Midwest Living Review
Located in an unassuming building on the north side of Manchester Road, formerly known as Route 66, Carl's Drive In is packed when we stopped in. The fact that it's raining and cold outside hasn't seemed to deter anyone, and that bodes well for our meal. Carl's has been serving griddle-fried burgers and frosty mugs of homemade root beer since 1959, and not much as changed. If you're lucky enough to snag one of the 16 barstools, you're in for a treat. We've barely taken our seats before the waitress is asking what we'll have. We look over the menu, which hangs on the wall, and order: Burgers, and root beer. (Be sure to ask for pickles, lettuce or tomato if you want them.) Foot-long hot dogs and chili dogs, burgers, fish fillets and tamales also grace the menu, and all of it is under $6. Our fresh-off-the-grill order comes in about 5 minutes. The burger is a sizzling hot, flattened-out patty that is crispy around the edges. The American cheese is melted perfectly over the beef. It's served on an average bun that's been toasted alongside the patty. We also ordered some steak fries for $1 that arrive it a paper carton. The root beer tastes delicious: Sweet, but not too sweet, and totally refreshing. Carl's runs like a well-oiled machine, efficient and organized, with the staff working around owner and cook Frank Cunetto who stands guard at the griddle. This little establishment is a great stop for a quick burger in a nostalgic setting.