South Beach Diet Smack Down

Enjoy a burger the way it was meant to be at Lee’s Drive Inn

By Matt Crosslin
(originally published in the November 2004 issue of U Monthly Magazine) 

What can be said about a hamburger that has not already been said?  You would think that the current “low carb craze” would have killed the classic burger and replaced it with some chemical injected, hybrid monster-of-a-creation that tastes like a roof shingle wrapped in lettuce.  But you just can’t fight the American fascination with a big, greasy, yummy slab of meat buried in veggies, layered with cheese, mustard, mayo, and whatever else suits your fancy for the day, slapped between a fresh, warm, “whoa—how many carbs are in this?” bun.  Veggies are healthy, right?

This week, my anti-Atkins stomach led me and a co-worker to Lee’s Drive Inn. The building itself was a little unassuming and worn down, but that’s usually a good sign when your looking for the good stuff—you know, the stuff that never fits into ANY diet plan. It never kills you to splurge on occasion, right?

We drove around the building looking for a door or drive-up window.  No luck there.  Lee’s is a true drive inn.  You walk up to the window and order your food (or you can call ahead).  The menu has everything on it that you would expect from a drive inn—burgers, steak finger baskets, etc. — and a few different items, such as sausage wrap-ups.

Lee’s has a family feel about it, and it should.  Everyone that works there is somehow related to Lee.  Lee himself has been running restaurants in Waco for 47 years.  He has owned several restaurants, including the BBQ restaurant next door, but he now focuses his time on his drive inn.  And you can taste the attention he gives to the details.

Lee is proud to point out that everything he uses is fresh.  Veggies and bread are not used if they aren’t good.  He even goes the extra mile and purchases top-quality meat and other ingredients.  No skimping here.  One bite into my burger confirmed this.

Let’s face it—burgers produce grease, and I like it that way.  As my co-worker said, his hand was anointed by his burger.  But the taste that filled my mouth while I was enjoying my burger was worth any extra effort to clean my hands.  I would be disappointed if it was any other way.  This is a burger that any of us can satisfy our American burger fascination with.  I also tried a sausage wrap-up, which was very tasty, and a pecan sundae, which was a nice treat to top off the meal.

Another bonus of eating at Lee’s is the price.  Even though Lee buys the best ingredients, you can’t tell it from his prices.  Most items range from just over a dollar to about four dollars.  Mmmmm….  At least you can give your wallet a break while you are giving your circulatory system another reason to go into arrest.

I can always go back to my Styrofoam diet tomorrow, right?

Open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., closed Sundays.
104 Hillsboro Street (corner of Elm and Hillsboro)
(254) 799-6916

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