By Eileen Majors
We cruised through the town of Graeagle and within an hour we were in Truckee. There is a definite charm to Downtown Truckee, CA and we were definitely there to experience it. We meandered through the downtown shops and eventually stopped at Jax Diner where we would decide to enjoy a fish sandwich and a cup of coffee. This was the most darling diner I had ever experienced, uniquely a railroad diner from the early 1940’s complete with venetian blinds and old fashioned counter seating. After a few minutes admiring the place, the friendly Alissa served us, and I must say this was no ordinary fish sandwich and not your ordinary diner-fare. My Dill Crumbed Fish Sandwich, as it turns out, was one of their signature recipes featured on The Food Network’s hit show, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. It was scrumptious! Soon we were talking to Bud Haley, the owner, raving over our sandwich. He invited us back for a sampling of the menu and we eagerly accepted.
We took an evening stroll through the downtown, shopping district before landing at Jax. We asked for Lola as Bud had directed and we were greeted and told about the fare they had planned for our dining pleasure, a sampling of many menu items. They serve traditional diner menu items with a definite twist. They call it ‘Honest food with a twist!’
Our first sampling arrived. The Crab Cake Sliders with Mango Salsa was amazing. Everything was made from scratch from the tasty bun to the Maryland Blue Crab Cakes they prepare fresh at Jax. Visit their website and you can watch their chef make crab cakes with the bleached blonde host Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. They prepare English muffins from scratch and homemade hollandaise sauce on the show segment too, all part of their Crab Cake Eggs Benedict, featured on the menu next to the classic.
Then came a tasty sampling of sweet potato fries served with Cajun mayo. Regular fries are diner-delicious too, and you might want to try the Parmesan chips they served us that evening. They hand cut and home fry potatoes, then dust them with Parmesan; very good. They serve a wide variety of shakes too, and they cook up traditional comfort foods too, like their famous meatloaf made with with Kobe Beef and their Shrimp and Lobster 5-Cheese Mac & Cheese, a special that night. Their baby back ribs are award winners, slow cooked with a rub and sauce.
Their Shrimp Crab Louie was delicious. Crisp romaine with Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus spears, hard boiled eggs, plenty of Blue crab and shrimp, and Kalmata Olives. A freshly sliced avocado was fanned across the top. Their homemade Tarragon dressing was delicious, and lemon wedges added just the right touch to the seafood, which was plentiful, fresh and delicious.
Everyone said you have to try the Morning Addiction, so popular then now call it The All Day Addiction an egg and hashbrown ensemble that includes Canadian Bacon, pesto and balsamic reduction. They also make their own corned beef hash with diced corn beef brisket, country potatoes, peppers, onions and their special blend of spices. You will find a giant breakfast menu featuring all the classics plus a wide variety of signature creations like Banana Pancakes, Huevos California and their Breakfast Burrito with Chorizo.
The burger menu is long with twists like the Buffalo Chicken, dipped in Jax Hot Sauce with bleu cheese dressing. How about a Hawaiian Teriyaki or their Secret recipe Veggie Burger? I am dying to try the Thanksgiving sandwich, on the menu year round. They offer seasonal beers on tap, and several drink specials.
Not only is the food great, the dining is a pleasure. Owner Bud Haley said, “We care about the food, but we really care about the people.” It showed. Chefs Candy and Pasquel made us some great food while Micah, Meg and Alissa enjoyed the customers who were obviously enjoying the staff as well as the food.
When your skis take you through Truckee this season, stop at Jax Truckee Diner at the tracks downtown. We highly recommend the exceptionally good food and nostalgic ambiance at Jax. Menu
10144 West River Street Truckee, CA 96161