Murdo Drive-In

Review by: Michael Stern

Just a hop off Interstate 90 in the relatively food-barren middle of South Dakota, Murdo Drive-In serves burgers, broasted chicken, and turtle ice cream that are worth a stop.

The menu is emblazoned with these watchwords “We are not fast! We are good. We are cheerful. We are courteous. But we are not fast. For fast, go to Chicago. Here we are north of the ‘tension line.’ So relax.”

If you order broasted chicken, you will have a good 20 minutes to relax, because it is cooked to order and arrives at your place sizzling hot. Likewise, burgers, made of grass-fed beef, are not from pre-pressed patties; and the dessert / drink cyclones, which are something like milk shakes, are actually made with real fruit when available. Correspondent Hans Bauman noted that his rhubarb cyclone was “delicious, from its creamy substrate to the tangy threads of freshly harvested rhubarb.” Less crop-dependent cyclone flavors include banana split, banana pudding, Oreo, chocolate-covered cherry, and peanut butter crunch.

What To Eat

Broasted Chicken

Bacon Cheeseburger

Onion Rings



Murdo Drive-In Recipes


What do you think of Murdo Drive-In?

One Response to “Murdo Drive-In”

Hans Baumann

July 14th, 2011

I found this place completely by chance while driving from Boston to Seattle. It turned out to be the best meal of the trip. In barren South Dakota I had gotten off I-90 expecting to eat some sort of soggy, uninspired gas station sandwich when I spotted this small orange building with its “Drive-In” sign.

The menu is eclectic (burgers, tacos, chicken) and I was advised by the young girl working behind the counter to order the “Broasted chicken.” The smile that came across her face when she said “It’s really good” spoke toward the quality of the meal to come.

The Murdo Drive-In makes its chicken (and probably the rest of its food) to order and its website says, “We are not fast! We are good, We are cheerful, We are Courteous, But, we are not fast! For fast, go to Chicago.” Love it or leave it I guess! The chicken took close to 20 minutes to arrive at our table but when it did, the skin was still singing from the hot oil. Every maxim you hear applied to a perfectly fried chicken applies here: crispy, tender, moist, succulent, etc. Divine.

It was accompanied by a perfectly balanced coleslaw accented by the presence of what I believe was horseradish. The fries were wonderful. The meal attained legendary status when I went back in for dessert; I had to see what they had to offer. I ordered a rhubarb “cyclone” (a thicker milkshake) which was only available because, sensibly, rhubarb was then in season. The cyclone was delicious, from its creamy substrate to the tangy threads of freshly harvested rhubarb.

The freshness and lightness of what could have been a heavy, greasy meal cannot be overstated. I hadn’t expected much from South Dakota’s Roadfood, but this meal proved otherwise. An essential Roadfood stop!


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