About a year after work started on downtown Puyallup’s West Pioneer Grill, it finally has opened.
The restaurant debuted last week with a menu of the greatest hits of American dining with a few surprises.
Within the All-American classic breakfast menu, find a selection of Mexican breakfast dishes not easily acquired in Puyallup.
Chilaquiles and huevos rancheros are listed alongside three breakfast burritos and a spin on eggs Benedict that swaps sopes for English muffins and ranchero sauce for hollandaise.
The rest of the breakfast-all-day menu reads like a classic American diner — of which Puyallup has plenty — with pancakes, waffles, egg breakfasts, chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy and corned beef hash.
Call it a something-for-everyone sort of restaurant.
Here’s a first-bite look. It’s this paper’s policy to avoid criticism of a restaurant’s food and service in its first month.
The space: It formerly held the excellent handmade pasta restaurant, Arista, and Central Perk before that.
The dining room: Seating for about 40 in a long, narrow dining room outfitted with four-seat tables and a larger table for eight. The decor is as uncomplicated as the American classics menu. Table service offered.
No word whether the back room will be used for dining or private parties, as it was at Arista.
Breakfast menu: Served all day, a host noted. The classic American breakfast menu lists six omelets that also can be made as scrambles ($11.89 to $14.29), corned beef hash ($11.99), chicken-fried steak ($13.99), biscuits and gravy ($7.99), two-egg breakfasts ($9.59 to $11.39) steak and eggs ($14.99 to $16.29), classic or salmon eggs Benedict ($12.49 to $15.49), a French toast meal ($12.49), pancake breakfast meals ($11.39 to $12.99) and a Belgium waffle meal ($10.59).
Mexican breakfast: A chorizo burrito ($11.99), egg-potato-cheese-meat ($11.99) or vegetarian burrito ($10.99). Also, chilaquiles, the breakfast nacho dish with ranchero sauce and eggs over cheese and tortillas ($11.99), huevos rancheros ($12.99) and a Latin Benedict with sopes ($13.49).
Lunch and dinner: Straightforward diner classics, although housemade guacamole, chips and salsa on the appetizer menu ($4.99 to $7.99). Appetizers include nachos ($11.99), wings ($10.49 to $11.99) and potato skins ($11.99).
The lunch-and-dinner menu lists six side or entree salads ($4.59 to $13.89), soups ($2.99 to $4.99), six burger choices, including chicken/garden/turkey ($10.49 to $13.49), eight sandwiches and wraps ($8.99 to $13.89) and heartier entrees such as grilled or blackened salmon ($15.29), sirloin steak ($15.99 to $17.99) and fish tacos ($12.99).
Specials menu/cocktails: A chalkboard lists the day’s specials, including a cocktail-of-the day. The restaurant serves cocktails, beer and wine, although it does not yet have a printed adult beverage menu.
On a first visit: Breakfast is a fine introduction. The Latin Benedict proved a must order with two poached eggs spilling a river of yolk over thick, fresh-fried sopes (corn discs that are like really thick tortillas) and black beans with ranchero sauce instead of hollandaise, a sprinkle of salty cotija cheese and lime-heavy pico de gallo on the side, plus hashbrowns.
Some chefs treat corned beef hash almost like a stir-fry with big pieces of potato and meat hunks. Here, I liked that the hash carried a mixture of textures with cubed, well-cooked potatoes interspersed with finely diced corned beef, peppers and onions. My carb-loving heart appreciated the potato double-up with hash browns on the side. Toast and two eggs turned it into a big breakfast for the price.
The two-egg breakfast came just as advertised, with over-easy eggs (as requested), crispy-edged hash browns, toast and five sausage links.
Moving to lunch and dinner, the menu is similar to a handful of other diners/American restaurants in downtown Puyallup, but West Pioneer Grill makes a mean bacon cheeseburger with all the right condiments. A thick patty was glued to a sturdy bottom bun with a pile of gooey cheddar. There were criss-crossed slices of thick bacon, green leaf lettuce, a thick tomato wedge, fresh-sliced onions, loads of pickle chips and a swipe of mayo. Served with battered fries.
West Pioneer Grill
Where: 109 W. Pioneer, Puyalup
Info: 253-604-4507 or facebook.com/westpioneergrill
Hours: Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Opens at 6:30 a.m.