Downtown Tacoma has a burger diner — once again.
Patty’s Burgers opened two weeks ago at 2301 Pacific Ave., a space that has held two different versions of burger restaurants in recent years. The most recent to close in June was Chalk Talk Bistro; which took over the space after Mary’s Burger Bistro departed.
Like its sister restaurant on South Tacoma Way, which opened in April 2010, the downtown Tacoma Patty’s Burgers is retro-themed, complete with mid-century jukebox tunes, black-and-white checkered walls, cushy red booths, Coca Cola memorabilia and photographic nods to ’50s-era icons. The downtown restaurant has seating for about 45, including a counter bar.
Both restaurants share a similar specialties — burgers as big as your head and 2-foot-long hotdogs. Add shakes, fries and sandwiches. There’s breakfast, too.
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Here’s a quick look at the new restaurant. It’s this newspaper’s policy to avoid criticism of food and service until after the first month, which is why the focus here is on descriptions and concept.
Food bigger than your head: This place is known for feeding a crowd with a single menu item. The first time I wrote about Patty’s, it was about their mammoth seven-patty Cake Burger ($39.99), which would feed a modestly sized family of 4 hungry eaters. They’ve also got a four-patty special burger ($21.99) for two or three eaters (or one teenage boy). At breakfast, the bigger-than-your-head item is a monster bacon-sausage-ham omelet made with eight eggs ($15.99).
Breakfast: Omelets, pancakes and eggs, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, steak and eggs, eggs Benedict ($6.99-$13.99)
Burgers: More than 30 kinds, ranging from a bacon cheeseburger ($7.99) to a pretzel burger with a beef patty, pastrami, kraut and Swiss ($10.99) and the South Tacoma burger with an over-hard egg and nacho cheese ($11.50). Black bean, garden, chicken, salmon and crab cake burgers also are listed ($7.99-$9.99). All burgers come with fries. Tots, curly fries and onion rings are available for an upcharge.
Dogs: Foot-longs and 2-foot longs, about two dozen options. These are mammoth two-handed, five-napkin dogs. In fact, you’re better off just eating them with a fork and knife. Two-footers include a chili, bacon, nacho, Chicago and New York-style dog. The 1-footers include the same list, plus blue cheese, coleslaw, grilled onion and veggie dogs.
Beverages: Giant sodas served in oversized frosty mugs; shakes and malts in three sizes and 24 flavors. Small and large floats are served, too.
Atmosphere: Comfortable red booths line the front of the restaurant. The dining room bends around the corner with tables for four.
Decor: Not as saturated as the South Tacoma restaurant, which has floor-to-ceiling homages to James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and classic cars. However, the downtown space still carries the ‘50s charm for which Patty’s Burgers on South Tacoma Way has become known.
Downtown: 2301 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-272-2920.
South Tacoma: 5615 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma; 253-474-0844.