Since I have been reviewing my summer I knew my next post would have to be about the ultimate summer meal: hot dogs and hamburgers.
No matter how you feel about these signature summer dishes, we all have to agree that they are quintessentially American. After all, President Franklin wouldn’t have served them to visiting royalty in 1939 (https://bit.ly/2MRLaZi) if they weren’t.
This little mom and pop shop in Massapequa, Long Island has been open since 1963. I passed it by chance one day and then returned after seeing the enormously long lines (always a sign of something delicious happening). That is how is landed on my current annual to do list (https://bit.ly/2WatoF2) in fact.
After a day of sunning myself and swimming in the pool, it was time to feast. I took my order to go but I was surprised that the line wasn’t long at all and that the few picnic tables that are located in the front weren’t too crowded.
I got ordered one of each (a hot dog and cheeseburger that is) as well as French fries and onion rings.
They were all okay except I like my fries to be a bit crispier and have a tad more grease AKA a la McDonald’s.
My cheeseburger - technically a quarter pounder - felt like it came from a children’s menu. It was a bit thin and skimpy to me.
But my biggest complaint was about the hot dog and this complaint is not really about All American. It is a complaint I often have with hot dogs whether cooked at home or even at Nathan’s in Coney Island. The complaint being that the hot dogs are not cooked nearly enough!! I like A LOT of char on my meats especially on hot dogs. I cook have achieved this degree pf proper char easily with my air fryer.
I guess what really charmed me about All American Drive In actually had nothing with their food, it was their story.
Despite the many franchise offers they had over the years, this family run business declined them all. Their prices are far cheaper than their corporate competitors. The location is the same and so is the food. In fact only a few additions have been made to the menu. This kind of intimacy provides a kind of comfort you can’t find much any more in this world especially in this industry.
It was only recently that I returned to the area to try their sister restaurant and popular dessert phenomenon; Marshall’s Ice Cream Bar.
Here I ordered pistachio soft serve in a wafer cone with rainbow sprinkles. As an admitted salt lover, I do not normally crave ice cream and didn’t on this day.
However, it was amazing!! The ice cream was far better than the similar version I have had numerous times at Carvel. The ice cream tasted more homemade, real, and devote of any sugary after taste.
So if you are hungry for a bit of nostalgia, head out for lunch and a snack.
Both are open year round just be sure to bring cash! That is the only currency that can transport you back in time.
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