TNT Diner

Menu alert: New summer dishes at Dirty Oscar’s Annex and Pacific Grill

Summer’s just about here and so are new restaurant menus. Take a look.

DIRTY OSCAR’S ANNEX

At Dirty Oscar’s Annex on Sixth Avenue, find a handful of new menu items from chef Aaron Grissom. Having a flashback over that name? The longtime local chef previously was chef at DOA before leaving for a chef’s position in California two years ago. After cooking at Bow & Truss, Grissom wound up a contestant on Top Chef. He returned to Tacoma just over a month ago to work on a few projects with Jake Barth of Dirty Oscar’s Annex. For now, he’s also leading the kitchen at DOA.

In case you missed this: The restaurant now serves lunch. It also still serves brunch Fridays through Sundays. Here are a few of Grissom’s favorite new menu items, with tasting notes from the chef. The menu starts this week. Find the restaurant at 2309 Sixth Ave., Tacoma; 253-572-0588 or dirtyoscarsannex.com

Chicharones with molasses and habanero salt: Grissom calls this one a twist on a classic pork rind. “The perfect bar snack for DOA,” he wrote via message. “I had Libertine (Christy Reedy, owner of the salt company) design a salt that harnesses the fruitiness of the habanero chili, and not just the spice, to play along with the deep, rich flavor of the molasses.”

​Smoked almond and white bean burger: “So tired am I of having no options for vegetarians that don’t taste like cardboard. This is made with pulverized smoked almonds, cannellini beans, tender shallots and a few herbs. Simple but super flavorful.”

Kofta taco: This Middle Eastern taco is stuffed with spiced lamb, muhammara, feta yogurt, mint and habanero hummus. Wrote Grissom, “Among many other things, I season the kofta with ras el hanout (also designed by Libertine) to make it pop and full of depth and unique flavor. The muhammara is a sweet pomegranate, red pepper and walnut puree that I discovered that complements the spicy delicious habanero hummus. I love this taco.”

BLT: This sandwich will introduce Grissom’s new creation, “sheet bacon.” Wrote Grissom, “I grind bacon and pork, then bond it with transglutaminase to keep it together. It ends up being a large sheet that I can cut squares or rectangles out of... hence sheet bacon.”

PACIFIC GRILL NEW DESSERT MENU

Over at Pacific Grill in downtown Tacoma, pastry chef Erin Powell is harnessing our early bounty of berries. Her summer dessert menu debuted last week with strawberries. Here’s a rundown of her summer flavors. Find Pacific Grill at 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-627-3535 or pacificgrilltacoma.com.

Strawberry pavlova: This meringue cookie is made with local strawberries, lemon cream and pistachios.

Brulee: Made with roasted white chocolate

Cake: An olive oil cake with Bing cherries, apricots and almond gelato.

Cheesecake: Powell plays up the decadence with this one. It’s a caramel mousse cheesecake with a milk chocolate ganache and a cocoa nib tuile.

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