Roxy’s Island Grill
8290 SW Nyberg Rd
Tualatin, OR 97062
Also at: 12720 SW Walker Rd. Beaverton, OR
What I tried: Shoyu Chicken, Steamed Rice, Macaroni Salad, French Fries
What I liked best: Macaroni Salad, French Fries
Rating: 5/5 Stars
One line review:
“Amazing food + Awesome service + Great prices = Perfect lunch spot.”
So, I took the kiddo on a walk today, taking advantage of the brief Oregon sunshine to head down to the Lake at the Commons (Tualatin) and watch the ducks , which is Gracie’s current favorite activity. Strolling the grounds I noticed a sign that read, “Roxy’s Island Grill – Now Open!”
Well…how could I pass up an offer like that?
As soon as I walked in, I noticed that, though small, the restaurant was spacious and bright, nicely decorated, but without any of that Tiki Bar cheese, and with a beautiful view of the lake from almost every table. If you like people-watching, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Looks to max out at around 60, with both booth and table seating. About half the seats were taken, though with 2/3 of the orders being taken outside enjoy my the lake, the joint was hopping.
There was a pleasant hum of happy chatter and Island-style music, without either being annoying or overbearing. I noticed some friendly banter between some “regulars” and the kitchen…something I always take as a good sign. A big screen, mounted over the pass-through ran a nice (and silent) clip of Hawaiian video: surfing, beach walking, hula, etc.
In all it equated to a comfortable and relaxing vibe that I felt as soon as I walked in…sorta like the islands.
The menu was posted, along with color photos, along the order counter and I was, at first, a little disappointed at the lack of (what I consider) traditional dishes like laulau, poke, spam musubi, etc.
Lots of great looking chicken dishes…but where was my Kalua pig? Where was my lomi-lomi?
In all fairness they did have one of my top five dishes, Loco Moco, but still warm from our walk, it sounded a little heavy, so I skipped it in favor of something new.
Okay, next comes service. The lined moved quickly for a Friday lunch-hour, as it always does when I can’t make up my mind, and soon Michelle greeted Gracie and I with a sincere smile, asking what we would like. I asked (as I always do) what she recommended and, instead of just rattling off a menu item (or worse, “Oh, it’s all good!”), she asked if this was our first time to Roxy’s. I replied that it was, though I was familiar with the cuisine. No sooner had I said that, than Michelle disappeared behind the counter and reappeared with a small sample plate of several of the featured menu items. Very nice!
There was also a wide selection of Hawaiian sodas, which I love, to choose from. As I was doing a review, I stuck with water…but next time!
All of the samples were very good, and I settled on the Shoyu Chicken, rice, and macaroni salad for me, and a side of fries that I had bribed my daughter with, to get her away from the ducks. The total came to a wallet-friendly $8.50. I did a double-take at the menu, sure enough – plate lunches start at $6.50, burgers at $4.
Roxy’s tally rose to 3 for 3.
So, the kid and I went to find a booth and wait for our food. I stopped and grabbed some napkins and chopsticks (NOT snap-aparts…another smiley-face for Roxy’s) and the self-service area was organized and clean. In fact, if that kind of thing is important to you, the whole place was immaculate and gleaming.
Almost as soon as we were seated, Michelle arrived with our food. Gracie was drumming the table and I shushed her, to which our server replied, “Oh, it’s okay, we’re all loud here!” Kid friendly – Check.
Related note: When Gracie asked me for some water, Michelle was passing by and overheard, then brought us TWO glasses of water, from the “self-service” area. Again – very nice customer service!
So, last but not least…the food. The chicken was perfectly cooked, shredded soft and moist, lots of ginger and sweet with shoyu, but not overpowering (I could still taste the chicken) Not being a huge fan ‘o bird, I’ll say that this was very good chicken, which is high praise for me.
I added a little rooster sauce to mine to kick it up a bit, but if you don’t like the heat, it’s probably perfect, as is.
