New operators have the St. Louis Park drive-in look good and tasting even better.
Showman/restaurateur Steve Schussler has made two admirable moves where the former Wagner's Drive-In is concerned. Last year he bought the property and transformed the sagging summertime hangout into the quirky Galaxy Drive-In.
This year, he took on new operators, Stephanie and Mike Olson, familiar to State Fair-goers as owners of the popular Blue Moon Dine-In Theater.
With the Olsons running the show, the place is as spotless as ever, and the food tastes great.
The burgers feature thick, hand-formed patties (the turkey and ground bratswurst versions are especially tasty) and crowned with toppings that range from thick-cut smoked bacon to zesty sauerkraut.
A few other touches not often seen inside the drive-in circuit: a trio of sausages from Kramarczuk's, topped with grilled onions and peppers. The ice cream sodas feature hand-scooped ice cream, not dull soft-serve. Chipotle-laced mayo and caramelized onions dress up the ultra-thick BLT, and the Coney dogs are slathered in a hearty chili. Prices are higher than your average A&W experience, but the you-get-what-you-pay-for rule totally applies.
Yes, the hokey 1950s planetarium names continue to riddle the menu ("Saturn's onion rings," "Roswell top-secret ingredients"), the fun s'mores kit for four is still available for the fire pits in front of the restaurant, dogs remain welcomed guests and service is so chipper you'll wonder if there's an Amway presentation in your immediate future.