Brigham City, Utah
Don and I had to go a little off our road trip route, to find this restaurant. I spotted the large, twirling sign first. Then I saw their other sign, with a little bowtie-wearing dude, running with a tray of root beer mugs!
Maddox Ranch House
It was our silly cookbook that guided us towards the Maddox Ranch House... as it was called in our 1962 book. I was sad that the restaurant no longer had an exposed chimney or logg-y exterior.
A Dining Oasis
The rambling structure didn't look much like the image in our vintage Ford Motor Cookbook. But it still looked like a welcoming dining spot, along the highway, with the mountains beyond.
Now and Then
As I headed towards the front entrance, I saw there was a fake little hint of the old log look, above the door. The words mentioned the Famous Fried Chicken, just like the illustration. When I got inside, I saw a displayed photo from the 1950's, that looked very much like the cookbook image.
Yay for Knotty Pine!
It was 11 am and the restaurant had just opened when we arrived. I was so glad I could take a moment to peek around before guests filled the place up.
I was so delighted to see some retro pine as I headed towards one of the many dining rooms. Better yet, there was a hostess who was more than willing to chat about Maddox's history.
The hostess was seasoned enough to be pretty amused when I shared the old cookbook with her. She seemed thrilled that I was so interested in the history of the restaurant that began as a drive in, in 1949.
She pointed out the log walls and explained how they had once been the exterior. She pointed to the stairway. "There's a dining room up those stairs now, but the Maddox family used to live up there." I loved knowing the restaurant was still owned and operated by the Maddox family.
Through the Years
I loved studying the old photos on the walls. I'm guessing back in 1949, that Irv and Wilma probably had not clue how popular their tiny cabin restaurant would become.
Yay for Drive Ins!
Luckily, Maddox's still keeps the drive-in running. Don and I had eaten a huge breakfast and we couldn't even imagine having a big meal before noon. So we parked under the carport and hoped to get a little something for later.
Park and Order
We joined the line up of cars. The place was pretty hopping at 11:15.
We studied the hanging menus and signs. I read the words, "Keep off the Tramway" and did as I was told. Hmmm? That's an odd word for the platform, where the young girls rushed back and forth.
Our server, Tiffany greeted us through the window. I knew she was far too young to be thrilled by an old cookbook, but I had to share. I reached across Don and asked if they still served the Potato Soup that was shown on the page.
"Only on Wednesday." Tiffany answered. She started to hand the book to Don, then pulled it back to have another look. "How old is this!" She laughed and I was delighted that she'd passed the cookbook test with a good reaction. She was nice enough to pose with the book for a photo.
We ordered a 4-piece chicken basket, along with some root beer and had a lovely truck stop picnic, a couple hours later. The chicken would have been much better on a china plate with mashed potatoes... seated beside a logg-y wall. But our picnic was a yummy way to complete our funny little dining/drive-in adventure!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.