TNT Diner

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

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Category: First Bite

Jan.
28th

Now open: Fresh Rolls, a Vietnamese deli in University Place

Salmon rolls from Fresh Rolls in University Place.
Vietnamese spring rolls with salmon from Fresh Rolls in University Place.

Bargain-focused Vietnamese deli Fresh Rolls opened Saturday near Bridgeport and 40th in University Place, a city short on dining choices.

The deli’s abbreviated menu lists a half dozen different styles of fresh spring rolls, which are chilled noodles, vegetables, lettuce and meats (if you want them) wrapped up in rice paper. The rolls are $4-$5 for two-packs with peanut dipping sauce. The menu listed  salmon, beef, grilled pork, shrimp, tofu vegetable and grilled chicken.  There’s also a short list of pho and salads. Read more »

Dec.
26th

First bite: Bourbon Street Bar and Grill in downtown Puyallup

It’s been some time since this region had a Cajun restaurant – which makes the opening of Bourbon Street Bar and Grill even more sweet. The New Orleans themed restaurant is a tiny destination that’s more bar than restaurant in downtown Puyallup. It opened Dec. 16.

A first-bite visit in the inaugural week showed a restaurant that was trying hard to do the right thing. The food was decent, the service was friendly despite being painfully slow – I suspect this restaurant will be a hit with local diners, but only time and your dining dollars will tell.

What I liked most about the restaurant was the New Orleans inspired menu that read like the greatest hits of Bayou dining – jambalaya, gumbo, blackened seafood, po’ boy sandwiches. They were all there. Read more »

Nov.
15th

Fried find: Fish and chips at Oliver’s in Graham

Spaghetti, penne, pesto, chicken parm, bruschetta, pizza – and fish and chips.

One of those things does not belong? Indeed.

That last item is what restaurant owner Pat Nicholl calls an offering for “the tag along.” That’s the all-purpose menu item aimed at anyone who doesn’t care for the primary cuisine, but has come along anyway to eat with friends or family.

But since Nicholl’s Italian eatery, Amici’s, opened in Graham in 2005, fish and chips, strangely enough, has become one of the most often ordered menu items. The dish became so popular, it gave Nicholl an idea to open

Read more »

Oct.
31st

Mobile eats: A bagelry on wheels at the University of Washington Tacoma

The Budha Bagel truck on the University of Washington Tacoma campus.
The Budha Bagel truck on the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

Two things I’ve always thought the region could always use more of – bagels and food trucks. Find them together in the Budha Bear Bagel Truck, now serving Mondays-Thursdays on the campus of University of Washington Tacoma. Read more »

Oct.
22nd

Now open: Memo’s Mexican in Lakewood

A carnitas taco at Memo's Mexican restaurant in Lakewood.
A carnitas taco at Memo’s Mexican restaurant in Lakewood.

Now open in Lakewood – Memo’s, a fast food Mexican restaurant that advertises 24-hour dining.

Memo’s is new to the South Sound and part of a chain with locations in Seattle, Everett and Yakima. A second South Sound Memo’s is expected to open at 1703 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. Read more »

Oct.
11th

First bites: Checking in on new restaurants in Midland, Proctor and Gig Harbor

Bar Bistro owner Eric Poulin pours a milk stout nitro beer for a customer at Bar Bistro.  Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer
Bar Bistro owner Eric Poulin pours a milk stout nitro beer for a customer at Bar Bistro. Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

A handful of restaurants have opened in the past six weeks and more are on the way. Today, I take a bite out of three. One is a polished bistro in an unexpected neighborhood – Midland. Another is a restaurant serving a style of cuisine we don’t see much in the South Sound – Puerto Rican (but the menu goes much deeper than that). Finally, I took a trip across the bridge to check in on the first suburban outpost for an established Tacoma brewpub. Take a read. Read more »

Oct.
3rd

Good find: Bar Bistro in Midland is out of the way, but worth a detour

Bar Bistro opened Sept. 9 in an out-of-the-way location in the Midland neighborhood. Did you even know about that neighborhood?
Bar Bistro opened Sept. 9 in an out-of-the-way location in the Midland neighborhood. Did you even know about that neighborhood?

Put this restaurant and bistro in the category of “Wait, where is that?” and “Wow, your food is worth that drive.” Bar Bistro opened Sept. 9 with a menu of farflung themes in a location that’s a fair distance from Tacoma’s typical restaurant hubs. Read more »

Aug.
26th

Tales from the smoker: Roadside BBQ opens permanent location in Spanaway

Spareribs at Roadside BBQ are slow cooked over apple, cherry and pear wood.
Spareribs at Roadside BBQ are slow cooked over apple, cherry and pear wood.

The return of the waving pink pig with the “Wood Smoked B-B-Q” sign on Pacific Avenue is my first indicator that Roadside BBQ is back in business.

The tiny barbecue restaurant first opened a year ago in a temporary location, serving weekends only at 130th and Pacific Avenue, near PLU.  Owner Susan Ruiz, who runs Roadside with daughter Sarah Sheedy and manager Dirk James, closed that space and went mobile to the parking lot of Cash &Carry at 112th this spring, selling barbecue from a trailer converted to a mini restaurant on wheels. Read more »