appetizer of mixed vegetables battered with chick pea flour, garlic-ginger paste, and a blend of spices. Chicken Vindaloo was chicken pieces cooked with garlic, ginger, vinegar, tomato paste, onions and spices. It was aromatic and exotic tasting. Naan bread resembles pita bread and was wonderful for sopping up all the great sauces. Other choices were available, and a return visit is in order to try everything. All the buffet food is mildly seasoned, but there are spicier chutneys and curry available on the buffet and the regular menu can be served with any level of heat. I also ordered Chai tea at $2.00 and it was creamy, aromatic, herbal and comforting.

The total restaurant experience was comfortable and family friendly. Prices range from mixed pickles at $1.50 to the Tandoori Mixed Grill at $17.95. An online menu is available.

There is plenty of parking right in front; the establishment is service dog friendly. And there is a clean restroom.

Bair Drug Bistro
1617 Lafayette Street
Steilacoom, WA 98388

Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
9 a.m. to  3 p.m.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bair Drug has been open since 1895. That is correct, 1895!

Under various owners and operators, it has been dispensing drugs, selling hardware items, acting as a post office, warming community members with a hot stove and good coffee or serving meals and desserts in downtown Steilacoom for over 110 years. It is even supposed to be haunted and there have been TV shows about it in in the past. The establishment is owned by the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association, and the restaurant has been managed since 2009 by Phillip Curtis who was happy to tell us of the history of this amazing place.

We went for lunch and were very happy with quality of the food and service. We had coffee at $2.00 for endless refills, and since it took a while for our food to be cooked we were glad to have a chance too look at the antiques and artifacts preserved in the building. The original shelves with items sold in the past are there, and the kitchen is where the post office used to be.

We had the Bair Burger, at $9.99 one-third pound Angus beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle. A side salad was ordered and the blue cheese dressing was great on the fresh romaine. The burger patty was moist and tender even though it was ordered well done. Exceptionally good.

We also ordered the corned beef hash breakfast at $9.99 and it was nothing like the usual dish. Toast, butter and two eggs were included.. The “hash” was chopped onion and chunks of corned beef and home fried potato the size of big casino dice! No mash here, and the portion size was very large. Very good flavor and a large serving made this a very enjoyable meal.
Seating is plentiful in the winter but tourists fill up the dining room in good weather so get there early when the weather is good.

There is a nice clean accessible bathroom, and plenty of on street parking.

15619 Pacific Ave S.
Tacoma WA 98444
253 539 9930

Monday to Saturday
10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Buffet at $7.49
Monday to Thursday
3:30 to 9:30 p.m. Buffet at $10:99
Friday and Saturday
3:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Seafood Buffet at$11.99
Sunday and Holidays Buffet $11.99 all day

Oriental buffets are very popular, and Dragon Buffet in Spanaway is a good example of the best. Started by a group of friends in December of 2010, the Dragon Buffet is clean, bright, and the service is friendly and informative. They offer both an all you can eat buffet, with sushi, a grill, and a full table service menu, with prices ranging from $2.00 for a cup of soup to $9.85 for a combination plate. The restaurant is very large and can accommodate groups of any size with reservations requested for large groups. There is plenty of parking and it has plenty of space between serving stations for walkers or wheelchairs. The bathroom is large and has an accessible stall.

We went during lunch, and had 2 buffets at $7.49 each, with a soda at $1.59, and a pot of tea, 99 cents,  I also ordered the General Tso’s Chicken lunch special at $6.95. We tried a wide variety of the oriental and American choices,, including a California roll from their sushi table where each type is wrapped in plastic wrap as it arrived from the kitchen to keep it clean, The General”s chicken had generous portion of chicken, with fried rice, just spicy enough to leave a bite on the tongue.  I found the food generally tasty, with good textures and flavors that were distinctive, although I make it a practice to keep my eye on servers to get food when it first arrives from the kitchen when it is really hot. I especially liked the dim sum with pork which was mildly seasoned but very enjoyable. I tried the salad bar which was fresh with a good variety of salad makings, and dessert section with fresh pastries.

We had a very enjoyable lunch, and if you are in the area, give the Dragon Buffet a try for good food at reasonable prices.

Mad Dogs DinerMad Dogs Diner
21185 Hiway 410 E
Bonney Lake, WA 98391
253 891-8818
Hours 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily

Tucked into the middle of a strip mall on the 410 highway is Mad Dogs Diner. Doing business at the same place for 13 years, family run, it is a friendly, bright, retro eatery and pub serving good food and drinks. The walls are covered with snapshots of family dogs, (a message on the menu invites to you “Hang your pet at Mad Dogs”) fun to look at, and the black and white tile floor and red booths takes you back to a friendlier time. Alcoholic drinks are served at a long wooden bar separated by a heavy metal rail which adds to the charm of the restaurant. Service was prompt and friendly. This is a nice casual place to stop for a meal.

The extensive breakfast and pub grub menu is served all day, and the portions are large and tasty. We went at lunch time, but sampled the breakfast melt, which was thinly sliced ham, scrambled eggs and American cheese on grilled egg bread, served with home fries or hash browns at $8.75. We also tried the Short Stack of pancakes, two six inch pancakes at $3.99 and the Mushroom Cheeseburger, served open faced with sautéed mushrooms and melted Swiss Cheese, $9.99.

The pancakes were light and fluffy and came with really good maple syrup, which was nice since they were not too sweet.  The Breakfast Melt was very good, a large sandwich, with cheese dripping off the edges and lots of ham. The home fries were not greasy and there were a lot of them.  The Mushroom Cheeseburger was excellent, and was loaded with toppings, which included sautéed mushrooms under a good helping of Swiss cheese, which helped to keep the mushrooms on the hamburger patty. There was also lettuce, onions, tomato slices, and ketchup.  Delicious.  We substituted onion rings for the fries, and they were crisp and uniform in size.  There was plenty to take home, and we looked forward to having leftovers.

We did not have a shake or malt. But there was a steady stream of customers carrying out these delectable treats while we were there, in spite of the cold rainy weather.  Draw your own conclusions.

Service dog friendly, accessible bathroom, plenty of parking.