TNT Diner

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

Archives: 2012


Food gifting: Madyson’s Marshmallows

Photo courtesy of Madyson's Marshmallows.

As owner Breeze Wetzel puts it, Madyson’s Marshmallows began out of a child’s curiosity and is now a fledgling business for the Sumner family. Here are excerpts from an interview with owner Breeze Wetzel, who runs the handmade marshmallow business with Brian Wetzel. Read more »


Food gifting: Coffee roasters and a tea purveyor

Left to right are Ethiopian Harrar, green beans and roasted beans and ground beans in a coffee scoop at the Valhalla Coffee Co. News Tribune file photo

Do you have a coffee snob on your shopping list who is one of those people who has an entire cupboard in the kitchen devoted to beans and coffee accoutrements? Yeah, a gift basket with Sanka is not going to work for Mr. I Only Drink French Press That’s Been Temped at 197 Degrees. Instead, you need to get yourself to a local coffee roaster for something that’s a little more specific to a finicky palate. Have a tea drinker on your list? No problem, there’s a tea den in downtown Tacoma that’s got you covered. Read on. Read more »


Food gifting: Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles

Tacoman Lynnae Schneller uses a recipe from her grandma to make her pickles, available at H&LProduce and Tacoma Boys stores. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Pickles are like chocolate – a broad spectrum of textures and flavors and everyone has their favorite. Some people like salty dills, some prefer the sweeter bread-and-butters, some like the super sour ones like the kind you can find at Indian restaurants (I always have to suck down a giant mango lassie if I’m going to tackle those – they’re incredibly salty).

I think I’ve found a pickle that might satisfy a lot of different pickle people – a jar of Mrs. Pickles from Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles. Lynnae’s pickles are a touch sour, sweet, salty and spicy. It might be the best all-purpose pickle I’ve ever had.

Made by native Tacoman Lynnae Schneller, the recipes come from her grandma, “Toots.” Read more »


Food gifting: Chocolate truffles and confectioneries around Tacoma

Truffles from the French Hen come with pretty designs painted onto the chocolates.

Editor’s note: This gifting series features edibles from South Sound food businesses. Check back daily through Dec. 23 for something new.

I rely on a category of foolproof holiday gifts when I don’t know what to buy someone – I give the gift of gluttony. Because nothing is as universal during the holidays as the need to stuff our faces. (January is for ditching those extra five pounds.)

Caramel sauce, freshly roasted coffee beans, truffles made in a cafe and tied up with a ribbon in a pretty box, a meat log, a cheese basket – all universal food gifts. They’re handmade and easily purchased right here in our community, mostly economical and you might even earn bonus points from the recipient for shopping local – a worthy endeavor any time of year.

The next few weeks, I’ll write about a different food gift every day. Check back daily for something new.

Today’s featured gift – truffles made at two local cafes and one of Tacoma’s oldest candy companies. I’ll also tell you where to score discounted candy from Brown & Haley. Read more »


Harbor move: Gourmet Burger Shop finds new home in downtown Gig Harbor

The bacon cheddar burger with garlic fries from The Gourmet Burger Shop in Gig Harbor. File photo. Dean J. Koepfler/Staff photographer

In the summer, The Gourmet Burger Shop is abuzz. A scenic drive along State Route 302 funnels diners to a quirky building with outdoor seating serving some of the best burgers on that side of the Narrows bridge. Chef-owner Travis Hightower turns out towering burgers made with hand-formed patties – built on glossy buns from the nearby 3 Clouds Bakery. Read more »


Opening Friday: South Sound’s fourth craft distillery

Kevin Laughlin Stewart is pictured here with his craft gin and vodka made at Port Steilacoom Distillery which he founded with his wife Jennifer. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Pierce County’s newest craft spirits distillery opens Friday. Port Steilacoom Distillery is a micro distillery started by spirits enthusiasts who will keep their day jobs working in health care. They’ll operate their tasting room in downtown Steilacoom on Wednesdays through Sundays.

The distillery joins three others producing gin, vodka and whiskey in Pierce County. All three opened this year, the outgrowth of a statewide trend that got its start five years ago when liquor laws changed to allow for craft distillers in Washington state.

Port Steilacoom will produce small batches of vodka and gin, with plans for a specialty spirit the distillers describe as being in the same flavor palate as rum, only made with honey, not cane sugar. Read more »