In And Out.

Who invented the drive-thru window? It’s a trick question, I know, because restaurants that serve food to go date back at least to ancient Rome, although funny reports that they had “drive-thru windows” are probably a joke because wheeled vehicles were often banned in cities where you’d find restaurants, and it was mainly the wealthy who traveled long distances in wheeled vehicles anyway. And while it’s true that some British pubs, and probably taverns and bars across Europe, have historically had open windows where people could come up and order a pint most of the time customers would sit and sip their bitters at tables right next to the building.

There is a funny and underappreciated 2001 indie film called Scotland, PA about the first burger joint to have a drive-thru window. It’s pure fiction—the story is somewhat loosely based on a certain Scottish play by Shakespeare—but it’s clever and also worth checking out if you want to hear Christopher Walken say “baba ghanoush”.

My own associations with drive-thru windows, too, is that they’re mainly for terrible food. What I mean is you go through a drive-thru window if you can’t be bothered to stop and you don’t really care about the quality of what you’re getting because most of the time it’s been sitting under a heat lamp for at least an hour.

There are exceptions, though. The other night my wife had a craving for barbecue and, lucky for us, there’s a pretty good place down the street that’s both nearby and has a nifty drive-thru window. They cleverly converted an old full-service garage with a car wash into a restaurant and put in a pick-up window. And the service was fast—so fast I didn’t really have a chance to get a good picture of some of the cool advertising on the inside walls.

And because it’s so close the food was still pretty good by the time I got home.

What was left of it, anyway.

Facebook Comments

8 Comments

  1. Arionis

    Good thing you didn’t get…

    http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/320601935/m/8570030334

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Wow, that really is something. Also it reminds me that many years ago, back when the internet was still a pretty new thing, a friend of mine would take pictures of people who worked drive-thru windows. Always with their permission, of course. One even got published in a local paper. He thought about putting together a whole book of them and of course he was going to call it “Drive-Thru Shootings”.

      Reply
  2. Allison

    If this is Bringle’s, and I think it is, I need to get over there stat. We’re not too far from his Peg Leg Porker, and I find it delightful. Except for the whole parking sitch. We typically take an Uber/Lyft there to avoid the pain. But this looks like there are some different items, and I do love the Texas-style tin tray service.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      This is actually Smokin’ Thighs but I think I need to try Bringle’s and Peg Leg Porker. We do to-go orders pretty much exclusively now but it’s kind of funny to me that a place that has a really nice sit-down area, the kind of place where you’d want to go and dine in, also has a drive-thru area.

      Reply
  3. M.L. James

    BBQ brisket does sound delicious right about now! I don’t even mind if I have to walk in the joint to get it! Mona
    M.L. James recently posted…Hot Gossip and QuestionsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Well, thank you for putting “Big Spender” from Sweet Charity in my head. That’s one of my favorite musicals anyway so it doesn’t take much. But part of the fun of BBQ is eating outside, and this is the time of year for it. Or maybe it will be in another month or so. Right now I don’t think I want my brisket seasoned with sweat.

      Reply
  4. ANN J KOPLOW

    I’m always glad to drive through here and pick up a tasty post from you, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m also glad you stopped here on your way through, Ann.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: