Stan’s Drive In: Burgers are only the beginning
Ok, so you probably know that Stan’s has some pretty serious hamburger options: the famous pastrami burger, Stan’s burger, the Western burger or even the classic patty melt. But were you aware that they have some legitimately authentic and delightfully delicious gyros and Indian food?
First off, let’s talk about the Indian food. I have to disclose here that chicken tikka masala is in my opinion one of the most perfect dishes ever created. You combine the rich creamy tomato sauce with savory spices like coriander, add some chicken and serve it with steaming jasmine rice. Mmm. This chicken tikka masala had just the right amount of spice and heat. The problem with having an addiction to chicken tikka masala is that it can be pretty spendy when you order it at an Indian food restaurant (think $13 to $18). The chicken tikka masala at Stan’s is a steal at only $6.99 and the portion size is pretty large.
Another pleasant surprise on the menu was the gyros. Sometimes places will just throw gyros on the menu, but they aren’t really a house specialty so they aren’t that great. When I took a bite of the gyro, I was blown away by how tender and flavorful the meat was. They also didn’t skimp on the meat. The tzatziki sauce was creamy with that delicious cucumber flavor. The gyro was topped off with fresh tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion. Wow. You can tell that they took the time to learn the art of making the ultimate gyro.
Stan’s has a variety of chicken sandwiches as well: Western chicken, teriyaki chicken, chicken club, etc. We tried the chicken cordon bleu, which has fresh grilled chicken (flavorful and delicious) combined with a thick slice of ham, swiss cheese and a yummy sauce. The signature items at Stan’s, though, are the burgers. They just know how to make really good burgers. My favorite was Stan’s burger, which had sautéed mushrooms, a thick slice of ham, fry sauce and Swiss cheese. The bun was grilled and the burger was grilled to perfection.
Ok. Now for the sides. I was blown away by the varieties of potato sides they offer. Ready? Fries, curly fries, onion rings, tator tots, English chips and sweet potato fries. Each person ordered a different side so we could try them all. I am normally a sweet potato fry kind of gal, but I really liked the English chips. They reminded me of potato wedges but they were smaller, like little potato pockets.
Finally, I had to try one of their shakes. The sign said that they have 40 flavors, so I knew I needed to try at least one, right? I got the banana cream pie shake. It had pieces of fresh bananas, creamy ice cream and a huge dollop of whipped cream on top. I thought I had tasted perfection. Then someone got a peanut butter chocolate shake. I just tried a bite (ok, maybe three) and it was AMAZING. It had the perfect proportions of peanut butter and chocolate. I was surprised that they used chunky peanut butter, but the added crunch was actually my favorite part.
So overall, Stan’s was a pleasant surprise for me. The delicious, mouth-watering burgers that I expected were joined by some pretty amazing chicken tikka masala and gyros. So head on over to Stan’s and don’t forget to get a shake. Stan’s Drive In is located at 248 W. Center in Salem. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.