TNT Diner

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

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Archives: May 2009


Drop-In Dining: Gateway Cottage

Gateway Cottage Restaurant & Lounge server Heather Guthrie, left, and owner Lynda Hogan, right. Photo by Dean J. Koepfler/The News Tribune.

If you blew Mother’s Day last weekend, this report is just for you. Shuttle the mom in your life straight to Gateway Cottage for a make-up meal. Gateway Cottage is one those restaurants where you’re likely to see ladies – of the red hat variety – lunching.

Located off 146th Street South and Pacific Avenue South, the homey Parkland-area restaurant opened in November 2000. It took owner Lynda Hogan two years to remodel a dilapidated residential home into the Gateway Cottage – and her touches are all over the restaurant.

She filled the dining rooms with artwork she collected while working at a now-closed downtown Tacoma antiques store – Corinthian Studios. Hanging on the walls is her plate collection.

She planted a courtyard garden around two large sheltering oak trees – and created quite a lovely space that looks as if it were made for graduation parties (something PLU families and staffers host there often). When the weather warms, Hogan will open the patio for seating and private parties.

If Hogan’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she and her ex-husband, Walter N. Hogan, are responsible for giving Tacoma one of the most spectacular view restaurants in the city – Stanley & Seafort’s.

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Cheese festival this weekend

I just got off the phone with Amy Turnbull, who with husband Stephen J. Hueffed owns Willapa Hills Farmstead Cheese in Doty, near the Chehalis River.

This is the first year of production for the couple who bought their farm 5 years ago and have since built their herd to 150 sheep. They produce fresh ricotta, blue cheese and several other styles of cheese. This weekend is the first time they’ll participate in the Seattle Cheese Festival, held May 16 and 17 at the Pike Place Market.

Production is way up right now for Willapa

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Happy Houring: Bloody Marys about town

I’ve been working on a story about Happy Hours around town and I’ve sampled two Bloody Mary cocktails that left lasting impressions. I like a Bloody Mary with a peppery, horseradish-y bite. Extra points for garnishes that can double as a small appetizer. And if I get a puckery blast of lime juice, I’m an instant fan.

The recent sips that nailed my criteria:

Pacific Grill Bloody Mary: Priced $8.25 on the regular menu, the cocktail was spicy with a horseradish sting and dotted with flakes of freshly ground black pepper. I appreciated the garnish – a few olives and a fat spear of pickled asparagus. Click “read more” for the recipe from Pacific Grill bar manager Carol Reutercrona.

Pacific Grill
Where: 1502 Pacific Avenue
Contact: 253-272-6469 or

Duke’s Bloody Mary: Priced $4.99 on the Happy Hour menu, Duke’s Bloody Mary is more like a meal than a drink. The tomato is punched up with a bright lime flavor and the garnish is an impressive spear of two prawns, green onions and a wedge of lime. The drink is served with a pickled green bean spear and a salted rim.

Duke’s Chowder House
Where: 3327 Ruston Way
Contact: 253-752-5444 or

Your turn: where else in town can I find a good Bloody Mary? What makes it your favorite?

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Happy 20th anniversary to O-bok, and happy Mother’s Day to Sun Ok Chung

This morning, at about 11 a.m., Sun Ok Chung will stand where she always stands – at the stove in the small kitchen of O-bok restaurant on South Tacoma Way. Today is the 20th anniversary of her Korean restaurant.

At that stove is where she’s stood just about every morning – yes, even today, on Mother’s Day – since 1989 when she opened O-bok, one of the first Korean restaurants in Tacoma. She rarely closes her restaurant, serving now a second generation of customers at the restaurant that was the first in the area to bring Korean tabletop barbecue to Tacoma diners.

"She’s at the restaurant for almost 12 hours a day, for close to 365 days a year," said her daughter, Hyun Choi. Chung is the restaurant’s only cook.

Pictured here: Hyun Choi and her mother Sun Ok Chung.

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First Bite: Papa Eddie’s Corner Cafe and BBQ

I can honestly say I’ve never been to a barbecue restaurant with tablecloths, pretty centerpieces and dolls on display wearing crocheted dresses – until I visited Papa Eddie’s Corner Café and BBQ in Tacoma, which opened April 24 in the location that housed JT’s Original Louisiana Bar-B-Que until two months ago.

In fact, some barbecue aficionados may call "blasphemy" at a barbecue joint that doesn’t sport battered chairs with a roll of paper towels on every grubby table.

Papa Eddie’s is homey with a side of cute – like someone’s grandma came in and gussied up the joint by painting the walls creamsicle orange and adding tablecloths.

Pictured here: Pappa Eddie’s Corner Cafe owner Zach Hill holds a plate of his restaurant’s signature dishes: barbecued pork ribs, red beans and rice, potato salad and cornbread. Photo by Drew Perine/The News Tribune.

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Wine, more wine and beer tasting events this weekend

Three wine and beer events in Tacoma and Seattle will raise money for things deserving of your cash.

They are:
Wine tasting, May 9, in Puyallup, to raise money for the Fred Oldfield Western Heritage & Art Center.
Tacoma Wine classic, May 9, at Tacoma Community College, to raise money for TCC programs.
Hopscotch Spring Beer and Scotch tasting event, today and May 9 at Fremont Studios in Seattle, to raise money for Seattle International Film Festival.

Click “read more” for details of each event.

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JT’s Original Louisiana Bar-B-Q is closed, but more bbq rises in its ashes

I’ve had a few readers call and e-mail about JT’s Original Louisiana Bar-B-Que, which operated at 7104 Sixth Ave. for four years – up until a few months ago.

"We decided to relocate, to find a new location. The location we had wasn’t working out for us. It was more of a traffic issue," said James Turner, who operated the now-closed restaurant with a daughter.

So what’s next for the Turner family? And what about the new bbq place that has opened in that location – Papa Eddie’s Corner Cafe and BBQ?

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