TNT Diner

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

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Gourmet Burger Shop opens in downtown Gig Harbor

Don't you want a bacon cheeseburger now?
Don’t you want a bacon cheeseburger now?

After a few months of delays, the Gourmet Burger Shop opened Friday in its new downtown Gig Harbor location.

Owner Travis Hightower has been working on the space all year (it was previously occupied by Le Bistro before a fire closed that restaurant in 2010).

In April, Hightower  closed his first hole-in-the-wall burger shop. That spot always felt a mismatch – a painfully tiny roadside spot serving upscale burgers, shoestring garlic-herb fries and beet chips that seemed as if they’d be more at home on Sixth Avenue than a remote location beyond the Purdy Spit. Despite the location, Hightower found success – and crowds. Read more »


Local sweets for your sweet – my annual ode to truffles in Tacoma

Truffles from the French Hen come with pretty designs painted onto the chocolates.
Truffles from the French Hen come with pretty designs painted onto the chocolates.

If you buy your love anything for Valentine’s Day, I say go for where it counts – the stomach. Culinary gifts are universally adored, right? We’re lucky to have chocolate makers right here in our community – artisans who make everything by hand. Every year, I write about these chocolate makers hoping that more people will eschew bags of commercial kisses for ribbon-clad boxes of locally made truffles. Read on. Read more »


Good find: S.O.S. at Kimberly’s Cafe in Lakewood

Hello, plate of fat, carbs and yum. I like you. S.O.S. is $3.95 on the beakfast menu at Kimberly's Cafe in Lakewood.

On today, this drizzling, gray and mighty cool Monday, I’d like to add something to your list of things you should go eat this week: A big plate of S.O.S. for under $4. For the newly returned cold weather dining, it’s grub that sticks to your ribs and may help soften the rough transition to the return of the ARGH&^%&* rain that amazingly everyone has forgotten how to drive in. Not that I’m bitter about this morning’s drive to the office or anything.

I found this magical plate of meat gravy over toast at Kimberly’s Cafe, a cute little bistro-esque spot that opened in July in the space where Vive Bene once operated. The woman in the kitchen, Kimberly Connell, is the granddaughter of the man who owned Lakewood’s Burs Restaurant for 27 years. So that explains the perfect execution of S.O.S., which for the purpose of this family-friendly blog, I simply will call Substance on a Shingle. Read more »


Open on Sixth: Tacoma’s new Marrow restaurant opens with a menu of unusual proteins and elevated vegetarian cuisine

Marrow Kitchen Bar opened Tuesday in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue restaurant district with a menu of unusual proteins and a companion vegetarian menu elevated to a fine dining level I’ve never seen in a Tacoma restaurant.

I spoke with owner Jaime Kay Jones this morning and she said the first few opening days have trended smooth and already diners have picked a few clear winners on the menu – the oxtail cake, vegetarian risotto and duck, for starters, but more on that in a moment. Read more »


Social Bar and Grill opens tonight on Tacoma’s Foss Waterway

Ahi poke, swordfish skewers, pork belly sandwiches, roasted duck, pitchers of sangria – sign me up for Social.

Tonight’s the night. After a soft opening for family and friends over the weekend, Social Bar and Grill, which I told you about in June, is starting dinner service this evening. Curious about the location? It’s in the old Woody’s on the Water space next to the Museum of Glass.

Social will keep soft dinner hours this week (check the box below for details), but plans to offer lunch and dinner service daily starting Aug. 6.

A trio of Matador alumni are the crafters of Social. Read more »


Carnitas lovers rejoice: Tacos Guaymas near Tacoma Mall reopened today

Chicken flautas at Tacos Guaymas, which reopened today four months after a fire closed the restaurant. Among the things to like about Tacos Guaymas is the slow simmered whole pinto beans.

It took four months instead of the six weeks they were expecting to reopen, but Tacos Guaymas on 38th Street is back in business.

A fire on Feb. 16 shuttered the popular taqueria near Tacoma Mall. An oily rag spontaneously combusted in the back of the restaurant and made a mess of the kitchen. The back area of the kitchen was fried, the menu board melted from the heat of the flames. Smoke damaged some of the booths. Owner Salvador Sahagun told me in March he thought it would take a month to repair the damage. As is so true in the restaurant world, one month usually turns into somewhere between three to nine months (wouldn’t it be great if an app could convert restaurant time into real-world time? I’d pay at least $4.99 for that app).

I visited today and saw the new menu board and the dining room looked like it had been fluffed and buffed. Read more »


Burger radar: Marcia’s Silver Spoon. Classic diner burger at a great price.

Marcia's Silver Spoon serves classic diner burgers. And a lot of fries.

Sometimes you just want a classic diner that serves great breakfasts or a perfectly grilled burger. In Tacoma, that place is Marcia’s Silver Spoon. This week, I’m taking a look at burgers recommended by readers. Click “more” to read about Marcia’s. Read more »


Goodbye Friendly Duck, hello Porter’s Place. South Tacoma Way eating just got a lot more interesting.

The smoked pork ribs at Porter's Place Southern Cuisine & BBQ are supple, smoky and three-napkin good.

Since February, Porter’s Place Southern Cuisine & BBQ of Tacoma has been on a rib hiatus, but expect to see the return of the slow-smoked ribs and saucy pulled pork near the end of May or early June. Alton Porter, who operated Porter’s for about six years at its perch just above the La Quinta Hotel, signed a lease today to take over the restaurant space that formerly housed the delightfully named Friendly Duck Restaurant on South Tacoma Way. Read more »