After blogging about my dining adventures for over ten years now, I try so hard to go into restaurants with zero expectation or hope. It’s because some restaurants receive so much hype that you have to really temper your expectation. Well let me say this, Toot’s Drive In is worth all the hype (and the long drive to Howard, KS).
1251 KS-99, Howard, KS 67349
Open Daily: 5am – 9pm
When I decided to expand my blogging to cover areas beyond the Wichita metropolitan area, I said, “nothing past an hour drive”. I made an exception for Toot’s Drive In after talking with some friends and I’m so glad I did.
On my way there, I was prepared to eat all the food inside my car. Aside from looking up the address on Google Maps, I do very little research on these small-town restaurants. I want to go in with as little knowledge as possible. Part of the beauty about these visits is experiencing the restaurants as a place entirely new to me. I have no idea what’s on the menu, what amenities they have, what’s popular, essentially everything is wrapped in a Christmas box waiting for me to open.
So, when I arrived and saw they had a dining room, I was pleasantly surprised. There wasn’t much seating but I imagine it’s enough for a city with a population of ~600. Besides, I saw many people ordering their food to go.
I didn’t though. I ordered a double cheeseburger, seasoned fries, a cherry limeade, and a fresh strawberry pie for dine in. Every food item I went with was at the recommendation of the lady who took my order.
Toot’s Drive In’s menu only has one size of fries for $1.99 and I think they gave me enough seasoned curly fries to feed the entire city of Howard, KS. They were reminiscent of Arby’s curly fries but way less greasy. I highly enjoyed them but knew there was no way I could finish the entire order.
The big proportions didn’t end there. I went with the double cheeseburger because often times I order a single and the patty is super thick to the point I regret not getting a double. On my visit, I regretted not ordering a single because it was sooooo much food.
My burger was made with everything on it and about the size of the water tower down the street from Toot’s Drive In. It was a mouthful. The patties were thick, juicy and mouthwatering. I’ve been to quite a few small towns in Kansas so far and would probably rank Toot’s Drive In towards the top in terms of fantastic burgers.
Somehow, I made room for dessert. The fresh strawberry pie came at the recommendation of an employee there. It was very refreshing and something sweet to go along with my extremely savory lunch. I love strawberry anything, so this really hit the spot. Like another small-town restaurant, I loved the crust so much. I just wonder why they went with such a thin crust. Seriously, it could have been a twenty times better pie with a thicker crust. I loved the flavor of the crust and wished they gave me as much crust as they did fries earlier.
It was well over an hour for me to get to Howard, KS and probably one of my longest drives strictly for a review. Was it worth it? Oh, hell yeah.
Here’s their menu:
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