TNT Diner

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

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Archives: June 2007


Kiss that cocktail goodbye, and other tales of theft

The bartenders at one of my semi-regular haunts have a customer with the following modus operandi:

She orders a drink. When the drink is delivered, she puts the glass to her lips. Then she says she doesn’t have any money.

The bartenders get stuck with her tabs.


Stiffing a server on a tip is one thing; not paying for what you consume is theft.

Dining and dashing surfaced in a “Blondie” comic strip. (That Dagwood — whatta proto-foodie!) The Bumsteads left a restaurant without paying. The punchline: When the waiter chased after

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Rosé and jerky by any other names …

Rosé and jerky, on my deck.

Being a reporter is about making connections. You know: Follow the money. Saddam, WMD. Rosé and jerky.

“A lot of people are opposed to rosé,” said Angi Unger of Bacchante Wine & Essentials in Tacoma. “A lot of people are used to white zinfandels, a pink wine that doesn’t have a lot of flavor, that’s too sweet, that doesn’t really say much about the wine.”

Rosés are made from several grapes: sangiovese, syrah, merlot. Being a fan of big, bad reds, I was skeptical

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The pie is falling, the pie is falling, the pie is falling

Mmmm, pie, made by my crusty old landlady.

I knew this would happen. I wondered what took so long. I’ve been in this business 22 years — long enough to know that when there’s a cute pop-culture tie-in to be made, you’ll find a reporter somewhere.

In fact, I had the idea months ago. But I haven’t been in the mood for movies lately. As for pie — well, I love good pie (especially with flaky lard crust), but my calories are better committed elsewhere.

I’m talking

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Now eat this: Capers Downtown

Capers Downtown opened today, serving, sandwiches, salads and soups in a comfortable, soaring space with park-side seating and a view of Tacoma’s Old City Hall.

Capers Downtown is Eve Hewitt’s spin-off of Capers Take Home Eatery on Proctor Street, which she opened with a childhood friend in 2002. Hewitt said she’ll shuttle between Capers Downtown and Capers in Proctor.

“Sandwiches, salads and soups” doesn’t do justice to the type of food Capers serves. Turkey is the bird kind, not the processed kind. Roast beef is cooked in house. The pulled pork sandwich rivals Pacific

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Restaurants and critics: A blogalogue

Recent high profile disputes between restaurateurs and their critics are the exception, not the rule. Blogs and community Web sites dilute the power of a critic and offer an opportunity for restaurateurs to start a dialog.

Oh, yeah: Ed’s Diner is mentioned in this article, from Restaurants and Institutions magazine. Here’s a contextual excerpt:

While the relationship between chefs and restaurant reviewers has never been an easy one, one could draw the conclusion that animosity between the two groups is reaching fever pitch. This is probably not the case, though. As Mimi Sheraton explains

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What are you drinking tonight?

Sparkling shiraz, in crystal, on my deck tonight.

Sparkling shiraz is my new grape Nehi. Let me explain:

In broadening my wine horizons, I inadvertently slipped into the bubbly, juicy side of the wine aisle.

At first I thought I’d bought nouvelle cold duck.

Bolder than burgundy, more purple than Prince and fizzy to boot, sparkling shiraz is a wine unto itself: big, grapey and satisfyingly sweet, like a cold grape Nehi with extra bubbles and a tannic twist.

Bless the Aussies for finding the

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Primo Grill buys Gary’s Steak Out — and Gary’s building

Gary Lawrence, at the grill at Gary’s Steak Out: Why work to death?

Gary’s Steak Out & Bar has been sold to the people at Primo Grill, Gary Lawrence confirmed today.

Primo chef/owner Charlie McManus told me he’s going to reopen Gary’s as Crown Bar, an American bistro and "neighborhood bar," in September. Lawrence said he’ll be packed up by the end of July.

Lawrence didn’t just sell his 3-year-old grown-up steakhouse: McManus and his wife, Jacqueline Plattner, are buying the entire 10,000-square-foot building on the 2700

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Service, with an apology

Humility and honesty need not be lost in the rush of service.

I was having a bad day last week. A waitress at a waterfront resturant was having an even worse day.

I got an apology. She got a tip. We both came out ahead.

Lunch went like this:

I ordered wine, an appetizer and an entrée. She brought the appetizer. A few bites into the appetizer, she told me she’d forgotten to put in my entrée order. What was that again?

Finally, she brought wine.

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