TNT Diner

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

Archives: June 2006

June
15th

Where have all the farmers gone?

I counted 13 stands at the Tacoma Farmer’s Market today selling fresh produce, vegetables or shellfish. I did not count the total number of stands. But let’s just say flowers and crafts outnumbered fresh fruit and vegetables the way fried foods and teriyaki dominate Tacoma dining.


Some of these 13 stands were selling mostly flowers, along with a token box of snap peas. One farmer’s stand had nothing but hanging baskets of strawberries — as in, the plants.


It’ll be a long time passing before I go back to the Tacoma Farmer’s Market looking for dinner

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June
14th

Dude, pass the pig’s bladder (updated with audio)

Steven Rinella is a correspondent for Outside magazine. His publisher says he’s an “avid outdoorsman and adventerous eater.” He wrote The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine.


It’s not about Dumpster diving. It’s about spending a year hunting and gathering the goods to cook and serve 45 dishes from Le Guide Culinaire, the French chef Auguste Escoffier’s 103-year-old kama sutra of cooking, a book whose recipes call for ingredients such as black bear fat, pig’s bladder and a whole bunch of other things most of us have trouble getting our hands on (and our minds around) these

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June
12th

Junky-hunky chef Bourdain’s ‘Nasty Bits’

Tuesday’s dinner honoring junky-hunky celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain at Union in Seattle is sold out. All the better; I won’t miss “Rescue Me.”

But if one of those $150 tickets was to suddenly become available, let’s say I’d be willing to tape over that warmed-over sitcom FOX made out of Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential.”

Bourdain –- swashbuckling chef, searing writer and gonzo-gastro TV travel host — will sign and read from his latest book, “The Nasty Bits,” at University Book Store (4326 University Way NE, Seattle) 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. “The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones” is a collection of his magazine and newspaper work.

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June
12th

Kicked in the undercover

Questions arose in previous blog posts about how a supposedly undercover restaurant critic is recognized in the field. I’ll share one way with you. It happened to me this morning:


I was at a local pub, sitting solo, silently rooting for the Czech Republic to beat the United States (as if Americans needed help embarassing themselves on another international field).


In a room of women and men drinking Newcastle, Bass and other ales at 10 a.m., Pilsner Urquell provided little cover.


A News Tribune photographer approached me.


“Hey, Ed,” he said. “Are you reviewing

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June
12th

Good news, bad news, beer news

The Associated Press reports from Portland (where else):


Oregon researchers say a protein in hops seems to help prevent prostate cancer, at least in lab experiments. You’d theoretically have to drink about 17 beers a day for any potential benefit. Potential side effects are alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver.


Read more.


On the other hand, coffee could combat cirrhosis.

June
12th

Among the kitchen thugs

Author Bill Buford is in Seattle tonight to promote his hot-line joyride, Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.


The former New Yorker fiction editor who quit his office job for kitchen shifts will read from his new book at 7:30 p.m. at Elliott Bay Book Co.


One reviewer said: “The book is part memoir, part biography and part tutorial, and its deftly intertwining narratives include everything from high-end restaurant gossip and kitchen secrets to a passionate homage to the rapidly declining traditions

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June
8th

Dining outside

I’ve noticed a lot of tables and chairs on downtown Tacoma sidewalks lately. Here are some restaurants with sidewalk (and patio) seating:


Meconi’s. Pacific Grill. Sea Grill. Galanga. Varsity Grill. Fujiya. El Toro. Margaret’s. The Harmon. At Courtyard Lounge at the Courtyard Marriott, tables and chairs sit above the sidewalk, on the balcony.


Where’s your favorite alfresco spot? I’ll take your picks on decks, patios, terraces and sidewalk squats.