For 61 years, starting as a burger and shake drive-in, Galloping Gerties has catered to the families near Fort Lewis (Joint Base Lewis-McChord) and the surrounding area. Except for a short time, the Rockwell family has owned the establishment, which has a horse-racing theme in its big dining room and sports bar. They are known for great service and comfort food at reasonable prices. Reachable only by I-5, the restaurant has a big horseshoe-shaped sign that beckons us to pull off and enjoy ourselves.
We went for lunch on a Saturday and it was packed. The main dining room is mostly booths and a person in a wheel chair or with a walker might feel cramped , but the lounge is spacious and bright and very comfortable. We were seated there and our server, Arlette, was happy to answer questions and kept coffee coming and made sure we had everything we needed.
The menu is full of family favorites like hearty breakfasts served all day and all kinds of burgers and sandwiches. Prices range from a side of a pancake at $2.99 to an eight-ounce steak and eggs at $14.99.
We ordered the Arco Iris Chicken Fried Steak (the smaller one) at $11.49, and Bettyâ€™s Two Combo French Toast at $9.79. The steak was at least six inches across and perfectly fried. It was served with homestyle brown gravy, a large serving of large cut home fries and two eggs ordered scrambled. In addition, there was a grapefruit-sized fluffy biscuit with butter.
The French toast slices were large Texas toast drenched in egg and perfectly fried. They were served with two eggs ordered scrambled and two large sausages which were delicious and had crunchy natural casings. We should have ordered extra sausages. Coffee was $1.99 with refills.
The atmosphere was warm and friendly and we had a good time. There is plenty of parking and several handicapped spaces, but the bathrooms are small and a disabled person would need help. Service-dog-friendly. A good experience overall.
IF YOU GO
Galloping Gerties Grill
Exit 122 off Interstate 5 at the Madigan overpass
6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily