TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Oct. 2009


Seven-Oh-One to close today

In a few short hours, the Seven-Oh-One restaurant in downtown Tacoma will close its doors for good.

A review of Seven-Oh-One was scheduled to run today here and in the GO entertainment section. We canceled the review after we were told that it would close this week.

I spoke with owner Patti Iseman about the closure by phone yesterday. Iseman didn’t want to discuss the reasons for closing her restaurant. She only would confirm she was closing today. She said they would close up after dinner service….

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Deep-fried pickles in Tacoma, where?

Carole Whitmire just called to ask for help in finding a southern delicacy. The Puyallup resident is a fan of deep-fried pickles. She loves them so much, she recently told a friend visiting Memphis to sample the fried dill pickles at BB King’s Blues club. Her friend returned home with an affinity for the fried dills and now Whitmire wants to repay a favor by taking that friend to get fried pickles in Tacoma. Whitmire searched, but could find none on menus here. I can’t say that I’ve found any at Tacoma area restaurants, either. The closest I know

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Burgerville coming to town, but not in the way we’d hoped

When former News Tribune business columnist Dan Voelpel wrote in February that the Vancouver-based burger chain Burgerville had its eyes on Tacoma for a location, burgervores rejoiced. The small chain has outposts in Washington, but none north of Centralia. The chain known for locally sourcing ingredients has a cult following (this food writer included).

Well, it’s October and still no word on when/where Burgerville might have its first Tacoma location. So I emailed a company spokeswoman Megan Alpers to ask. Here’s what she had to say….

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An authentic Italian escape


By Craig Sailor
The News Tribune

“Authentic” is a word thrown around the foreign restaurant scene with abandon. It lures diners in with the promise of being transported to a faraway land where they rub elbows with locals fresh from a National Geographic photo shoot.

But too much authentic and diners flee for the Americanized safety of Olive Garden and Panda Express.

Authentic, however, is what Olympia’s Basilico Ristorante Italiano is – with just a couple of additions.
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TNT Diner on vacation until Friday

We’re taking a few days off to do a cheese grazing tour around South Sound. We’ll be back this Friday with a Drop-in Dining report, and back next week with more about good eating around town. See you then!


Drop-in Dining: Banh mi sandwiches


Call them leftovers of French Imperialism. Vietnamese Banh mi sandwiches are tasty little imports of culinary mishmash. They’re one part French, three parts Vietnamese – and you can find them from Tacoma to Tampa. The French brought crusty baguettes, mayo and pté to the banh mi party. The Vietnamese contributed marinated meats and vegetables, cilantro, spicy peppers and fish sauce.

The sandwiches are tuned to the four flavor principles of Southeast Asian cuisine – hot, sour, salty, sweet. The flavor of banh mi – pronounced “bon me” – broadcasts big on salty-sour, lighter on sweet-spicy.

In Tacoma, there’s a nexus of banh mi in the Lincoln District. Turn a circle at the intersection of 38th and Yakima and within a one-block radius you’ll find at least five shops or restaurants that serve it. The sandwiches usually cost $2.50-$3.50, making them about as recession friendly as any portable lunch around town.

Here is a look at four Lincoln banh mi sandwiches, and an upscale version served at Tacoma’s Pacific Grill. Read more »