Just past one of Tacoma’s hospitals on Division Avenue sits a squat little red and white drive up called Frisko Freeze. It is one of Tacoma’s most famous burger joints, having served burgers and shakes since 1950.
If you’re in the mood for low cost, finger-licking fast food, you have the option to drive up to the order window, then park and wait for your food; or park and walk up to the order window. The parking lot always is packed with cars, and customers wait on the sidewalk for burgers — despite a sign that reads “LOITERING PROHIBITED – PLEASE RETURN TO CAR.” You are served by local high school kids who banter non-stop in the kitchen and call out order numbers on a (very loud) loudspeaker.
The food is served in waxy bags, messy and hot. Burgers come with mayonnaise-based secret sauce, pickles, onions, ketchup, and lettuce. I sampled both a burger and cheeseburger and can confidently recommend that everyone should get cheese on their burgers: it melts with the other condiments into a tasty slippery sauce. The fries are unremarkable, and the milkshakes taste just like my dad used to make them when I was little: vanilla ice cream blended with Hershey’s original chocolate sauce. Simple, but enjoyable.
One downside: there’s no designated eating space on the premises, save a few (always occupied) red benches that sit next to the order window. This means you have to scarf down your greasy, aromatic meal in the car. My advice: grab a handful of napkins and drive around with your windows open for the rest of the day.