TNT Diner

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

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Archives: 2011

Dec.
2nd

First bite: Ezell’s Famous Chicken opens on Tacoma’s Hilltop

The two-piece breast and wing dinner combo is $6.05 at Ezell's Famous Chicken, which opened its latest store Saturday in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood.

Cook fried chicken in oil that isn’t hot enough, and the chicken becomes a greasy, hot mess. Cook it hot enough and the chicken crisps up without absorbing all that nastiness that coats your hands, your face and anything it touches. Ezell’s Famous Chicken gets it just right. The chicken is crispy, light and tender-juicy without that overbearing greasiness that makes me loathe fried chicken that’s mistreated by fry cooks (you know it when you taste it). Ezell’s Famous Chicken opened last week in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. This is at least the fifth time an Ezell’s store has opened in Tacoma. Read more »

Nov.
30th

Drink local: An event at The Swiss features 21 Cellars Winery and Wingman Brewers

Remember how I told you in October that Tacoma’s Wingman Brewers were working on a new strong ale? Well, here’s your chance to drink it. Wingman Brewers co-founder and head brewer Ken Thoburn told me the beer would be extremely Tacoma centric – brewed at the Tacoma Wingman brewery and aged in oak barrels that come from Tacoma’s 21 Cellars winery. Click “read more” for details on the new Wingman beer, and the tasting event Thursday Dec. 1 at The Swiss.
Read more »

Nov.
30th

Hey amateur Tacoma chefs, FOX culinary show MasterChef is holding tryouts Saturday Dec. 3.

The FOX culinary show MasterChef is casting this Saturday in Tukwila. The show is a competition of amateur chefs judged by Chef Gordon Ramsay, Chef Graham Elliot and restaurateur Joe Bastianich. Click “read more” for details. Read more »

Nov.
29th

Portable eats: Lumpia, piroshky and empanadas around Tacoma

Angel's Original lumpia from Northwest Lumpia. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer.

Dough and meat – it’s a universally understood pairing. Just about every culture has some kind of dough stuffed with some kind of meat, then baked or fried. In China, it’s bao. In India, you’ll find samosas. In Mexico, try tamales. In England, they have pasties.

Meat-filled dough is genius and has been a portable meal for centuries. And restaurants long have capitalized on our penchant for quick, inexpensive eats with the one-two, carb-protein fill ’er up punch.

I’ve noticed a micro-trend lately of tiny businesses serving dough stuffed with meats from far-flung places in the world. Two new restaurants interested me because they serve food not readily found in the South Sound region: Filipino lumpia and Russian piroshky. A third business is one I’ve encountered before and has appeared in this newspaper: an Argentinean empanada business that sells its turnovers three days a week out of a Tacoma bakery. Read more »

Nov.
29th

Tacoma’s newest Ezell’s Famous Chicken is open on the Hilltop

The two-piece breast and wing dinner combo is $6.05 at Ezell's Famous Chicken, which opened its latest store Saturday in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood.

Ezell’s Famous Chicken opened its newest store Saturday in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. This is at least the fifth time an Ezell’s store has opened in Tacoma. Read more »

Nov.
18th

Northeast Tacoma’s Cliff House looks at January opening under new ownership

The Dumpster out front was the first sign that the Cliff House is about to get a makeover for its reopening this winter after being closed for most of 2011.
It’s about time that the dated decor disappeared. Diners are ready for a change. OK, well, I’m ready for a change. I reviewed the restaurant in October 2010, and I noted the building was showing serious wear.

Giuseppe “Joe” Nappo, best known for his Federal Way restaurant Verrazano’s, is in the process of restoring the building and continuing its legacy of prom-night dining, waterfront views and upscale regional cuisine. He plans a January 2012 reopening. Read more »

Nov.
17th

Happy birthday: Tacoma’s Cloverleaf has been serving pies for 50 years

If you’ve bitten into the crust of a Cloverleaf pizza, you notice the difference. It doesn’t come with the usual chewy tug of regular pizza dough. It’s a thin, pastry-style crust that is at once tender, pliable and sturdy. It doesn’t shatter like a cracker, but it’s got crunch. There’s no tossing aside these crusts.

The Cloverleaf itself also is a Tacoma institution. The restaurant and tavern is celebrating 50 years of pizza this week. Tomorrow, they’ll have guest bartenders and a band will play Saturday. Read more »

Nov.
15th

Turkey from someone else’s kitchen: Where to dine out for Thanksgiving dinner around the South Sound

Every year during recipe testing for SoundLife’s back-to-back Thanksgiving food sections, I remember exactly why it is some people like to dine out on Thanksgiving.

Ouch. My back. My feet. My kitchen. What a huge mess. Is that gravy on my ceiling?

Dine out? Not a bad idea.

Click “read more” to see the list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving meals Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. Don’t see your favorite restaurant listed? Email me or comment below and I’ll check in on what they’re serving, if anything. Read more »