Stan’s Drive In: Burg­ers are only the be­gin­ning

Serve Daily - - FOSTERING INNOVATION - By Amy Baird

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.

Photo by Steve Gray

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