TNT Diner

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

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Archives: June 2007


Cans a poppin’

This “press release” arrived in my e-mail.

I’d barely taken my first canned sip when “Come As You Are” boomed through the bar. A good, grungy sign, that. Especially for a place that boasts of being a dive.

Cans is brought to you by the people responsible for Varsity Grill. They’ve rehabbed their Taboo/Comedy Underground club into a bar pushing canned beer.

Over by some arcade games, there’s a stage for

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100 reasons to toast E9

E9’s original impressario, Dusty Trail, right, with a bartender in 1994.

First, there was Tacoma Brew, a tribute to T-Town’s beery history. Now, there’s Centennial Ale, on tap through the end of the year to celebrate the 100th birthday of Engine House No. 9’s — the fire house, not the pub.

Engine House No. 9 celebrates two milestones this summer: the 100th anniversary of the historic

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Silver-bullet showdown in Restaurant v. Critic

Judging by events and litigation, there are at least two ways to unmask an anonymous dining ranger:

1. Give him a Pulitzer.

2. Sue him.

Me, I’m shooting for the former. That’s how every server in Los Angeles got to download a picture of the LA Weekly’s restaurant critic — pink Oxford, mullet and all.

No. 2 is the result of a three-line restaurant review written by the restaurant critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Here’s how a restaurant named Chops is threatening to chop off the critic’s anonymity,

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Homebrewers get taste of the professional life

Three homebrewers from Federal Way will get to make their beers in professional brewpubs after being selected in the inaugural Puget Sound Pro-Am brewing competition, a run-up to the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am competiton, where their beers will vie against other homebrews in September.

Their brews will also go on tap as seasonals at Puget Sound pubs.

Mark Emiley’s English barleywine will be brewed at The Ram in Lakewood. Peter and Janice Twigg’s cream ale will be brewed at Diamond Knot Brewery in Mukilteo.

The South Sound connection doesn’t end with Emiley and the Twiggs. Tacoma’s Harmon Brewery will brew a pale ale from a Lake Stevens homebrewer. The Powerhouse in Puyallup will brew a "recreational" beer (by a couple of guys from Lynnwood) that won’t be submitted to the GABF Pro-Am.

"It tasted very nice," Harmon brewer Mike Davis said of George Hamasaki’s pale ale. "It’s medium-bodied with a nice balance between the malt and the hop character. It had a faint hop nose. A citrusy nose. A very drinkable beer."

Davis said he wants to start brewing with Hamasaki by no later than early August.

"He brewed 5 gallons," Davis said. "We’re gonna brew 310."

That’s about 20 kegs. At The Ram, Bill Smith will brew 10 kegs of Emiley’s barleywine.

"Most us got our start as homebrewers," said Steve Samuelson, a brewer at The Ram in Seattle. "It’s really fun to connect with those roots."

For homebrewers, it’s a chance to brew with the big boys and have their beer drunk at America’s largest beer festival. In addition to six 22-ounce bottles that will be sent to Denver for judging, brewers will send a keg of each beer to the festival.

"I’ll be heading out to the GABF," Emiley said. "It is an annual tradition that will be even cooler with my beer being poured."

Click on the link below for the full list of pro-am brews and breweries.

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Food poisoning? Call 253-798-6500

Have you ever had food poisoning? What did you do, besides get ill?

I got a call last week from a guy named Dave, a self-described amputee veteran who said he suffered a mondo bout of food poisoning after eating a lobster at a restaurant. He said his ordeal lasted two weeks, including a stint in the hospital.

Dave said he’s not allergic to shell fish. Dave said he’s never had a violently ill reaction to any seafood. Dave said he was looking forward to his lobster; his parents had driven him from Orting to Tacoma for

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Pardon our 1s and 0s


On the new blog format I miss the old “recent” button that allowed you to peruse all recent postings regardless of topic.

That way one could see what was being talked about without having to click on each separate posting. It was a very efficient way to ‘keep up” with what was being talked about without having to click on each string, if that makes sense.

Bring it back!


I’ve been working with online publishing tools since 1995. I’ve never seen one implementation go off without a hitch.

Here’s the

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Ga-ga for growlers

Growlers and medicine bottles on my deck.

From my Tortilla Flats youth, I remember grandmothers in all-day aprons walking down the streets with buckets in their hands. They were buying menudo at the neighborhood Mexican restaurant and taking it home for their families’ Sunday tables.

Growlers remind me of menudo buckets. But growlers are better-suited to filling with beer, root beer or ginger ale.

Growlers are reusable, resealable half-gallon glass containers that some breweries will fill up for just more than the price of a single pint at

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