TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Oct. 2012


Mochi, udon, sushi and other finds at Tacoma Buddhist Temple gathering

Mochi is a Japanese confection made by filling dough with sweetened beans. File photo.

Toyoko Nakagawara has a skill that makes her essential for mochi-making day at the Tacoma Buddhist Temple – she’s got hands that can handle piping hot dough. Rolling out the steamed dough is an essential step when making daifuku mochi, a Japanese confection of sweetened red beans stuffed into a chewy rice dough.

“I was in the dry cleaning business, so I was used to the heat,” laughed Nakagawara about tugging the hot dough out of the steamer before forming it into round skins. The finished bun is a gelatinous orb – the taste is sweet and creamy.

The mochi is one of several desserts that will be sold at the Tacoma Buddhist Temple’s Bazaar, held 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Other food will be served at the bazaar and there also will be an art sale. Read more »


DIY whiskey? It’ll be possible after Gig Harbor’s Heritage Distilling opens

The first make-your-own spirits distillery is opening in the country and it’s right here in Gig Harbor. Heritage Distilling Company has been in progress for more than a year, the project of Justin and Jennifer Stiefel. The grand opening for the distillery will be this weekend.

What makes Heritage Distillery such an intriguing business is that spirits enthusiasts can prepare small-batch spirits legally at the distillery thanks to its federal licensing, according to the operators. Unlike wine and beer, which are legal to make at home in small batches for private consumption only, distilling spirits at home is illegal, not to mention dangerous and potentially explosive. Read more »


Tacos al fresco? Ricos Tacos returns and two new buses are in Puyallup

Ricos Tacos has returned to its Center Street location.

An accident led to the temporary closure of Ricos Tacos, a new and promising taco bus that opened earlier this year on the edge of Fircrest at 5015 S. Center St.,Tacoma. Yesterday, the bus returned to its home in the 76 Station parking lot – the sunny weather is long gone and so is the prime time taco truck season, but that didn’t stop customers from dropping by for tacos. Speaking of unseasonable taco truck weather, I spotted a few new buses in downtown Puyallup earlier this month. It’s not exactly al fresco dining season, but I’m always a fan of tacos, even during sideways rain. Read on. Read more »


Coming later this year: Greek restaurants in Westgate and Puyallup

The new home for My Greek, which is moving from its Meridian home to Sunrise Village, also in South Hill.

My Greek, a restaurant that operated for five years in Puyallup’s South Hill, has found a new home – in two locations. One is in Sunrise Village, not far from the original Puyallup location, the other is in Tacoma’s Westgate neighborhood.

Owner Nader Morcos said he is estimating a December opening for the Westgate restaurant and a January opening for the Puyallup My Greek, which will be taking over the space formerly occupied by the conveyor belt sushi restaurant, Sushi Station. In Westgate, the restaurant will operate at the old Shari’s, 2303 N. Pearl St. Read more »


Toscanos: A slice of Italian country cooking – wedged into a Puyallup business park

Toscanos Cafe & Wine Bar is a slice of country Italian – squished into an unexpected location inside a Puyallup valley business park. Chef-owner Tom Pantley creates dishes with rustic sophistication and a 16-page wine book.


Closures: Zara and Massimo appear to be out of business

Two restaurants that opened during the summer restaurant renaissance of 2011 have apparently closed. The phone at Zara today is ringing as disconnected and I haven’t been able to confirm a closure with an owner, but several restaurant owners and readers have reported that Zara Mediterranean has appeared closed since Tuesday. Another restaurant that appears closed is Massimo in University Place. I’ve left a message with owner Cindy Terracciano and will report back details as I collect them. Read more »


Opening in downtown Tacoma – Savor Creperie

Coming to downtown Tacoma in January – Savor, a creperie that will operate at 1916 Pacific Ave. Think of this creperie as the kind found all over Vancouver B.C. – small cafes where diners order at the counter and take a table as their crepe is made to order on a griddle.

Owner Tom Vigue is new to Tacoma, but not to restaurants. Before moving here this year, he operated Chef Appeal in Richmond, Va., and worked in corporate chef positions with hotels and senior communities before and after he owned the restaurant and catering company. Read more »


New fall menu: Pacific Grill

Pacific Grill, the downtown Tacoma restaurant that just celebrated its seventh anniversary in August, broadens its flavors this fall with a pork tenderloin stew with chickpeas, fennel, coriander and something I adore: Greek yogurt with the Middle Eastern spice za’atar ($19.95). What else is on the new fall menu? Read more »