TNT Diner

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

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Archives: May 2011


Sweets on Sixth: Burning Cupcakes opens on Sixth Avenue, Buck Naked Donuts is on its way and Corina Bakery continues to produce stellar sweet treats

The peanut butter cupcake at Burning Cupcakes in Tacoma.

When Taressa Neal was selling candles for a living, she baked cupcakes for clients as gifts. She called them “burning” cupcakes.

The cupcakes lasted, the candles didn’t. The name stuck.

Last Saturday, Neal opened Burning Cupcakes in a small, low-slung building near Sixth Avenue and Stevens in the space that formerly housed Kitchen2Kitchen, a meals ready/catering outfit. Neal opened Burning Cupcakes with business partner JoAnn McCullon, who handles the operation side of the business while Neal is chief baker.

Burning Cupcakes aims to be a full-service dessert bakery with Read more »


More cupcake shops: Yummers 2 the 3rd Power opens on Garfield near PLU, and a new cupcake bakery opens on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma

Yummers 2 the 3rd power revisits a kid era treat with its Not Your Momma's PB&J cupcake.

Yummers 2 the 3rd Power may seem a renegade name for a cupcake bakery, but the usual short-and-sweet saccharine names like “Fluff” or “Dot” wouldn’t work for a bakery that sells cupcakes made from Monster Energy Drink topped with pop rocks.

Yummers is the kind of bakery you get when you mix one part VooDoo Doughnut (a Portland institution and home to the bacon maple bar) with one part the current dessert du jour; cupcakes (so when does the pie shop trend start here??? We’re waiting…).

When Yummers owner/baker Amber Serrano told me by phone this week that she was working up a Slim Jim cupcake prototype, I didn’t know what to think. Read more »


Wings, wings, more wings: A second wings chain to open in Tacoma, Buffalo Wild Wings

Traditional wings? Check
Boneless wings? Check
Ribs? Check
Burgers? Check

The menus of Winger’s and Buffalo Wild Wings may read suspiciously similar, but the restaurants are two different chains. And soon they’ll be located less than a mile from one other. Buffalo Wild Wings, a Minneapolis-based chicken wings and ribs restaurant, applied for a liquor permit last month for the location at 4219 S. Steele St., by Tacoma Mall. A company spokeswoman told me via email that the restaurant would open this fall. Winger’s, a franchise of the Salt Lake-based company, opened in October 2008 at 5221 Tacoma Mall Blvd. My question: Does Tacoma need two wings restaurants so close in proximity? Read more »


Meet Vivian Irish: The new chef at Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge in Tacoma’s St. Helens neighborhood

Vivian Irish is a Tacoma native and 2007 graduate of Tacoma School of the Arts. In April, she was named the new executive chef of Maxwell's Restaurant + Lounge. She replaces Matt Colony, who went to work at a pair of restaurants in Poulsbo. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

A few weeks ago, I reported here that executive chef Matt Colony had left Maxwell’s Restaurant & Lounge to run two restaurants in Poulsbo. Taking over the helm of Maxwell’s will be Vivian Irish, a young chef and Tacoma native who got her culinary start at Pacific Grill under the direction of Aaron Valimont, former executive chef, and Pacific Grill owner Gordon Naccarato. Irish also is a graduate of the Tacoma School of the Arts.

Curious about Irish? So was I. Click “more” to read a Q&A with the new executive chef of the popular St. Helens neighborhood upscale eatery. Read more »