Astronaut cooks have made numerous attempts to wrangle hamburgers into space-ready meals, from dehydrated-pickle disks to vacuum-sealed burger bottles. Enjoy what our starry-eyed brethren never can with today’s Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of classic diner fare at Arnold's Drive-In in Decatur.
The cooks at Arnold's Drive-In populate their menu with nostalgic fare and yesteryear's favored edibles, including steak burgers, hot dogs, and 40 flavors of milkshakes and malts. The slaw burger ($4.09) showcases a succulent steak-burger patty crowned with a dollop of creamy coleslaw, and the Potsie melt ($5.69) slathers a round of ground beef with swiss cheese and thousand-island dressing. Wrap your fangs around the big bopper ($4.99), a boneless rib sandwich drenched in a barbecue sauce that leaves mouths smeared with more red than two clowns after a make-out session. Shakes and malts fill frosty glasses in flavors such as key-lime pie, birthday cake, and choco-cherry, and slide down countertops into the hands of eager treat seekers ($3.49–$3.79).
Owner Lori Collier steeps Arnold's Drive-In in Americana, decking out the restaurant in iconic '50s-era memorabilia, including headshots of James Dean, an old jukebox, and the skirt Marilyn Monroe wore when she single-handedly ended McCarthyism.
Aunt Bee's Drive-In
Formerly known as Arnold's Drive-In, Aunt Bee's maintains nearly all of the same retro vibe and attitude of the former business that came before it. During spring and summer, servers on roller-skates slip past cars parked outside, creating a vibe that's steeped in nostalgia. And year round, chefs prepare each order individually, decking plates with classic steak burgers, breaded pork tenderloin, chili cheddar fries, and a battered and deep-fried version of Elvis’s favorite peanut butter and banana sandwich. The sizzling oil also seals creaminess into deep-fried cherry cheesecake, served a la mode. Blenders purr through 40 flavors of shakes, and couples hunch over turtle sundaes with caramel, fudge, and pecans, basking in the glow of neon lights. The colorful glow dances across a hot rod painted with flames and walls covered in souvenirs and black and white photos.