TNT Diner

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

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Tourist Tacoma: Asado and Indochine offer lovely dining options for out of town guests

Russel Brunton and Ly Ngov own Indochine, a beautiful restaurant with a fine wood interior in downtown Tacoma.  Peter Haley/Staff photographer
Russel Brunton and Ly Ngov own Indochine, a beautiful restaurant with a fine wood interior in downtown Tacoma. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Beginning mid-summer every year, the phone calls from readers turn predictable: Where do I take visiting guests to dine in and around Tacoma?

Oh, Tacoma. There are so many answers to that question. I’ll spend the next week covering a handful of favorite restaurant destinations for visitors.

It’s impossible to cover all that’s terrific about the South Sound dining landscape in a few articles, so I’ve narrowed my recommendations to some of the Tacoma area’s finer destinations by theme: restaurants with views, upscale Italian eateries that even your picky sister-in-law would love, and today’s first installment on restaurants with beautiful dining rooms – Indochine Asian Dining Lounge and Asado Cucina Argentina. 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 »


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 »


Tastings: Belgian beer at The Red Hot Tacoma, Cidery tastes at 208 Garfield, Beer tapping at Tacoma’s newest brewery

When it rains, it pours. Or, more accurately, several bars and restaurants are pouring different styles of adult beverages today and tomorrow. Amocat Cafe’s Morgan Alexander is getting his brand new brewery Tacoma Brewing Co. off the ground with a tapping at his St. Helens neighborhood cafe. In other beverage happenings, 208 Garfield in Parkland has a cidery tasting and The Red Hot – Tacoma’s favorite emporium for craft beer and hot dogs – will have a Belgian fest tonight with its Coast to Coast Belgium beer tasting. Read on. Read more »


A sampling of pumpkin beers

Pumpkin Beer Taster

As detailed in my story today, pumpkin beer has emerged as a seasonal tradition among craft and industrial brewer across the country. For this story, I spent hours hunting down and sampling various brands of pumpkin seasonals – yes, hard work, but someone’s got to do it. (My expense report this month will be interesting.)

Around South Sound, it’s not hard to find a dozen or more pumpkin beers, but you should know that they are not

Read more »


Oktoberfest: Suds and grub at an event near you

Oktoberfest celebrations are here and will continue the next few weekends.

First up is the Harmon’s Brewmaster’s dinner tonight, which will see the debut of the Stryker Stout from Harmon Brewing. Details for the event are here. Call 253-383-2739 for a last-minute reservations. The dinner only is $35.

Click “more” to see a bunch of other Oktoberfest events, including the first-ever Tacoma Oktoberfest and the big Oktoberfest next weekend in Puyallup. Read more »


National coffee day: Three Tacoma coffee houses/roasters to try

Leaf decorations in a latte don't cost extra at Metronome. I like the coffee geekery at the Sixth Avenue coffee house.

Today is national coffee day. You may be one of the masses enjoying your free cup of 7-11 joe, but here are three Tacoma roasters/coffee houses who deserve your patronage: Bluebeard Coffee, Metronome and Valhalla — all coffee houses in the neighborhood I like to call Jittery Lane. Click “more” to read about my three favorite coffee houses on Sixth Avenue. Read more »