Metropolitan Market in Proctor District Tacoma

It’s been a long day, and you don’t have the energy to cook dinner. That said, you don’t feel like ordering fast food — or going out to eat. You want a home-cooked meal, and you want to eat it at home. What to do? Drop by the Metropolitan Market in Proctor District Tacoma.

The Met Market is not your usual grocery store. Sure, you can buy fresh produce and meats, cooking ingredients and any number of household supplies there. But what lures many people to the Met Market, what makes it a hopping place every Friday and Saturday night, is its deli.

“Our delis rival any fine dining restaurant experience, all in one convenient, casual community gathering place,” explains Helen Neville, an executive director of brand experience at Met Market. “We have chef-prepared entrees, hearty sandwiches, innovative soups and creative salads, in-house made poke, pizza al taglio, sushi, a frites bar and many options on the chef’s case for lunch and dinner. And because everything in our deli is prepared with only the finest ingredients, you can count on restaurant-quality freshness and flavor every time.”

Dinner for three

My family stopped by the Met Market last Saturday evening after a busy day in Seattle. Tired, famished, we were in need of a hardy meal. We went home with dinner and dessert for three: two slices of artisan pizza, linguine Alfredo with shrimp, old-fashioned macaroni and cheese, an inexpensive bottle of European red wine, a slice of cheese cake, a weighty chunk of gourmet toffee and “The Cookie.” The latter, if you’re not acquainted, is a small mountain of a chocolate-chip-and-walnut cookie, made fresh hourly and served warm with the chocolate still melted inside.

None of us talked much during dinner (or the dessert that followed). We were too busy wolfing down our food. But we did take time to read the labels. The mac and cheese, in particular, was made from a refreshingly short list of ingredients: macaroni, cheese, milk, garlic and bread crumbs. Yum.

Eat well

The variety of already prepared foods at the Met Market is nothing short of astonishing. Whether you’re someone with a sophisticated palate or someone who likes things plain and simple, you’ll likely find something appealing on hand. The offerings, Helen points out, include “fresh pasta and salads; a delectable selection of ready-made sauces, salsas, guacamole and dips; a world-class antipasto bar; the plumpest, juiciest, Northwest free-range rotisserie chicken available (fed a vegetarian diet with no hormones or additives); expertly cooked, perfectly seasoned meat for sale by the pound at our carving stations, including prime rib and pork; and an incredible cheese and charcuterie department.”

If you’re feeling slightly more ambitious, the Met Market sells everything you’d need for a picnic, including freshly baked bread, seasonally available local fruit from peaches to heirloom tomatoes, domestic and imported wine and, of course, tasty desserts. Or you can do like we did and order everything already assembled. Either way, you’ll eat well.

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