Recently I read a list of the top 10 burger places in the US and it inspired me to pay homage to the one closest to where I call home, Carl’s Drive In.
Carl’s is a tiny place with only 16 bar stools. They serve burgers smashed on the grill so they have delightfully crispy edges. For good reason, the terms “burger” and “crispy” typically don’t end up in a sentence together. This burger is the exception to that rule. I’m instantly whisked away to burger nirvana at the first crispy bite. They are pretty small patties, I typically order a triple cheese. Anything less a double should be considered a kid’s meal.
When you go, you must pair their burger with Carl’s homemade root beer. They serve it in an ice-cold frosty mug. The root beer alone will have you coming back. They serve standard “out-of-the-bag” fries that are on the thick side. The fries are still an adequate side and do not detract the focus from the burger.
Carl’s Drive In is a place that I get a craving for every month or two. There isn’t another place like it. This place is on my must do list for anyone that visits. I agree that it deserves a spot in any top 10 burger lists due to its’ uniqueness and their ability to crank out top-notch burgers.
Dive 2 Five Scale: 2. The typical complaints for this place are:
- It’s too small and I have to stand.
- The wait staff can be a little “gruff” or “direct”.
- It’s cash only.
Personally I think those are very petty reasons to miss out on a St. Louis institution. I have never had to stand to eat. They are extremely efficient in rotating people through the 16 bar stools. Most people that go there have been several times so they do expect that most people know what they want when they are asked. Do your homework, arrive ready, and enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience.