Saturday, June 02, 2007

Road Food Pursuits - The Drive In Restaurant

One of the great things about this time of year in Minnesota is that the handful of drive in restaurants we have in this state are now open for the summer season. Today I took a short road trip to partake in one of them.

The Drive In Restaurant
572 Bench St.
Taylors Falls, MN

The town of Taylors Falls, MN is located about 40 miles or so northeast in the Twin Cities and is nestled along the St. Croix River. It is a gorgeous area. And they are lucky enough to have a drive in restaurant that still has carhops in poodle skirts, and still serves root beer in a frosty mug.

The Drive In Restaurant is hard to miss. Just look for the giant, spinning, mug of Frostop root beer! This is an honest-to-goodness, authentic drive in that serves a number of burgers, sandwiches, fries, onion rings, desserts, and the like. It simply oozes nostalgia, and not at all in a phony way. And judging by the number of people dining here this Saturday, the Drive In is quite popular.

My carhop (friendly, attentive, and most pleasant) took my order. I selected the “Drive In Burger” basket; a 1/3 pound patty with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, with both American and Swiss cheese.

The “Drive In Burger” at the Drive In Restaurant

The burger was marvelous. It was a thinner patty that had an excellent char on the outside, and it was still very moist. There was almost a little bit of crunch when you bit into it. All of the ingredients were nice and fresh. Cool lettuce, juicy slices of tomato, and crunchy pickles mingled beautifully with the melted cheeses and condiments. I absolutely loved this burger.

With the burger basket comes a side of crinkle-cut fries, a style which I like very much. They were crispy and delicious, and with my burger sitting on top of them, they soaked up some of the juices and condiments that ran off (yum!).

Dining here at the Drive In is a great value, too. The burger basket was all of $6.94, a small price for such wonderful quality. Add a large diet Coke and some tax, and the total bill came to $9.19.

I am beginning to think that all burgers should be eaten in cars and served to you by carhops in poodle skirts. There is just something about eating at a drive in. It brings back memories of a different time when fast food simply meant good food fast. You can enjoy a beautiful summer day and take in the very social and festive setting that a drive in offers. And you get to dribble juices from your burger all over your driver side window (which I did, thank you very much!).

And if you live near, or are traveling through, Taylors Falls, you too can have this experience at the Drive In Restaurant.