On my way out of Palm Springs along Interstate 10, I found an A&W Restaurant just outside the Morongo Hotel And Casino. This was not a combination A&W store with another one of Yum! brands like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Taco Bell, Long John Silvers, etc. This was an A&W restaurant that was just an A&W restaurant. This was exciting since all the San Diego A&W’s were combination stores and all of them withdrew the A&W portion of the stores, it means the only chance to sample A&W is on the road outside of San Diego.
When I got there, it was about a half hour before they opened. I was surprised they weren’t opened earlier as it was 10:30 am when I stopped by. I didn’t want to just find the next A&W because I might not see another one on the road ahead, so I went for a quick fill up on gasoline at Morongo’s gas station and then just waited for the A&W to open. At about 10 minutes left to go before the placed opened there was a line forming outside the door. Apparently I wasn’t alone in my want for A&W Food. Sure it’s not what I really should be eating but it’s an out of town treat.
Once it opened, I opted to get a burger combo and removed the bun, like I usually do at burger joints. But I was interested in the upgrade of the fries to Wisconsin Cheese Curds. Thanks to my friend Caroline Bender for introducing me to what Cheese Curds really are, I was anxious to try these. I had never tried Cheese Curds until Caroline introduced me to them because I didn’t know what a curd was and it sounded disgusting. So now that I’ve been corrected and know that cheese curds are delicious plain, let alone deep fried like they were here at A&W.
But perhaps the true highlight of the meal was Root Beer served in a real frosted glass mug. It was an authentic touch of nostalgia of how my memories of A&W from back home in Canada used to serve their Root Beer when you were dining in. While the food wasn’t quite hitting the nostalgia for me as American A&W restaurants have a different menu from their Canadian counterparts, the glass mug was hitting it perfectly. Sure the mug had “All American Food” printed as a slogan on the glass which doesn’t tie into my Canadian memories of A&W, but that’s okay, I wasn’t having the real Root Beer anyway. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone it was the diet version I was having.
They even had some mugs for sale so I bought two 14 oz mugs and brought those home to stick them in the freezer and pour my bottles of real beer into the mugs. An unexpected souvenir bought on the trip.