Johnsen's Blue Top Drive-In

Hours: W, Thu, Sun: 11:30-5. Sat: 11:30-9. Closed M, Tu

Do you have 699 large? If so, you can own the perpetually for-sale Blue Top, a pristine, early-60s-era, neon-gilded drive-in (the original opened in '36) that griddles a typical Indiana-style hand-formed, smashed, and lacy-edged burger (see also Schoop's) superior to one at the also-picturesque Miner-Dunn up the street (which has better, fresh-cut fries). The menu is crowded and varied with signature burgers (nacho giardiniera), flavored Cokes (vanilla, cherry, rum), hot dogs (kraut, Thousand Island), and sundaes, but the most appropriate course of action is to take a Big Ben double cheeseburger with butter-drenched garlic fries and a house-made root beer black cow, either in the turquoise-bedecked dining room or under the Jetsons-style carport from a living, breathing teenage carhop. While warm Friday nights look a lot more deserted than they must have in the age of the hot rod, classic-car clubs still congregate, and free wieners for canines bring in the dog lovers. Cash only. —Mike Sula


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