TNT Diner

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

NOTICE: TNT Diner has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved TNT Diner.
Visit the new section.

Archives: March 2011


Bison Burgers: Tatanka Take-Out in Ruston makes burger indulgence a not-so-guilty thing

Hey, look, a burger with a lot of fresh veggies. And lean meat. Burgers can be good for you. Really!

If you want to eat a burger, but not feel like you swallowed a small grease factory, then you should point your car toward Ruston for a trip to Tatanka take-out. Bison is the specialty here. The restaurant makes five burgers and a dip with bison patties.

The restaurant bills bison as America’s original health food and I’d agree after looking at the nutritional information on Tatanka’s menu – the signature bison burger weighs in at 360 calories (unless you add cheese). The bison patty is lean and beefy, with just enough juiciness to make it tasty, palatable. I had a difficult time believing something so flavorful and unctuous has half the calories of beef, but it does. Read more »


Kicky burger: Hot chipotle and poblano burger at Crockett’s Public House in Puyallup

The Green Chile Cheeseburger has a hit of heat form chipotle mayo.

Give me a dose of heat and I’m a happy burger lover. Crockett’s Public House in Puyallup has a knock-out burger on the menu that’s a punchy intersection of Southwest flavor – chipotle mayo, pepperjack cheese and roasted poblanos. It’s not for the timid. I’m moderately tolerant of spice and this burger made me want a frosty mug of an adult beverage. Read more »


Burgers and pie, oh my: Don’s Drive-In in Puyallup.

Yum, pie. Sour cream lemon and chocolate pictured here.

Burgers and fries and homemade pie. What’s not to love? When cars were lining up at the new Sonic on South Hill, I pointed my car down South Hill and into the valley to Don’s Drive-In, which has operated since the 1960s across the street from the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

Don’s is home to the Smitty burger, an oblong burger on a French roll not to be confused with the onion variety served every year at the fair (Don’s, in fact, is closed during the Puyallup Fair). Read more »


Fried cheese on a burger? Salami AND Bacon? The Mount Rainier Burger at Tacoma’s Swiss Tavern should be on your gluttony to-do list

The Mount Rainier Burger is not for anyone on a diet. The towering burger comes with fried salami, bacon, cheddar cheese and fried mozzarella sticks. Mercy.

Welcome to another week of burger lust. Last December, you might remember I chowed my way through more than 20 restaurants to find the best 20 bar burgers you have to eat before you die. Well, here’s the follow-up burger report from your burger tips. This week, I take a bite out of four of the most nominated reader favorites, and write about a newcomer restaurant with really good burgers.

Today’s burger special comes from the Swiss Tavern – home to some of the greatest live music in town, a laid back atmosphere and designated seating for members of Congress. The Swiss has a handful of burgers on the menu, but the Mount Rainier Burger ($12.95) sounds like a food dare – two kinds of pork and two kinds of cheese on a towering burger. Read more »


First bite: JW Restaurant in Gig Harbor

Pictured here: Seared scallops in a roasted red pepper Romesco sauce with risotto and garlicky green beans at JW Restaurant in Gig Harbor. Photo by Dean J. Koepfler/Staff photographer

Good luck getting a table at JW this weekend. You can call, but the restaurant will be sold out. Such is life for the tiny 30-seat restaurant that opened March 4 on Harborview Drive.

What makes it the hottest seat in town? JW offers refined entrées for less than $20, has a restaurant owner with a name recognizable in foodie circles and touts an inviting comfort spin on upscale American dining. I smell a win.

Jason Winniford is the JW behind the restaurant. Locals who follow restaurant happenings will recognize Winniford as the former general manager of Gig Harbor’s Brix 25. Read more »


The readers weigh in. Today’s topic? Fries in Tacoma

Fries and gravy from Hotel Murano's Bite Restaurant in Tacoma. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

Today, I’ve been writing about burgers (watch for the stories next week). So I asked TNT Diner readers via Twitter about the perfect yin to burger yang: fries. Click “more” to see what TNT DIner readers recommend for fries about town and vote for your favorite, too. Read more »


Restaurant delays: An update on Porter’s and Tacos Guaymas in Tacoma

The smoked pork ribs at Porter's Place Southern Cuisine & BBQ are three-napkin good. I use this photo every time I write about Porter’s moving just so I can aggravate your rib craving. I’m mean like that.

Porter’s Barbecue and Tacos Guaymas are making progress, but both restaurants are behind their deadlines to reopen. Click “more” for an update on both popular Tacoma eateries. Read more »


Northwest Vintage Wine Bar opens second location in Puyallup, Vinum Wine Lounge in Tacoma receives liquor board approval

South Hill residents have been doing a double take of the sign posted at Sunrise Village, the so-called “lifestyle” shopping center that remains alarmingly vacant (darn economy, anyway).

Northwest Vintage, the wine bar in downtown Puyallup, has announced in signage that it is opening a second outpost in the upscale shopping center that is home to the Ram and Sushi Station. Note to fans of the downtown Northwest Vintage: They’re not moving. It’s a second location. I repeat, a second location (so stop calling me already. Just kidding. I love your phone calls. Really).

The downtown Puyallup Wine Bar has operated since January 2009 on Meridian. While the downtown location will continue to operate Thursdays-Saturdays, owner Nicola McDonald said via voice mail Read more »