The Poodle Dog has been around since 1933. It started small: just a two-table, 15-stool diner behind a barber shop off Highway 99 in the industrial area of Fife, next to the Port of Tacoma. Named after the iconic Poodle Dog restaurant of San Francisco, the once-cramped diner has since grown into a large landmark restaurant known for diner food. The menu is huge and breakfast is served all day. Recently renovated, the Poodle Dog is clean and upbeat. Black and white photographs and original signs from its past line the walls, and the exterior sign reads “good food.”
Good food this family restaurant certainly has. The original eggs benedict is large, hearty, and lightly seasoned. It comes with well-pressed hash browns and is served with thick slices of ham atop crisp-toasted English muffins. A chive garnish gives the dish a small hint of onion flavor and the hollandaise sauce is homemade and traditional. We also tried the Landmark Breakfast, named because it was so popular with the big-rig truckers the Poodle Dog used to serve along Highway 99 before the I-5 freeway was constructed. This meal is definitely for the big appetite: biscuits and gravy, a pile of hash browns, three fresh eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausage links, and a big slab of ham. Service is great; the wait staff refills coffee cups without even asking.
Another menu item this restaurant has served since the beginning is my favorite thing about it: “Miss Jane’s Oven-Baked Butterhorn!” (Yes, the exclamation point is on the menu.) In the past, these butterhorns and their cinnamon roll siblings were made in a large pressing machine, but nowadays the kitchen staff bakes them fresh to order, and they are incredible. As large as a lunch plate and as long as a fork, these pastries are melt-in-your-mouth buttery and flaky with sugar and slivered almonds on top. I asked for extra butter and my server didn’t bat an eyelash. I will be going back just for these in the very near future.
If you’re in the area and looking for hearty breakfast, the Poodle Dog Restaurant is the place to go.