TNT Diner

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

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Archives: 2011


New Year’s Eve: Tacoma bars and restaurants hosting parties

I’ve been tracking New Year’s Eve parties at local restaurants and bars, and you’re in luck if you waited until the last minute to plan your evening of saying goodbye to 2011. Plenty of restaurants are serving special dinners, some with live entertainment. A few lounges even have free shows.  If you have a restaurant you want added to the list, just email me at I’ll update the list through tomorrow. Read more »


TNT Diner will now use Facebook commenting

We’re making a change here at the TNT Diner: You now can use your Facebook account to post comments.

The News Tribune debuted Facebook commenting on Biz Buzz earlier this year and other News Tribune blogs have followed. Many major news organizations already have switched to Facebook commenting. Here’s an interesting article by Jeff Sonderman of the Poynter Institute about the switch media outlets have made to Facebook commenting.

We believe switching from the anonymity of WordPress commenting to a system where user names will be transparent and linked to personal Facebook accounts will result in a higher

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First look: Choripan by Asado, the new cafe in Tacoma’s Museum of Glass

X Group Restaurant Executive Chef Joel Mertens offered a few thoughts by email on the new Choripan by Asado, the cafe that will open around Jan. 11 inside Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. You can find details of the new cafe here. Mertens described a mix-and-match menu showcasing the flavors of street food in Argentina. Read more »


Kid coaxing: How to bribe the kids with a little sweet treat around Tacoma

Part ice cream shop, part sciece experiment, Subzero Ice Cream & Yogurt in Federal Way is a great bribe of an outing during the final stretch of winter break.

A warning to any parents who forbid sweets and treats: This story is not for you. Stop reading now. I mean it.

For the rest of us: Any parent who has spent winter break for two whole weeks cooped up with a gaggle of kids knows that it sometimes takes bribery to get the wee ones to cooperate. Sometimes a sweet incentive dangled before a cute little face might actually get junior to Stop. Hitting. His. Sister.

Need your little one to finish that worksheet or tackle that reading assignment? Promise a sweet escape to a locally owned (or operated) candy, ice cream or cookie store that offers interesting and unusual treats. I call it “Project Parent Bribe.” You might be inclined to call it Operation Keep My Sanity.

Here are five bribes, err places, to visit with the kids this week during the final week of winter break. Read on. Read more »


Hey, last minute shoppers, hit up a Tacoma bakery for a gift

One good reason to visit El Zocalo Bakery and Torta Shop: Marranitos. The pig-shaped cookies are a molasses cookie.

Deck the halls, trim the trees, blah blah blah. Oh, and hopefully you’ll find an extra five hours to bake that cake today.


We’re all right there with you. Blasting the oven for a baking marathon isn’t exactly at the top of a list that includes 627 holiday dance recitals, 4,897 gifts to wrap and 11,878 parties to attend in the next 48 hours, right? Oh, and don’t forget that your mother-in-law is on her way to visit for the holidays!

Lucky us, we have our pick of international bakeries to backfill our busy lives. The bakeries featured in this story are unusual finds and quite possibly places you’ve never even considered for party cakes, pastries or cookies, even last-minute gift baskets. Diners here can tour the globe in international baked goods without ever leaving the South Sound. From Mexico to Russia to Germany and Korea, far-flung cultures are well represented in pastry form. Read on. Read more »


Tacoma’s Adriatic Grill: Wood-fired eats and superb service – yes, in a mall location

Restaurateurs Bill and Monique Trudnowski, owners of the Adriatic Grill, with a plate of Bolognese. Photo by Dean J. Koepfler/Staff photographer

Adriatic Grill resides within one of the toughest neighborhoods for upscale dining. I’ve tried convincing friends that a restaurant near the mall – yes, that mall – serves superb Kobe flat-iron steak, turns out pizza from a wood-fired oven, masters garlicky Bolognese with al dente chewy pull, and doses grilled peaches with sweetened balsamic for dessert.

Or, as I frequently repeat in a convincing tone, “Adriatic Grill really is worth the drive to the mall.” Really. Not that you would want to do that this particular Christmas weekend, but when the assault of holiday shoppers retreats, add Adriatic Grill to your roster of must-try restaurants in an unexpected demographic.

And about that demographic. Read more »


Asado branches out: Tacoma’s Museum of Glass gets new cafe called Choripan by Asado

The Museum of Glass will have a new cafe next month, and the operators are familiar to local restaurant watchers. By mid-January, X Group restaurants will open Choripan by Asado, a café featuring “an approachable take on Argentine street food.” The cafe will be an extension of the concept at the restaurant group’s Sixth Avenue Argentine restaurant, Asado (sister restaurant Masa is across the street, and the group also owns Engine House No. 9).

X Group Executive Chef Joel Mertens told me by email he currently is designing the menu. Read more »


More sushi spin: Red Tuna plans a January opening in Tacoma

Poke is a bargain at Tacoma Mall Boulevard's Sushi Revolution at $2.50 a plate. Red Tuna will be the second conveyor belt sushi restaurant in the Tacoma Mall neighborhood when it opens in January.

James Kwak is planning a January opening for Red Tuna, a 200-seat kaiten sushi and robatayaki restaurant at the Tacoma Mall, 4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma.

The 6,000 square foot restaurant is under construction now in a space near the Forever 21 store.

Kwak previously owned a sushi restaurant in Kent called Kaiten Sushi, named after the style of sushi where sushi chefs prepare small plates of rolls and nibbles, which are then placed on conveyor belts for self-service dining. Read more »