TNT Diner

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

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Tag: MSM Deli


Meatball advisory: Dining around the South Sound in search of three-napkin sandwiches

The meatball sandwich at Adriatic Grill in Tacoma. Peter Haley/Staff photographer
The meatball sandwich at Adriatic Grill in Tacoma. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

A meatball sandwich should require two hands, a T-shirt you don’t care about destroying, more than a few napkins and a seesaw of crunch and smoosh.

Since a reader inquired earlier this year about where to find the best examples of that sandwich, I’ve had thoughts of twirling beef orbs raining down with red sauce, a cloud cover of gooey cheese seeking shelter inside toasted bread.

OK, OK. Sorry about that corny paragraph. Clearly, I’m playing on the concept of “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” the movie that opens in theaters Friday. But those components – beefy meatballs, a tasty red sauce, plenty of cheese and crunchy bread – became my criteria for Tacoma’s cheesiest, sauciest, messiest meatball sandwich.

I searched for sandwiches in three categories: take-out delis, bars, and the area’s finest Italian eateries.

The overall winner? Adriatic Grill – if not for the meatballs with a hefty texture and delicious garlicky punch, then because of the accompanying hand-cut fries that take chef-owner Bill Trudnowski two days to make. What? Your fries don’t take two days to make? What’s wrong with you?

Read on. Read more »


No-frills sammies: Hole-in-the-wall sandwich shops in Tacoma, Federal Way and Lacey deliver the real deal

A BLT with pesto, ribs with home fries and a berry shake are available in the homey settings of Shorty’s Grub House in Federal Way. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer.

Everyone has a favorite hole in the wall.

Fans of nondescript places that are low on atmosphere and big on honest-to-goodness real-deal eats know what I’m talking about.
Many sub-genres exist within the hole-in-the-wall category – burger stands, barbecue joints and my current personal favorite – sandwich emporiums.

I’ve found three of those sandwich shops lately that qualify as legitimate holes in the wall. Little or no frills around the edges, simply furnished, clean and efficient, a friendly face to take your order at a counter. No Chihuly hangs in the lobby, no bubbly people wearing name tags and flair. Click “more” to read about them.

YOUR TURN: Tell us where to go to get the best sandwiches. Just click and comment below. Read more »