Food Porn: Pautler’s Drive-In

Counter

One of my goals this summer is to visit as many seasonal hot dog joints as I can. Over the last four years we’ve visited a majority of them, but we still have a couple local favorites to check out (Reid’s, Connors, Red Top). Pautler’s Drive-In isn’t exactly a hot dog joint, but they are a seasonal business and their menu includes mostly summer classics like hot dogs, fries, burgers and milkshakes. I’ve worked in the Northtowns for well over a year now and I’ve driven by Pautler’s on Transit dozens of times, but I foolishly assumed they only took cash (which I never carry) and never bothered to stop in. A couple weeks ago I noticed they were open for the season and decided to stop in and take a gamble, it turned out they do take credit cards and I grabbed lunch on a busy Friday afternoon.

Quick Info:

The restaurant is called a drive-in but it’s technically not, however the design of the restaurant (pink/pastel colors, neon signs) is meant to invoke that 50’s restaurant feel. Their menu doesn’t have anything too crazy, as expected they offer a selection of hot dogs and hamburgers with a variety of toppings, chicken fingers and fried foods. There is a large window outside where you can order ice cream cones, milkshakes and other freshly prepared dessert, however on both of my visits the windows were closed.

Burger

Steak Fries and Hot Dog

On my first visit I ordered a hamburger with their curly fries and a drink. I think my total was under $7. The amount of food was impressive. The hand formed patty was charbroiled and bigger then I expected. They cashier didn’t ask how I’d like the burger cooked; I enjoyed the charred crispy exterior but the burger itself was a little too dry for my taste. It wasn’t inedible, but just disappointing. The order of curly fries was gigantic and challenged even my big appetite, they were cooked to the perfect level of crispiness.

When I arrived the following Monday for a second lunch, I decided to order a hot dog with everything, an order of steak fries and a small strawberry milkshake. That total ended up being less then $6, which is crazy cheap. The hot dog was char-grilled and covered with the works (ketchup, pickle, relish, spicy relish, onions, mustard). Let’s be honest, it’s really hard to screw up a char-grilled Sahlen’s. The steak fries were like my previous french fry experience, pretty solid and there was a ridiculous amount of them. The strawberry milkshake had a good thickness but I would have loved more actual strawberry pieces inside. But for the price, I can’t complain.

After both meals I went back to work feeling full and satisfied with how little each meal cost. The food was alright but there are better or equal options nearby. If you want a good burger, then you can hit up Grover’s, Five Guys or Ruzzine’s down the street. Just a couple miles away you can find almost the same menu Nina’s or Anderson’s and both of those restaurants are open year round. I enjoy the theme and the place is definitely kid friendly (their kid meals actually come in a cartoon box and they have a big ice cream/sundae menu). I’ve also seen pictures of various car shows that they hold in the parking lot, so if you live in the area, that may appeal to you.

Photo Gallery:

Pautler's Drive-In on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Food Porn: Pautler’s Drive-In

  1. It’s PauTLer’s (not PauLTer’s) :-)

    • Don Burtless

      thanks Bill! fixed.

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