I recently had the opportunity to have breakfast at a restaurant that I have been hearing about around a year now. That place is TJ’s Restaurant in Avondale, AZ located at the corner of Riley and Dysart Rd. south of I-10. From what I understand is TJ’s is legendary here on the Westside of Phoenix having been serving “Home-style” breakfasts and lunches to families for over thirty years. At any given time during business hours the parking lot of the aging 1970’s era strip mall that TJ’s calls home is full to capacity and hungry patrons take up the whole row of plastic chairs along the restaurant front. Everytime I have driven by and saw the crowd outside I thought to myself, “Man that place looks so popular, I just wish I had time for the wait.” Well, the other day I had time to experience TJ’s and I’m glad that I did.
Upon arriving, I saw the usual 12 or 15 people outside and as my party of five walked up five of those folks got up and went inside “Perfect timing” I thought to myself as I went to the desk to check in. As I looked around the inside I smiled at the homey country decor and I could see a lunch counter and tables all occupied by very happy people laughing and talking right along with the hustle and bustle busy atmosphere. I stepped back outside and sat down with my group, started my time clock and waited. Exactly 12 minutes had elasped before we were called in past a couple paying their bill which told me their table was cleared, cleaned, set, and we were seated before they were done paying their bill and leaving. The folks running this place hustle! Our waitress (a sweet older Grandmotherly type) sat us and immediately asked if we would like coffee or drinks and those were brought to the table within 4 minutes.
Going over the menu I could see the standard breakfast fare was there, eggs (from local AZ company Hickman’s Farms), bacon, sausage, diced potatoes, shredded hash browns but the next thing I saw was a beautiful sight…MEAT LOAF! For breakfast? I paused for a moment and contemplated it but was absolutely sold when I saw the choice of “brown gravy” or “white gravy” OH HELL YEAH! Two fried eggs, shredded hash browns and two FAT slices of meat loaf smothered in white country gravy! I had checked my blood earlier in the morning and found that my blood levels were a little high for my cholesterol stream and figured that this meal just might bump those cholesterol levels back up to where they need to be!
So our orders were taken and I set my time clock again it was a good time to sit back and get a feel for the over all vibe of the place. It seemed fairly fast paced but not in a frantic out of control way, almost like a keep moving on track full steam ahead way! Everybody seemed happy as they discussed matters large and small all around us, some couples quietly talking privately while another family was laughing very loudly among each other and having a great time. Before we knew it our order arrived and as we picked up our forks begin this awesome experience I checked my watch and 19 minutes had gone by. Were exactly 31 minutes into our TJ’s experience and already savoring this amazing Homestyle Breakfast!
Everybody at our table concluded that TJ’s absolutely ROCKED and was probably one of the best breakfasts we have had.
The service was great, the food was served hot and fast and the total bill for our table of five was under $50 with a tip. I would highly recommend TJ’s if you want breakfast that is affordable, quick and served with a smile! We will be returning to try an amazing assortment of homemade pies and cinnamon rolls too!