Weber’s Drive-In, Pennsauken Township, N.J. – Restaurant Review
The drive-in restaurant, a dining establishment where patrons are served a meal while parked, closely followed the introduction of the automobile at the start of the twentieth century. The first drive-in was Kirby’s Pig Stand in Dallas, Texas, which opened in 1921.
Drive-ins achieved their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s and their popularity began to wane with the introduction of drive-through restaurants – establishments where patrons can order take-away food without exiting their vehicles – in the 1970s. Drive-ins are an important part of American culture and a drive-in, Arnold’s, was a fixture on the television show “Happy Days.”
One such restaurant is Weber’s Drive-In in Pennsauken Township in New Jersey. While the carhops don’t come out on roller skates, pulling in to a parking spot is akin to going back to the 1950s. The sign says to turn your headlamps on for service (a relic from the days before headlights would come on automatically). Meals are served on trays that clip onto a lowered car window.
Weber’s, which is not affiliated with any other Weber’s restaurants or root beer companies, was originally a franchise. This Weber’s opened its doors in 1951, according to two of its managers, Vince and Tom. It’s open seasonally from March through October although the exact dates vary each year based on the weather.
The restaurant makes its own syrup, carbonates it, and the result is one of the best root beer drinks I’ve ever had. Served in a chilled beer mug, Weber’s root beer has a flavor that’s different from that in bottled or canned pops. It isn’t heavily carbonated, but it’s far from being flat. (On my most recent visit, I purchased a gallon jug of root beer to enjoy at home for a very reasonable $4.20.)
I’ve stopped at Weber’s many times over the years on drives from New York to Philadelphia and usually order the same 3 items: a cheeseburger, cheese fries, and of course a mug of root beer.
While the cheeseburger is merely very good, the fries are excellent and the root beer is sublime. The brown cow – a root beer float – is a great beverage on a hot summer day and alone worth the trip.
Weber’s is more than a trip down memory lane. It isn’t expensive (it is, however, cash only), has excellent food, great service, and possibly the world’s best root beer.
6019 Lexington Avenue
Pennsauken Township, New Jersey 08109
Tel. +1 856 662-6632
(Photos: Accura Media Group)