TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Sep. 2006


Next from the Naccaratos: Purdy Margaritaville

Wednesday night’s Beach House bash wasn’t just the Purdy restaurant’s last beach party of the season. Think of it as the first beach party of the five-star restaurant’s new life.

The Naccarato brothers’ PR person tells me, "Partygoers were treated to a taste of what it will be like when the Naccarato brother’s change the Beach House to the Margarita Beach Cafe. They are going for a place that makes you think you are on a vacation! They plan to deliver a remodel, which will begin sometime in October. The new concept calls for changes inside and out: new

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1 Carl’s Jr. — hold the Paris Hilton


No, Tacoma, Carl’s Jr. did not fail the WASL: $4.19 is the price of Carl’s Jr.’s Original Six Dollar Burger. Carl’s just calls it that because the Southern California-based burger chain –- to paraphrase corporate burger-speak — markets restaurant experiences at fast-food prices.

Carl’s Jr. opens its first outlet in the greater Tacoma-Seattle area today, in a brand-new building at 5925 Sixth Ave., just west of Pearl Street in Tacoma. Carl’s will

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Salivating over Winthrop Hotel’s past and future

A chef at the Winthrop Hotel’s Sabre Room poses with merry babes in 1962. Today, the Winthrop’s fate is a rich-and-poor saga: four-star lodge or low-income housing?
Photo: Tacoma Public Library

A development group led by Gig Harbor businessman Tim Quigg has signed an agreement, giving it 30 days to decide whether it will buy Tacoma’s historic Winthrop Hotel and restore it to its original use.

While they’re poking around the building at 773 Broadway, let’s hope Quigg and associates think about some of the original restaurants that the Winthrop once housed.

Click on the “READ MORE” link below and you’ll see what I’m hinting at.

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Mr. Greek comes to Washington

Two former Tacoma gas station owners have secured the Western Washington market for Mr. Greek, a Canadian-based chain of casual restaurants that will open the first of five locations around Christmas, in the South Hill area of Puyallup.

A 180-seat Mr. Greek will open in the old Safeway at 4301 St. Meridian St. in Puyallup, TNT business reporter C.R. Roberts reports. Nader and Nabil Morcos, both of Puyallup, plan to follow with locations in Federal Way and somewhere between Tacoma and Bellevue. They have a franchise agreement for five restaurants total.

Mr. Greek, with headquarters

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Brick City’s Wired Cafe opens downtown


Brick City, the World Vision-funded all-ages music club in downtown Tacoma, opened its adjacent Wired Cafe on Monday, featuring coffee and Wi-Fi plus breakfast and lunch items. More details in the image on the right side of these words.

Wired Cafe, 207 South 9th St.,Tacoma, 253-572-3794


Crikey, it’s the other healthy meat

A food writer from New York sent an e-mail to a food journalists’ mailing list. He wants to know about kangaroo.

I have been told that kangaroo is about to be the “new” healthy meat…I guess ostrich didn’t quite fly but am curious, for an article I am doing, if anyone has actually eaten kangaroo and/or knows who may be featuring it on their menu. I hear Heat in Chicago does it raw as does Lonesome Dove (a just opened place) in NYC….but would be most appreciative to hear of any others.

Any kangaroo cooks

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Marketing realities and Restaurant Ray flashbacks

Puyallup city councilman George Dill was on the phone. He used to teach business at Pierce College. He wanted to know where I got the idea to write about some restaurants in downtown Puyallup.

I told him I thought up the story while brainstorming ideas that didn’t involve eating deep-fried fair food but were still fair-related. The story toured Meridian Street, which leads to the fair. It highlighted restaurants, cafes, a bakery, a bar, a tea room and a taqueria in an old gas station. The story ran in the GO section on Sept. 8, the first day of the Puyallup fair, an event that draws many thousands of people through Puyallup’s historic and showing-signs-of-life downtown.

Dill asked me if Puyallup’s Main Street Association had contacted me. He said the association’s job is to promote downtown business. It’s got a marketing budget and everything, he said.

I told Dill I’d never heard of or from the Main Street Association. I wondered out loud whether the association’s marketing budget covered things like telephone calls and e-mails to journalists. I wondered if I wasn’t doing their job for them.

“Had they contacted you, they would have done their job,” Dill said. “They’re not looking at all the possibilities.”

The old business professor kept going.

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Indochine slapped for bare hands

ruston.jpgDespite its waterfall, Indochine Asian Dining Lounge has had trouble keeping its nose clean with the Pierce County Health Department

Indochine Asian Dining Lounge was shut down for one night last week after the Pierce County Health Department conducted a probation inspection of the Pacific Avenue eatery.

The health department slapped Indochine for violating code 0500 of the county’s food regulations, which cover bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.

“One of the chefs touched a garnish with his bare hand,” Ly Ngov, an owner and manager of Indochine, said of incident, which occurred between lunch and dinner service on Wednesday.

The health department requires cooks to wear gloves or use tongs used when handling food that’s served uncooked or when plating food that has been previously cooked. Garnish falls into the uncooked, don’t-touch-it-with-your-bare-hands category.

The bare-hands infraction that led to Indochine’s one-night closure was the restaurant’s third 0500 violation since Aug. 9, 2005, according to Indochine’s inspection history on the Pierce County Health Department’s Web site.

Wednesday’s inspection also turned up a fourth violation of code 1600, which covers procedures for cooling cooked foods.

Indochine passed a follow-up re-inspection on Thursday morning and was allowed to re-open.

Indochine has been on probation since January. If it repeats these violations, the restaurant’s permit will be suspended for seven days while corrective action is taken, said Diane Westbrook, a food safety supervisor for the Pierce County Health Department.

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