Bart's Drive In Restaurant
55 Palisado Ave, Windsor
There are some places you go back to because of the memories they conjure. Bart's Drive In Restaurant in Windsor is one of those spots. It's been around for 60 years, so many generations have sat and chatted inside the cozy dining room or outside at the picnic tables with a scenic look at the Farmington River.
And even if it's your first time there, the place stirs up memories of fries and shakes at your childhood favorite place.
THE VIBE: 1950s. You order at the counter on one side and carry your food to the other room or outside. The short order cooks flip burgers, deep fry onion rings or handle your soft serve ice cream order with efficient dexterity and few words. Regulars dine here and communication short hand is expected.
THE FOOD: Diner. Quick and made to order. No designer burgers here. Just what you'd expect for a quick lunch. Bob's Belly Bustin' Dog comes with chile, cheese, kraut, peppers or grilled onions. Bart's Famous Hot Dog is longer that its bun and its juice goodness satisfies that frank craving.
We tried the fried shrimp special, golden crusty discs with tails, along with some tasty onion rings. We also ordered the cheesburger, which comes with lettuce and tomato and onions, if you like. The roll was appropriately soft. We found the burger a little bland, but you could ramp up the flavor with a side of chili or cheese.
Sandwiches include grilled cheese plain or with bacon or ham, Philly steak, BLT, fried chicken breast and fish fillet.
If you're in the mood for seafood, try the clam strip dinner, fried scallops or whole belly clams.
Bart's offers special salads and vegetarian sandwiches.
If you want a milkshake, Bart's is your place. We ordered a root beer float, a little bit of heaven in a paper cup.
Breakfast is served seven days a week featuring eggs, omelets, express muffins and toast and sandwiches.
THE BILL: A true bargain. Hot dogs begin at $2.95; burgers at $3.65; sies at $2.65; sandwiches are $3.99. The fish dinners are around $10, with market price for whole belly clams. There are daily specials posted in its website. Sign up for alerts.
EXTRAS: Bart's shares space with the Beanery Bistro, which serves gourmet coffee, baked goods and fancier sandwiches in the dining room. Bart's does a big take out business. Order by 9:30 a.m. and your order will be ready at lunch time. Or ask for delivery for orders $25 and up. Bart's runs a catering business.
THE PARTICULARS: Bart's is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Frdiay; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The Beanery deli is opening Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed on Sunday.