23 Comments
Mar 26·edited Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

My uncle was an A&W franchise king in Wyoming in the 60s and he set his brother, my dad, up with a shop when he immigrated to the States. In Jackson Hole no less. The American dream, right? My dad drove it into the ground and my uncle gave him the boot. But from 3 to 4 years old, I lived off end-of-day fried chicken. I really appreciate the backstory on the company.

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author

Wow! Sounds like your "A&W franchise king of Wyoming, uncle should also be written about. Thanks for the bit of history!

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Mar 28·edited Mar 28Liked by illyanna Maisonet

Also, the pics in this post are gorgeous! The onion ring one! It's like that famous picture of a black hole: https://www.npr.org/2023/04/13/1169469591/goodbye-fuzzy-donut-the-famous-first-black-hole-photo-gets-sharpened-up

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Mar 27Liked by illyanna Maisonet

Wow! Learned a lot - had no idea! I'll be looking at the A&W establishments differently, now!

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Mar 27Liked by illyanna Maisonet

I am a huge fan, have been since I was a kid-- it was our one food stop (madison) when driving from chicago to mpls for grandparents-- those frosty mugs! So good! And then I grew up and moved to madison! There is still an old A&W, with the pointed roof etc and drive up, about 30 min away. And the fries ARE good! Thank you for this! And always yes I am a fan of the cheese curds. Fresh squeaky curds AND freshly battered and fried curds.

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author

Thanks for sharing! Remember to take photos of that location before it's too late!

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Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

We had A&W in the Mt. View area when I was growing up in CA. I loved it! They had a Mama burger and a Teen burger, and yes, I remember it was the first time I had bacon on a burger. Thanks for the great memories!

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Thanks for sharing!

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Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

Fond memories of the A&W on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, CA and going for a cheese burger, fries, and root beer floats with my mom. Thanks so much for writing about this!

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author

Is that location still there?

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No, but there appears to be one in Capitola that I might check out. My other CA dining crush is Fosters Freeze - and Sizzler (which you've covered!)

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Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

I was just telling my kids about A&W drive ins (and how much I loved them growing up) the other day. Loved the little food trays that hung off the car window, and definitely the frosty mugs—the best!

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Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

amazing, truly!

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Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

I wonder where the Wisconsin cheese curds came into the picture since A&W started in California.

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author

Good question! It wouldn't be totally impossible that Roy Allen was familiar with cheese curds considering he grew up in Illinois. It's only a 3 hour drive from IL to WI. I know because I've driven from Chicago to Wisconsin! LMAO!

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Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

I had an A&W near my college in LI and it was merely okay, and when me and my husband used to visit Montreal, we would always go to the one up there - SO DELICIOUS. Thank you for taking the time to give us the real history AND another one to visit! 😻

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Oooohhh...a Quebecois A&W?! I'm down.

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Mar 28Liked by illyanna Maisonet

I love these CA posts that you do. I've re-read the burger one so many times since we've been eating more vegan food (hah!) We had A&W in Madison and MKE area of course, but what I remember is when I lived in Boulder, CO - going on 50-mile solo bike rides to the Weld county landfill and back, and the lunch stop was an A&W where I'd get a frosty mug of RB and a few hot dogs. Good memories.

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So many people I know going vegan or pescatarian! I don't know if I could go full non-meat. but, I have definitely been eating less meat since I started buying from Stemple Creek because it's so expensive!

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Yeah. don't know if I could, either. My huz started trending this way after he got Parkinson's - altho some of that population swears by keto. Go figure!

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Mar 26Liked by illyanna Maisonet

Best peace out closing salutation ever!!!! Screeeeeech mike drop

Mmmm...I really love me some root beer. It was one of my yia-yia's fave soda. Lately I've been keeping the small baby cans in my fridge for when the day calls for a root beer emergency. Cool bit of history...maybe I need to take a drive to the closest one bout an hour away, just cause.

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I too only drink those 7.5 ounce "little baby cans" of soda. They hit the spot! What town is the A&W that's closest one to you in?

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They really are the perfect soda size when you just need a taste, not that I couldn't down a big gulp...but that's neither here nor there. The closest A&W to me is in Madras, OR. I'm in Bend so just north of me en route to PDX or more remote Oregon/Washington depending on where you split off the highway in Madras.

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