The hamburger is an edible American icon, much like coleslaw made with shredded Norman Rockwell paintings. Bread, bite, and chew with today’s Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of burgers, hot dogs, shakes, and malts at Arnold's Drive-In in Decatur.
Arnold's Drive-In radiates with festive nostalgia for the food and eateries of yesteryear with a menu of steakburgers, hot dogs, and 40 creative variations on the milkshake and malt. A selection of nine burgers piques each diner's hunger tooth and activates dormant burger glands at the base of their skull so that jaws unhinge a little for the likes of the Potsie Melt, a steakburger layered with swiss, thousand island, and grilled onions ($5.69). The '57 Classic Coney dog boasts a recipe more than 75 years young ($2.49), which diners can pair with a side of sweet-corn nuggets ($3.89). After mouth-lassoing a quarter-pound, deep-fried bologna sandwich ($4.69), guests can wash it down with a black-cow root-beer float ($2.39) or a shake made with pineapple marshmallows plucked from tropical clouds ($3.99).
During pleasant weather, guests dine outside beneath Arnold's canopy or at picnic tables as 50s rock 'n' roll tunes keep the beat overhead. Inside, guests bask in the glow of videos from the 50s and 60s and nosh on old-fashioned edibles while surrounded by classic Americana collectibles such as neon signs, a pink and turquoise juke box, and James Dean's cryogenically frozen houseplant.
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.