Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Company: "Dinner in the Diner" Elbe Restaurant Tip by glabah
Elbe Restaurants: 2 reviews and 4 photos
In 1980, the Milwaukee Road abandoned all track west of North Dakota. Much of the track was simply pulled up, but in certain other cases the lines were put to use for local needs. This included the line through Elbe, Washington. As the years went by, various equipment got moved around, a tourist railroad prospered along the highway here in Elbe, and by 1987 some of the equipment came to be converted into a dining room, bar and hotel.
As a general rule, the main dining car operates from 11 am to 7 pm, with the bar / lounge operating until 1 am. Hours may vary by season, as the traffic through town drops off severely during September with very little from late fall through spring.
By "Classic American Cuisine" they basically mean burgers and fries and other typical road side food. However, some of the unusual dishes here include Elk Burger, Buffalo Burger and Venison Burger along with the more typical cow burger. There is also a Porta Bella Mushroom burger.
The caboose and two passenger cars rebuilt and redecorated for stationary restaurant use are reasonably well decorated, but it is also obvious that they require a lot more upkeep and attention than a standard building would.
There is artwork on the walls from various local artists, and while you wait for your food (which does arrive fairly quickly once you get it ordered) you may want to wander through some of the cars and the hallway by the bathrooms, and the bathrooms themselves, to take a closer look at the paintings on the walls for sale.
Favorite Dish: I wanted to try the Elk Burger or Buffalo Burger, but alas those were out of stock. I instead had the Venison Burger, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The options include "homemade soup", fries, and a few other options for dishes to accompany the burger, but I settled for the "classic American cuisine" and ordered fries with the burger. Cheese adds $0.99 to the price.
Address: Along s. Side of Highway 7 in Elbe, Washington
Price Comparison: about average
Directions: Elbe isn't a very large town at all. The restaurant is crammed into a small area on the south side of Highway 7 before the intersection with 706, right next to the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad main station.
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