TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Aug. 2011


On the move: Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery loses its lease, but find its pizza and baked goods at the farmers markets

The baker statue outside Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery on North 21st Street is on hiatus, but look for the return of the bakery. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Consider Tacoma’s Upper Crust Bistro & Bakery on the move, not closed. The popular North End restaurant that served eclectic European eats and all kinds of baked goods lost its lease at the end of July, but owner Loren Robinson said he’s getting closer in narrowing a new location. His ideal neighborhoods would be Sixth or Proctor, but he said he’ll relocate to another Tacoma neighborhood if he finds the right space. Fans of Robinson’s baked goods and pastries can still find those at Read more »


First bite: Beefy burgers at Lefty’s Burger Shack in University Place earns my approval

The Viking Burger with a one-pound patty at Lefty's Burger Shack, which just opened a few weeks ago in University Place. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

Look out Pick Quick, you have some competition.

That Fife drive-in burger stand long has been my go-to fast food burger of choice. Burgers with a from-scratch edict that extends to delicious hand-cut fries is the lure. But I always have had one quibble: The burger patty is too small.

Now enters the quarter-pound, juicy, meaty burgers at Lefty’s Burger Shack, opened July 23 by first-time restaurant owner Pam Hubert in a partially vacant University Place shopping center in need of crowds. And the crowds did come. Like the lines at Pick Quick, the 20-minute wait is worth it. Read more »


First bite report: Twisted Kilt Irish Pub & Eatery in downtown Puyallup

Corned beef and cabbage at Twisted Kilt in downtown Puyallup.

When Twisted Kilt Irish Pub and Eatery opened in Puyallup in late June, owner Bryan Purdy said the pub would be to Puyallup what Doyle’s Public House is to Tacoma: a headquarters for soccer fans. Judging by the flat-panel screens tuned to soccer here and abroad, I’d say they’ve kicked that goal (sorry about that lousy pun, couldn’t resist). Read more »


Coming soon: Zara Mediterranean opens next week in downtown Tacoma

The sign is up, the health and liquor inspections have passed and Zara Mediterranean Cuisine is ready to open in downtown Tacoma next Friday, Aug. 19, on Pacific Avenue in the space that Sea Grill vacated in March 2009.

The Mediterranean restaurant will serve what sounds to be straightforward interpretations of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. What I found most interesting is that the restaurants will serve shawarma. What’s that? A rotating tower of meat slowly cooked on a vertical grill. Shawarma is the Arabic name for the vertically roasted meat dish. Read more »


Open on Sixth: Tacoma’s new Marrow restaurant opens with a menu of unusual proteins and elevated vegetarian cuisine

Marrow Kitchen Bar opened Tuesday in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue restaurant district with a menu of unusual proteins and a companion vegetarian menu elevated to a fine dining level I’ve never seen in a Tacoma restaurant.

I spoke with owner Jaime Kay Jones this morning and she said the first few opening days have trended smooth and already diners have picked a few clear winners on the menu – the oxtail cake, vegetarian risotto and duck, for starters, but more on that in a moment. Read more »