TNT Diner

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

Tag: Lakewood dining

May
21st

Tacoma’s Babblin’ Babs new home is on hold – for now

Pictured here in this 2010 file photo is William Mueller of Babblin' Babs, which recently closed its Proctor restaurant and is now searching for a new home. Dean J. Koepfler/Staff photographer
Pictured here in this 2010 file photo is William Mueller of Babblin’ Babs, which recently closed its Proctor restaurant and is now searching for a new home. Dean J. Koepfler/Staff photographer

Babblin’ Babs Bistro closed its Proctor neighborhood breakfast-and-lunch cafe in December with the intention of moving to Lakewood by this summer. However, the restaurant will not open in the Gravelly Lake Drive space that was planned for the new Babblin’ Babs. Read more »

April
29th

Now open in Lakewood – another pupuseria from El Pulgarcito

Pupusas are a Salvadorean dish served at just a few South Sound restaurants.
Pupusas are a Salvadoran dish served at just a few South Sound restaurants. File photo 2011. Janet Jensen/Staff photographer

On the edge of Lakewood’s Korean dining district is a new addition – from El Salvador.

El Pulgarcito, the popular pupuseria on Pacific Highway Southwest in Lakewood, has opened an outpost next to O-bok, the Korean tablestop barbecue restaurant, and the former Olive Bakery on South Tacoma Way. The Salvadoran menu is identical to the original Lakewood location, a come-as-you-are family restaurant serving pupusas, bistek encebollado, carne guisado and yuca frita.  (Tip: Go there for breakfast). Read more »

April
8th

Bar report: Penny’s, Cheers and Stuck Junction now open

Grill Chill

The spring and summer restaurant opening season has begun with bar openings. Yesterday, I told you about Flying Boots in the Lincoln neighborhood. Here are three more bar openings in Lakewood and Sumner. Read more »

April
2nd

Grab a slice: Key lime pie at the Rainier Room and Edison City Diner

The key lime pie at the Rainier Room, a restaurant managed by the culinary arts students at Clover Park Technical College.
The key lime pie at the Rainier Room, a restaurant managed by the culinary arts students at Clover Park Technical College.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the house-brined corned beef at the Rainier Room, the fine dining restaurant managed by the culinary arts students at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood. Today, I sing the praises for their pie. Key lime pie. Know who else makes great key lime pie? Edison City Diner on South Tacoma Way. Read on. Read more »

March
28th

Favorite Chinese restaurants: Yen Ching, Tacoma Szechuan and newcomer Malri Hyang

Frank Luu is head waiter at Yen Ching Restaurant on South Tacoma Way in Lakewood. He's the longtime face of the Chinese restaurant that's served Lakewood diners for 30 years. Peter Haley/Staff photographer
Frank Luu is head waiter at Yen Ching Restaurant on South Tacoma Way in Lakewood. He’s the longtime face of the Chinese restaurant that’s served Lakewood diners for 30 years. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Readers frequently ask me about my favorite Chinese restaurant.

My answer is a neighborhood, not a specific restaurant.

Along a one-mile stretch of South Tacoma Way, in a Lakewood neighborhood known for Korean dining, three restaurants comprise what I call the Chinese Restaurant Vortex of South Sound.

One is an old-time find, a Chinese-American restaurant reminiscent of the chop suey houses of yesteryear. A second is a stylish, modern Chinese venture featuring some of the best Szechuan dishes you’ll encounter around here. The third is an unproven hybrid that offers something new for diners: a handsome Chinese-Korean bistro. Read more »

March
25th

Opening this spring: Penny’s on the Boulevard in Lakewood

Pictured here is a towering burger from Lakewood Pub and Grill, which closed recently and will be replaced with Penny's on the Boulevard, also serving burgers, pizza, diner classics and American comfort eats. File photo 2011.
Pictured here is a towering burger from Lakewood Pub and Grill, which closed recently and will be replaced with Penny’s on the Boulevard, also serving burgers, pizza, diner classics and American comfort eats. File photo 2011.

Erin Mason-Esseln had one good reason for opening her restaurant Penny’s on the Boulevard – “Lakewood is starving for food. Good ol’ American type cooking is kind of hard to find right now,” said Esseln. She expects a spring opening for her full-service restaurant Penny’s, which will be in the space recently vacated by Lakewood Pub and Grill. Read more »

March
14th

Great sandwich find: Student chefs learn how to put beef in a pickle

Corned beef Reuben at Clover Park's Rainier Room.
Corned beef Reuben at Clover Park’s Rainier Room.

Corned beef is one of those dishes that pops up on menus just before March 17, only to be forgotten shortly after, except in the form of a Reuben sandwich.

After writing my ode to pastrami sandwiches in January, I heard from readers throughout the region about corned beef, the brined and steamed brisket cousin to pastrami, which is brisket that has been rubbed and brined, then smoked.

While looking into recommendations from readers for where to find a great Reuben (see list of reader suggestions below), I found something worth noting: House-made corned beef. Not that pre-brined, pre-packaged stuff that you can find at your local supermarket, but the kind brined from scratch.

I found it at an unexpected place: the Rainier Room, a student-run restaurant at Clover Park Technical College. The Rainier Room is an extension of the school’s culinary arts training program. Read more »