TNT Diner

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

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Archives: April 2008


Get your green on

You don’t have to hug a farmer to eat green. Here are five easy ways to help the planet while patronizing restaurants, bars and coffee shops:

1. BYO reusable cup. What’s the price of drinking shade-grown coffee from a cup that used to be a shade-giving tree? Avoid negative caffeine karma (and save 10 cents on all coffee drinks at places like Forza, Tully’s and Starbucks) by brining your own reusble coffee cup. As one barista noted, “It’s not much, but it adds up.”

2. BYO growler. Why buy microbrews at the store when you can fill up

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Downtown Tacoma Mexican restaurant re-christened with a crazy name

It used to be La Costa. Now it’s got a new owner and a new name. (Photo:

Before I even forked my first chili relleno at a made-over Mexican restaurant in downtown Tacoma, this e-mail hit my in-box:

I passed the former La Costa daily, and noticed that it’s opened now under a new name, Gringo de Loco with a graphic of a sleeping Mexican peasant.

Offhand there are three things that annoy me: First, it’s just weird that they use the pejorative “Gringo.” I guess that’s

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Doyle’s drinkers raise 842 pints of Guinness and $842 for public radio

Doyle’s Public House poured

16,840 ounces of Guinness stout,

raising $842 for KUOW.

Eight hundred and forty-two Imperial pints of Guinness were purchased at Doyle’s Public House from April 7-17, helping the Tacoma pub raise $842 for Seattle public radio station KUOW.

Doyle’s pledged to pledge $1 for every pint of Guinness stout it sold April 7-17. The goal was $550.

Full disclosure: I was among the 154 people who bought (and drank) a

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Mama Stortini’s branches into Windmill Gardens

First the folks behind El Gaucho ran Windmill Gardens Cafe. Then one of the guys who’d eventually open Asado and Masa (and soon Maxwell’s) ran it. Then the folks who are now at Herban Café ran it.

Now, the owners of Mama Stortini’s will run it. They’re planning to open 60th Street Bistro in the cafe/kitchen space at Windmill Gardens nursery on May 6.

"We’ve been looking for a location for our wedding catering," said John Spearman, chef and operations manager for Specialty Restaurant Group, which bought Mama

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Sea Grill serves lunch again, shows off Tacoma glass

Lunch is once again being served at Sea Grill, which ceased mid-day meal service in January 2007. Lunch hours are 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays.

"If we had to do it over again, we would have opened up for dinner only when we first opened three years ago and opened up for lunch at a later time," Sea Grill general manager Mike Neumann said. "We felt that our dinner program was solid. Now is the time to focus on lunch again."

Lunch entrees, including a Certified Angus burger, open-face Dungeness crab melt, grill sirloin and

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Drive-thru dining, El Gaucho and Stanley style; plus, Firwood’ll watch your car

Got out-of-town relatives/friends/business associates who can pay for their own sixty-dollar steaks? This blog’s for you.

El Gaucho, aka, “Tacoma’s most elegant restaurant,” according to a press release, is offering door-to-door valet van service for diners.

Here’s how it works:

Convince your guests to stay at one of El Gaucho’s “preferred hotels” — Hotel Murano, where there’s no fine dining; or maybe Courtyard by Marriott (where fine dining is mere steps away, at Pacific Grill), or Silver Cloud, which is a few waterfront blocks away from CI Shenanigans and The Lobster Shop on Ruston

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Parkway’s barleywine festival on tap Saturday

Tacoma doesn’t get to trump Seattle and Portland very often, but Saturday’s one of those days. That’s when Parkway Tavern hosts its annual barleywine festival, featuring two dozen strong and complex ales from Northwest microbreweries.

“It’s the only event of it’s type between Seattle and Portland,” boasts Parkway publican John O’Gara. Six-ounce tasters will run $2.75. Compare that to the $4 Brouwer’s was charging for many of the same beers. Not that we are trying to compete or anything like that.”

O’Gara said Saturday’s special food menu will feature “three roast pigs and four prime ribs.”

Doors open at 2 p.m. and close at 2 a.m.

Parkway Tavern: 313 N. I St., Tacoma; 253-383-8748

Click on the link below for the a list of what’s on tap.

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Tiny Infinite Soups extends big gift-card offer

Infinite Soups accepts only cash. But now it’s making a concession for gift certificates – namely, valid gift certificates from restaurants that have gone out of business.

Responding to the closure of Stadium Bistro and reports that some people can’t redeem their gift cards from the restaurant, the tiny soup shop says it will honor, dollar for dollar, any gift certificate from any defunct restaurant, up to $50.

"It’s just the whole sense of hospitality," said Infinite Soups co-owner Wendy Clapp. "That’s what we do: We feed people. Just because a place goes out

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