Truckee, California is a small town north of Lake Tahoe. It’s the perfect town to walk down the main street, enjoying shops, restaurants and historical displays, including a railroad museum. There is a neat hotel there, with pictures of the hotel from 1869 with a ox team and wagon in front of it. When hunger pangs strike, my first choice in Truckee is the Jax Truckee Diner.
The diner itself is really neat, an authentic 1948 Kullman Car Diner brought from Philadelphia to Truckee. It was neat to see the photos of the diner being brought cross-country. Adding to the authentic feeling was the original stainless steel walls, glass bricks for light and the rumble of the trains as they crossed the Donner Pass, running on tracks less than 100 feet from my table. What an interesting experience it was, to watch the trains from the window. Now this was a real diner!
Breakfast was easy; I like being able to walk into a place and not have to even look at the menu. I ordered the Southern Fried Steak, two eggs over medium, an English muffin and hash browns. The coffee was a really good start and Rosie, our waitress, absolutely perfect. I had heard that the English muffins were fresh baked in the diner daily. What I didn’t know was that they were also served with a fresh jam made from local strawberries with big chunks of delectable berries. The country fried steak was delicious, cut from a nice piece of sirloin and lightly tenderized. I am not a big fan of CFS where the meat is machine tenderized or pounded to death. I prefer the chewiness of a real piece of meat. The crust was delicious, obviously hand battered with a nice crispiness to it. Another good breakfast item is the Banana Pancakes which are huge and delicious. The service was great from the waitstaff and they’ll make you feel like regulars. Other breakfast items include an in-house made corned beef hash, a variety of three-egg omelets and a Cinnamon French Toast made from the cinnamon bread they bake in-house.
For dinner, I didn’t need the menu—I just ordered the Chili Cheese Burger with cole slaw. The Chili Cheese Burger is huge, with delicious chili with beans covering the half pound, medium rare char-grilled burger. Nice real cheddar topped the burger. The bun was fresh-baked and excellent. Other dishes available for lunch and dinner include a Greek Salad, Cheese Burger, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, Fish and Chips and a Pasta Pesto. Steaks are aged for 28 days and cooked to order, the type of steak available according to what’s reached the perfect aging point daily. They are also known for their Kobe Beef Meatloaf, wrapped with bacon. A daily sign board listed specials such as pot roast and a wonderful sounding Lobster Pot Pie.
Jax certainly has it all—a real classic diner, not one designed to look like one, excellent food and great service. The food is described as “comfort food with a twist”, and even though they have added twists to a lot of menu items, the food still stays true to good old comfort food. It’s just a few minutes off of Interstate-80 and a convenient stop between Reno and San Francisco. Jax Truckee Diner is what a lot of diners aspire to be—the real thing.