Culinary students get good grades for the food

The Gallery Dining Room at Bates Technical College, at the corner of 11th and Yakima in downtown Tacoma, has a whole section of the first floor of the main building dedicated to great food produced by the Culinary Arts Program. There is a bistro, a cafe and the dining room. Students do everything under the direction of teaching chefs, and the food is very good.

We had lunch at the Gallery Dining Room. Coffee, water, menus and excellent rolls with butter came immediately. We ordered the Jumbo Chicken Burrito and Cajun Chicken Alfredo. We also ordered an apple pie for dessert. Cajun Potato Soup was included. The meals were $6.50 each, for the main dish, soup and roll. Pie was additional at $2.95. Coffee was $2.50.

The servings were very large. The soup had large chunks of potato, cheese and a lot of black pepper. I like a lot of pepper, but my companion thought it was excessive.

The soft burrito was about seven inches long, covered with cheese and loaded with chicken, black-eyed peas, chopped black olives and more cheese. It was very good, and came with a small, tangy side salad and very gummy Spanish rice.

The Alfredo came with perfectly cooked broccoli, but the noodles had no sauce. None. It had seasonings, a lot of Parmesan cheese and loads of chicken, but no sauce. It was strange. I don’t know why we didn’t question this, but the taste was excellent, and there was lots, with plenty to take home. It took quite a while for our main dishes to come, and to have such a mix of quality was puzzling. The apple pie was excellent. Fresh filling, homemade crust, and a touch of whipped cream for garnish. 

Parking is on-street and at the school parking lot at the main building.

The bathroom is a whole city block away from the restaurant. It’s large, but the toilet in the handicapped stall is rather low, and a person with a disability might need help..


Bates Technical College is at the corner of 11th and Yakima in downtown Tacoma.

Hours: The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to noon, the bistro and dining room are open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Food service is closed on Friday.

Carolyn Augustine, a freelance writer, authors Senior Eats. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect the opinions of Senior Media Services.