TNT Diner

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

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Category: Service


Dig into a classic – Pacific Grill in downtown Tacoma

Sue Kidd checks in on Pacific Grill, one of Tacoma’s finest eateries, run by Tacoma native Gordon Naccarato. As the holiday season unfolds and diners search for locations to celebrate, Pacific Grill should top their lists.


Customers from hell: What do you do?

Yesterday I was hanging out in the kitchen of William and Shannon Mueller at Babblin’ Babs Bistro. They’re helping me cook up some recipes for our 11/19 Thanksgiving food section (in the interest of job preservation, I feel compelled to tell you to buy extra copies of the paper that day).

As we were mulling over turkey breast stuffed with asparagus and salmon (and, no, I am not making that up.. fish inside a turkey….yes, indeed.. turfishen? What do we call it?), Shannon started telling me about some pretty spectacularly bad customers.

There was the

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A reader gives props for great service

Readers of this blog, at times, have blasted South Sound restaurants for truly terrible service. We’ve all been there, done that, and have been bitter about it (the lack of an apology for a used bandaid in my food at a Bonney Lake Chinese restaurant comes to mind…)

Today, I flip to the better side of service, the gracious kind.

A reader sent us a letter about a dining experience in Orting that ended with a great moment of honesty. Here:

This afternoon my wife and I were bicycling on the Foothills Trail from

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Recouping when a restaurant goes out of business

What happens when a restaurant abruptly goes out of business but still has pending business with some customers?

“Stadium Bistro,” one patron wrote in an e-mail to the News Tribune, “closed its doors Saturday night without notice and has failed to notify the several parties that have booked its banquet room — many of whom have left a deposit.”

The e-mailer said she was dining at another downtown Tacoma restaurant when she heard the news Saturday night. She said she “was in total shock since I have a wedding reception planned there on May 17, 2008.”


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Credit card skim-scam waitress arrested

A Lakewood waitress suspected of stealing customers credit information has been arrested.

Here’s what Sgt. Mike Zaro of the Lakewood Police told King 5 TV:

“Somewhere between taking the credit card, running it to pay for the meal and returning the credit card, she would slide the card through what is called a skimmer. It’s a little electronic device that can be palmed easily and hidden easily, and what that device would do would copy all the information that’s on the magnetic strip on the back of the credit cards. Something like this takes seconds

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You want service with that?

A Seattle restaurateur who claims to have 30-plus years experience in the business is offering her consulting services to train restaurants and their servers in doing their jobs — serving customers.

“The number one reason customers don’t return to a restaurant is poor service,” Dorothy Frisch wrote on her Polished Service letterhead. “Most customers will not complain directly to the management, making damage control difficult. Likely they will not come back and could tell thousands of Internet readers to not go as well.”

Well, dear Internet readers, do you know why, in Frisch’s estimation, bad service abounds? She

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Get the grit out, put the price in

An urge for oysters this weekend deposited me at the bars of Pacific and Sea grills in downtown Tacoma.

Both restaurants served oysters on the half shells, atop beds of ice, with cocktail and mignonette sauces.

Sea Grill oysters had grit and grip. The shucker made a mess of the mantle, leaving shards of broken shell. The shucker also forgot to slip the knife beneath the meat. Those Quilcenes and Chef Creeks clung.

At Pacific Grill, Kumamotos and all their bivalve brothers slid effortlessly — and gritlessly — from their shells.

And that

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At your service: Tales of customers gone wrong

The other day I blogged about a miserable service experience at a Tacoma restaurant. So bad, in fact, that the restaurant would have done better for its customers by outsourcing the servers’ jobs to India.

Now, a reader who claims to be a server — and, more importantly, claims to have some dish on customers’ bad behavior — has a request:

How about a post on the polar opposite? I would like to hear from professional wait staff that read this blog. Tell us your experiences of inept customers and the ridiculous things they ask. I’m sure you have a few…I know I do!

I’d like to hear them too. It’s Friday. This here forum is yours’ through the weekend.

But before you share your tales of customers gone wrong, I have one more anecdote from that Tacoma restaurant whose service staff needs better training and a lot more attention from the owners.

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