Jax at the Tracks (Truckee, CA)

After hearing Jax at the Tracks was on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, I knew I wanted to go. My experience with diners on TV shows is not always “good.” Of course, if you will be on a TV show, you’ll make the food as good as possible. For common folks like myself? Maybe not. You see Jax by the Tracks on Food Network here.

Jax at the Tracks History:

Ripe Carey, the owner, found Truckee to be the perfect spot for an “affordable restaurant.” He owned a second home in Truckee but couldn’t find anywhere he liked. Finally, he found the Birmingham Grille, a 1948 Kullman diner for sale in Philly. He had it delivered from Philly to Truckee and put just over 1 million dollars into restoring it. It opened on December 6th, 1995.

Anyway, I ordered takeout from Jax at the Tracks, and it took nearly an hour after ordering to pick it up. Yikes!

Jax at the Tracks (Truckee, CA)

Jax at the Tracks Atmosphere: A

As the name suggests, Jax at the Tracks is located near the train tracks in Truckee. However, the diner itself sticks out in the middle of Truckee. You look at it and think, wow, now that is a diner.

Jax at the Tracks (Truckee, CA)

Inside is no different, and the diner looks like a blast from the past. There are two main rooms, one in a dining car and one with more seating in the back. From the atmosphere alone, this is an authentic diner.

Jax at the Tracks (Truckee, CA)

Jax at the Tracks Coffee: X

I wanted to ask for coffee, but I just wanted to leave after waiting almost 30 minutes in the diner.

Jax at the Tracks Food: C

The Jax at the Tracks has everything a regular diner would have and more. However, unlike many diners, Jax by the Tracks is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their breakfast menu is available all day, but lunch and dinner are not. You can see the entire Jax at the Tracks menu here.

I arrived around lunchtime and decided between the Nova Lox Bagel, crab cakes, and BBQ pulled pork sandwich. I decided to order the Nova Lox Bagel. Leaving the New Jersey-New York area, I’ve missed good bagels, specifically Nova Lox. Nova Lox bagels have nova lox (smoked salmon), capers, onions, and cream cheese, all on a bagel.

Jax at the Tracks (Truckee, CA) nova lox bagel

I figured if I could find a good one, it would be here. Boy, was I mistaken. When I opened the box, I thought I ordered the wrong thing. It appeared like a salad with a couple of small bagel bites. What I even looking at? The bagel was ok but tasted like a frozen Thomas bagel. I’m not sure what was going on with the massive amount of greens.

In all, it was an ok meal, but it definitely wasn’t a nova lox bagel. If your touting an East Coast Diner, try again.

Jax at the Tracks Service: D

When I arrived in Jax at the Tracks, I said I was there for pickup. No one seemed to know what I was talking about. Finally, a host went to look into it and couldn’t find anything. Instead of telling me, he just disappeared. So I just sat there for a while, wondering what was going on. Finally, about 15 minutes later, I decided to ask another staff member. They said my meal would be ready in another 10 minutes.

Finally, after 55 minutes of placing my order, it was ready.

Cost: $10.50

For my Nova Lox Bagel (thing??), it was $10.50, which is about the same price as in NYC/NJ.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?

Honestly, I was fairly disappointed with Jax at the Tracks. From my meal to the service, nothing was overly great to me. However,  I would be open to trying something else since it looks like they have plenty of menu options.

Atmosphere: A

Coffee: X

Food: C

Service: D

Cost: $10-20

Overall: C

You can see more diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to a restaurant on TV?

Do you like Nova Lox bagels?