Dash Inn

Review by: blythe

At this vintage curb-service drive-in, the signature dish is the Wagon Wheel: a burger pressed and toasted between two pieces of bread, preferably with the works.

Directions & Hours

10am - 10pm
  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

What To Eat

Wagon Wheel

DISH
Hot-n-Tot

DISH
Tater Tots

DISH
Twin Cheeseburger

DISH

Dash Inn Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Dash Inn?

One Response to “Dash Inn”

blythe
Blythe Butler

June 10th, 2009

People who grew up in big cities with suburbs want to believe places like the Dash-Inn exist in real life, but they can’t quite feature it. It’s a tried-and-true drive-in; no waitresses, no light-up graphic menu, no affiliation with a national chain, not even a logo on the napkins, just a square wooden building full of grills, deep fat fryers, and ice cream, next to a row of covered parking spaces offering a view of teenagers cruising the Main Street drag.

Pull your car into the lineup (it can be a long one at lunchtime) and shout into the crackly metal speakers to tell ’em what you want. If you don’t already have your usual order memorized (mine is a cheeseburger with the works, tots, and a medium hot-n-tot to drink), read your options off the wooden menu at the head of the line.

For the main event, there’s chicken, there are ribs, there’s even some jalapeno popper thing, but what you really want is a burger, and if you know what you’re doing, you’ll order a Wagon Wheel. In other, more space-age venues, this hamburger surrounded by two slices of bread and toasted together in a sandwich press might be called a Flying Saucer, or even (heaven forbid) a panini burger. But here in the heart of Big Sky Country, it’s a Wagon Wheel, and travelers sometimes forgo a potty stop (no restroom here, remember it’s a drive-in) just to pick up two or six of these famous sandwiches to take on the road. Family members who hear a cousin is driving through Lewistown send orders for their favorite variety of Wagon Wheel (cheese? no onions (or “XO” to a local)? ketchup only?) to be cradled under the seat in that signature white paper sack for as many miles as it takes to satisfy a Dash-Inn craving.

Stay patient – the wait is worth it – and follow the cars ahead to the window, where a visored teenager will hand over a white paper bag full of greasy goodness along with a Coca-Cola cup. That cup most likely contains one of the signatures of the Dash-Inn, one of a bevy of flavored soft drinks that sound downright weird but taste downright delicious. Mountain Dew with rum flavoring? Or how about a chocolate cherry Coke? Or choose the most popular drink, a cola and cinnamon concoction called a Hot-n-Tot. Sounds strange. Tastes awesome.

As you can imagine, this place has been in business for decades, and just about every person who spent part of a childhood in this small central Montana town has fond memories of eating or working or being mooned from a car at the Dash-Inn. Old-timers love it and, if the 600+ fans on its Facebook page are any indication, the youngsters can’t get enough of it either.

If you’re traveling in Highway 87 (aka Lewistown’s Main Street) between Billings and Great Falls and feel a hankering for some Tater Tots or a shake or (really, you should try it) a cinnamon-flavored Coke, head to the east end of town, look for the picture of the jogging turtle on the sign, and join the line of cars. And if you think of it, order a cheeseburger for me.

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