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Wright's Dairy Rite - Staunton, VA
by Neoteric at 4:43 pm EDT, Jul 23, 2007

Three years before Ray Kroc began franchising McDonald’s, Wright’s Dairy Rite of Staunton, Virginia, started serving Superburgers. Two beef patties with cheese and lettuce, topped with special sauce and layered in a triple-decker bun, this monumental hamburger is still served as it was in 1952 – by car hops at the window of your vehicle in a car slip at the side of the restaurant. Wright’s added a dining room in 1989, so it is possible to eat inside, where décor includes a handsome Wurlitzer juke box (with compact discs rather than 45s) and vintage Wright’s menus from the 1950s and 1960s; but for us, the joy of this place is in-car dining.

If really, really hungry, we forgo the Superburger for a Monsterburger. That is one-half pound of beef barely sandwiched in a bun, available in a basket, with French fries or, better yet, with Wright’s homemade onion rings. To drink with this festive heap of food, one needs a shake. At Wright’s, milk shakes are the real thing, available in chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla, as well as with real bananas or strawberries (mmmm!), and with or without malted milk for additional richness. While on the subject of dairy products, we should also note that this place knows how to make a fine banana split, a float (a big blob of ice cream set adrift in the soda pop of your choice), and a flurry (candy and/or cookies blended into soft-serve ice cream).

Wright’s serves three meals a day, and the menu goes well beyond burgers. There are regular and foot-long hot dogs, pork barbecue on a bun, sandwich baskets with potato chips and a pickle, whole submarines, hearty chili with beans, and even some recently added low-fat wraps. In addition to milk shakes and soda pop, the beverage list includes that drink known to connoisseurs of Dixie mixology as the champagne of the South – pre-sweetened ice tea, served in cups that range up to one-quart size.

Yet another place that I ate at off of I-81. The malted milkshakes (yes I hate ice cream, but I do love a good malted) and the superburger were awesome. I'll definitely be hitting this place again.


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