Scotty’s no longer offers car-hop service, but it maintains a menu true to the spirit of mid-20th century car culture. Burgers star in configurations that range from singles to bacon double cheese to quarter-pounders and half-pounders and a “Bluff Burger” that is three meat patties, cheese, and all appropriate condiments.
When we asked the girl behind the counter if the French fries were worth ordering, she shot back, “They’re the best in town.” Scotty’s take-out menu features a picture of an anthropomorphic serving of fries talking to an equally humanoid beverage, the scene captioned, “This spud’s for you.” They are indeed very good French fries: thin and crisp-edged with nice potato flavor.
There is nothing dramatically wonderful about the thin short-order hamburgers that have enough juice to imprint the bun, but I did very much appreciate the cut-above bun on which my Bluff Burger was served. There are all sorts of sandwiches beyond burgers, including fish, chicken, pork, and shrimp. The most interesting alternative is Scotty’s “Tasty Tavern,” a sloppy Joe that echoes the passion of neighboring Iowa’s Siouxland for unpattied ground meat sandwiches. Scotty’s Taverns are small; we saw large local boys ingesting four to six of them, along with family packs of French fries, for supper.