Oh, and there was a LOT of it. At least 2-3 large chicken thighs, in big shredded chunks, two big scoops of rice, and a big scoop of mac salad. Between the meat, rice, and salad, this would easily have served Victoria and me as a shared lunch. As it was, even with the kid picking at it, I brought half home.
The rice was hot and cooked correctly. Really, what can you say about rice…it’s good or it’s bad, this was good. The macaroni salad…well…
Let’s talk about the macaroni salad. This is a Hawaiian plate-lunch staple, and I’ve tried it on every island I’ve been to, and that’s most of them. On top of that, I make a freakin’ awesome mac salad myself, so I have pretty high standards. Let me give this a line of its own so as not to understate it…
Best. Macaroni Salad. Ever.
Dude, no joke, this was some killer salad…creamy, but not just a spoon full of mayo, you know? Al-dente pasta with shredded carrots, chopped green onion, and lots of black pepper. The extra pepper is what put it over the top. Not flaming, but just a little kick in mouth to balance out the sweetness and the egg whites in the mayo. I could do just this mac salad for lunch and be happy. I was sad to eat the last bite.
Perfectly golden brown, served salty and straight from the fryolater, still too hot to touch (as they should be), they were exactly what a fry is supposed to be, crispy on the outside, with a soft pillowy center, and so full of flavor that you have to keep eating them ever as you’re scorching your lips.
Even my four-year-old, a true French-fry connoisseur, stopped wide-eyed and said, “Daddy, these are REALLY yummy!”
I can’t say anything to top that.
So, what’s wrong with Roxy’s Island Grill?
I have but one complaint…it’s a little out of the way. Unless you’re pretty familiar with the Tualatin area, or have a good GPS, it might be a little tricky to find.
Worse case scenario…find the lake, park, and walk around it until you hit Roxy’s (right next to Hayden’s.)
So, that’s my review. Wonderful food, wonderful people, and prices that encourage budget-conscious folks (like me) to become regulars.
BTW – once I was home and looking over the to-go menu, I was kicking myself for not noticing that the special of the day was Kalua Pork! Oh well, just means I gotta go back next Friday…or Tuesday…yeah, Tuesday sounds better…
See you there!
Had the best grilled teriyaki chicken sandwich I have ever eaten…including my own! The pile of thick cut chicken thighs were perfectly tender, the sauce was sticky and wonderful with just the right balance of sweet and soy, and the grilled pineapple ring was the icing on the cake.
This is not a sandwich to approach timidly, it’s big and it’s messy, and you just gotta commit. It’s SO worth the extra napkins.
Even Vic, who has never liked cooked pineapple on anything, told me that this was what she would be ordering every time she came back. That’s a heck of a review right there!
Add and order of fries to this, and the new love of my life, the canned Strawberry Lilikoi juice, and you have a basket meal that I would put up against any diner, drive in, or dive…anywhere. There was a whole new crew working both the kitchen and front of house tonight and, once again, service was exceptional. Outandingly friendly people.
Seriously, these people aren’t paying me to write this stuff! It’s just THAT good!
Check out the menu
(prices are at the time of review)
Plate Lunch: $6.50
Choice of three sides: steamed rice, mac salad, or garden salad
Chicken Katsu Hamburger Steak
Orange Chicken Sweet Garlic Chicken
Kalbi Chicken Teriyaki Chicken
Loco Moco – $7 Teriyaki Beef – $7
Kalbi Ribs – $8 Saimin – $6.50
Keiki (Children) $4.50
Served with steamed rice, veggies, or friend noodles
Teriyaki Chicken Friend Noodles
Shoyu Chicken Kalbi Chicken
On The Bun
Teriyaki Burger – $4 Gravy Burger – $4
Teriyaki Beef – $5 Teriyaki Chicken – $4
Add mac salad, garden salad, or fries for .75
Monday – Char Sui Chicken Tuesday – Kalua Pork
Wednesday – Curry Beef Stew Thursday – Pork Adobo
Friday – Kalua Pork Saturday – Beef Stew
More reviews: http://www.yelp.com/biz/roxys-island-grill-tualatin
Finally…for all my fellow grillers out there…is this a good sign, or what?