As alfresco dining continues to grow in popularity, I’m reminded of a form of outdoor dining I’ve been enjoying since I was a kid - the drive-in. I live near one of these old-fashioned eating establishments, and now that the weather’s warmer I’m a frequent visitor to Kuntz’s Drive-In in Abilene. Music from the 1950s and 1960s plays as I enjoy the breeze coming through the open windows of my car parked in one of the dozen or so stalls under a low awning. A car hop takes my order: a Fat Lady Burger and a frosty mug of homemade root beer. And lots of napkins please. [[endteaser]]
My Fat Lady Burger consists of two hamburger patties, ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, and a homemade rich-and-sweet-yet-tangy chili sauce; hence, the need for several napkins. All burgers are made with fresh Angus ground beef pattied by hand every morning, and most are topped with a special secret sauce that has been handed down from owner to owner. Customers favor the Patty Melt, Double Mushroom and Swiss Burger, Steak Strips, and Chicken Fingers. And for a special treat? A root beer float, chocolate shake, an orange or root beer Frosty (real ice cream blended with soda), or a Tornado (real ice cream blended with bits of candy bars).
Is there an old-fashioned drive-in in your community?