Family owned and operated, The Boxcar Grill at Freighthouse Square opened in January. An all-American "blue-plate" breakfast, lunch and dinner menu is offered in a very casual diner environment - though the bright garden green and jet black make for an unusual color scheme not often associated with dining.
The large open room was drafty and chilling on a rainy, recent lunch visit.
The three eggs, pan-fried pork chop, hash browns and toast that make up the "Pig Palace" sounded like a winner. But after nearly 30 minutes, the reality was broken yolks, overcooked eggs, undercooked mushy hash browns, and a dry pork chop that had visible herbs and spices yet still managed to need hot sauce and salt and pepper. Massive marbled rye toast was the best part of that dish.
The Boxcar's Monte Cristo uses sweet waffle instead of bread; the combination of tangy 1000 Island meets Russian dressing smeared on the waffle, meat, sliced white onion, green bell peppers, Swiss cheese and thin raspberry jam misses the mark and is unappetizing.
On a positive note, the turkey used was from a turkey breast not sliced lunchmeat, and the ham bore marks from being warmed on a grill. All meats are reportedly cooked in-house.
Homemade chili with semi-crunchy beans was mediocre, and the service was slow and perfunctory.
[The Boxcar Grill, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 2501 E. D St., Tacoma, 253.503.0098, www.theboxcargrill.com]