TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Jan. 2013


Tacoma’s Dock Street Sandwich Company closes Friday

Friday will be the Dock Street Sandwich Company’s last day of regular business. On the menu tomorrow will be chipotle chili, a favorite for Dock Street regulars. Owner Jayna Marshall wrote via a message that the closure is permanent, there are no plans to reopen elsewhere. After tomorrow’s chili feast, the restaurant will remain open for a few days with a limited menu and hours. The nine-year-old restaurant served a menu of soup and sandwiches and well-crafted house-made desserts. Those desserts ranged from cheesecakes to pie and fudge. My favorite was the peanut butter pie. 

Read more »


House of Donuts reopens in Lakewood

Lakewood’s House of Donuts has reopened. The bakery with the iconic neon “Donuts” sign on Gravelly Lake Drive Southwest closed Dec. 31 and reopened Sunday after three weeks of renovation by new owner Tom Peterson, who bought the business, recipes and land from longtime owner Marilyn Cheatham.

The Cheatham family had operated and owned the business for more than 50 years, but leased it in recent years to Dan McCarthy. The family also operated three other doughnut and coffee shops in Tacoma. Read more »


Finally opening in Puyallup – El Toro Mexican Restaurant on Canyon

For years, a sign just off Canyon Road in Puyallup advertised the future home of El Toro, a chain of Mexican restaurants operating in the South Sound since 1979. Years passed, there was no activity, no construction at the site. Just that weathered sign. Ruben Arias Jr. whose father Ruben Arias Sr. founded the chain, said he received so many emails and calls, he could not  respond to a fraction of them. The emailers and callers kept asking the same thing – are you ever going to open?

The answer is yes. El Toro is opening. The 160-seat restaurant should be fully running in the next few days. Read more »


New burger restaurants on the way – DeLong’s Deluxe in Lakewood and Shake Shake Shake in Stadium

Pick-Quick reopens from its winter hiatus Feb. 1. Also in February, two burger restaurants are planning to open.
Pick-Quick reopens from its winter hiatus Feb. 1. Also in February, two burger restaurants are planning to open. File photo from February 2011

February is shaping up to be the month of the burger for South Sound diners. Two retro-style burger restaurants plan February openings – DeLong’s Deluxe in Lakewood and Shake Shake Shake in the Stadium neighborhood. Additionally, here’s good news for Pick-Quick fans: The Fife burger restaurant reopens Friday from its annual two-month winter hiatus. Also at the end of this blog post, I have an update about Jubilee – a Lincoln neighborhood burger restaurant that closed in November and has been rumored as reopening. I’ve also got an update for diners on the Gourmet Burger Shop – the restaurant’s move to downtown Gig Harbor has been delayed to March. Read on. Read more »


Filipino food trucks: Big Boys now open in Pacific, Lumpia World stops serving at UWT


The grating chill blew in sideways through the window on the Big Boys Filipino food truck, but the couple working inside didn’t seem bothered much. My teeth chattered and I winced at taking my hands out of my pockets to fetch my credit card. Such is life for a hired belly researching mobile food businesses in January. In January? Yeah. January. Although most of us think of May-October as the more sane food truck season, plenty of trucks and carts operate year round in South Sound. Yesterday, I wrote about Jay Dogs, a hot dog cart that set up shop Nov. 1 on Center Street. Today, I’m taking a bite out of the Big Boys, which opened just a few months ago in Pacific. Read more »


My Greek opens in Westgate neighborhood, Ammar’s Mediterranean Grill plans grand opening

My Greek is now open in the Westgate neighborhood where Shari’s once operated. The Greek eatery does double duty with an Italian menu of pasta and pizza.  My Greek is open for lunch and dinner and also has a full bar. A look at the menu shows an eatery quite similar in pricing and style to My Greek’s original location in Puyallup, which closed in July. Nader Morcos opened that restaurant in Puyallup in 2007 as the first U.S. location of the Canadian Mr. Greek chain. He left the franchise in 2008 and changed the name to My Greek.

On the menu at the Westgate My Greek are the usual suspects like Read more »


Mobile dining in the rainy season? You bet. Two new trucks are open for business

Fix your dog any way you want it with free condiments at Jay Dogs, a new cart on Center Street in Tacoma.
Fix your dog any way you want it with free condiments at Jay Dogs, a new cart on Center Street in Tacoma.

With the freezing fog and return of the rain (any minute?), I wondered if new mobile restaurant owners Nate Daep and Jay Gallinatti had  second thoughts about starting their outdoor-based food businesses at a time of year when few diners are saying, “Hey, let’s eat outside!”

“We were really concerned about that,” laughed Nate Daep, who opened Big Boys Filipino food truck with fiance Melanie Querubin in a neighborhood in Pacific that straddles the Pierce County side of the Pierce-King County line. Ultimately, economics decided the couple would open their al fresco truck. They couldn’t afford to be idle waiting for warmer weather.

For Jay Gallinatti, a first-time restaurant owner, a primary concern for starting an outdoor business during the rainy season was figuring out shelter. That’s why he’s weatherproofed – as much as one can during our sideways-blowing rain season – his Center Street hot dog cart he opened in Tacoma Nov. 1.

On a recent and sort-of-dry day, I visited both new mobile restaurants. Today, I’ll tell you about Jay Dogs. Tomorrow, check back for a report on Big Boys Filipino Food Truck. Read more »