TNT Diner

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

NOTICE: TNT Diner has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved TNT Diner.
Visit the new section.

Archives: Aug. 2009


New blog system, URL for TNT Diner

TNT Diner has changed blogging systems and the URL. Please go here to check out the new site.

Make sure to update any bookmarks or RSS feeds you had pointing to our old system as they will no longer work.

New blog URL:

New RSS feed:

New Atom feed:


New blog system at TNT Diner

We’re switching to a new blogging system here at The News Tribune and hope you’ll like the changes. We also hope you’ll try it out and give us your feedback.

A few of the changes you’ll notice:

• We’ve separated content and advertising by implementing the right ad column you’ll see on the rest of our site and a left content “widget” column.

• In that left column, we’ve added a tag cloud that shows the most blogged current topics. The tag cloud also allows us to streamline our category lists which got out-of control after awhile (sorry about that).

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Drop-in Dining: Andre’s in Bonney Lake

The ribs at Andre’s Bar & Grill are served with fries and slaw.

The makeover inside Andre’s Bar & Grill in Bonney Lake is impressive. You might not even guess it used to be a Mazatlan Mexican restaurant.
Gone are the baskets of chips and the wooden booths. The restaurant now carries a sophisticated vibe that’s comfortably upscale, but still family friendly. The pendant lighting dims moody, the cushy booths trend stylish and the patterned carpet provides an attractive upgrade from most restaurants. The lounge looks downright swank with leather couches and low cocktail tables.

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Northwest foods, Southern flavors at Olympia’s Cicada

Chef Billy Roberson prepares to place a prawn on the Cicada Surf-n-Turf entree at Cicada Restaurant in Olympia. The dish combines New York strip steak, asparagus-potato hash, prawns, and corn-tomato butter sauce. (Janet Jensen/The News Tribune)

By Craig Sailor
The News Tribune

The scene: Occupying a corner spot on Olympia’s main drag and kitty-corner from the new City Hall under construction, Cicada is an intimate dining destination. Big windows look out to the street while local art fills its interior walls. The restaurant is named after the big, vociferous bugs native to the southern United States.

People in the kitchen:
Billy Roberson is the chef and co-owner of the almost three-year-old restaurant – and a native of New Orleans (thus the name choice). Roberson spent five years with the Ramblin Jacks restaurant group in Olympia before striking out on his own. While Roberson concentrates on food and wine, general manager and co-owner Lisa Smith is the genius behind the restaurant’s inventive cocktail list. "She has a furious martini following," Roberson says.

The food: Roberson says the two most important aspects of his cuisine are making everything he can from scratch and using as much local food as he can. All proteins on the menu are from the Northwest except for the occasional tuna, he says. Roberson has cooked on every coast from Maine to Alaska and "seafood is what I care the most about," he says. He struggles to describe his cooking style but ends up calling it "a South by Northwest approach." He leans more Italian than French, but "the basis of my cuisine is definitely rooted in the South," where food was taken very seriously when he was growing up, he says.

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Farmer-author reads from his new book in Tacoma

California farmer and author David Mas Masumoto, best known for his 1995 meditation on agriculture, "Epitaph for a Peach," will be in Tacoma Monday to read from his newest work, "Wisdom of the Last Farmer."

He’ll be at King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., at 7 p.m. Monday. The event is cosponsored by the Tahoma Food Policy Coalition.

Third-generation farmer Masumoto describes his new book as a memoir that focuses on his relationship with his father, Joe Takashi Masumoto.

After the elder Masumoto suffered a stroke, says the author, "I had to teach him how to farm again. The only way for him to get his health back was to go back to farming."

It was during the years following his father’s first stroke that "I began to realize the wisdom he had passed down to me… the everyday lessons he would teach me."

The book deals with the role reversal involved when a son must become teacher to his father.

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Recipes and more: Grown-up Sno Cones at Toscanos

Pictured here: Ginger-lemon ice. Craig Sailor/The News Tribune

Remember those days of Sno Cones – the ice melting down your arm and the sticky, fruity syrup delivering a sweet treat on a sweltering August day?

Apply that concept to a grown-up palate with flavored spirits and you’ve got Adult Sno Cones, a shaved ice specialty concoction served every Tuesday and Thursday during August after 4 p.m. at Toscanos Café and Wine Bar in Puyallup.

We asked Chef Tom Pantley of Toscanos for recipes and he shared three. We modified one, a limoncello flavored shaved ice, by adding a homemade ginger-lemon simple syrup. Click read more for the recipes.

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Half a century of serving Pierce County

Carol Yanusevich, center and Julie Jones, right, raise their glasses to toast the 50th anniversary of Harbor Lights Restaurant, Thursday evening, August 13, 2009. Long-time patrons Ardene Mattich and husband Ed Mattich, from left were among those attending the festivities.( Janet Jensen/The News Tribune)

You may have seen C.R. Roberts’ story Saturday on Harbor Lights turning 50 years old.

Over at our Bizz Buzz blog, Roberts has a list of other local restaurants and watering holes that are 50 years old or older. Check out the list and

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