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Lake Zoar Drive-In

14 Roosevelt Dr., Stevenson, CT - (203) 268-8137
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/8/2003 6:41:00 PM
Thanks to local tipsters, we finally found our way to the Lake Zoar Drive-In and plowed into the celebrated Zoar Burger. What is it, you ask? It's a quarter-pound beef patty cooked to order and topped with cheese and bacon plus lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, all on a great big hard roll. Hefty as that hard roll is, there is no way to eat a Zoar Burger without major spillage. But that's ok in this place, where the accommodations are – how shall we say it? – less than formal. You eat off paper plates at either a low counter opposite the service window or at one of two wooden picnic tables just outside, or sitting on one of the concrete road dividers that defines the front of the parking lot. Some people just get the food "to go" and dine off their dashboards.

If a big, messy Zoar Burger is more than you want to handle, there are plenty of lesser hamburgers on the menu: You can have singles and doubles, chiliburgers and cheeseburgers, or such specialties as a Bobby Burger (topped with fried onions and roasted peppers) or a Weekly Burger (with gorgonzola).

Honestly, we like the hot dogs more than the burgers. Zoar offers regular and foot-long Hummels cooked to taut, pink goodness and topped with whatever you like. Our foot long with "the works" was buried under onions, sauerkraut, mustard, and relish. Of course, bacon and cheese are also available.

The Zoar Drive-In, which is open seven days serves breakfast every day. Although it is casual and cheap, it is NOT particularly fast food, as everything is made to order. Waiting is part of the experience, and all the day's local papers are spread out on the counter for customers to enjoy while their food is cooked or while they eat it.

For us, this is an amiable place, but in a ramshackle way. It is located on Lake Zoar, which is a beautiful setting; but the view from both the picnic tables and the parking lot is pretty well blocked, and the restaurant itself is very well worn. The ambience we like about this drive-in is less about natural beauty than about the charm of a roadside burger joint that takes pride in what it does.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A Zoar Burger with a side of curly fries
"A Zoar Burger with a side of curly fries"
Michael Stern





Here's chef Mike Basso in his kitchen. At the Lake Zoar Drive-In you can watch your meal prepared, always to order.
"Here's chef Mike Basso in his kitchen. At the Lake Zoar Drive-In you can watch your meal prepared, always to order."
Michael Stern


Close up of a foot-long with the works
"Close up of a foot-long with the works"
Michael Stern


Milk Shakes are a Lake Zoar Drive-In specialty. They are super-thick, made with plenty of scooped-to-order ice cream. The flavor of this one? Creamsicle!
"Milk Shakes are a Lake Zoar Drive-In specialty. They are super-thick, made with plenty of scooped-to-order ice cream. The flavor of this one? Creamsicle!"
Michael Stern


Words on the front of the menu: Summer lasts ALL year round at the Lake.
"Words on the front of the menu: Summer lasts ALL year round at the Lake."
Michael Stern


We are especially fond of these crunchy, grease-glistening 'onion straws.'
"We are especially fond of these crunchy, grease-glistening 'onion straws.'"
Michael Stern


The order window is to the right of the photo. Indoor seating is to the left.
"The order window is to the right of the photo. Indoor seating is to the left."
Michael Stern



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