TNT Diner

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

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Archives: June 2010


Store grazing: I scream for green tea ice cream

Lychee ice cream is available at Paldo World in Federal Way.

Today, I found a freezer case with a delicious surprise – ice cream in the flavors of green tea, red bean, plum and lychee. You’ve probably ordered the ice cream at your favorite Japanese or Thai restaurant, but pints can prove difficult to find at a typical neighborhood grocery store.

I found the ice cream today while store grazing at Paldo World, a Korean grocery store just off of 320th and Pacific Highway in Federal Way. And now that it’s sunny (sort of), it’s really ice cream season, right?

For some palates, ice cream made with matcha, or green tea powder, is an acquired taste. Read more »


Oddity story of the day: Smoked salmon vodka

First, there was bacon infused vodka from a Seattle company. And now an Alaska company has one-upped bacon with smoked salmon vodka. And, yes, you read that correctly.  Here’s the Associated Press report about the fish infused vodka.

From the story, “At the Bear Tooth Grill in Anchorage, chefs used the local vodka for a cream sauce served over salmon and pasta. Besides chipotle Bloody Marys, bartender Ken Ryther has served it straight and one of his fisherman customers had back-to-back martinis with the salmon vodka.”

What would you do with a bottle of it?


National spotlight: Red Hot has done it again

The Red Hot appeared on Chef Vs. City two weeks ago, and now the Tacoma tavern known for its hot dogs and craft beer is getting more national attention.

Late last week, Yahoo Travel published a story about the nation’s renaissance with hot dogs. Red Hot was listed along with some of the country’s top places for dogs. Here’s the link.

Here’s a review of Red Hot and their dogs. Have you had a Tacoma Boys BLT or a Rainier Reuben yet? If not, you need to fix that.

The Red Hot
Where: 2914 Sixth

Read more »


Zagat survey: what were they thinking?

I just got a link to the new Zagat Restaurant Survey, which rates the region’s top restaurants. For the Tacoma area, there are 15 restaurants listed (discounting duplicate entries for chains).

I saw the usual suspects. Primo Grill is listed. So is Pacific Grill. Maxwell’s and El Gaucho are on it. Galanga Thai and Indochine are there, as well. Good for them. They deserve to be there.

But take a deeper look at the survey and it just has weird choices for a dining guide, and some serious omissions. And the survey included chain restaurants? Really? Read more »


Taste of Tacoma: A tour of $3 eats

The $3 kebab at the Korean Taco booth.

Whatever your strategy for eating your way around the Taste of Tacoma, there’s one thing you should do: Look before you buy.

I headed down for lunch today and I spent some time surfing the food vendors, spying what diners took away from each booth before I settled on sampling tastes from five restaurants. We eat with our eyes and the Taste of Tacoma, now in its 25th year, is a visual feast with hundreds of people parading plates of tastes from all pockets of the globe.

You can tell a lot from watching people walk by with plates of food, or from listening to their suggestions. For instance, you should consider skipping over the restaurant that serves $2 egg rolls (Bambuza) when a nearby restaurant offers eight for $5 (Delicious Asia). Thanks for the tip, passers by.

Aside from eyeballing the goods, I decided to test the $3 tastes that organizers advertised each booth would offer, keeping value as my dine-around strategy. My goal was to spend $15, and I found a lot to like for the money. Read more »


My ode to bar burgers: Tell us your favorites for the TNT Bar Burger Noshdown

I’ve wrangled with two hands the towering, smoky El Gaucho burger, noshed the heck out of the chorizo-sirloin burger dip at Asado.
I’ve tuned out yelling sports fans as burger juice from a delectable kobe beef burger rolled down my wrist at the West End Pub. I’ve bit into the gooey, cheesy, bacony center of an inside out burger at Cheers South Hill Bar.

And recently, after being tipped off by a TNT Diner reader, I set my burger loving eyes on the bacon cheeseburger at the Parkway Tavern. And, oh, how I am smitten with that burger.

Click “more” to read more about the Parkway’s burgers. Have a favorite bar burger you want me to review? Weigh in on your nominee for the TNT Diner Bar Burger Noshdown in September. Read more »


Hawaiian punch: Sunny eats, grilled meats make for delicious island noshing

Loco Moco, hamburger with eggs over easy on top, with a side of rice and mac salad at Pac Island Grill in Federal Way. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The scent of slow-cooked pork mingled with the heady aroma of grilled meat signals you’ve arrived at a Hawaiian restaurant. The heart of Hawaiian fare is in the meat. Huli huli chicken, barbecued beef and short ribs among the grilled selections; kalua and lau lau pork are slow-cooked offerings.

Huli huli chicken nearly always is made from dark thigh meat, pounded thin and tenderized with marinades or flavored with rubs, then grilled and slathered with a soy-based sauce sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with ginger and garlic. Barbecued beef is usually sinewy pieces of chuck roll, or a similar cut, marinated in soy and tenderized, then sliced thin and grilled until crispy around the edges. Ribbons of fattiness tug at the corners. Short ribs are cooked the same way, and have that same chewiness as the barbecued beef.

Those fatty meats might bother some American palates. “Hawaiian people don’t eat healthy,” joked Leianna Landon, who owns Pac Island Grill in Federal Way with her sister Raeleen Smith. Read more »