Top 5 seasonal drive-ins to visit ASAP
The end of the State Fair and last week's unseasonably chilly weather have led us to acknowledge the painful fact that summer is on the way out--and along with the exit of evening daylight and flip-flops comes the closing of our favorite seasonal spots. Don't give in to autumn until you've made one last lap through these summer favorites.
Time to start building up the winter layer of fat. For warmth.
1. Galaxy Drive-In
Eeek! T-minus three weeks and two days until October 1, which is when Galaxy Drive-In lifts off for the season. Naturally, the eclectic drive-in is going out with a bang by naming "Funnel Cake Deliciousness" as the shake of the month (vanilla ice cream with a swirl of chocolate and caramel sauce topped with whipped cream, crispy funnel cake fries dusted with cinnamon sugar) and bringing cheese curds back to the menu. And you can't get more summery than the s'more kit, which you can toast and ingest on site in the drive-in's own fire pits.
2. The Peppermint Twist
Mark October 10 on your calendar, because that's the last chance you'll have to hit up this popular hot-pink, teddy-bear themed drive-in in Delano. The simple act of ordering an Orange Crush float or one of the Twist's trademark old-fashioned shakes--topped with whip cream, of course--will make the roughly seven-month wait for seasonal weather seem vaguely bearable. A final visit should play out much like a prisoner's last meal, so ordering the bacon burger dog (two dogs, cheese, bacon, fried onions), a nacho dog, a pronto pup, and heaps of onion rings will not be questioned. After all, you have all winter to work it off.
3. The Dari-ette Drive-In
The Dari-ette is one of the few drive-ins where the food isn't upstaged by the decadent desserts. And, since they sell their famous spaghetti sauce by the pint/quart/gallon, you can easily buy and freeze in anticipation of the coming drought. So while you're there to stock up (they are hoping to push the closing date into November) indulge in one last meatball sandwich or Italiano (sausage on Italian bread, covered in cheese and soaked in the aforementioned sauce). Settle your stomach with an old-fashioned cherry Coke, and for dessert--and this is important--the Dari-ette is one of the few places to offer a krunch kote TWIST cone. Sampling the black raspberry sundae is also advisable.
4. Conny's Creamy Cone
While Conny's closing plans are more fluid than the others--a call inquiring about closing dates led the bored teen on duty to speculate about "sometime in October"--that doesn't mean you should take an equally leisurely approach about getting to the corner of Dale and Maryland in St. Paul. Conny's has an explosive array of soft-serve options, with more than 24 to choose from, and a craving for German chocolate is a painful thing to ride out once Conny's is shuttered. Get that signature soft-serve dipped in the dip-of-the-week, or trade up for one of the memorable malts.
5. The Drive-In
Having your burgers and root beers delivered by a poodle-skirted car hop just makes everything taste better. While the 1956 prices have changed (a small root beer was 5¢, and hamburgers were 25¢), not much else at this throwback has. And that's a good thing. Slush Puppies are a standout (and who can resist ordering the Shocker) and you can choose from three kinds of fries. Plus, the restaurant is linked to a mini-golf course, which makes it doubly worthy of a drive to Taylors Falls before the place closes up in mid-October.