Where burgers take center stage
Traxx Bar & Grill has a burger-centric menu to please hungry diners
Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 9:50 a.m.
Looking for a good burger and a comfortable, friendly place to eat it? Then consider Traxx Bar & Grill, located at 219 Lakeville Street, directly across from the Petaluma Train Depot.
Style: road house casual
Kid friendly: yes
Wheelchair accessible: yes
(Prices for entrée and beverage: $$$$ more than $20; $$$ $14 to $20; $$ $9 to $14; $ less that $9)
Traxx has a burger-centric menu. They serve 100 percent Angus chuck from the Merced-based Richwood Meat Company, and any burger can be enjoyed with the diner’s choice of a half-pound beef patty, grilled chicken breast, or a vegetarian garden patty.
They serve five kinds of fries, including plain, garlic, sweet potato, buffalo-style, and chili cheese. They also serve a variety of “Odds n’ Ends” (grilled cheese, wraps, steak sandwiches, hot dogs, etc., plus daily specials) and sides (fried mozzarella, wings, onion rings, salads, chili and soup), but the focus is clearly on burgers and fries.
There is even a challenge burger, “The Beast,” which has three pounds of beef and all the fixings for $40. If you can finish it by yourself in 45 minutes, it’s free. To date, several have tried but no one has managed to get The Beast for free.
Traxx reminds me of a ’50s style road house. There is dark wood paneling and memorabilia on all the walls, which owner Chris Cheney’s father-in-law has collected over the years from local stores and restaurants. There are free peanuts in the bar, and they run specials for big sporting events, serving $2 beers, half-price appetizers and $5 burgers.
The dining room and full bar area are separated, but traffic flows freely between the two. The night we were there, the bar was active, full of patrons described as regulars, and there was a good selection of rock and roll music. From the dining area, we could hear the background thump of liars’ dice cups (a dice game) and good natured bantering of friends, but were also able to clearly hear and enjoy our own conversations. There are three large TVs in the bar area, and one in the dining room. There is also patio seating, but it was too chilly the night we were there, so we opted not to enjoy it.
The menu is very reasonably priced, as is the collection of beers, both bottled and on tap, and there are local wines. Our server, Megan, was friendly and attentive.
Chris Cheney has been in the restaurant business for several years before buying Traxx, which he has now owned and operated for the past 11 years. He looks forward to both the new Sonoma county passenger train (SMART) and the future development plans proposed for the depot and river area. He says that currently there is not much foot traffic on his part of Lakeville street, but that he has a great parking area for those that want to stop by (he does note that the sign in the parking area discouraging large trucks is not his and belongs to his landlord).
He stresses that his restaurant and menu are kid-friendly, serving child-sized portions of burgers, chicken tenders, gilled cheese, hot dogs, and quesadillas. His own children attend Petaluma schools, and he regularly hosts “dine and donate” evenings for the schools.
The burgers were great. Each of the three of us ordered a beef patty, which was cooked precisely as ordered — one medium, one medium rare and one medium well.
The basic Traxx burger is $6.75 and comes with lettuce, tomato, dill pickle and special sauce. Other burger toppings can be added for an additional $1.25 each. The specialty burgers are all $9. At our server’s recommendation, we chose to share one full size order of fries ($4.50), which was plenty for three people. Our dinner, with drinks, was just about $40, a little more than we would pay as a family at a fast food restaurant, but a much more enjoyable atmosphere.
Traxx is open Monday through Thursday for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. til 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The bar is open until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; until 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and until 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Traxx is also available to cater lunch, dinner and cocktail parties. Check their website for more information and to learn about special events at www.traxx barandgrill.com.
(Contact Lynn Haggerty King at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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