TNT Diner

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

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Tag: Taqueria El Sabor Tacoma

Dec.
13th

Off the radar: I hit a dining jackpot at a single strip mall in Tacoma

Thinh and Nghiep Nguyen, owners of Kim Anh, a restaurant in James Center on Mildred in Tacoma, hold egg noodle soup (left) and Kim Ahn's House Fried Rice. Peter Haley/Staff photographer
Thinh and Nghiep Nguyen, owners of Kim Anh, a restaurant in James Center on Mildred in Tacoma, hold egg noodle soup (left) and Kim Ahn’s House Fried Rice. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Oh, strip malls. How we love-hate you.

Architectural eyesores, but necessary destinations for tending the mundane details of our lives.

Dry cleaning, hair cutting, nail grooming and check cashing: Not a lot of excitement, right?

Not so fast.

When a strip mall lands on my radar, it’s because it harbors an impressive eatery. Greek, Indian, Hawaiian and Cambodian – I’ve hit culinary jackpots at strip malls throughout the South Sound (scroll down to read more stories in this series).

Today, I share with you my favorite strip mall for quick dining. On the edge of James Center, a shopping complex near Tacoma Community College, sits a row of three unfussy and family-owned restaurants.

They’re Asian eateries serving honest food for a fair price. I count on them for reliable take-out dinners after a busy round of shopping. And there’s a bonus: Right next to the strip mall is a stand-alone taqueria with great carnitas. Read more »

Jan.
29th

Finally opening in Puyallup – El Toro Mexican Restaurant on Canyon

For years, a sign just off Canyon Road in Puyallup advertised the future home of El Toro, a chain of Mexican restaurants operating in the South Sound since 1979. Years passed, there was no activity, no construction at the site. Just that weathered sign. Ruben Arias Jr. whose father Ruben Arias Sr. founded the chain, said he received so many emails and calls, he could not  respond to a fraction of them. The emailers and callers kept asking the same thing – are you ever going to open?

The answer is yes. El Toro is opening. The 160-seat restaurant should be fully running in the next few days. Read more »