TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Jan. 2011


Korean, Japanese and Chinese? All sharing real estate on a single menu? Flying Fish Sushi Bar & Grill in Westgate delivers just that

Flying Fish sushi chef Peter Oh displays clockwise from left: monkey brains, halves of deep fried avocado stuffed with cream cheese, imitation crab and spicy tuna; two types of amigo roll, one containing imitation crab, avocado and green bell pepper and the other featuring salmon, tuna and mango sauce; in the center is orange blossom roll. Photo by DREW PERINE/Staff photographer

Everyone has a go-to teriyaki restaurant.

And that’s because they’re everywhere.

Strip malls here can’t even seem to get a building permit unless they include a requisite teriyaki place, a nail salon and a check cashing business. OK, OK. I exaggerate.

My point: Teriyaki here is ubiquitous, an everyday quick, cheap and filling fast food. We don’t give it much thought beyond that.

So when I was driving down Pearl to Ruston and saw the plastic banner announcing “teriyaki” at Flying Fish in Westgate, I didn’t really give it a second glance until I noticed the storefront sign announcing “Sushi Bar & Grill.” Read more »


Burger buzz: Pick-Quick Two expected to open mid-February in Auburn

I was following some Twitter traffic and saw Pick-Quick Drive-In, my favorite fast-food burger drive-in (besides Don’s Drive-In in Puyallup), tweet that the new Auburn location, written about here by business reporter C.R. Roberts, is expected to open mid February. The original Fife location is closed for its winter hiatus, but they expect to open Feb. 1. I’ll be there.

Reasons to eat at Pick-Quick: Crunchy, grilled bun, sweet relish, fresh burger patty, crisp veggies and I love their hand-cut fresh fries. And their outdoor picnic benches always are spotless clean. I’ve never seen deposits from feathered

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Possible scam calls: Health Department warns of someone calling restaurants fishing for personal information.

Local restaurant owners began reporting to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department this week that someone has been calling and asking for personal information from restaurant operators. The health department warns … Read more »


Sandwiches and salads built to inspire

Big taste at Little Roni’s: Forward-thinking food and people-watching highlight lunch experience.

Susan Parker (left) and Daisy Curley enjoy a mid-week lunch at Little Roni’s Sandwich Shop in downtown Olympia. (STEVE BLOOM/staff photographer)

By Craig Sailor
Staff writer

Little Roni’s makes sandwiches. Not Reubens, BLTs or Philly cheese steaks, but versions of familiar food assembled in ways you might never have thought of.

Focusing on craft, freshness and flavor – and most of all creativity – the sandwiches here are unlike anything you can find elsewhere in South Sound. From the fresh, artisan bread to the homemade ingredients, thought and care goes into the creation and execution of every item on the menu.

Little Roni’s occupies a corner spot at Franklin Street and Fourth Avenue in downtown Olympia. The space is long and narrow, like a New York deli. But architect Ruben Nunez has taken what could have been a hole in the wall and made it in to a stylish, modern space that feels spacious. Unique plywood stools converse with particle board paneling that covers walls and table tops.
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So your restaurant is failing? Restaurant Impossible may be your solution. Casting is now open for the Food Network show

I got a curious email from Justin Leonard, a Food Network producer. He said that the television show Restaurant Impossible is “now casting in the Tacoma area.” I was really interested until I learned that by casting, he means restaurants can go to a website and apply to be considered for the television show that turns failing restaurants into (hopefully) thriving ones with two days and $10,000. According to Leonard, if a Tacoma area restaurant is selected, there may be some future site visit. For now, it’s just an online application.

Know of a faltering restaurant? Send them this link:

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Cliff House closed? Looks that way. But a sign on the door says they’ll reopen

The Cliff House restaurant has closed again. A sign on the door says the closure is temporary and that the restaurant will “look forward to serving you in the near future of February 2011.” The website for the restaurant is not working, and the voice mail at the restaurant makes no mention of the closure. I’m trying to reach someone at the restaurant.

The restaurant had reopened in June 2010 after abruptly closing in December 2009. I reviewed the restaurant in October here. The restaurant is one of the region’s oldest. It opened in 1925.


Brew news: Wingman Brewers in Tacoma poised to produce beer on Fawcett

Ken Thoburn has a sudsy dream and soon it will be taking root in an old building at 1727 Fawcett.

Next door to the Tacoma Buddhist Temple, Thoburn and three friends – Derrick Moyer, Daniel Heath, and Jason Sabol – are starting Wingman Brewers – a production brewery they hope to turn into something like the Tacoma version of Gig Harbor’s 7Seas Brewing.

“It’s very small batch …. we’re starting really small,” said Thoburn when I talked to him by phone about the concept late last summer. The group applied for licensing last summer. Read more »


New year, new businesses: A cheese shop in the St. Helens neighborhood, a sports bar downtown and a coffee shop on Sixth full of geekery

It seems a new year has brought a flurry of new restaurants and food businesses. Yay for that. On the horizon, it looks like a cheese and meat shop will open in the St. Helens neighborhood, a new sports bar is planned for downtown and a new coffee shop, heavy on the coffee geekery, has opened on Sixth Avenue. Click “more” to read all about it. Read more »