Restaurant Review

Another South Tacoma gem this week – Patty’s Burgers and Milkshakes (5615 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA – till recently they had a location in Downtown Tacoma, but that closed).  You go to Patty’s when you’re really hungry.  At any other time, you’re making a mistake.  They do wonderful burgers and fries and breakfasts and shakes, but you have to be prepared for some serious portions.  Split a meal, know you’ve got a second meal you can take away and eat later, or, as I usually do, make it a late lunch/early dinner, and just toss your will power out the window and indulge yourself in a big meal and some serious nostalgia.  The restaurant décor is an homage to a 50’s dinner and the classic car reverence South Tacoma is steeped in.  This neighborhood was a regular haunt of mine growing up – my father had a business a few blocks away, and working in the family foundry was an obligation every day after school and most weekends.  The plus side to working in the foundry on Saturdays was dad provided breakfast and lunch out – always at South Tacoma diners.  Most of the restaurants of my adolescence have changed hands or formats over the years (it was a sad day when starbucks replaced Bobs Burger Barn on 56th and South Tacoma Way).  The problem with South Tacoma diners is that the patrons are just too cheap to pay what I takes to actually keep a restaurant afloat.  So you can typically get a cheaper than average meal in South Tacoma, but just know that the diner probably isn’t changing enough to make it.  Since opening in 2010, Patty’s has never fallen into that trap, and they charge reasonable prices for excellent fare.  Patty’s has a great reputation and doesn’t have to rely on South Tacoma cheapskates to keep things going (although South Tacoma folks eat there all the time – take note struggling diners).  The cook and the wait staff are friendly folks –and provide another great example of a restaurant that wouldn’t be around without the flow of immigrants into our Country (from Guadalajara, in this case).  Running a restaurant isn’t for the timid, and my hat is off to anyone who can make it happen.  When my kids were little, we often stopped in a Patty’s after a cold day of watching soccer at SERA field (a couple blocks away).  My father would go with an all-day breakfast option, the kids could have a hot dog or some chicken nuggets, and I’d go with a BLT – the world’s greatest sandwich.  But the burgers really are king, and my now 16 year old can put away the entire meal without appreciating the enormity of the accomplishment.  Ah, to be young again.  Anyway, Patty’s is worth a visit.   

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