TNT Diner

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

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Archives: Feb. 2014

Feb.
28th

Opening this weekend: Tacoma’s Smoke + Cedar plans reservation only opening

Gordon Naccarato, Chef-Owner of Pacific Grill is pictured here at his downtown Tacoma restaurant. File photo 2012. Dean J. Koepfler/Staff Photographer
Gordon Naccarato, Chef-Owner of Pacific Grill is pictured here at his downtown Tacoma restaurant. File photo 2012. Dean J. Koepfler/Staff Photographer

Tacoma restaurant Smoke + Cedar will open this weekend at Allenmore Golf Course, but there’s a catch. The restaurant only will be open for dinner and only by reservation. Read more »

Feb.
27th

A week of suds: Tacoma Beer Week begins Monday

Wingman Brewers operates a taproom in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood. The brewery is one of 7 in Tacoma participating in Tacoma Beer Week, March 3-8 at local taprooms and breweries. Thomas Soerenes/Staff photographer
Wingman Brewers operates a taproom in the Tacoma Dome neighborhood. The brewery is one of 7 in Tacoma participating in Tacoma Beer Week, March 3-8 at local taprooms and breweries. Thomas Soerenes/Staff photographer

In true Tacoma fashion, brewing a special-release beer for Tacoma Beer Week percolated over a pint (or three).

Two brewers invited another to help. Another brewer pitched in. And then another and another. The idea was to gather as many Tacoma brewers as possible to collaborate on a beer that would do something every Tacoma brewer wants: Get more people to drink Tacoma-brewed beer.

In all, brewers from seven Tacoma breweries — including one that isn’t yet open — collaborated on Tacoma Neo Noir, a Belgian-style black IPA brewed for Tacoma Beer Week, which begins Monday and includes events and special beer releases at Tacoma breweries and taverns known for their craft tap selections (find a partial schedule below, but more events are at ­facebook.com/­tacomabeerweek). Read more »

Feb.
26th

Dining event: Sukiyaki dinner at Tacoma Buddhist Temple

The miso soup pictured here was served last week to temple members at a Tacoma Buddhist Temple preview of the sukiyaki dinner, which will be held March 2.
The miso soup pictured here was served last week to temple members at a Tacoma Buddhist Temple preview of the sukiyaki dinner, which will be held March 2.

Traditional Japanese miso soup is so simple, a written recipe seems extraneous.

Miso, dashi, tofu and water. Heat. Add scallions, if desired.

That’s it.

Or is it?

For the Rev. Kojo Kakihara, Tacoma Buddhist Temple’s minister, the basic miso formula is a launching point for what can be a much more complicated, vegetable-rich soup.

His brightened-up style of miso soup will be made by temple members and served Sunday at the Tacoma temple’s annual sukiyaki dinner fundraiser. Read more »

Feb.
25th

Five-buck lunch: Sushi Revolution in Tacoma

Splurge a little and get this roll for $3.50 at Sushi Revolution.
Splurge a little and get this spicy crunchy roll for $3.50 at Sushi Revolution.

Conveyor belt sushi at Tacoma’s Sushi Revolution yielded a dream scenario for a five-buck lunch.  Dozens of colorful plates filled with maki, nigiri and Japanese nibbles – priced $1-$3.50 – roamed around the belt and all a diner had to do was reach out a greedy little hand and pluck off a plate.  Consider kaiten sushi the fast-food option of the sushi world.  It’s not exactly refined, it lacks the complex flavors of, say, Gari of Sushi or the pristine plating of Sushi Tama or Fujiya, but conveyor belt sushi fills a universal need of daytime workers – lunch in 15 minutes for five bucks.

Read more »

Feb.
21st

Burger Smackdown: Three new South Sound burger restaurants

The Ranch Hand cheeseburger at Blazing Onion in Tacoma. Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer
The Ranch Hand cheeseburger at Blazing Onion in Tacoma. Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

Since 2008, I’ve taken you on tours of burger stands, bar burgers, highfalutin burgers, fair burgers and the finest handcrafted veggie burgers in the South Sound.

With three gourmet burger joints that have just opened in the South Sound — one in October, two in January — I thought it time for another burger pilgrimage.

Today’s burger trail encompasses the land of “chain restaurants,” a term that usually strikes fear deep in the gut of a dining critic.

Don’t worry. These aren’t those mindlessly homogenous could-be-in-Toledo-or-Tacoma chains. These chains are small and Washington-born and bred: Blazing Onion, Lunchbox Laboratory, and Bob’s Burgers & Brew.

Whose burgers proved best? That designation goes to Blazing Onion for superior burger construction, skilled service and pricing that won’t bust your wallet.

I rated each restaurant for variety, construction and flavor. I ate similar burgers at each: a “classic” cheeseburger, a blue cheese burger, a burger with a smokey flavor profile, and a wild-card burger from the “other than beef” category. Each restaurant was visited twice. Read more »

Feb.
20th

Closing March 15 – Lobster Shop at Dash Point, in Northeast Tacoma

After 36 years in business, the Lobster Shop at Dash Point will close March 15.

“It’s really a financial decision,” said Katie Driscoll, who operates the Northeast Tacoma seafood restaurant with husband Denny Driscoll.

In recent years, finances have been tough, she said. Additionally, “we let the concept slide and get outdated,” said Driscoll. “We didn’t give it the attention it deserved.”

It’s time, she said, for someone else to take up residence in the space adjacent to a shoreline park that’s smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood. “It’s a great little spot and we’re hoping someone else

Read more »

Feb.
19th

Store grazing: Puyallup South Hill store sells root beer – and only root beer

Root Beer

Corey Anderson categorizes root beer three ways.

“Strong and bitey.”

Those are the root beers made with heavy wintergreen notes or other sharp flavor.

“Smooth and creamy.”

Those are made with heavy notes of vanilla.

The third category’s a little more troubling to define, but Anderson said he knows one when he tastes it.

“You take a sip and you look at the bottle. You have to look at the bottle a second time. I’ve got a few of those that don’t fit the strong or the smooth and creamy – so I call them amazing.”

Consider Anderson an expert-level curator of root beer. His love of root beer grew from making it with his dad when he was a kid.

His third store featuring America’s most nostalgic non-alcoholic beverage, The Root Beer Store, opened in November on Puyallup’s South Hill. Read more »