Restaurants & Stands

XXX Root Beer (Root Beer Stand)

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As I was on a business trip, in the great state of Washington, for my other job . . . let’s face it, being a Professor of Root Beerology is not a lucrative profession . . . I spotted the XXX Root Beer stand on one of those handy highway signs.  I whipped the car off the exit so fast, that it’s a miracle I’m even here writing this review.  But here I sit and by golly I am going to write this XXX review.

Honestly, stopping at root beer stands like this one is one of the little pleasures in life that I love so much.   I love how everything about this restaurant screamed Americana, 1950s and the way life used to be . . . from the huge barrel on the outside, to the cool paraphanilla and the rude and pushy (but in a sort of fun way) waitress that I ordered my XXX Root Beer from.

Unfortunately, I got my root beer in a Styrofoam cup with ice . . . but not even inferior service could ruin this root beer adventure!  The brew was really smooth and creamy with just a little carbonation . . . just the way I like it!  It had a real simple flavor with strong licorice overtones . . . nothing complex going on there.

Truth be told, it is probably not a spectacular root beer, but any store, drive-in or restaurant that is dedicated to root beer gets a nice bump up in the rating!

Professor’s Grade:  B +

A & W Diet Root Beer Restaurant Review

aw3Same visit to A & W, but i decided to get two root beers for the price of one – you can learn more about that in Economics 101.  Anyway, after I finished my cup (and yes I did says cup, no mug at this visit) of A & W Root Beer, I filled it right up with A & W Diet Root Beer.  One of the first things that I noticed was that the diet brew had the same great root beer flavor as the sugar version.  The diet taste was of course noticable, but this was still a pretty enjoyable cup of diet root beer.

Maybe I’m getting caught up in the whole experience, or maybe I had enough of the regular A & W flavor left in my mouth from my first cup of the the real stuff.  I don’t know . . . but what I do know is the evening ended with my son getting a good root beer burp up the nose.  And by the way . . . his burp was not from the diet version.

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The Professors Grade:  D +

A & W Root Beer Restaurant Review

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We were having a little bit of a rough day, so we decided to drown our sorrows away in a nice cold mug of root beer.  These A & W restaurants are becoming few and far between, so we were thrilled to find one so close to our house (even if it is a hybrid KFC & A&W).

Full Disclosure – Most of these pictures are from when my family enjoyed root beer floats, but the actual reviewed occurred on another date.  Also, come to find out you need to ask for the frosty mugs . . . they give you paper cups otherwise.  So, the actual review occurred with a paper cup, and at the time I was under the impression that they no longer served root beers with frosty mugs – I was wrong . . . thankfully.

On to the review . . . root beer served in a glass bottle is always better than root beer served in a can.  But draft root beer served in a restaurant is better than root beer served in a glass bottle.  Thus, “IHO” A&W from a restaurant will always be better than what you can buy in a grocery store.  Bottom line is that i enjoyed the whole experience and the root beer was creamy, smooth and light.  The flavor was reminiscent of the kind of root beer I enjoyed as a kid.

My son kept saying, “this tastes different . . . this tastes different” and he meant that in a good way.  And, I agree, this is better than any A&W I’ve had in recent history.

The Professor’s Grade:  B -

Doumar’s Root Beer

doumars1Doumar’s is located in Norfolk, VA and it’s claim to fame is not the root beer, but rather it’s ice cream cones. Abe Doumar was the first to create the cone itself – he first sold it at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. Doumar’s still makes their own cones today and they are still made on the same machine that Abe Doumar created!

My whole family had ice cream cones and they tasted pretty fantastic.

I also tried their root beer which is a unique root beer although I don’t think they truly make it at their store. They probably just mix the syrup and the soda water . . . which is still pretty cool.

They put too much ice in the cup, but the ice was chopped into small bits and my daughter (little professor # 2)

loved the slushy root beer effect.

The root beer was a little syrupy with heavy licorice and wintergreen flavors shining through.

This root beer doumars2should probably not be rated too high, but because of the cool atmosphere and neat ice-cream cone experience, I have a lot of happy endorphins flowing through my brains so . . .

The Professor’s Grade:  B -