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by Caitlin Saniga

I’ve been ordering this burger my whole life. It’s Swensons traditional hamburger with mustard and pickles only. I usually order broken onion rings (little bites that are super crispy!) and a California drink (grape soda mixed with lemon-lime soda and crushed ice) to go with it.

At Swensons, you pull into a parking spot near the building and turn your car’s headlights on for service. Servers run up to the driver-side window and take your order. When the food’s ready, they bring it out on a metal tray that clamps to the car’s window.

I visited: Swensons, a northeast Ohio chain of drive-ins that’s been around since 1934 and specializes in burgers and milkshakes. Lots of people know Swensons for their signature Galley Boy sandwich, a double cheeseburger with homemade barbecue and tartar sauces. And the milkshakes are out of this world. Insider’s tip: There are 18 milkshake flavors on the menu, and any of them can be combined in one drink. Some of my favorites: Mint, peanut butter and jelly, and blueberry-pomegranate.

I tried: The hamburg (That’s what the menu calls ’em!) with mustard and pickles. It comes served on a buttered and toasted bun.

Why it stood out: The burgers at Swensons have a distinctly sweet taste to them. Over the years, I’ve heard rumors that the burgers have maple syrup, grape or raspberry jelly or brown sugar mixed into them. I’ve known more than five people who’ve worked as servers at Swensons, and none of them seem to know the secret ingredient. The mystery is half the fun.

It cost: $1.80

Swensons has a special spot in my heart. I’ve eaten there for a number of occasions, including once for a homecoming dinner date. I no doubt ordered a hamburger with mustard and pickles plus a California on this trip, too.

Find out more: Swensons has seven drive-ins scattered around Northeast Ohio. The one I most often visit is the Montrose location.
www.swensonsdriveins.com

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried. Help our map grow by submitting your own review. Find out how!

Swenson's (Akron) on Urbanspoon

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