TNT Diner

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

Archives: Oct. 2007

Oct.
15th

Get the grit out, put the price in

An urge for oysters this weekend deposited me at the bars of Pacific and Sea grills in downtown Tacoma.


Both restaurants served oysters on the half shells, atop beds of ice, with cocktail and mignonette sauces.


Sea Grill oysters had grit and grip. The shucker made a mess of the mantle, leaving shards of broken shell. The shucker also forgot to slip the knife beneath the meat. Those Quilcenes and Chef Creeks clung.


At Pacific Grill, Kumamotos and all their bivalve brothers slid effortlessly — and gritlessly — from their shells.


And that

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Oct.
13th

Hold the medals, home town home brewers

An English-style India Pale Ale by a home brewer from Allentown, Pa., won the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am today in Denver.


“Next year,” said Mark Emiley, a Federal Way home brewer, one of six from Puget Sound whose home brews were brewed by professional brewpubs and sent to GABF for competition.


Check back for more details once the GABF puts out a press release.

Oct.
12th

Caramel: The Queen of Gooey Good Stuff

Does the post below taste bitter? Yeah, well … Here’s a sweet thing I’ve been working on from home: caramel.

It’s amazing what sugar does when it gets hot. Add butter and cream and a shot of vanilla and — wow.

Besides trying to figure out how to pronounce the word — do you say “care-uh-mel” or “car-mull”? — here are a few things I’m doing with the gooey good suff this weekend in advance of my deadline on Tuesday.

Chocolate-dipped caramels, on my deck.

Caramel paste baskets, on my deck.

Want to see why you need to be safe when working with molten sugar? Click below.

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Oct.
12th

At your service: Tales of customers gone wrong

The other day I blogged about a miserable service experience at a Tacoma restaurant. So bad, in fact, that the restaurant would have done better for its customers by outsourcing the servers’ jobs to India.

Now, a reader who claims to be a server — and, more importantly, claims to have some dish on customers’ bad behavior — has a request:

How about a post on the polar opposite? I would like to hear from professional wait staff that read this blog. Tell us your experiences of inept customers and the ridiculous things they ask. I’m sure you have a few…I know I do!

I’d like to hear them too. It’s Friday. This here forum is yours’ through the weekend.

But before you share your tales of customers gone wrong, I have one more anecdote from that Tacoma restaurant whose service staff needs better training and a lot more attention from the owners.

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Oct.
11th

For the love of lutefisk


It’s lutefisk season in the Northwest. Here’s your guide to the lye-cured cod:



Sunday: 11 A.M.-4 P.M.: Norden Lodge 2-002, Normanna Hall, 1106 South 15th St., Tacoma, Washington. Adults are $15; 7 through 12 are $7; and kids 6 and under are free. Also visit our Bazaar, Bake Sale, Scandinavian Gifts, and lefse demonstration. Dinner includes: Lutefisk, meatballs, lefse and all the trimmings.


Oct. 20: Noon-8 p.m. Peninsula Lutheran Church, 6509 38th Avenue NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, 40th year of doing Lutefisk dinners. $15 for adults, 5

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Oct.
10th

Lost, sans translation

Sometimes I joke –- but it’s not really a joke –- that my dream restaurant is a fancy sit-down place with cafeteria-style self service.


Not that I have anything against waiters or waitresses. I only have issues with servers like the ones I encountered at a Tacoma restaurant recently.


I also have problems with restaurant owners who don’t properly train their staff and manage to sit within earshot and do nothing while an episode like this transpired:


Even though I clearly and correctly pronounced the ethnic entree I wanted, the waitress didn’t understand. English appeared

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Oct.
9th

Mikie at risk, but frozen custard flows


A line in this morning’s business story about a retail development that would raze a Tacoma burger institution caught my eye not because Little Holland’s Mikie Burgers are threatened with extinction — but because the story notes that the shoe-box-sized business “boasts that it’s Tacoma’s only frozen custard stand.”


Tacoma’s perhaps, but not Pierce County’s. Old School Frozen Custard opened recently in Bonney Lake, serving the East Coast-style confection that’s made from sugar, cream and egg yolks. Old School claims it’s the only frozen custard shop in Puget

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Oct.
8th

The little gravy train that could

Dine, an upscale Chicago diner with the broad-shouldered hubris to sell $15 slices of red velvet cake, has figured out how to get good reviews: bait online restaurant raters with free booze and food.


Yelpers mostly ate it up.


The Wall Streets Journal reports on an event in August “for members of Yelp, a Web site where consumers post reviews and rate restaurants. The nearly 100 members were treated to an open bar, duck roulade appetizers and red velvet cupcakes for dessert. As a bonus, they all received certificates for discounts on subsequent

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