I am a sucker for car hop service. You know, where you put your “Lights On For Service” and someone comes out to your car to take your order, and later hangs the food precariously off of the window of your car? How much more Retro Roadmap “Happy Days/American Graffitti- style” can you get than that?
When you’re heading down the shore I can think of no better place to get this throwback service than Stewart’s Drive-In, in Vineland NJ.
Be on the lookout for the sign with its Broadway style lettering, because the cheery orange cube of a building is surrounded by a white carport, obscuring the beautiful roadside delight of a place. And on a good day the place is also completely surrounded by cars, trucks and SUVs, reminiscent of little baby piggies, all gathered ’round to get fed from the mom!
Once you pull under the carport into the cool shade, you can’t help but fall in love with the clean and bright orange and brown decor, and you’d be a fool not to order a root beer in a giant frozen mug (even if it is moments after you had a diner breakfast just up the road!).
(I remember taking my first official road trip down the coast with my sister many years ago, and being positively smitten with the root beer stand that we stopped at, and the way that the car hop delivered the napkins to the car- bitten by the jaws of the flip-top salt and pepper shakers. Can you imagine how delighted I was to see this same quirky method being used here so many years later? How very clever!)
The menu is what you would expect, fast, with a few notable exceptions – I’ll leave it up to you to try the tuna on toasted raisin bread. Root beer icy cold and sweet, served in a big ‘ol glass mug. When the friendly car hops weren’t helping customers, they were keeping the place spic and span, always nice to see someone taking care of a place.
What more can I say? It’s the season to eat in your car- so get out there, put your Lights On For Service, and head to Stewart’s in Vineland. Make it a date night and go to the Delsea Drive-In when you’re done!
584 S Delsea Dr
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