Burger 98 Day 90: Dandy's Drive-In, The Grand Dandy

Dandy’s is as famous a burger institution in Bend as Pilot Butte Drive-In, both the final holdovers of the drive-in burger Americana epoch now long past. I’d been really excited about it, all of my burger senses telling me this would be as great a classic burger as Jody’s or Sno-Cap combined with a more convenient location and girls delivering burgers on roller skates. And fry sauce. Dandy’s has a reputation for the best fry sauce in town. I’d been saving this one to the end.

The original plan was to put on my roller skates and cruise over to order a burger, in solidarity with their burger skating traditions. There were two barriers to this that ended up being insurmountable. A) I am terrible on skates and was deathly afraid of crossing 3rd Street, and B) burger informant Ben “I meant I want to be mentioned as a contributor to all this and not just as the guy who thought your food was spat on” Holloway detailed the burger logistics. There are no tables. No places to dine-in. Barely even a counter to order at. These are pure drive-in, car-centric burgers. A bruised and bloody burger eater in roller skates sitting on the sidewalk would be laughable.

As I was pulling into a parking spot in my jeep I was reminded of somebody’s observation of all the contractors pulling in during the lunch hour, getting distracted by the skaters, and slamming into the parking spot curbs. I was mostly reminded of this as I slammed into one of these curbs. This is obviously a very common problem that, in true American ingenuity, was solved by replacing the concrete curbs with steel plate curbs. The steel on these parking bulkheads is worn and polished, but holding strong.

I received my Grandy Dandy and large order of fries in a paper sack with slowly growing grease stains. The skater server was having a touch of difficulty with the wind that was kicking up from the west. Dust in the eyes, she explained, made precise skating a touch more difficult.

I’d been informed to order the large fries since you’ll be eating these on the drive home. This is familiar practice for any drive-through situation, but I was glad for the reminder after these three months of dine-in burgers. I arrived home, cracked a beer, and unwrapped the prize.

The bun looked good. The rest… this is the Grand? It had the same style as Jody’s and Sno-Cap but fell quite a bit short in delivery. All just a bit sub par. I was let down. Also very glad I didn’t break an ankle skating for it. 

I’ll commend the fry sauce and fries though. Heavy and hot in the fryer, fries staying warm and crisp well through the drive home. The fry sauce is heavier on the mayo with liberal use of buttermilk and pepper. True fry sauce, like that from the foothills of Idaho.

Score: 2.75 of 5
Price: $8.00 with fries
Beer: Deschutes Inversion IPA

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