TNT Diner

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

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Archives: June 2008


Restaurants with views of the Tall Ships

Looking for lunch and a view of the Tall Ships? Here are your best bets for catching Thursday’s noontime parade of sail as the Tall Ships enter Commencement Bay and cruise Tacoma’s Ruston Waterfront en route to their berths in The Foss Waterway.

Tall Ships are scheduled to begin entering Commencement Bay about 10 a.m., Thursday. The final ship, the Coast Guard’s Eagle, should arrive around 4 p.m.

The Tall Ships will be around through the weekend. All of these restaurants will be open for food and views during the Tall Ships festival.


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Johnny’s Dock re-launching breakfast

Johnny’s Dock is reopening for weekend breakfast this week. Since this week is officially a three-day weekend, Johnny’s will start breakfast on Friday, coinciding with this week’s Tall Ships festival.

Johnny’s owner Dave Bingham said breakfast will include smoked salmon Benedict and Johnny’s “A Fine Mess” egg scramble.

Seating will be the lounge only. Bingham said NASCAR and NFL will be on the TVs.

Johnny’s Dock: 1900 E D St., Tacoma; 256-627-3186


There’s a fly in my succotash

Journalists like to think we’re prepared for anything. Yeah, well … I went to the bathroom and missed the on-stage fight at the Snoop Dogg show at White River a couple years back. Stuff happens.

Something happened Saturday night near the end of dinner:

A big fat fly the size of a raisin emerged from the succotash and hobbled across the table.

Did the fat fly land on the plate? It was a warm night on the mountain, the dining room door was open, the air inside hung.

Did the fat fly get cooked

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Tasting Taste of Tacoma

Asado/Masa’s Tijuana Dog, left, and Southern Kitchen red beans and rice, right.

I brought my notebook. My colleague Scott Fontaine lent his appetite. My cousin Bob, a nurse, brought the Prilosec.

Here’s how it went for three beefy guys, 60 bucks worth of meal tickets and one wide-ranging lunch today, the opening day of Taste of Tacoma:


At the dual booth of Tacoma restaurants’ Asado and Masa, a trinity of great ingredients ascends to create a heavenly hot dog: the $5.50 Tijuana

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Hey, sailors, want something cheap and tasty?

Well with buck shot eyes and a purple heart
I rolled down the national stroll
with a big fat paycheck strapped to my hip sack
and a shore leave wristwatch underneath my sleeve
in a Hong Kong drizzle on Cuban heels
I rowed down the gutter to the blood bank
I’d left all my papers on the Ticonderoga
and I was in a bad need of a shave
I slopped at the corner on cold chow mein
and shot billiards with a midget until the rain stopped

– from "Shore Leave" by Tom Waits

Scores of sailors will disembark on Tacoma shores next week when the Tall Ships arrive.

Where’s a hungry sailor to eat and drink?

What about a sailor on a budget?

What about sailors too young to get into bars?

Logal blogger compiled a list of discounts sailors can receive by flashing their crew identification in restaurants and bars along the Foss waterway, near the Tacoma Dome and in downtown Tacoma.

(Hint: Free breakfast at Cascade Bagels and free appetizers at Paddy Coynes and Café by the Bay sound cool, and 10 percent off at places like Dock Street Sandwich and Puget Sound Pizza are attractive. But complimentary edamame at Two Koi? When other Japanese restaurants routinely offer the soybeans for free any time of year? C’mon.)

For my recommendations, including those that are a short walk to the toward Wright Park and Stadium High, click on the link below. Yo, ho, ho.

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Coming soon signs: New tenant in old Tony Roma’s, another Ram in Puyallup

An eatery named Wingers Grill and Bar — I’m going on a short limb and guessing they’ll serve wings in a sporty atmosphere — has filed an application to sell liquor in the Tacoma Mall Boulevard location abandoned by Tony Roma’s in 2007.

Meantime, The Ram, with brewpub locations in Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, Lacey, Kent and Seattle, has filed a liquor license application for a new location on 156th St. E in Puyallup.

Stay tuned.


Fusion Bento: Beyond teriyaki

When is teriyaki not teriyaki? When you put it on a skewer and call it Asian grill. When does a restaurant that serves teriyaki transcend teriyaki? When its menu includes fresh and attractive sushi and a smattering of Japanese and Chinese entrees.

That’s the menu at Fusion Bento Asian Grill, which opened in April in the kind of location usually associated with teriyaki: behind Shari’s and between Albertson’s and Big Lot.

Fusion Bento is a comfortable mom-and-pop-type restaurant done up in attractive earth tones and pretty plate presentations. Lunch entrees and bento boxes are $4.95-$8.95, dinner entrees

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A fond first bite of Fondi

Pizza-makers and their pies, at Pizzeria Fondi.

I waited six months to enjoy the "ham and cheese" skewers at Pizzeria Fondi, the upscale pie parlor that opened in Gig Harbor’s upscale Uptown Center May 30.

When I visited Fondi’s Kent Station operation before Christmas, I’d fallen for the appetizer — prosciutto wrapped around fontina cheese, skewered and grilled until the cured pork was toasty and the mild cheese was mildly gooey, and served with balsamic-goosed greens.

When I visited Fondi’s Gig Harbor restaurant on Friday, my appetizer anticipation deflated. "That’s an item off an old menu," I was told.

Good thing Pizzeria Fondi makes pretty good pie – the hearth-fired kind that blisters and bubbles and goes down gooey.

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