The campus may be going through a lot of changes, but independently-owned standby A Renaissance Café continues to offer fresh food at a decent price.
“Hotels send people here for the local flavor,” owner Keith Flowers boasted.
The café’s walls are covered with prints, featuring images like famous actors, classic movies, vintage Tacoma maps, and even one of R. Crumb’s classic counterculture characters, Mr. Natural. Lava lamps line the top of a partition from seating to kitchen. A collection of black light posters adorn the bathroom, providing a bit of nostalgia from Flowers’ college dorm room days.
As opposed to pre-packaged options offered by large corporate franchise restaurants, Flowers works to keep the food fresh at his café. Even the coffee is provided by local company Dillanos Coffee Roasters which is based in Sumner.
The restaurant offers breakfast all day and their menu mainly consists of a variety of omelets and sandwiches. A café specialty is the breakfast sandwich, consisting of scrambled eggs cooked with the steam of an espresso wand.
Affordable, healthy options offered by the restaurant include the $5 breakfast bagel sandwich, which I like to special order with tomato, onions, and avocado instead of meat. The café also offers fresh oatmeal and raisins for only $4.
A Renaissance Café has been on campus since UWT opened. Before the school opened, the neighborhood was better known for drug trade and the owner had a restaurant near the current location over by where the Marriott sits today. Originally Flowers’ restaurant was called the “Psyche Deli.” Flowers said the university required the name change due to perceived drug connotations. At first he didn’t agree with the idea of changing the name, but then Flowers admitted that “deli” might not have been the best word for the type of service his restaurant offers.
The café opens each day in its location on 1746 Pacific Ave. bright and early at 5 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.