Don's Drive In, NJ

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johnlockedema
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2011/04/06 14:52:59 (permalink)

Don's Drive In, NJ

Next to the Community Theater in Morristown 'Don's Burgers' is slated to open soon.  Using (stealing??), the red on white 'Don's' logo will be on the awning.  Said to named in honor of the late, lamented Don's Drive In in Livingston.  More news to follow as it gets closer to the opening.
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    billyp
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2011/07/04 08:46:57 (permalink)
    Wow - Don's Drive In. That was a good burger, back in the day when they had car hop service! What a scene on summer nights, including (sometimes) head to head racing on South Orange Ave.
    How about Grunning's? Remember them?
    #2
    californyguy
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2011/07/04 13:05:10 (permalink)
    yes dons and grunnings were both special- never could figure why they closed as I was long gone by then ;wonder iof that new place ac  tually opened in morristown- could not find it online
    #3
    johnlockedema
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2011/07/13 17:53:14 (permalink)
    The 'new' Don's isn't open yet, at least as of last week.  Don had sold the business but held the paper, and then ran it for a while with the buyers defaulted.  He then leased out the site to another restaurant, but it tanked.
     
    I'd kill for some Gruning's hot fudge sauce.
    #4
    johnlockedema
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2011/12/28 15:39:49 (permalink)
    Latest news is that the new 'Don's' won't be charbroiling the burgers, and although the meat is said to be 'freshly ground' we don't know if it will be onsite, as it was at the original Don's.  It's still not open yet.
    #5
    ScreenBear
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/01/04 10:27:25 (permalink)
    But, the big question is, will they be serving the big, natural casing hot dog from Best Provisions, Newark, still referred to as  the Don's down at Best Provisions? Also, is there any real connection between the original Don's and this new place?
     
      The Bear
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    johnlockedema
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/01/15 18:24:08 (permalink)
    Screenbear, supposedly the new owner has ties to Don's family-but Don's nephew said there isn't.  The difference will be in the taste.  I'm already saddened that apparently they won't be char broiled.
    #7
    johnlockedema
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/01/30 19:54:12 (permalink)
    OK, we snuck in during the friends and family soft opening.  Burger, three types of dry aged beef (but not ground on the premises) was very beefy ordered medium rare.  Perfectly salted.  Onion rings needed salt, portion size a bit small, but very good.  I'd go back just for them.  Standard Best hot dogs.  Pepperidge Farms rolls for both, meh.  Prices were fair, $5.95 for the cheeseburger, $3.95 for the hot dog, onion rings $3.50, good fries $2.50.
    #8
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/01/31 12:09:04 (permalink)
    Sounds good.

    How did they serve during the opening? Inside? Any seating in or around for the pests who will NOT eat in a car? I know a Drive-In. Just asking.
    #9
    ChrisOC
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/01/31 13:42:35 (permalink)
    $3.95 sounds high for a hot dog.
    #10
    johnlockedema
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/02/01 17:34:46 (permalink)
    They are high quality, 1/4 lb hot dogs.  The price they charge are cheaper than other places in the area that sell the same hot dog.
    #11
    johnlockedema
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/02/01 17:36:05 (permalink)
    CCinNJ

    Sounds good.

    How did they serve during the opening? Inside? Any seating in or around for the pests who will NOT eat in a car? I know a Drive-In. Just asking.

    No curb service, it's on a main street.  For ChrisOC, the price is below what some other locations charge for a Best Provisions 1/4lb hot dog.
    #12
    ScreenBear
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/02/01 18:32:58 (permalink)
    So, if I get your meaning, they are not standard Best frankfurters, but rather, what came to be known as the Don, Best Provisions's squat, quarter pound hot dog equivalent of a Churchill cigar. Thus, the question is, how are they prepared? Due to this weiner's circumference, style of preparation is crucial if the dog is to indeed be hot. I'm not sure what Amazing Hot Dog, Verona, N.J.,  charged for the same dog when first they opened their doors a few years back.
     
      The Bear
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    John Fox
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/02/01 19:35:16 (permalink)
    They charged $3.25 6 years ago when they opened for a plain 1/4 lb dog. More with certain toppings.
    #14
    johnlockedema
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/02/04 16:06:45 (permalink)
    The hot dogs are griddled; original Don's was known for char broiling, but the new facility will not have it.  (Apparently the new owner is thinking of franchising the concept, and char broiling would be an impediment as many aren't familiar with it).
    #15
    John Fox
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/02/05 06:18:09 (permalink)
    I never went to Don's. Unfortunately it closed before I even heard about it. I had always thought the dogs there were griddled. That's what the guys from Amazing Hot Dog told me. You sure they were char broiled? I would prefer char broiling as that is the way Syd's did it after first boiling.
    #16
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/02/05 11:07:35 (permalink)
    I hope it works out for the new owner. I wish the focus was to bang out the best char and bank on happy customers to make it a must on the list. Early plans to franchise sometimes get in the way of the best you can do...today.
    #17
    ken8038
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    Re:Don's Drive In, NJ 2012/04/28 13:47:53 (permalink)
    I went to Don's yesterday for lunch. My overall review was maybe a "B".
     
    I got there about Noon and it wasn't too crowded. I ordered a cheeseburger, fries, onion rings and a soda, and this came to about $15. Even for "gourmet" fast food, I thought this was ridiculous. If a family of 4 wanted to eat here, even if they split the sides 2 ways, it would cost around $50.
     
    As for the food, burger was noticably small for $5.95. The portions of fries and rings was good, I only finished about 1/2 of each and brought the rest home for tasting by my wife and son.
     
    The burger was good, but not great, and certainly not worth $5.95. The fries looked better than they tasted, nicely fried, but not all that crispy and somehow lacked any flavor. The rings were outstanding! Light and crispy.
     
    My food took about 15 minutes to arrive, obviously cooked to order, which is a good thing. But as I said, there was no line when I got there. By the time I left, around 12:45 there was a from the counter to the door, it's anybody's guess how long it took for those people to get thier food.
     
    Would I go back? If I was hungry and passing thru Morristown, maybe, but not worth the 31 minutes (GPS) as a destination lunch or dinner from Scotch Plains.
     
    PS: Meter parking on a Friday at noon in downtown Morristown was fairly easy to find, I parked about a 5 minute walk away. Predictably, this being New Jersey, the land of people too lazy to walk anywhere, I saw two separate cars dropping off 2 or 3 people, presumably so they would not have to walk all the way from wherever the drivers found a parking spot. The drivers showed up about 5-10 minutes later.
     
    #18
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