TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

Sep.
1st

Coming to South Hill – Rainier Growlers, a taproom and growler fill station

South Hill is about to get a growler store and taproom offering a broad selection of craft and international beers. Russell Hooper expects his Rainer Growlers store will open this fall at 13105 Meridian Ave. E., which is in the same shopping center as Pho Tai and Ivar’s. Read more »

Aug.
29th

Brown cow, anyone? South Sound soda counters with fountain desserts of yesteryear

The soda fountain counter at Don's Ruston Market. Get yourself a brown cow, an egg cream or a phosphate soda here.
The soda fountain counter at Don’s Ruston Market. Get yourself a brown cow, an egg cream or a phosphate soda here.

As Labor Day weekend arrives, so does my habit of seeking end-of-summer rituals.

Today’s tour takes me to destinations perfect for a yes-you’re-going-back-to-school trip – soda fountain counters with ice cream.

I’m talking places that serve egg creams and brown cows, and 1940s-era fountain desserts not seen on restaurant menus for decades.

Two South Sound soda counters still are outfitted with 20th-century soda dispensers, which are worth a gander if you’re a fan of such memorabilia (although only one is in working order).

Both offer hard-scooped ice cream, custom-blended shakes and one even still serves phosphates, which are sodas with a pucker from the addition of citric acid. Consider those an acquired taste.

The best part? The soda fountains mentioned here are close to waterfronts — Steilacoom and Ruston. Hit the beach one last time before summer ends.

I’ve also got a few bonus stops for ice cream in Tacoma, too.
Read more »

Aug.
28th

Coming soon: Vegan restaurant Viva Tacoma will open in Proctor

These are enchiladas with seasoned walnut meat inside a tortilla made from cashews as prepared by executive chef Fransisco Hernandez at AmerRAWcan Bistro. File Photo 2012. Peter Haley/Staff photographer
These are enchiladas with seasoned walnut meat inside a tortilla made from cashews as prepared by executive chef Francisco “Paco” Hernandez at AmerRAWcan Bistro. These enchiladas will be on the menu of a new restaurant from Hernandez called Viva Tacoma. That restaurant will open soon in the Proctor neighborhood. File Photo 2012. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The Proctor neighborhood soon will be gaining a vegan restaurant. Viva Tacoma plans to open at 2602 N. Proctor as soon as final inspections are completed.

The restaurant might be new, but the chef is someone South Sound vegan and raw diners will recognize. Francisco “Paco” Hernandez most recently was the chef of AmeRAWcan Bistro, a raw-vegan restaurant that operated in the St. Helens neighborhood from August 2011 until May 2014 when owner Darrin London closed the restaurant to focus on another business. Read more »

Aug.
26th

Beer? And coffee? Together? You bet. Hop Coffee opens in Tacoma

Pictured here, a porter mocha from Hop Coffee at the Harmon Taproom. I'd drink it again. I liked the richness of the porter beer with the chocolate sauce - in coffee made from beans roasted at Bluebeard Roasters.
Pictured here, a porter mocha from Hop Coffee at the Harmon Taproom. I’d drink it again. I liked the richness of the porter beer with the chocolate sauce – in coffee made from beans roasted at Bluebeard Roasters.

French press, cold-brewed, DIY bean roasting and even coffee beans pooped out of an elephant and priced $500 a pound.

Yes, we’ve now seen every coffee trend possible.

Or have we?

Hello, new Northwest trend. Now we’ve got coffee – flavored with beer.

Harmon beer is the curious ingredient in a line of sweetened coffee syrups developed by Melina Eshinski, pastry chef for Harmon Brewing Co. Read more »

Aug.
25th

Beer me: IPA Fest at Parkway Tavern Saturday; beer dinner at the Swiss on Wednesday

A beer garden, long lineup of IPAs and the band Rusty Cleavers will be at the Parkway Tavern Saturday for the annual IPA fest. Did you know The Swiss Pub has a new series pairing dinner with beer? Read about both events below. Read more »

Aug.
25th

Now open: Lake Tapps Brewing Co. in downtown Sumner

beer
Beer.

Now open in Sumner – a taproom and brewery. Lake Tapps Brewing Co. opened Saturday on Valley Avenue where the Riverside Pub previously operated. The brewery will reopen Thursday and keep regular hours thereafter. The brewery features a dozen of its own beers on tap, but has no kitchen.

The brewery has been a two-year project of four friends who started as hobby brewers. Read more »

Aug.
22nd

Small bites, big flavors. Three Tacoma restaurants for group dining

 

Hilltop Kitchen owners Chris Keil (left) and Matt Schweitzer. The Hilltop neighborhood lounge is perfect for diners in search of fine-crafted food with shareable plates, and a lively atmosphere.
Hilltop Kitchen owners Chris Keil (left) and Matt Schweitzer. The Hilltop neighborhood lounge is perfect for diners in search of fine-crafted food with shareable plates, and a lively atmosphere. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Shareable plates of sophisticated cocktail food with world flavors. An excellent cocktail, wine or tap list. Upscale digs. A place where grown-ups can gather comfortably without fear of being shushed.

That’s the checklist a reader handed me for a place to take out-of-town guests visiting during the final days of summer. So I went looking — and eating, and sipping.

I stuck with lounges and bars known for pairing upscale cuisine with thoughtful adult beverages, but also destinations with accoutrements necessary for gatherings: a sizable list of shareable plates, communal seating that can shrink or expand with the size of the party, a generous happy hour, and an atmosphere conducive for a group of talkers.

Finding a destination for a little grownup R&R is easier today than it’s ever been around the region.

If you’ve got friends from out of town on their way to celebrate the wind-down of summer, here are three destinations worth your time and dining dollars. Read more »

Aug.
21st

Coming to the Lincoln neighborhood: Chinese noodle house Hue Ky Mi Gia

Pictured here is the storefront of Hue Ky Mi Gia at Kent's Great Wall Shopping Mall. I snapped the photo last month while eating my way through the mall, which is home to a wide range of Asian restaurants, including the region's best dim sum restaurant - Imperial Seafood Garden.
Pictured here is the storefront of Hue Ky Mi Gia at Kent’s Great Wall Shopping Mall. I snapped the photo last month while eating my way through the mall, which is home to a wide range of Asian restaurants, including the region’s best dim sum restaurant – Imperial Seafood Garden.

Noodle slurpers – you’re going to want to read this. The Lincoln neighborhood is getting a Chinese noodle house in September.

This will be the third location for Seattle-based Hue Ky Mi Gia, which is named after owner Huy Tat’s Chinese-born grandfather, who decades ago operated a noodle cart in Vietnam. Read more »