Peg and I hosted two granddaughters for the weekend. We had a gleeful time. On Monday morning we visited Point Ruston to view "The Secret Life of Pets." We all laughed and enjoyed ourselves. We had rush from the house to the theater and the girls had popcorn for breakfast. I'm guessing there were about twenty of us there for the first showing.
After the film we went to the Proctor District for lunch at G. Donnalson's. We were a little early and so I visited the hobby store, while did sidewalk cruising from Peg and the girls went to Radio Shack and then a book store. I tried the front door, which was locked. Soon the owner, Steve Smith, opened the door. I introduced him to Peg, Isabella and Sophia. Steve had made the decision to discontinue lunch, but the information had not yet made it to their website. He tried to send us to Pomodoro, but our backup was to try Fergies on the Ave and/or Little Jerry's. Both places feature all-day breakfast.
Fergies is not that far away from the Tacoma Dome at South 35th and McKinley Avenue. Reviews had mentioned "small diner." It was as advertised.
Outside the restaurant and the building next door there were four little flower gardens between the sidewalk and the street. The lavender was hearty and I loved the ones called "Red Hot Pokers." They look like they sound.
Outside the front door to the restaurant there were two large pots with plants growing as well. They were not well groomed, but then neither was I.
We were welcomed to the restaurant from a patron in the back, "Pick a seat before they're all gone." There were half a dozen empty booths from the back and ending just before the front door. I don't recall if there were turn-table stools at the counter or not, but there should have been. I've been in countless little diners like this in Tacoma, Centralia, Auburn, Port Orchard . . . and elsewhere. I love places like this.
We took a table by the front window with a view of the old Safeway grocery store across the street, which must be a church of some sort, or perhaps offices.
Nancy sat us down and gave us a stack of photocopied and plastic covered menus. She returned when we were ready to order. Sophia requested bacon and eggs. Nancy took her to school on how to order fried eggs. When Sophia asked for sunny-side up, Nancy asked what she meant by that, and then led her to the correct decision, "Medium" with questions and suggestions.
When Sophia's plate of bacon and eggs were delivered, they looked perfect. Even the hash browns looked good and Sophia hadn't given any direction for their preparation. If mine were delivered the same way, I would have been happy. There were three slices of bacon. Peg and I eventually shared one piece.
Isabella ordered a cheese burger with onion rings rather than fries. Nancy took in her stride.
When the order was brought, I thought those onion rings look goooooooood. They were greasy and crunchy and went exceedingly well with ketchup. I had one . . . just to taste. More would have led to even more. Peg had part of mine and gave the same smile I had. Bella liked her cheese burger. It was not greasy. She didn't order any particular way. I would have ordered it medium-rare and I bet it would have been perfect.
I don't think toast came with her order, so she may have been working on her sister's toast. They had repeatedly taken out the little containers of jam (they only had grape and strawberry)and restacked them in their basket in particular patterns. Bella very carefully spread strawberry jam on her pieces of toast. She was satisfied.
Peg's French Dip was just like she imagined with the roast beef piled a good inch high. The au jus was salty, but not overly so. Her vegetable beef soup was tasty with little chunks of hamburger mixed in with the ample stew-like chunks of veggies.
When I saw my hash browns I just beamed. I had asked for them burnt, burnt, burnt . . . crispy. These were closest I've even had the hash browns perfection were from Knapp's on North Proctor . . . and they were trying to make a point. If I'm served excellent hash browns, my day is made. My eggs were perfect and combined well with my hash browns. The chicken fried steak was good. The gravy was only marginal, but the hash browns improved it. Peg enjoyed the piece of steak and gravy I gave her. I didn't get a taste of her French Dip, but I did dip a piece of well-buttered toast into the au jus.
Carol, the owner came and talked to us about music; she's a sponsor of live music in Seattle parks during the summer. She chatted even more than Nancy. We felt at home.
I was well pleased to find a nice little diner in Tacoma. They used to dot both sides of South Tacoma Way and Puyallup Avenue.