Milwaukie, OR – Lew’s Drive-In

lews sign PNGI’ve joked before that it used to be my criteria for picking a restaurant was a sign that said “All Major Credit Cards Accepted.” Then I went on to explain in that post that these days, I look for places that are at least 20 years old, and prefer 50. Today I came to understand that’s not precisely true. I am easily swayed by old neon as well, and such was the case today driving up 99E in Oregon, thru West Linn, Oregon City, Canby, Milwaukie. I knew I was looking for something, even stopped in a few parking lots before moving on, and then I saw the Lew’s sign, and it sucked me in.

Doesn’t the sign say it all? “Drive-In.” “Coney Islands”. “Hamburgers.” I’m so there.

Again my seating choice was outside, but they took my order at the inside counter after answering a few relevant (to me) questions: “Are the tots fried or baked?” “Fried.” “Does the “Coney Island Hamburger” have a hot dog on top, or just the sauce?” Just the sauce.

They give me my drink cup, I waffle between lemonade and cherry coke, the latter wins. It’s been high on my drink list lately, can’t tell you why, I’ve always said I don’t have sweet tooth, guess it was a lie. Cherry Coke seems sweeter than regular. Maybe I should move back to the deep south where it’s de rigueur to put spoonfuls of sugar in your Dr. Pepper? I’m starting to ‘get that.’

I overordered.  Or as a drinker might say, “I was overserved.”     The burger was dressed with lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickle, and the coney sauce, and was pretty darned tasty.

The HUGE dog has an ashen appearance, boiled or steamed too long, they turn gray before yellow (ever had a hot dog under the Eiffel Tower?).    But I ate it, the coney sauce is thick with meat and (mostly) onion, but soaks into the bun a little too much (on the burger too), making it difficult to perch this sausage to ones lips without some part of it falling back to earth.  No sweat.

Lew’s is a treat, I’d like to explore the rest of the menu sometime, the waitress said they have killer biscuits and gravy.  We’ll see!


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Lew’s Drive-In