TNT Diner

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

Tag: Sumner dining

May
9th

Escape to gardens of eatin’ – Watson’s and Windmill

A club sandwich piled high with tomatoes, turkey and bacon is one of the lunch offerings at Anton's, located in a garden center. Drew Perine/Staff photographer
A club sandwich piled high with tomatoes, turkey and bacon is one of the lunch offerings at Anton’s, located in a garden center. Drew Perine/Staff photographer

My Japanese maple resembles Cousin It and my mock orange is drooping.

I’m currently playing a weekslong game of “ignore the shot weed.”

Like plenty of other procrastinating gardeners, I fell prey to a seasonal affliction I call Garden Center Time Suck. It’s a phenomena in which I intend to spend 15 minutes perusing variegated hostas only to emerge two hours later with a dazed look and a wagonload of blue fescue.

I’m looking at you, Watson’s Greenhouse and Windmill Gardens.

While wandering aimlessly (envisioning fairies magically making over my garden) through two East Pierce garden centers that offer sprawling campuses with plants aplenty, I also found something for diners: nicely appointed cafes.

They’re cafes for a bite with your gardener Mom – especially considering this is her weekend, after all – or a destination for ladies who lunch.

Dining alone? That’s fine, too.

Get digging. I know I need to. 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 »

May
13th

Lake-view dining: Al Lago hits high marks, but it took three tries to get there


Grilled leg of lamb is a knock-out dish served at Al Lago, an Italian Restaurant with a view of Lake Tapps. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

When the weather warms, I know where I want to sit and sip pinot noir: The patio of Al Lago Ristorante, a lake-view restaurant with a rich and flavorful Southern Italian menu brushed broadly with Northwest ingredients.

The design of the cavernous restaurant might not make much use of the Lake Tapps view, but the stylish and warm décor in autumnal hues of sage and copper and cushy, deep booths near the flickering rock fireplace do entice on true Northwest days. Read more »

March
10th

Barbecue quandary: Can you call it Q if there is no smoke involved? Also, a review of ribs at Bob’s Bar-B-Q Pit and Branks BBQ


The ribs at Branks BBQ in Sumner are supple and smoky.

Philosophical barbecue question: Can a restaurant call itself Mesquite BBQ if it doesn’t use a barbecue grill, a pit or a smoker, or even mesquite wood – or any wood – in the cooking process?

That was the head scratcher for me when I paid a visit to Mesquite BBQ, which opened in January on South Tacoma Way.

Signs outside advertise Texas, American and Hawaiian barbecue. During two visits, what I tasted was slow-cooked meat something akin to pot roast.

It had no whiff of mesquite, held no telltale pink smoke ring (the universal early alert system for good barbecue). The meat looked like it had been oven baked. Indeed, that is how meat is cooked at Mesquite BBQ – in a conventional oven. Servers confirmed that for us on two visits and after a lot of questions.

It made me want to leave and head for my two favorite places for barbecue – Bob’s Bar-B-Q pit on Tacoma’s Hilltop and Branks BBQ in the Sumner valley. In fact, that is where I headed after eating at Mesquite …. Read more »

July
14th

Indulge Cupcakes won’t reopen in Sumner

Indulge Cupcakes owner Jen Quaschnik has decided not to reopen her Sumner cupcake shop, which was badly damaged in a fire June 11, as reported on the News Tribune’s Lights and Sirens blog here.

Wrote Quaschnik in an e-mail to me, “Unfortunately after careful consideration, we as a family decided not to reopen at this time.”

Quaschnik had operated Indulge at 1913 Main St., Sumner, since October 2009. Indulge previously operated at 207 N. Meridian for two years.

June
11th

Fire damages Sumner’s Indulge Cupcakes

TNT reporter Mike Archbold just posted a blog item on the Lights & Siren blog with details of an early-morning fire that damaged Sumner’s Indulge Cupcakes. The cupcake bakery opened in October 2009 after moving from its downtown Puyallup location. Here’s a story I wrote about Indulge when they moved to their Sumner location. It appears the damage may mean the bakery will be closed for some time for repairs. Stay tuned for more details as we get them.

April
12th

An extra helping of breakfast: Waffles and French toast


Sweet cream and walnut French toast at the Buttered Biscuit in Sumner.

Last week, I wrote about 15 kinds of pancakes at the Original Pancake House. Today, I’m delving into waffles and French toast. I’ve had particularly good versions of both in recent weeks at two restaurants, the Buttered Biscuit in Sumner and Villa Caffe & Imbibery in Tacoma. Click more to read about malted waffles and sweet cream French Toast. Read more »

April
7th

Breakfast finds: Granola on the menu at Sully’s Alder Street Cafe in Sumner


Grandma’s Granola at Sully’s Alder Street Cafe in Sumner is made with old fashioned oats, dried cranberries, raisins, coconut, almonds and sunflower seeds.

For the next few days, I’ll be taking a look at some interesting breakfast items I’ve found on local menus as of late. Today: granola.

I found the sweet surprise of granola on the menu at Sully’s Alder Street Café. Homemade granola isn’t a breakfast item I see much on menus at diners-slash-greasy spoons like Sully’s.

The granola is courtesy of Ruby Iribarren, who with boyfriend Brian Britton runs the downtown Sumner cafe that the couple purchased last July.

The granola recipe, as she puts it, is “made of stuff that I like to find in a trail mix.”

I appreciated that the granola ($4 for a half portion; $6 for a full) was sweet, but not overly so. Digging into the bowl of warmed granola (you can get it cold, too), I found dried, sweetened cranberries, raisins, and shredded coconut suspended in the chewy oat mixture. Almonds and sunflower seeds coaxed the flavor to a nutty tone. The bowl came with cream for pouring on the side, but the granola really didn’t need it. Read more »