TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Sep. 2012


Gluten free: Store and bakery specialize in eats minus the wheat

This lemon cupcake from a new gluten free bakery in Puyallup is made with rice, potato and tapioca flours, theres no wheat.

Some people avoid eating anything made with gluten because to do so would make them quite ill. Others avoid it because, well, it seems to be the eating trend of the moment. Whether you’re gluten free by choice or circumstance, new South Sound businesses catering to gluten-free eating have opened in recent weeks.

G.F. Joe’s is a market specializing in packaged gluten-free products ranging from bread to crackers, pizza to brownies. The first G.F. Joe’s opened in Tumwater in 2008 and expanded to Tacoma on July 11. Joe and Kaylee Spancic opened G.F. Joe’s shortly after Joe was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007.

Julie Kropf left a career as a nurse to open Julie’s Gluten Free Bakery. While she’s never been gluten intolerant, Kropf opened the Puyallup bakery because she saw a demand. After less than a month of business, she’s already doubled her staff and inventory. Read more »


A fair tradition: Fried meat pies

The smell of fried food is pretty much everywhere at the Puyallup Fair, but some fried things just smell better – especially when that fried thing is a fleischkuechle.

Fleischkuechle has a funny name. It’s a flattened meat pie stuffed with a filling so tasty, you know it’s going to be Defcon Level Unhealthy. Try not to think about that as you order three. It’s a dish with farflung European origins – Russian and German. It’s pronounced flish-KOOSH-lay or flish-KEESH-lay, depending on your European address.

Served out of a truck located just outside the fairgrounds, the business

Read more »


Tacoma’s Tempest Lounge closes for business

Tempest Lounge operated for seven years in the Hilltop Neighborhood. It closed Tuesday. News Tribune file photo

After seven years, Denise Tempest has retired from bartending. The owner of the popular cocktail destination in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood served her last customers Tuesday. Tempest Lounge opened in November 2005. Read more »


New to South Tacoma Way: Edison City Diner

One more diner to add to the growing list of breakfast destinations in Tacoma – Edison City Diner opened Aug. 17 near the intersection of 56th and South Tacoma Way.

The name is a nod to the moniker that longtime South Tacomans still use for that particular neighborhood. The building where Edison City Diner operates has a rich history in housing restaurants – most recently as a Philly cheesesteak restaurant and a string of diners, cafes and confectioneries before that. Read more »


Boxcar Grill opens in new Sixth Avenue Tacoma location

Boxcar Grill – the little diner that could – reopened Friday in a new home on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma.

Daughter-mother team Liz and Velda Gilham opened their diner last July in an anchor position in the Freighthouse Square mall, a collection of restaurants and retail shops near the Tacoma Dome. From the beginning, facility problems and construction caused openings and closures that lasted for months. Frustrated, Liz and Velda went shopping for a new home and landed at the former space of Happy Dragon, a popular Chinese restaurant that closed earlier this year at Sixth and Orchard. The Gilhams closed Boxcar Grill July 16 to prepare for the move. Read more »


600 bottles of beer on the wall: Pint Defiance beer store opens today

The founders of a popular North End restaurant made the move to beer geeks today. Barry and Renee Watson opened Pint Defiance this morning just off 19th and Mildred near Tacoma Community College. Their new store is a combination bottle shop and taproom with a niche focus on craft beer from the Northwest and beyond.

The Watsons may be best known for their successful Rosewood Cafe, which they opened off 26th and Warner in 2003 and built to become a popular North End neighborhood destination for scratch soups, straightforward sandwiches and a laid-back vibe. Read more »


Sweet treats: Feasting on Puyallup Fair desserts

The scone, elephant ear and funnel cake are the trifecta of classic fair desserts, but the Puyallup Fair introduced three new sweet treats this year – fried apples with caramel sauce, a waffle cone filled with sweet potato fries and something called the “apple wallup.” We gave them a try.


Puyallup Fair chowdown: Deep-fried gluttony and other things that will kill you slowly

Deep fried, topped with melted cheese, stuffed with goo and drizzled with marshmallow fluff – vendors at the Puyallup Fair seem to compete every year to see who can pack the most fat and calories into a single piece of food. This year is no exception. Read about classics like the Earthquake burger and Krusty Pup, as well as a few new fried offerings.