TNT Diner

Bruno’s European Restaurant is now open in Lakewood

Bruno’s European Restaurant has opened at its new Lakewood location.
Bruno’s European Restaurant has opened at its new Lakewood location. skidd@thenewstribune.com

Bring on the schnitzel, the German brew, the currywurst and latkes.

Bruno’s European Restaurant has opened at its new Lakewood location. It’s the third move for the German-Polish restaurant that has just vacated its Parkland restaurant in favor of a larger, more accessible location at 10902 Bridgeport Way SW in Lakewood.

This is a return home for the restaurant that was founded more than five years ago in Lakewood at a four-table eatery squished into a cramped building near the intersection of Pacific Highway Southwest and Bridgeport Way Southwest. It was so tiny, you might be seated with a stranger or asked to help pass plates to the table tucked into the corner behind you.

Backing up to before that first location, Bruno and Krystyna Tomaszewska got their start locally at the Tacoma Farmers Market, selling soup and cabbage rolls. They never intended to own a large restaurant. Rather, they envisioned a small kitchen where everything was handmade, kind of like their first location. But lines out the door in a region short on Eastern European fare commanded a bigger space. In 2011, they moved to the 46-seat Parkland space and later expanded to 66 seats.

Again, they outgrew that space, which might have had something to do with their 2013 appearance on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Their new location will seat about 100 and comes with a parking lot with a, shall we say, less precarious left turn. The lot also holds dozens more cars than the previous one.

Not only are they planning to serve more diners at their new home, but they’re also doing something they’ve never done before. They’re adding breakfast service sometime soon.

Breakfast will be European style, Krystyna said last month when describing the new restaurant. She described meat-and-cheese plates, kielbasa, fried dumplings and lighter fare covering a broad swath of European flavors.

The lunch and dinner menu, served Tuesday-Saturday, is loaded with German, Polish and Eastern European eats — reflective of Bruno’s cooking résumé from Poland to Germany. Expect to see very little change in the menu, although Krystyna said that some menu specials will find permanent homes now that they have a better kitchen to support a bigger menu.

Don’t fret. The standard items, such as schnitzel, frikadelle, sauerbraten, roulade, spaetzle, kartoffelpuffer, bratwurst, cabbage rolls, Polish wedding kielbasa and pierogi all will still be served. And the German brew? They’re expanding that beer list, too.

Bruno’s European Restaurant

Where: 10902 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood; 253-719-7181; brunoseuropeanrestaurant.com.

Serving: Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday; breakfast service soon.

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