May 19th, 2009


An Ode To Millies

You know how much I love the old traditional drive-in hamburger joint.  When Tony and I were riding across country last year and he'd make a hand gesture for stopping to eat and ask where, I'd generally do a "swirl" motion on top of my head in honor of the vanilla ice-cream cone that adorns the top of most of these old style drive ins.  Tony would often roll  his eyes, but I never get tired of them.

One of the best is here in Salt Lake City -- and I was first introduced to it by my late best-friend Mike, who lived down the road from it when I was in High School.  It's in the Salt Lake neighborhood of Sugar House, and I'm happy to say it's still there, even some 25 years after I've moved away.  It's called Millies. I have no idea how long it's been there. They deep fry EVERYTHING, and nothing there is healthy -- at least physically, but it sure is good for the soul.  I decided it hit it for lunch today -- and it's just like I remembered.
Look at the size of that menu, and you only see 2/3rds of it  -- no fancy pictures and "combo #3" things here, its all listed out, word for word on one of those old plastic letter reader boards.  Even from a distance you almost need reading glasses to read it.

Ketchup is extra -- burgers and fries come with "Fry Sauce", that mysterious concoction of ketchup, mayo and other things.  I've never been a fan of fry sauce, so I have to remember to ask for ketchup.  The menu also has deep fried pickles, deep fried chicken fingers, deep fried onion rings, deep fried hot dogs.  Mike used to joke they'd deep fry Millie if you asked.  If they could figure out how to deep fry a shake I'm sure they would.  However, it's the shakes that make this place.  If you go, and get an order to go, they'll ask you if you want a lid for the shake.  What ever you do say NO.  It's worth standing there eating the 1/3 more shake you get by virtue of them using those metal rings on top of the cups that activate the ancient green Mixmaster machine if you don't ask for a lid.  This time I had a peach cheesecake, but they have at least one column on that menu that lists shake flavors.    The fries are also hand cut -- not those processed things you get at chain fast food.
As you can see, I had a wonderful lunch.  I sat outside on an old metal table under  a tree, and watched the cars go by on 21st South and wondered why they had torn down so much of the old section of Sugar House.  I don't need dinner.  I'll also have to make an early rest-stop tomorrow on the bike as I head north on the old road out of the home town, to the town I call home.  It was worth it.

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    Burgers and Fries and Cherry Pies -- Charley Pride