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.