TNT Diner

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

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Archives: July 2010


Big eating: Could you stomach a 5-pound burger?

Chef Leslie Kemp keeps things steady as broiler cook T Norwood adds the last ingredient to the giant hamburger called The Behemoth at The Ram in Lakewood. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

When Banger Smith created the 5-pound Behemoth Burger challenge for the Ram Restaurant & Brewery, it wasn’t just about flavor or ingredients – it was about enormity.

“When people see that burger, they say, ‘You gotta try this, you gotta see this,’ ” said Smith, a brand developer with the local Ram restaurant chain. “This has nothing to do with trying to be – how do I put this – this is not our healthy approach to dining. I’m sure someone will look at this and say, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this.’”

Health concerns aside – from what surely must be serious gastric distress after consuming 5 pounds of burger and fries – a food dare is, after all, a dare. It’s a badge of honor for some diners to eat something as big as their head to win a T-shirt proclaiming gluttonous glory.

Eating giant plates of food – and getting recognition for it – is nothing new, but restaurant food challenges have become even more popular since the Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food” show catapulted restaurants with monster food challenges to popularity. Read more »


Do you dare eat food as big as your head?

Don’t Be A Chicken! This massive plate of food is served at the Buttered Biscuit in Sumner. Do you dare to eat food as big as your head?

Maybe it’s because of the television show Man v. Food. Maybe it’s just a kitschy restaurant trend. But big food is getting bigger and bigger. Something I’ve noticed recently is that challenges have sprung up around big eating in Tacoma. The challenges vary at each restaurant, but go something like this: Eat a certain dish of food in a certain amount of time, and it’s free. Eat the whole thing and get a T-shirt. Or at the very least, you’ll get your picture on a wall for finishing a gut busting plate of food.

I did a search around town and found burger challenges with burgers that weigh in at five pounds and upward. I’ll have a feature about those five burger challenges in tomorrow’s GO entertainment section. But for now, here’s a look at big food I’ve found on South Sound menus. Only one of the three listed here is an actual food challenge, but the others should qualify as food challenges – they’re enormous plates of breakfast food.

Click “more” to read to sink your teeth into big eats. Read more »


Drop-in dining: Dinner is where the hearth is

Chef Tony Radanovic shows off his Yukon gold potato-crusted halibut and raspberry sorbet on the patio at Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill. (Tony Overman/Staff photographer)

By Craig Sailor
Staff Writer

Dining at Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill blurs the line between water and terra firma. And only a brief stop in the kitchen separates the fish on your plate from their still-swimming brethren a few feet below your perch.

Hearthfire, the three-year-old restaurant at the very northwest tip of the Port of Olympia peninsula, occupies the spot that once belonged to Genoa’s. Windows so big that they seem to defy physics frame Budd Inlet and the Olympics. Translucent sailboats ply the waters as curious seals watch diners on the outdoor deck. Friendly humans wave from their standup paddle boards.

Anthony’s is the well-known regional seafood chain with properties from Bellingham to Bend, Ore. An Anthony’s HomePort is just west of Olympia Farmers Market and another is at Tacoma’s Point Defiance. An associated seafood company works directly with local fishermen and shellfish growers.
Read more »


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

The bacon cheeseburger at Katie Downs.

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.

This week, after being tipped off by a TNT Diner reader, I set my burger loving eyes on the bacon cheeseburger at Katie Downs on the Ruston waterfront. I was glad I did.

Click “more” to read about my burger experience there, and read about how you can nominate your favorite bar burger for the TNT Diner Bar Burger Noshdown in September. Read more »


New bar and grill: The Office on Pacific looks at early to mid-August opening

Travis Scheff, owner of The Office on Pacific, said today that the downtown restaurant is 2-3 weeks away from opening. They had planned an Aug. 1 opening. Scheff, who is opening the restaurant with business partner Matthew Henderson at 813 Pacific Ave., said the restaurant has hired a chef, and the menu is entering the final stages of tweaking. The liquor license already has been approved. As I reported in June, the concept is a neighborhood bar and grill, which Scheff described as Read more »


For your culinary calendar: The Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival Aug. 7

Brix 25, Morso Wine Bar, Anthony’s and several wineries are among the food and wine businesses that will offer tastes and sips at the Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival. The festival will be held Aug. 7 on the grounds of the Harbor History Museum.

Organizers of the first-time event have signed up Chef Fabio Viviana, from season 5 of the television show Top Chef, to compete against a local chef in a finale cook-off. That local chef has not yet been selected. Click “more” to read details and to see a list of restaurants and wineries that will participate. Read more »


Zoobilee menu: Here are a few things cooking

The 20th annual black-tie gala Zoobilee is this Friday, July 16, at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Local restaurants, bars and wineries will dish up a long list of food and drinks. Here are just a few nibbles and drinks to be found at the event: Joel Mertens, executive chef of Masa and Asado, told me that from Asado, guests will nibble on mesquite grilled chorizo with quinoa and chimichurri. Masa will serve margaritas made with Aha Toro tequila, Mertens said. What’s cooking from Pacific Grill? Chef-Owner Gordon Naccarato said the restaurant will serve

Read more »


Indulge Cupcakes won’t reopen in Sumner

Indulge Cupcakes owner Jen Quaschnik has decided not to reopen her Sumner cupcake shop, which was badly damaged in a fire June 11, as reported on the News Tribune’s Lights and Sirens blog here.

Wrote Quaschnik in an e-mail to me, “Unfortunately after careful consideration, we as a family decided not to reopen at this time.”

Quaschnik had operated Indulge at 1913 Main St., Sumner, since October 2009. Indulge previously operated at 207 N. Meridian for two years.