TLO Restaurant Review: Classic 50s Drive-Inn

Hey, daddy-o! You cool cats remember the fifties? The sock-hops, the leather jackets and trying to make it to second base with Betty Jean while parking down on Lovers Lane?

Yeah…I don’t either.

Sadly, instead of a cherished boomer I’m a woefully misbegotten Jimmy Carter-era malaise baby. But, still, when you’re done greasing your hair into a pompadour and picking up the scraps of Buddy Holly’s corpse in that cornfield, maybe you’d like to join me down at the Classic 50s Drive-Inn, 1521 W. Lindsey St. in Norman, for some semblance of Cold War culinary nostalgia?

Famous for the “Sprittle”—a decidedly ding-dong dangerous combination of Sprite and Skittles—the Classic 50s Drive-Inn transports your tastebuds in a tantalizing time machine made up of the ginchiest flavors to relive that long-lost era of poodle-skirts and white t-shirts in an atmosphere that hasn’t changed all that much since its grand opening in 1957. Except for integration, of course.

Finding a parking space with a menu that worked on this cold and wet ankle-biter of a day, after a slick and quick perusal of the board, I ordered what I firmly believed in my funky gone mind to be the quintessential drive-in meal: the Super-Classic Burger, some Broccoli Cheddar Nuggets and, what the heck, how could I say no to a small Sprittle?

Word from the bird is that these Classic 50s burgers are the real deal and, as I took a Johnny B. Good-sized chomp out of my Super-Classic Burger ($4.49), I could see what they were talking about; definitely a juicy barn-burner from the get go, this deluxe baby beat feet in my mouth all day with the unforgettable stylings of the steaming double-decker cheeseburger meat and the cool lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions dancing a crazy shindig, not forgetting that liberal amount of sweet barbecue sauce that was also invited to the party.

While that burger was made in the shade, these Broccoli Cheddar Nuggets ($5.29), while maybe not 50s era-specific, definitely looked like the space-age food kids were warned about in their sci-fi funny-books. That hot broc mixed with a flood of melty cheese would have anyone shouting “A whomp-bomp a-lou-bomp a-whomp-bam-boom!” to anyone within earshot. Add a little ranch for a freaky dipping sauce and you’re in for a real cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

But if I had to bet on what item would truly make me flip my lid, the Sprittle ($2.19) edges in pretty close, pops. Even though those little candy bits had mostly evaporated into white sugar-pills by the time it reached my lips, the soda-pop was a still a real sweet treat that desperately needed a small size to truly enjoy; too much of that crazy fizzy-water and you’ll be bouncing off the walls like a jive straw-boss hung out to dry on some gutbucket swill. Wild, man, wild.

There are plenty more specialty items on the menu of Classic 50s that’ll give you and your pretty little babies something to wig out on, from baked potato boats and crunchy fried okra, to fried chicken sandwiches and Eskimo frosties. But, if I’m being truly honest, nothing cools them jets down like a hep-cat playing bongos in a reefer-jazz club like wailing on one of those Classic Burgers and a confection-infused tonic.

Alright, I’m all out of 50s slang now. Play it cool, boy. Cómpralo ya!

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