1521 Riverside Drive, Beaver
It's easy to drive through Beaver and get nostalgic for the 1950s. There's a quaint little downtown with flags flying on light poles, and a slew of old homes that reinforce the genuine retro feel.
Jerry's Curb Service, a vintage drive-in restaurant just outside of town, certainly aims to deliver that taste of nostalgia. The small silver diner, accented with neon lights, has been in the same spot along the Beaver River since 1947.
But no need to get out of the car: Curb-side service means diners order and dine in the comfort of their vehicles. Jerry's is popular with the vintage-car enthusiasts, and all that shiny chrome adds to Jerry's vintage charm.
First-time visitors are advised to back into one of the parking spaces on either side of the building, where you can see the outdoor menu. When you're ready, turn your parking lights on, and a carhop and her PDA will come to your car and take your order.
Jerry's offers burgers, sandwiches and salads, with top-notch sides and accompaniments. The steak salad, hand-breaded chicken tenders and fresh-cut fries are all great, but two sandwiches deserve special mention.
The Dorsey, the venue's signature burger, is two ample patties with lettuce and tomato. But instead of ketchup or mustard, it comes with a combo of barbecue and garlic-pepper sauces. All of the flavors meet up nicely on a hard-roll bun.
The other sandwich is technically two and the names -- The Herbie and the Burnt Herbie -- are sure to catch a diner's eye. The Herbie was simply a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich, but the "burnt" version comes deep-fried. Fear not – the entire sandwich, bun and all, is not dropped in hot oil. Only the ham sees the deep-fryer.
The crispy edges of the thickly piled ham jut from a soft Kaiser roll, imploring a diner to dig in. This deceptively simple sandwich is packed with flavor, especially with a little mustard as a complement to the cheesy, gooey ham.
And how about a milkshake to wash that down? Jerry's keeps it old-school, with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
Jerry's is made for warm summer nights, and the diner is worth the drive, if not back in time, than at least to Beaver.