THE PLACE: Scooper’s Drive-In on Prater Way in Sparks is a classic-themed restaurant that has specialized in burgers and milkshakes since it opened in 1980. The other location is 2090 Mill St.
THE LOOK: The joint has nine drive-up stalls for those who want a quick bite in the car. There’s also indoor seating for cold days and a covered patio with picnic tables for the summer.
THE MEAL: I order the 1/3-pound double cheeseburger with fries and a shake for $7.59. To me, that screams affordability, especially since the shake is 20 ounces. I go the traditional route when ordering because it’s a burger/hot dog type of place — you can’t go wrong with one of those.
My companion, more nontraditional, orders the pastrami burger ($5.29), a 1/4-pound beef patty with Swiss cheese to accompany the pastrami. He adds medium fries ($1.69) and a 12-ounce shake ($2.19) to easily keep us under $20.
The double cheeseburger comes with a creamy special sauce (comparable to Thousand Island dressing), tomatoes, onions, pickles and shredded lettuce. I’m not a fan of shredded lettuce because it gets messy, but this still tastes really good. The cheddar cheese is mild, and the bun is soft and without those pesky sesame seeds.
The shoestring french fries are too salty but delightfully crunchy.
The menu has 46 different milk shakes. I feel as if I have no choice but to order one. The chocolate malt is perfectly blended and delicious. My buddy’s shake has chunks of pineapple.
KUDOS: The quantity of food for the price is tremendous. It’s hard to mess up a burger/shake combo, but this one stands out because of Scooper’s fresh ingredients and fast service.
QUIBBLES: I suggest not getting the 20-ounce shake with the meal. The burger and fries alone are filling, but once you start sipping the milkshake, it’s difficult to stop because of how addictive it is.
ALTERNATIVES: Try one of six hot dogs ranging from $3.29 to $5.50. The sloppy Joe also looks interesting, as do the tacos. If you’re looking for a summer sweet spot, the ice cream, slushies, soda floats and creme coolers all look fantastic.
RETURN TRIP?: Yes, next time right before a drive-in movie, perhaps.