Address: 1900 Douglas St.
Phone: 1-866-333-PAUL (7285)
Notes: Drive-in service available Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings
Paul's Motor Inn has been gently aging since opening in the 50s to the point where its style has come back into fashion. Looking at the decor, it's practically primed to be part of the trendy US Ace Hotel chain. Lots of walnut, mid-century modern style in the fixtures and building architecture.
All that being said - my past experiences with the food were, um, scary (white french fries! I don't think I need to say more...). So, I was a little skeptical when I saw they had started a drive in service. But, as you will see below, something has changed kitchen-side! The drive in menu is classic "fast food" - burgers, hot dogs, fish & chips, sides like 'frings' (?) and milkshakes or floats.
They have recent re-introduced formal drive-in service, complete with car hops. Such a smart thing to bring back the service - totally taps into nostalgia while giving something unique and experiential to bring customers! The first few weekends were pretty packed and busy, but things are becoming a little more evenly paced now.
June 9, 2012
Paul's Deluxe Burger & FriesI was pretty skeptical ordering this. Like I said above - my last few experiences at Paul's have not been excellent. I take back every upper lip curl. This was seriously one of the best diner-style burgers I have ever, ever had. The toppings were spot on - melty cheese mixed with a blend of mayo and mustard as well as the grease from the perfect bacon and the burger. The patty was perfectly seasoned without excessive filler, and as long as they can maintain not over cooking the patties over time they've got a killer combo on their hands! The fries were miles better than what I had experienced before, but a little inconsistently cooked. Some were perfectly golden brown and crispy, while others were a little bit pale and soggy (but kind of delicious still, just in a different way).
I also had a bite of my partner-in-food-and-life's food long hot dog (was actually cut in half, so it was more like two half footers). It came with lovely grilled onions, and had pretty nice flavour. My P.I.F.A.L. says it's the closest thing to the footlong hot dogs at the PNE. The onion rings were also pretty good, but didn't blow my mind as anything extra-specially different than most onion rings.
June 9, 2012
Car hop service
To receive service at the car hop, simply turn your hazard lights on and a staff member will "run over as fast as possible." Our server was really good - very friendly, straightforward communication and quite fast (although there wasn't a line as we got there right at the start of the drive-in hours). Then they bring over trays to hang off your window during your meal!
A side effect of the car hop experience was a much more congenial experience chatting between cars. We ended up chatting with the couple in the next car who totally caught us taking pictures of our food. They also alerted us to the fact that the drive in is the perfect place for people with wee children (theirs happened to be particularly fresh)... no need to leave the vehicle while the baby is sleeping.