A bright pink building with a neon sign in the shape of a tailfinned car, Don’s is a big slice of Americana – a burger-and-malt drive-in that dates back to 1958. It is decorated in old vinyl records, fancy hubcaps and images of mid-century pop-culture icons; and its menu is a roster of fast-food fundamentals.
There are sandwiches (BLT, ham & cheese), and a soup of the day, but the big decision to make at Don’s is whether to get a hamburger or a brace of Coney Island hot dogs. The Coney is topped with chili sauce, available regular or foot-long. The burgers are big. Normal size is a quarter-pound. The Big D is double that: two mighty slabs of beef cooked to juicy perfection (the way you want: rare, medium, or well) and stuffed into a bun with your choice of toppings that range from mustard and ketchup to cheese, bacon, mushrooms, and olives.
Don’s is renowned for its shakes and malts, blended to order and thick enough to require powerful suction with a straw. The menu includes vanilla and chocolate plus strawberry, cherry and raspberry that can be made with fresh fruit. Our cherry malt was thick with intensely flavorful pieces of sweet cherry.
Note: there is a second Don’s down in Novi, Michigan, just northwest of Detroit.