TNT Diner

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

NOTICE: TNT Diner has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved TNT Diner.
Visit the new section.

Archives: April 2006


$100 martinis: Can you drink wit dat, dawg?

Further proof that Tacoma is no longer a restaurant backwater: The spirits inside El Gaucho just got a whole lot swankier.

Sixteen customers with money to drink each spent $100 on El Gaucho’s new “bling-bling of martinis” one night last week.

How do you pour a C-note in a glass?

Stoli Elit Vodka, Grand Marnier 150 and Courvoisier.

Garnish with chutzpah.

At a hundred bucks, be sure to ask for it shaken and stirred.

The $100 martini is part of Lee Lewis’ martini makeover at El Gaucho. For those

Read more »


Of ferries and foodies

When they stopped laughing, I told the restaurant folks on Vashon Island that I was serious:

Validate ferry rides.

Think about it.

After expensing nearly $90 on ferry rides while researching a story about Vashon restaurants, I wondered if I would pay $13.60 (plus $4 for each passenger, from Tacoma or West Seattle) each time I wanted to eat at a restaurant like Sound Food Cafe or Ferrara Ristorante.

There’s a reason I didn’t write about breakfast at The Hardware Store. I was practically ferry’d out. One more ride, and my ferry budget for

Read more »


Hog butcher axes foie gras

Chicago’s City Council put out a hit on foie gras Wednesday. The expensive fatty liver that’s produced at the expense of force-feeding ducks and geese now has less than 90 days left in Windy City restaurants and markets.

The unanimous vote makes Chicago the first city in the nation to outlaw foie gras.

The Sun-Times serves up two sides of poultry-organ politics:

"We have children getting killed by gang leaders and dope dealers. We have real issues here in this city. And we’re dealing with foie gras? Let’s get some priorities. Our

Read more »


Barrels of barnyard

For those of us who just don’t get wine-tasting terms like "barnyard," this might clear things up:

A critter label is any label that features an animal, from a hippo to a frog to a penguin. According to ACNielsen, the market-research company, 438 viable table-wine brands have been introduced in the past three years, and 18 percent — nearly one in five — feature an animal on the label. “Combined with existing critter labels,” the firm said in a summation of its research on this matter, “sales of critter-branded wine have reached more than $600 million.”


Read more »


Bud beater

The Bud post below reminds me: I had a positive encounter with an Anheuser-Busch brew at a different world cup — the 2006 World Beer Cup, held recently in Seattle.

At the pre-gala dinner awards tasting, a staggering international selection of beer sat picked over and popped open.


An unmolested magnum caught my eye. I asked the guy in the tux manning one of the iced-down beer tubs to break the seal and unlock the cage on Budweiser’s big black bottle.


Read more »


This Bud’s for Hu (and Flannery, Juan and Bubba)

“Bud” and “exclusivity” generally don’t roll off the tongue or down the throat.

But, indeed, Anheuser-Busch has exclusive rights to sell and market its beer at soccer’s 2006 World Cup. The one in Germany, where America’s mass brewer has two problems: a legal spat that prevents it from using its most famous brand name; and the fact that Germans hate Budweiser.

So why is Anheuser-Busch letting Bud share soccer’s global marketing stage with Bit, a popular German brew?

Read more »


Mighty slow making

The label on New Belgium’s Trippel recommends drinking the earthy ale cool, not chilled.

I’m not exactly sure what that means without a thermometer. But I had some time on my hands. It was Saturday afternoon. I could stand to find out.

Read more »


Union Restaurant-Unibroue dinner tasting notes

Last Wednesday, I enjoyed a seven-course beer dinner at Union Restaurant in Seattle. It was one of a handful of food-and-beer events served up in conjunction with the Craft Brewers Conference.

Chef-owner Ethan Stowell’s menu was paired with Belgian-style ales from Quebec’s Unibroue brewery. All bottle-conditioned, Unibroue’s effervescent ales complemented Stowell’s light touch, with an odd exception.

Here are my tasting notes:

Read more »