TNT Diner

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

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Archives: March 2008


What kind of beers pair with sushi and teriyaki?

A new Seattle microbrewery is brewing beers that it says pair with Asian food, thanks to some Asian ingredients in the beers. I sipped Laughing Buddha‘s Dragon King lager and Pandan brown ale with my sushi and teriyaki last night.

You can taste for yourselves at 99 Bottles, Federal Way’s best beer boutique, where there will be a Laughing Buddha tasting from 3-6 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $1 per person, 21 and over only. Laughing Buddha’s Lychee Weizen and Mango Weizen may pour.

I dropped by 99 Bottles last night for

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Drink up, pay up, buy third-world kids clean water

Mmmm, water.

Would you pay $1 for a glass of tap water in a restaurant? What if that one buck buys a third-world kid clean drinking water for 40 days?

From Sunday through Saturday, three Tacoma restaurants (and more than 2,000 restaurants elsewhere in first-world America) will help raise funds for UNICEF’s Tap Project, launching during World Water Week.

In Tacoma, Stadium Bistro, The Harmon and Melting Pot are taking donations of $1 (or more, if your generosity flows) for Tap Project. Tacoma’s Landmark Convention Center is also

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The Bite debuts at Hotel Murano

Did you enjoy free dinner and drinks at Hotel Murano‘s new restaurant, The Bite, last night? I did. It was training day; all customers dined for free, with complimentary wine, beer and mineral water.

(I didn’t know dinner was free until I asked for the bill. My dining companion had been tipped off by a lady in the ladies’ room. She chose not to tell me lest I get suspicious. I’ve stumbled into these situations before. Sometimes a free meal is just a free meal. Like other diners, I filled out a comments slip,

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Judging restaurants by their signs

Pick-Quick Drive In, as it appears in Roadway Trucking’s 2008 Roadside Drive-In calendar.

Can you judge a restaurant by its sign? I’m talking about those cool old neon signs that adorn South Sound drive-ins and diners — those paeons to neon and incandescent bulbs.

“I think you can judge if they’ve taken care of the sign and if there’s a certain pride in the sign, you can see that in the business,” said neon artist Galen Turner, who teaches neon 101 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia.

With that in mind, here are my judgments of vintage signs and their restaurants.

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Wallaby’s closed; it’s the recession, stupid

Tom Huppert served big and tasty sandwiches at Wallaby’s.

Heard about America’s economic recession? It’s the reason Wallaby’s Delicatessen closed Feb. 22.

"The bottom line is all this talk about recession," Wallaby’s owner Tom Huppert told me recently. "For us it really started last spring. Last summer was our worst in 20 years. We were looking forward to bouncing back in the fall. But we never bounced back. September and October were our worst months in history, too."

Huppert said that when he closed, business

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Mediterranean cuisine bathes South Sound restaurants

When I hear “Mediterranean cuisine,” my taste memories flash back to San Francisco’s Mission barrio, where 7 bucks bought me trips to Lebanon via mouthfuls of Middle Eastern shawarma sandwiches that my favorite hole in the wall served with lamb, grilled eggplant and harisa, the North African chili paste that seared Mediterranean memories into my tongue for hours onward.

Around the corner and down the street, I’d pick up cool and salty cheeses and olives at a Greek deli. One my way home, I’d duck into the Italian deli, if only to smell the prosciutto.

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Mark your beer (and scotch) festival calendars

Cask beer and cask beer drinkers

Note: You’ve gotta be at least 21 years old to attend the following events:


The sixth annual week-long Hard Liver Barleywine Fest kicks off Saturday at Brouwer’s Café in Seattle. No cover. Pours are 3 ounces for $2, 6 ounces for $4,

and 12 ounces for $6. Drool over the list of barleywines here.


This year’s Washington Beer Commission Cask Beer Festival happens March 22 at

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Tacoma soul food icon Southern Kitchen gets a makeover

Tacoma’s Southern Kitchen Restaurant is getting an exterior makeover. Manager John Waller called the work a “fresh look, more better for visibility with down-home Southern-style ambiance.”

Rod Ladd, whose family owns the building that houses the 4-decade-old Sixth Avenue icon, said crews started stripping the stucco facade Saturday. He said workers will install vinyl siding, painted red. Also coming are insulated glass windows, a picket fence and flower pots. Look for new and improved signage, too.

Southern Kitchen’s interior was repainted and spiffed up last year.

In other South Sound soul food news, Uncle Thurm

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