TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Nov. 2010


So whatever happened to that beer store in Tacoma? Well, it’s shelved for now.

In May, I wrote about Brewtopia, the beer store project from Linda and David Dagley, owners of Tacoma’s Jonz Catering, which also runs the Workz Café at the Tacoma Art Museum.

In May, the Dagleys had applied for a license with the state liquor board to open the bottle shop in Tacoma. They were looking at two locations. Then they hit their first roadblock: the name. Turns out that the name Brewtopia was already trademarked. So they changed gears and renamed the concept Beertropolis.

But now the project is shelved, the Dagleys say. I got this email last week from Linda Dagley when I asked about their progress on Beertropolis, “We ran into some financing road blocks and decided to wait until next year to try again. We will start working on Beertropolis early next year and see if we can get it going.”

And so we wait.

In the meantime, if you are searching for craft beer and microbrews, I know of a few stores with great bottle selections. Click “more” to read about my favorite bottle shops in Tacoma and Federal Way (and one in Olympia). Read more »


Baby, when it’s cold outside, soon doo boo from Tacoma’s Cho Dang Tofu warms my soul

Soon doo boo is a silky tofu soup served at Cho Dang Tofu on South Tacoma Way.

I’m continuing my theme of soup stalking this week. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fragrant and perfectly executed pho at Vien Dong in Tacoma’s Lincoln neighborhood. Today, I’m taking a slurp of soon doo boo, a silky Korean tofu soup found on South Tacoma Way. Click “more” to read about the soup. Later this week, check back for a report on Pacific Grill’s noodle bar menu, which features three kinds of ramen with punchy flavors and stylish execution. Read more »


Pastiche wine bar opens on Sixth Avenue and will offer an affordable tapas menu, Northwest wines, and small pours

Pastiche Wine Bar opened Saturday on Sixth Avenue. The wine bar occupies one half of what formerly was Il Fiasco (Beyond the Bridge Café occupies the other half of the former Il Fiasco space).

This is a second wine venture for owner Linda Gair, who also has owned Gig Harbor’s Keeping Room wine and gift shop for 20 years with husband Bruce. Gair opened Pastiche with business partner Art Britton. Click “more” to read details of the new wine bar that offers a tapas menu and soon will host live music and dancing. Read more »


Wild turkey: Crown Bar hosts a pre-Thanksgiving party this Wednesday with a cocktail aptly named ‘The Waddle’

Pimm's infused with rosemary and limeaid is offered on the Crown Bar cocktail menu.

I just got this email alert from Crown Bar:

“Join us at the Crown this Wednesday (Nov. 24, 2010) night to unwind before the family gathers on the day of thanks. Dino will be mixing ‘The Waddle’ made with Wild Turkey, Wild Turkey Honey liquor, fresh cranberry juice and fresh apple cider. We’ll be serving all of your favorite street food and for blue plate special, it’s burger-rama.”

Click “more” to read about the stellar Wednesday night burger discounts (aka burger-rama), my love for the Crown’s mushroom-Swiss burger and to read about a Pimm’s rosemary cocktail and a fresh blackberry Sidecar I recently enjoyed at Crown. Read more »


Thanksgiving dine out: Keep your kitchen clean and find a South Sound restaurant serving turkey and all the fixings

During recipe testing for SoundLife’s Thanksgiving food sections (read the stories here), I was elbow deep in a cornbread stuffing recipe while stirring roasted pumpkin soup when I had an epiphany about why people don’t want to cook on Thanksgiving: It’s a lot of work.

Dine out? Not a bad idea.

Click “more” to see restaurants open for Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 25 2010. Don’t see your favorite restaurant listed? Just comment and I’ll track down details. Read more »


For your Thanksgiving table: Pumpkin crab cakes from Toscanos Cafe in Puyallup

Pumpkin Crab Cakes are the creation of Chef Tom Pantley of Toscanos Café and Wine Bar in Puyallup. The recipe calls for roasted pumpkin, fresh crab and orange zest. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The last 10 days have been a blur of Thanksgiving writing for SoundLife reporters and editors. As the News Tribune’s food editor, I had the joy (no, really, it was) of testing a dozen recipes we’ll publish in SoundLife food sections tomorrow and next Wednesday. Many recipes came from local chefs, some recipes came from readers like you.

When we were testing recipes last week at my house, one really floored us – if not for flavor, then for the creamy texture. Pumpkin Crab Cakes, from Chef Tom Pantley of Toscanos Cafe and Wine Bar in Puyallup, would make a delicious addition to any Thanksgiving or holiday meal. The flavor punch comes from orange zest and orange juice. The cakes took less than 30 minutes to make from beginning to end. They reheated fairly well, but I’d suggest making them fresh on the day of your event to get the most mileage in flavor and texture.

Click “more” to see the recipe which also will be published in tomorrow’s SoundLife food section. This week and next, we’ll also publish recipes from Diana Prine of Fife City Bar and Grill, William Mueller of Babblin’ Babs Bistro, Thad Lyman of Gig Harbor’s Brix 25 and Matt Stickle of Hotel Murano’s Bite Restaurant. Read more »


Gig Harbor’s new Green.House restaurant offers value, sustainability and organic eating. Consider me a fan.

Robert Green, owner/chef of Green.House Restaurant preps some veggies at his enormous display kitchen in the middle of the dining room at the Gig Harbor restaurant. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

Some restaurants open with fanfare and glitzy marketing campaigns. Others open with a whisper.

A quiet opening was what chef/owner Robert Green had planned for his Green.House restaurant that opened Sept. 12 in Uptown Gig Harbor.

Then came the crush of diners. It’s slowed some, but diners still shouldn’t expect to get into the restaurant Friday or Saturday nights without a reservation.

If the people who run Green.House look familiar, they should. It’s virtually the same team who ran Sip, the short-lived wine bar that operated in the same space from March 2009 to May this year. Read more »


Baby, when it’s cold outside, I get myself to Tacoma’s Vien Dong for pho

Beef noodle pho at Vien Dong in the Lincoln neighborhood.

Like clockwork, my internal food meter ticks into soup mode around Halloween. Last year at this time, I dipped my spoon into soups at Marlene’s, Metropolitan Market and Tacoma’s favorite niche soup restaurant – Infinite Soups.

This chilly Fall, I’m visiting soups from around Asia– ramen and pho and tom yum (I’m resisting writing “oh my” after that).

When the weather really started to take a dive last week, I headed to my favorite place for pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup pronounced “fuh” (but so many people say “foe,” I don’t think it matters anymore). Vien Dong is at the corner of 38th and Yakima, the center of the Lincoln District, a neighborhood full of tiny Vietnamese restaurants (read my Lincoln banh mi sandwich report here).

Vien Dong does high volume soup. A five minute wait would be long at this small soup shop. On a cold fall day, driving by, the windows of Vien Dong usually are steamed over –and that’s when I know soup season officially has arrived. Read more »