Boxcar Grill is dishing up good eats at its new location on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma. It’s bigger, but just as approachable and casual as its original Freightouse Square location that it left earlier this summer.
Eaters will find the same menu of diner classics with a few additions - one that sounds like a food dare, a half-pound burger built on two grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon and jalapeno. Oy. It’s called the Sasquatch Burger. I didn’t have the stomach to try that, but I did dig into beefy meatloaf sliders ($9.59) with gusto - built on squishy dinner rolls, the sliders were coated with melted cheddar, topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. Two sliders were flanked by shoestring fries. Their fry seasoning is so tasty, they should bottle it.
A three-course fried chicken dinner ($12.99, with soup or salad and dessert) came with a surprise - a boneless chicken breast - and it was crunchy good (but I still like bone-in chicken breast better). In true diner fashion, green beans were overcooked to a sad shade of dull green. Red potato garlic mashers came with a river of sausage gravy - an unexpected bonus that is one of the little details that has pushed Boxcar Grill onto my list of top 10 diners in town. If you're a fan of Moon Rise Cafe, Marcia's Silver Spoon or Carr's, you'll like Boxcar Grill.
For java drinkers looking for a coffee shop atmosphere - this is your place. There’s a counter with stools and a staff who seem to employ a stay-as-long-as-you-like vibe. With your coffee, try one of the homestyle desserts. On my visit, they had a cute little lemon cupcakes, rice pudding and bread pudding - priced economically at $1.49-$1.89 each. All quite good, especially considering the price. Add this place to your rotation. They're open from breakfast until dinner daily.
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Boxcar GrillWhere: 5104 Sixth Ave., TacomaContact: 253-503-0098, theboxcargrill.com