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A&W - Yuck. Was it always that bad?

n
no0b Jul 26, 2009 11:48 PM

I went to the one in RI for the first time in over 10 years.. I don't remember it being bad. But it was.

The hot dogs were OK but the buns were kind of blah.

French Fries - Yuck! I was expecting some nice, greasy, hot fries and instead I got hard, crispy shoe string fries that most likely came from something frozen from Walmart.

Chicken Strips/Tenders - It was like $7 for the Combo with the fries. Nothing special about the tenders. Honestly, Burger King's are better and cheaper and it's about 30 seconds away from A&W.

Chocolate Shake/Malts. Are you kidding me? What was that? I'll stick with Cold Stone.

I haven't been to Spike's yet. I think I'll try there next.

  1. rworange Jul 28, 2009 09:23 AM

    Once the were good. Now as someone said it is hit and miss depending on location. The one nearest me is gross with the worst root beer I ever had
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/380145

    This was a drive-thru type. I think you have to see if it is one that still serves root beer in glass mugs.

    That being said, has anyone tried the cheese curds at A & W? I am always curious when there is a coupon in the paper, but that root beer was so awful I can't bring myself to go back.

    When I was a kid and they all had car hops and root beer in glass mugs, they were great ... and this was the day before such a thing as diet soda. Even better was a root beer float with real ice cream, not the soft serve junk they use now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange
      Bob W Jul 28, 2009 01:17 PM

      We have an A&W near us. When I saw the sign for cheese curds in the window, I had to stop and check them out.

      They are coated in a very light batter. Not bad -- how bad could cheese curds be, really?

      I used them to make some almost-poutine with an order of fries and gravy. It was ok, just not salty enough (the A&W gravy was tasteless). But for poutine in a pinch, it worked.

      I remember going to the A&W in Attleboro, Mass., near Capron Park, back in the 70s. I think I used to get a Mama Burger, fries, and a root beer.

      1. re: Bob W
        johnb Jul 28, 2009 08:57 PM

        I have previously gone on record on CH that A&W's cheese curds are one of the best fast food items out there. And I'll stick by that. You can safely skip the little plastic pack of "marinara" sauce that comes with them however. I'm also quite partial to their chili cheese fries; not great, but better-than-expected in a fast food setting.

        It may well be true, tho, that it varies considerably depending on the store.

    2. coney with everything Jul 28, 2009 05:52 AM

      Was this a real A&W drive in or one of the mall-type stores?

      The only way to do A&W is at a drive in, with a carhop and a tray on the window. Order a chili dog and the largest root beer that comes in a frosty mug, with some onion rings or fries.

      Even better--the A&W in my little town does a cruise night on Saturdays so you can really get the true retro experience!

      1 Reply
      1. re: coney with everything
        n
        no0b Jul 28, 2009 11:47 PM

        It was a real one. We only have one in RI and ti's been here for years.
        http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&...

        I don't drink rootbeer so can't comment on that. I had a chocolate shake and like I said - blah.

      2. Steve Green Jul 27, 2009 09:56 PM

        A&Ws were like independent drive-ins when I was a kid, with food cooked to order and great root beer. Sometime in the 70's or 80's, they suddenly became corporate heatlamp fast food. Haven't been to one in ages.

        Hansen's root beer reminds me of what A&W used to serve, although A&W had less carbonation.

        1. r
          ricepad Jul 27, 2009 09:47 PM

          From what I've heard, A&Ws tend to be hit and miss, even for the root beer. The one closest to me has always been good, but it's also A&W's home town, so the locals would probably run riot if the quality ever slipped.

          1. l
            laliz Jul 27, 2009 03:44 PM

            I haven't been in a long time, but have fond memories of the root beer in the frosty mug. Can't think of not ordering root beer (diet) at A&W

            I used to love their Mama burger, have a friend in Canada who still raves about a Mama burger now and then.

            1. emily Jul 27, 2009 10:29 AM

              I agree -- we stopped at one a few months ago. Even the root beer float was terrible.

              1. e
                emmaleeb Jul 27, 2009 06:11 AM

                Gotta go for the root beer. It's really much better than anything you can buy.

                In terms of food, the only thing super worthwhile are the onion rings, which I think are some of the best. Sometimes you get lucky with hot dogs (I have been to a few, and have had a couple of good ones).

                1 Reply
                1. re: emmaleeb
                  e
                  emmaleeb Jul 28, 2009 10:29 AM

                  And absolutely - it cannot be one of those fast food places. It needs to be a legitimate drive-in, tray on your window-type deal.

                2. bagelman01 Jul 27, 2009 02:47 AM

                  Don't know about RI. BUT< I make it a point to stop at the A&W on Cape Cod each time I visit>>>FOR THE ROOT BEER.............
                  I NEVER ORDER FOOD, it has always been terrible

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