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Super Freeze serves tasty summer food with 1950s whimsy

Summer provides a free license to eat nothing of nutritional value every once in a while and feel OK about it. The menu at Super Freeze Drive-In pretty much fits the bill. And that’s not a bad thing.

In short, this joint is a kid’s food dream. We loved it, too. It would make a fun stop on the way to or from the Angola beaches. Just look for the giant statue of a guy holding an ice cream cone and hamburger or the huge hot dog that sleds down the roof in a bun while he squirts himself with mustard. (His buddy with ketchup is inside.) The décor sums up Super Freeze – uncomplicated food with a big side of 1950s whimsy.

We cracked up at the menu with its “Happy Days” and 1950s references – Betty Boop Beef on Weck ($5.99), Big Bopper Italian Sausage ($4.59), Potsie Pizza Logs ($5.49), Spanky Steak Fries ($2.99 – wait he’s the 1930s-’40s right?), Chubby Checker Steak Burger ($4.39), Hot Rod Hot Dog ($2.35) and even an Opie Burger ($2.99; a replica of the Mayberry sheriff’s police car sits outside, sans Barney Fife, unfortunately).

A section of the menu is devoted to Midway Favorites like mozzarella sticks ($4.99), fried pickles ($3.99), corn dog ($2.25), fried dough ($3.59) and the one we tried, mac & cheese wedges ($5.25). Delightfully crisp on the outside, the inside pasta was just like mac and cheese. The friendly counter girl told us “eat them while they are hot, they are the best.” She was right.

The charbroiled chicken sandwich ($5.29) was simple, served with iceberg lettuce, cheese, tomato and onion on a Costanzo’s roll. The chicken was tender and the roll fresh. “Chachi” Chicken Fingers ($7.95) came with a choice of steak or waffle fries. The steak fries were OK, but we’d recommend the waffle, which were crisper. Our decent-sized fingers (four) came with a side of hot sauce (although we ordered medium). No big deal, we dipped.

Burgers are good, too. The big Fonzie Burger ($4.39) was a third pound, also served on a Costanzo’s roll. While not homemade, the patty was big and beefy tasting. Add toppings located at a self-serve station and go to town. Combo meals (hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, sausage, etc.) include fries and a regular soft drink and range from $6.49 for a hot dog to $10.89 for boneless wings.

The Friday Fish Fry ($11.95) was hot and flaky in its beer-batter coating. The big piece of fish came with good-tasting homemade macaroni salad (the shell kind), coleslaw and fries. The hot roast beef dinner ($8.29) we saw looked good. In short, solid quick food that serves its purpose.

Another rule of summer is one is never too full for ice cream. Super Freeze serves custard and hard ice cream (Perry’s and Hershey’s) the usual ways – cones, sundaes, “Z swirls,” milkshakes and floats. Prices range from $1.80 for a baby cone to $4.95 for a banana split.

My favorite part? Eating a hot fudge sundae while feeding quarters into the working Select-O-Matic jukebox. We marveled at the moving arm that picked out the vinyl 45 selections and played them spinning vertically. Truly wonderful!

Even more wonderful was the much older gentleman who said, “you have good taste in music, young lady.”

“Jailhouse Rock” is S-3, in case you wondered.

Super Freeze Drive-In

Where: 6865 Erie Road (Route 5), Derby (947-5557)

Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Wheelchair-Accessible: Yes

Fun: A time capsule of the 1950s, bring the kids and grandparents to Super Freeze for a fun cross-generational outing. “Old folks” can regale the youngsters about the virtues of the Yogi Bear/Huckleberry Hound TV tray.

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