TNT Diner

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

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Tag: Pizza Casa Lakewood

Nov.
22nd

Never Been, Italian Edition: Three red sauce joints you need to visit

The Aversano's special, a pizza with fresh veggies, mushrooms, onion, olives and pepperoni. The Sumner restaurant features vintage decorations including a coal car from Black Diamond that houses a generous salad bar. Dean J. Koepfler / Staff Photographer
The Aversano’s special, a pizza with fresh veggies, mushrooms, onion, olives and pepperoni. The Sumner restaurant features vintage decorations including a coal car from Black Diamond that houses a generous salad bar. Dean J. Koepfler / Staff Photographer

Food writers suffer from TNFP syndrome, a condition in which they’re always trying to find “That Newest Fancy Place.” It’s true that I’m occasionally afflicted, although I’ve been going through a detox program lately with a tour of forgotten restaurants.

Call them old-time Italian-American eateries, spaghetti dens, pizza havens or the moniker I think is perfect: red sauce joints.

They’re old Italian restaurants that don’t try to be something they’re not. They don’t use terms like “dairy-infused protein” (cheese) and “sun-kissed grape essence” (wine).

You’ll never find a server wearing a nametag who asks you if you’d like an endless bowl of limp salad.

Red sauce joints are old and proud and unfortunately seem to be on their way to obsolete in South Sound.

My job as the hired gullet for this newspaper is to tell you where it’s worth your time and money to eat. Three South Sound red sauce joints fit that bill and I’d like to keep them in business.

They’re restaurants nominated by readers during my last installment of “Never Been,” my occasional series where I visit restaurants that have operated for at least 15 or 20 years that you might drive by dozens or hundreds of times, yet you’ve never been inside. That’s where I come in.

Take a tour today with me of Pizza Casa in Lakewood, Aversano’s in Sumner, and Bella Nina’s in Tacoma. Read more »

Oct.
25th

Soups worth slurping around the South Sound

Italian wedding soup from Pizza Casa in Lakewood.
Italian wedding soup from Pizza Casa in Lakewood.

Here comes the dreaded “I can’t breathe through my nose” season.

I seek refuge in a steaming bowl of soup when my upper respiratory system decides to betray me.

Around the South Sound, you’ll find soup in every cultural configuration. Read on for some of my favorite soups to soothe a nasty bug. Read more »