Swenson's Drive In (2.5)
 Akron, Ohio          Date of Visit: 04/03/14           

Swenson’s is still one of our many go to places for lunch or dinner. A break between classes and some training gives us the chance to grab some lunch. Not much at Swenson’s ever changes, save for the special shake flavors. Car hops still sprint through the parking lot to anything with glowing headlights. Steph’s simple cheese burger is simply good. The Galley Boy remains an interesting and satisfying combo of sauce and burger. A student mentioned she always gets their chicken sandwich and adds cheese and bacon. It’s pretty good. She also turned me on to what they call “broken” onion rings, which are fried a little longer and then beat to pieces like a Cleveland sports team. Tasty. The food isn’t picturesque. That’s obvious. It is consistently satisfying. If you somehow haven’t been, go.


  Quick Update...

We recently stopped by Swenson's and on a lark I ordered something I had never seen on the menu board before, the half pounder. Their wee burgers have always been fine, I enjoy the doubly sauced Galley Boy. I was curious. More than big...the ratio turned this into one of my favorite local burgers. You hear about the brown sugar in the burger patties but it wasn't until I broke one of the many crusty nubs extending out past the bun that I realized how close to meatloaf candy these burger are. This isn't necessarily a good thing...but I ordered it the way they offer it...cheese, pickles, onions, mustard...and those toppings each took part in turning the sandwich into something spectacular. The sweetness hovered at the periphery, beat back bite after bite by the sharp onion, the vinegary pickles and the melty dairy. Every bite bounces between the sweet meat and the toppings, keeping it interesting from beginning to end.  I've always enjoyed Swenson's. Now I have a thing there. It's Stupendous!


Boom, Boom, Boom

The Toppings Magically Balanced Out the Sweetness
Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Steph's Happiness. Ain't Purty, But Tasty-

You Can Just Make Out The Double Sauces In The Galley Boy
New Find, Chicken, Bacon & Cheddar

And Broken Rings
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  B = B Swenson's Is Always Consistent  
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Swenson's Drive In
 Akron, Ohio              Date of Visit: 06/04/10                 

This is a place I had passed numerous times- without thought until I learned this was a special stop for my wife and her siblings…something to do with milkshakes and sibling bonding. It took me a while to find my groove here. It’s a nice blend of nostalgia and interesting combinations. There are some drawbacks in my experience. They do burgers and accessories but often they are neither quick nor cheap. The burgers are small which is probably a better idea for my ever expanding girth, but sometimes that’s an excuse to get more than one. The speed of delivery is belied in the forever sprinting carhops. If they see you pull in or you turn on your lights, someone will be sprinting towards your car like marines taking a beachhead.




Wife's Cheese n' Ketchup

Here’s what I enjoy about Swensons. While the burgers are small and most are less than unique (see the wife’s offering with cheese and ketchup, although she will argue the burgers are sweet which is probably why I like mine fully loaded) they toast the buns nicely, everything appears to be made to order (screaming hot - probably why the service is not as fast as a drive through) and it is a good burger. The one thing that intrigued me, and was inevitable in the world of “gotta try” was the burger called the “galleyboy” boasting two secret sauces. Finally taking the plunge, I gave it a try and to the best of my palate it appears to be dressed with tartar sauce and bbq sauce…at least that’s what it seems like to me. Now before you toss cookies or anything, you should know that it’s certainly not bad. It’s not the best burger I’ve ever had, but it’s a nice change of pace.

Fatty mayo, dilly pickle, and a sweet smoky tomato based mix work together better than you would think. Realistically, a friend of mine (Hey Heath) made me a burger with mayo and peanut butter not to long ago and it was way better than it should have been, the galleyboy makes sense, odd, but odd sense.


Tray On the Window

Olive Topped Galley

The GalleyBoy Unwrapped


One other thing about Swenson’s that makes makes them appealing is the unholy way they are happy to dip anything into the fry-o-lator, especially healthy things like veggies. I don’t think they make their own stuff in house, but if not, they do spend the extra quarter to get some stuff that tastes really good. This trip we had O-rings, shrooms, and potato teasers. If you have not seen the teasers before they are sort of like a souped-up tot. Boxy but longer, they are filled with tater, cheese, and spicy pepper. Lastly the shakes at Swenson’s can be mixed and matched to your liking, simple chocolate or some demented twist of flavors, they will apparently do what you prefer. In the pix, you’ll see a chocolate mint version.

Fried Onions

Fried Shrooms

Tater Teasers

Dashboard Smorgasbord

Swenson’s is definitely a throwback to another day from long ago, and there is something about the hustle and bustle without leaving your ride that make it worth a trip (or return trip every now and again).






What's Best

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