TNT Diner

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

Tag: Crown Bar Tacoma

Oct.
22nd

Dining calendar: Crown Bar hosts gin distiller, gluten-free wellness expo, beer and ice cream pairing event

For your dining calendar:

Dine-out event for Tacoma Community House
Oct. 24: FLAVOR, a dine-out fundraiser for Tacoma Community House. Dine at participating restaurants on Oct. 24 and 25 percent of your food bill will be donated to support TCH’s programs. Participating restaurants include Adriatic Grill, Alfred’s, Dirty Oscar’s Annex, Doyle’s Public House, El Guadalajara, El Toro, Gateway to India, Indochine Asian Dining Lounge, Il Lucano Ristorante, Infinite Soups, Joeseppi’s, Josefina’s, La Creme Brulee, La Fondita Proctor, Le-Le, Social Bar and Grill, The Funky Iguana, The Spar. For more information, visit tacomacommunityhouse.org

Beer + ice cream = what?

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Oct.
3rd

Local buzz: Tacoma honey on the menu at Crown Bar


Last week, Crown Bar bartender Chelsea O'Sullivan began serving the West Slope Honey Bee, a cocktail made with honey from bees raised by Crown Bar and Primo Grill owners Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner. Photo courtesy of Crown Bar.

Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner, owners of Primo Grill and Crown Bar on Sixth Avenue (opened in 1999 and 2007, respectively), have carefully sourced Tacoma-grown ingredients for years. On select weekend nights, they’re known for roasting whole pigs raised by Tacoma farmer Cheryl Ouellette (known as Cheryl The Pig Lady to, well, everyone in the universe).

Last week, they went hyperlocal on the sourcing – they started serving cocktails at Crown Bar made with honey that came from the bees they raised in their backyard, a project they started two years ago with two hives. Read more »

Dec.
24th

Pucker up: House pickled veggies at Tacoma restaurants pack flavorful punch


At Tempest Lounge in Tacoma’s hilltop neighborhood: a bowl of pickled carrots and cauliflower that are flavored with marjoram and Old Bay seasoning. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Pacific Grill owner/chef Gordon Naccarato recalls discovering soy-brined jalapeños while working as a chef in Los Angeles.

“I first found those jalapeños in Koreatown in Los Angeles in a run-down strip mall place that called them ‘kimchi pickles,’ and they would sell you a canning jar full of them with additional cucumbers in the jalapeño mix for only $6,” Naccarato wrote in an e-mail when I asked him about house-pickled vegetables at his downtown Tacoma restaurant.

The jalapeños were salty, sweet and satisfying, and something Naccarato enjoyed eating over a bowl of rice. “They were so amazingly good just over steamed rice and became a favorite late-night snack after working the line ’til late at night.”

Naccarato now makes his own brined jalapeños, which he serves as a garnish on the ramen served at Pacific Grill’s Noodle Bar. He brines his jalapeños in soy with healthy portions each of brown sugar and lemon zest.

Naccarato and his kitchen crew also use house-pickled veggies on the banh mi sandwich, served on the lunch menu. “We do a quick-pickle of carrot, daikon radish and cucumber and the soy-brined jalapeño. We make a Vietnamese-style vinaigrette/nuoc cham that we marinate the vegetables in. Lime juice, garlic, chilies, palm sugar (buy at Asian market) and fish sauce, plum vinegar and citrus zest. Then we add julienned carrot, daikon and cucumber and let marinate for at least an hour before using,” wrote Naccarato by e-mail. The result is a puckery sweet layer of flavor with crunch.

Lately, I’ve spotted several restaurants serving pickled or brined veggies that carried the puckery smack of house-made flavor. Besides Pacific Grill’s house-pickled or brined veggies on the ramen, banh mi and Cuban sandwiches, I’ve found pickles on the plates at Crown Bar, Tempest Lounge and Asado.

Click “more” to read about four dishes to try featuring house-pickled or brined vegetables. Read more »

Dec.
16th

Bar Burger Noshdown: South Sound bars, taverns and breweries offer some of the most delicious burgers in the region. Here are five more to try.


The Harmongous burger at Harmon Brewery in Tacoma.

Kobe beef and Washington grown beef are the themes for today’s featured five burgers in my “20 burgers you should eat before you die’” series.

Bar noshing doesn’t get any better than a big, cheesy gut bomb of a burger. It’s the anytime accompaniment to a cold pint at your favorite watering hole. My six month odyssey of sampling bar burgers at South Sound bars, taverns and pubs continues today with five more burgers you have to try before you die.

Here are the bars featured for this burger series:
Tuesday: Powerhouse Brewery, Cliff House, Matador, Blazing Onion and Beach Tavern.
Wednesday: Engine House No. 9, El Gaucho, Katie Downs, The Parkway, Ram
Thursday: Crown Bar, Harmon, Bite Restaurant, West End Pub, Cheers South Hill
Friday: Asado, Maxwell’s, Pacific Grill, The Hub, The Right Spot

Here are my next five picks for bar burgers worth your time and extra napkins: Read more »

Feb.
5th

Happy Hours: The siblings of Sixth Avenue


The happy hour menu at Asado includes prawns in serrano ham (foreground), a steak skewer, and Asado burger dip (rear). Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Forget drink discounts, happy hour is about the food. Or, rather, it’s about the food if you’re a deal seeker who also happens to enjoy well-crafted cuisine.

For this installment of happy hour food deals, we headed to Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue, an eating district rich with restaurants and bars that offer deep discounts during happy hour dining.

We couldn’t write about every restaurant in that neighborhood, so we focused on just a few blocks along Sixth – from Pine to Oakes.
Within those few blocks you’ll find four restaurants with sibling connections: The first pair is Asado and Masa, located across the street from one another and both operated by X Group Restaurants. The second is Primo Grill and Crown Bar, located within about a block of one another and owned and operated by Charlie McManus with wife Jacqueline Plattner. Read more »

Jan.
29th

Bacon, cheese and gravy: Gussied up fries on menus around Tacoma


Fries and gravy from Hotel Murano’s Bite Restaurant in Tacoma. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

Thin or thick, I don’t have a preference. But do make mine crunchy on the outside, creamy-unctuous on the inside. I’m picky about my fries that way.

I used to think I was a fry purist: crisp potatoes with a sprinkle of salt, please.

And then I had the garlic herb fries at Pacific Grill. Insta-fancy-fry convert. And then I had fries and gravy at Bite at Hotel Murano. And then came along the bacon cheesy fries at Crown Bar. And have you ever had the yuca fries at Asado? Amazingly good.

At Bite and Crown Bar – fancy fries are dishes that command their own real estate on the menu. They’re served solo, sans burgers. They’re big plates of crisp fries covered in elevated ingredients that will make your favorite fast food restaurant fries seem like sad, little, soggy ’taters.

Here, a look at my four favorite fancy fries around town. Read more »