Dining at the AC Drive In is a unique experience because it isn’t the typical restaurant. There is no inside seating and what is outside isn’t very appealing when the weather drops below 60 degrees. Most of the dining experience happens when you take your order to go and eat it elsewhere. The result is that there is little to report about the dining experience outside of the wait time, the value and the quality of the food. Here’s what we found:
Service: We chose to go through the drive-up window which allowed us to stay in the car. There is a walk-up window you can use if the drive-up window is busy. Parking can be tight around lunch time but if you are patient you will find a place to park. Using the drive-up window our wait time was less than five minutes, which is pretty good given the fact that the food is cooked after you have ordered, not before.
Food: I ordered the Farmer Brown with onion rings and a strawberry shake, while Cheryl ordered a regular cheeseburger with fries and a drink. A Farmer Brown hamburger comes loaded with three hamburger patties with all the trimmings. One thing you will find about the AC Drive In burgers is the special sauce they come with. You can order your burger without it but I don’t think it will taste as good. One problem with anything that comes with their special sauce is that it makes your burger really messy to eat. You’ll want a few extra napkins when you eat an AC burger.
The onion rings are always delicious. My order came with seven onion rings ranging in size from about three inches in diameter to maybe an inch. Regardless of the size, they are really delicious, but eat them while they are hot as they taste best that way. My strawberry shake was excellent, not too stiff and not too runny. I ate mine with a spoon and it was delicious. Our order of fries was over the top large. We had ordered a small combination for Cheryl’s meal which should have come with a small fry, but our order was more like jumbo fries. I am not a huge fan of AC fries which is why I ordered the onion rings but Cheryl thought they were very tasty. We literally had more than we could eat.
Value: Our meal was $22 and change, quite a lot for a couple of burgers with extras. I will acknowledge that my shake and onion rings likely pushed our bill up over the $20 mark but paying $22 for a restaurant with no seating, no bathroom and no service seemed a little high for my taste. The food was great so take that into account.
I would interject that the AC is one of the little treasures that can be found in our community. If you lived here long ago you will remember it for its quaint, delicious food. I hope that tradition continues for many decades into the future.