My visit to Mel’s Drive-In was pretty useful in that it reminded me why I don’t go to Mel’s Drive-Ins anymore. I’ve been delaying this post because I kind of hate Mel’s. The food is mediocre and overpriced. Anyway, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I was optimistic when Sarah and I walked in to the restaurant.
It was pretty festive. Lights and decorations and all that are my favorite thing about the Holidays. Everything else…not so much. Well, holiday cocktails, I like those. The actual Holidays though, those I could take or leave.
Mel’s was pretty empty when we got there. It’s one of those places that is depressing when you’re there alone. It’s so big, there are lots of booths and tiny jukeboxes at every table…this is a place that is supposed to be full of groups of young people scrounging for change to pay for their fries and families of tourists with screaming babies. That’s the Mel’s I remember from my youth. When we were about finished with our meal a group of about 6 or 7 kids came in, but they only depressed me more. They looked like babies to me, but the odds are they were 18, 19 or 20. One of them was wearing a Furby backpack. They caused me to reflect on my past in a severely unpleasant way.
I don’t want to depress you, and I don’t want you to think I was crying into my curly fries the whole time I was there. It’s not like that. Sarah and I were having a pretty good time. We had a laugh over the food prices;
It’s weird how they end in such unround numbers. There’s nothing for $3.99, it’s $3.41, or $10.24. Also, I’ve never really understood why Mel’s puts those mini menus inside of their larger menus. It makes everything more difficult to read.
Is it stupid to say that I only just read Fast Food Nation, even though it’s been nearly a decade since it was published? Well, I can’t help it, and I can’t help that that book put me off ground beef for about a week. A week which I happened to be smack in the middle of when I went to Mel’s. That’s how I ended up with the No-Name chicken sandwich
Which turned out to be a very dry chicken breast with gloopy “swiss” cheese melted on top. It wasn’t worth the 10 whatever bucks I paid for it, but it didn’t make me puke or anything. The curly fries were exceptional. Very very crispy. If I ever go to Mel’s again I’m not even going to try to have a semblance of a real meal. It’s going to be french fries and ice cream all the way (probably in the form wet fries, which are fries with gravy, and a milkshake, probably coffee). If I were smart or clever, I would have ordered a grilled cheese like Sarah did
It’s really really hard to fuck up a grilled cheese sandwich.
So, what it boils down to is, if you find yourself at Mel’s diner, I suggest you get fries and dessert. Ice cream is good, pie could also be ok. A better suggestion though; don’t go to Mel’s.
1050 Van Ness Ave