Galloping Gerties in the Lakewood neighborhood of Tillicum is a must visit Bar and Grill. It’s at the Madigan Hospital exit on I-5. In a recent post about Family Style, down home restaurants, a reader reminded me of Galloping Gerties Restaurant. A couple of years ago I had breakfast there before shooting video for a construction site at JBLM. If you are interested, you could probably just follow construction workers’ trucks to the homey restaurant. If you’re a construction worker for the I-5 widening project with new over-passes and access roads connecting Mounts Road to Gravelly Lake Drive, you can get a 10% discount from Gerty!
Gerties is definitely JBLM military service people friendly. Actually, it’s well beyond JBLM friendly. Just walking in our group of four received a nod from a regular. Later when we remarked about the size of the biscuits another customer joked with us about the quantity of food. When a young family with baby and a young child came in and sat down at a booth, a waitress walked over to them and said, “Oh, Darlin’ lets get you into a booth with more room.” Gerties is beyond friendly. After I took a couple of photographs that same waitress said, “I haven’t seen so many camera flashes since Woodstock.”
We placed our orders and it seemed like only minutes later they were being delivered. Peg ordered the BLT on rye with hash browns (burnt, burnt, burnt, burnt . . . with an onion cut up in them). The bread was excellent rye, the bacon perfect, and the hash browns delivered as ordered. This is a hash brown rarity for us.
My biscuits and gravy arrived on two separate platters. They were not small platters. I looked on in disbelief. My jaw dropped when my cup of grits came next in a good-sized serving bowl. I took the entire grits meal with brown sugar, raisins, and butter home. Untouched.
I asked our waitress Danelle, “Why didn’t you warn me about portion size?” She laughed and said, “You never know. Some people place an order and you think there’s no way they could eat all that food . . . and then they do.” She sat down with us and chatted. Three tables away another diner remarked, “You wanna see the size of my biscuit?”
Our friend Mike ordered oatmeal. He finished it all, but I don’t think he made much of a dent in his biscuit. Both Jan (French toast made with good bread, so good French toast.) and Mike enjoyed their meals. I thought my biscuits and gravy were a little under spiced, but a few shakes of salt and pepper remedied that problem. I ate all my hash browns, eggs, and bacon. They were perfect. I hardly touched my biscuits and gravy, but didn’t take them home. I was pretty much stuffed for the day. However, the grits were a great Seahawks game day snack four hours later.
As we walked towards the parking lot, a couple were just parking their Harley on their way into Gerties. I asked the owner, “Are you going to give us all a ride?” “After breakfast,” he replied. I bet he would have, too. Gerties was fun and the food was good. The restaurant opened in 1952. We found the diner charming. It was worth the drive from Tacoma’s north end.
Susan Rothwell says
What a surprise to find this. I am ecstatic that you found Gerties to be all that we have tried to keep her all these years. I stepped away a year ago and ha dad the reins over to a new owner and I am happy she is keeping up the good food. I would guess that it was Tiny that cooked your meal. He is the very best and the fastest. Go try his clam chowder.
Thank you for visiting Gerties, athe little hamburger joint my Mom opened in 1952!
I hope you gallop back!
Don Doman says
I’m glad I made your day. Our Sunday morning trip to Tillicum was a joy. We enjoyed the decorations and wall hangings almost as much as the food, the service, and fellow customers. We will have to return. Normally, our Sunday breakfast group totals six, but one couple was visiting relatives in North Carolina. We’ll have to visit again with all six of us. You mother would still be proud, I’m sure.
Thanks for reading and sharing.