TNT Diner

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

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Archives: June 2012


Hidden gem: Infinite Soups, one of the coolest niche restaurants in Tacoma

The message from a reader sent me into a mini panic. Melodramatic me, I must have gasped or something when I opened the email because fellow reporters asked what was wrong. I read the email out loud, “Do you have any information about what happened to Infinite Soups on Tacoma Avenue? They seem to be gone, but their homepage is still active. What a terrible loss. Thank you.”

It was their turn to gasp. Not only is Infinite Soups a popular niche cafe serving soup – and only soup – but the owners previously ran the cafe in the News Tribune building. They fed us every day for years. What had happened? A trip down to the soup shop that afternoon told me what happened – nothing. They’re still in that little spot tucked into a building with Malarkey’s Billiards. The problem? Infinite Soups is just hard to see unless you know where to look. Read more »


Hidden gem: Pacific Coffee House and Deli

A turkey-bacon sandwich on a French roll at Pacific Coffee House and Deli.

This is the second restaurant in my hidden gem series this week – I’m writing about cafes that are stuck behind buildings, tucked in between other businesses or hidden off the street. Pacific Coffee House and Deli near 12th and Pacific is the perfect example of a cafe with almost no street presence. I never would have known it was there at if it weren’t for a reader contacting me six months ago, shortly after it opened. Read more »


Dirty Oscar’s Annex will begin hosting event dinners

Last year, I reviewed the burgers at Dirty Oscar's Annex. This year, the bar has added special event dinners to their arsenal. File photo


First the good news: The 21-and-over bar Dirty Oscar’s Annex has added special event dinners to its culinary arsenal.

The bad news: The first dinner with Silver City Brewery sold out in six days. Read more »


Hidden gem: Pickled Pepper in Puyallup

The Pickled Pepper in Puyallup (say that three times fast) serves panini and deli sandwiches, as well as coffee.

As I traverse the county eating for my job, I sometimes stumble upon hidden gems – restaurants that seem to be tucked into nowhere land. I find them stuck in the recesses of an office building. Sometimes they’re restaurants with no visible sign, sandwiched between two other more prominent businesses. Sometimes they’re located off the street and virtually hidden, save for that lone sandwich board on the sidewalk advertising the menu. This week, I’ll tell you about three restaurants that are hidden out of sight, but are worth a visit and your dining dollars. Today, I’ll feature The Pickled Pepper, a tiny sandwich cafe tucked into a business complex on East Main Street in Puyallup. Read more »


On tap: Coming to Tacoma later this summer will be a craft beer bottle shop, Pint Defiance

Tacoma will have its first dedicated craft beer bottle store later this summer and the owners are two familiar Tacomans – Barry and Renee Watson, who owned the Rosewood, a popular Proctor cafe they sold in January.

The Watsons expect to open Pint Defiance in James Center near 19th and South Mildred later this summer – Barry is betting on early September, Renee thinks they can be ready by late August. The liquor control board has the final say. The Watsons applied for licensing last week. Read more »


Destination taproom: South Sound breweries serve suds directly to you

Taprooms don’t offer glossy dinner menus or slick promotions and, well, most of them come with just one bathroom. As a woman who visits taprooms, I can report with authority that the seat rarely is left down.

While this region has plenty of restaurant brewpubs – the Harmon, Engine House No. 9 and Powerhouse among them – taprooms are a rare find.

The kind of taprooms I’m talking about are bare-bones facilities with little more than a few stools in a working brewery. They come heavy on the gritty atmosphere, light on the extras, such as kitchens. Think of a taproom as a place to buy a pint or fill a growler directly from the brewery and maybe even meet the brewer. Read more »


First bite: Roadside BBQ in Parkland

A loose meat trio at Roadside BBQ in Parkland.

Roadside BBQ in Parkland is a barbecue restaurant of the old school order. They only take cash. Seating is on square hay bales. The hours are short and sweet – 11-8 Friday to Sunday. The restaurant has no website, no Facebook page and no phone – something almost unheard of in a modern restaurant world. What they do have is the one thing all good barbecue joints must have – a smoker and a supply of wood. Roadside opened in May. Read more »


Big eats: Six picks for breakfast with dad

Pulled pork hash from Dirty Oscar's Annex. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Later this week, I’ll tell you where to take dad for a beer, but today, here’s my list for where to take him for breakfast on Sunday for Father’s Day. My list includes bars, restaurants and cafes with either king-sized meals or breakfast menus that stray from the ordinary. Read more »