Jun 082022
Seal of Approval

Last fortnight I was in Dallas for DistruTECH and DERMS in a little trip I like to call, DERMS Does Dallas… anyways, I was there and therefore I was searching for brews. I found several, but sadly, most were closed on the Sunday when I arrived, yet I wouldn’t be stopped since I had other days. So on Wednesday, after the show was over, I took off with a coworker and a customer (see me being a good employee) to Dairy-Ette Drive-In, Root Beer, Hamburgers. This is a third generation family owned drive-in, that originally opened in 1956. You know it’s got to be good if it’s still around. They make their own root beer which they serve from a red root beer keg, that says “Coca-Cola” on it. I don’t know why. I don’t know why it’s called Dairy-Ette either. But it’s a beautiful little place hiding on a corner in North Dallas.

The Body is smooth, amazingly smooth, so smooth I can’t even properly describe the liquid silk that is the Body of this root beer. There’s a classic flavor with lots of vanilla. It’s a simple, yet elegant taste. The Bite is small, a little spice but so so smooth. The Head is beautiful. So frothy and crazy tall if they let it. It lasts nearly forever, and you know how that foam feels in your mouth? Smooooth. The Aftertaste is sweet, smooth vanilla that lasts the perfect amount of time.

Okay, remember how last month I raved about some cream soda being smooth. Well that might as well be sandpaper compared to this. Seriously. I can’t remember a brew so silky smooth. With a wonderful classic flavor too, this is top notch. It could be a little spicier with a little more depth, but this is still one of the best root beers I’ve reviewed in quite awhile. The food there is just as amazing as their root beer. This place is worth its own pilgrimage.

4.5 Kegs

A bacon burger with onion rings and root beer. Truly divine.
The “Red Root Beer Keg” according to them. But the brew comes out of there so I guess.
Dairy-Ette. Basically unchanged since 1956.

Nov 172021

A mug of Nutty Bar Stand Root BeerSeal of ApprovalBack in July I took a road trip down to Okoboji, IA in part because I’ve never been down there and in part because I had learned about The Nutty Bar Stand. The Nutty Bar Stand is a sweet shop/concession stand in Arnolds Park, the oldest amusement park west of the Mississippi river. Arnolds Park has all of the rides you’d expect albeit it they are rather smaller and old. But it’s still good fun and the lines were short and the children and I had a blast running around to different rides until it started raining on us. It was lunchtime anyways so we took a break and then went for dessert at The Nutty Bar Stand. They serve two primary things there. Nutty bars, which are a cube of vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and then rolled in peanuts, and frosty mugs of root beer, for only $1 a mug. Now that I like! Especially because it’s good root beer.

The Body is sweet and creamy and rich. There’s that classic root beer stand flavor with a hint, of nutty? Something almost nutty in there, and it works and it’s good. The Bite is nice and spicy. The Head is what you’d hope from a stand like this, tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is vanilla with a slightly nutty finish.

Yum! A slightly more complex, nutty take on the classic root beer stand flavor. I don’t know if they nutty is intentional or just the result of mixing the root beer in a place that also has a lot of nuts, but it really added a uniqueness to the whole thing. Even without that it was a fine brew and the makers should be proud. So head on down to Okoboji if you can, get some cheap yummy brew and ride some rides and feel like a kid again.

4 kegs

The Nutty Bar Stand Root Beer Barrel

The Nutty Bar Stand Root Beer Barrel

The Nutty Bar Stand

The Nutty Bar Stand at Arnolds Park

Sep 012021

A mug of A & Dubs Root Beer Back in June I took a day off to make another small three day Minnesota road trip. Plan was Duluth to Ely and back. Since I’d already been root beer hunting in Duluth, I wasn’t planning on finding anything. Yet, the day before I tried “root beer duluth”s into Google and found a drive in called A & Dubs. They seemed to have root beer, so I gave them a call and they said yes, they make there own. Well, I knew where I was headed for dinner then. The little drive in was originally an A&W some 60 years ago but they decided not to renew the franchise at some point and just strike out on their own, with their own root beer recipe. They changed the name to A & Dubs, which is about the least creative thing to name your former A&W since the drive in named “The Drive In”. It’s a proper drive in with car service and 3 booths inside (closed sadly for Covid) and two picnic tables outside and offers the standard drive-in fare of burgers, dogs, chicken baskets and the like. Their sign says “Home of the Power Platter” which is a burger root beer combo meal. So that’s what I got.

The Body is sweet with a classic root beer stand sassafras flavor and some creamy vanilla. It’s a little mild though not too weak. The Bite is spicy yet smooth in carbonation and finish. The Head is short but very foamy and lasts awhile. The Aftertaste is a very mild sassafras and vanilla.

This is pretty good root beer. Stronger than the last drive in I went to but still a little too mild to get the Seal. Their Power Burger was much smaller than I expected with a name like that but was tasty enough. I’ve had better, but I go to a lot of these types of places. Over all I’d say there’s nothing particularly special or unique about this place compared to similar root beer stands, yet, it’s the only one of its kind in Duluth, so I can see why it’s still going strong. The waitresses were very friendly and gave good service. It’s still family owned too, so it’s worth dropping by if your in the area and looking for that classic drive in flavor. Just make sure to bring some cash, as they don’t accept cards at all.

Three and a half kegs

The A & Dubs Drive In. And my sweet sweet Model 3 blue (best road trip car ever)

The A & Dubs menu

The menu on the side.

The Power Platter

The Power Platter. Tasty, but kind of unimpressive given then name.