The waitresses weren't in rollerskates, and Roy Orbison didn't croon from the speakers, but Fat Boy Drive-In on Bath Road still transported the Foodie and Foodie Friends back to the Baby Boom. Amidst the All-American (i.e. greasy) food, inflation-immune pricing and astroturf-green striped awning, the Foodie half expected Howdy Doody and Princess Summerfall Winterspring to pull up next to her in a Chevy Bel-Air.
Fat Boy probably hasn't changed much since its founding in 1955. The huge arrow on its Jetsons-inspired sign, complete with jazzy lights, points not to an architectural wonder?a concrete box with yellowed windows houses the kitchen and indoor seating?but to the spectacle of automobiles parked in the expansive lot. Pick-ups mingle with Audis row by row as their passengers enjoy burgers and fries without having to step outside, sprinkling crumbs of crust in the car crevices.
The Foodie wanted to step inside this veritable time machine before it closed for the season on October 10. She recommends that readers do the same, as the opportunity will be lost until the third weekend of March next year. For the next five months, the Foodie may just take her meals in a car every so often to soften the blow.
She won't actually miss the food: it's nothing that can't be found at any diner in town, and Grand City still wins the prize for lowest prices. Moreover, the hamburgers were flat and poorly assembled, the clamcakes shaped like discs, and the chicken nuggets crusted in what tasted like compressed corn flakes. The french fries, which often make up for a poor main course elsewhere, were bland (the best, I've found, by the way, are at Sea Dog Brewery).
These eats didn't arrive quickly, either; the wait was at least a half an hour for what must have taken five minutes to cook. As soon as the waitress set their food atop the tray hooked to the car window, Foodie and Friends also had some difficulty distinguishing whose dish was whose, as all the brown, fried goods looked alike. The Foodie must admit that the long wait had built up hope for what turned out to be somewhat unattractive meals.
On the upside, a Foodie Friend's grilled cheese sandwich was crispy on the outside but gooey on the inside. Indeed, that Fat Boy behind the counter does well with bread: all buns were toasted, and every dish arrived topped with a buttered split roll, golden as the late afternoon sun that glowed through vehicles' windows. The Foodie was also pleased that her chicken nuggets appeared to consist of unprocessed chicken meat. Her chocolate milkshake was creamy, refreshing and huge (the default size at Fat Boy is 20 ounces, all the better to plumpen you with).
The Foodie didn't get to sample Fat Boy's Canadian BLT or the Lobster Roll, both of which it claims are world famous. She'll surely return before closing time October 10 to try them at least, since they're famous! What she most looks forward to, however, is sitting in the cocoon of her car under the shade of the awning, listening to the hum of neighboring cars' radios and transporting herself back to 1955.