The drive-in is one of a trilogy of distinctly American food institutions that, over the last 100 years completely changed the way we eat and helped to build the (fast) food culture we live in now. It started with the diner at the turn of the last century, followed (briefly) by the automat, and culminated in the drive-in. Now, of course, we are surround by simulacra of these establishments in the Epcot Center World Showcase Pavillion our country has become.
So, obviously, I hate drive-ins, right? No, of course not, I love them. Just like I love diners, and just like I would love automats if there were any still around. I don’t love them because they serve healthy, nutrious food (because they don’t). A good drive-in is special because of its sense of place. As Gertrude Stein famously did not say about Oakland: There is a there there. Pull in to a drive-in on a warm summer night, some early Tom Waits on the radio and someone you don’t mind spending time with in the passenger seat…and what else exactly do you want?
Rumbleseats, on Hwy 14 on the west side of Spring Green, gets the drive-in formula just about perfect. Car Hops? Check (although no rollerskates). Picnic Tables? Check. Tasty locally made ice cream? Check. Greasy, greasy food? Check.
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