Friday, May 24, 2013

Watson's Drugs and Soda Fountain

My mom loves antiques, so today my husband and I went down to the city of Orange in Orange County, CA with her.  They have a lot of antique shops and restaurants there.  We arrived in the early afternoon and decided to find a place to eat lunch before browsing through the antique shops.
We looked at menus at about half a dozen different restaurants and cafes before grabbing a booth at Watson's Drugs and Soda Fountain.  It's very retro.  I'm too young to remember pharmacies where you'd get a malt or flavored soda, but that's what this place was like.  They have a pretty big menu of sandwiches, salads and breakfast items.

First of all, I love how many options they have on their menu for customization, and I love how open they are to customizing even beyond that.  For example, the waitress rattled off a long list of milkshake flavors and said she could even combine some of the flavors.  For instance, they have peanut butter milkshakes and chocolate milkshakes, but you could have a chocolate peanut butter milkshake if you wanted one.  My mom got excited when she heard that they had peach flavored milkshakes, but she almost didn't get one when the waitress told her how big they were...enough to fill two large glasses.  My husband offered to share the milkshake with her, and waitress said she could do two different flavors if they didn't want the same flavor.  She didn't mean that they'd mix the flavors together (like in the chocolate peanut butter example above) but that they in essence make 2 half-size milkshakes in 2 completely different flavors for the price of one milkshake!  Wow!  I love that!  They decided to take her up on the offer.  My mom got a peach milkshake, and my husband got a peanut butter milkshake.  My husband said that it tasted like they put real peanut butter in his milkshake.  It wasn't just peanut butter flavoring.  My mom had whole chunks of peaches in her milkshake that were as big as her spoon.  Very impressive.  They should sell half-size milkshakes.  Those are plenty big!

Patty Melt

Here's another example of options:  Their hamburgers are 1/2 pound, and for no additional cost you can substitute a chicken fillet or a buffalo patty.  You also get a side of french fries, curly fries or onion rings, or you can have a half order of two different sides.  I love customization!

Patty Melt
It had been years since I last had a buffalo burger, but I remembered loving it.  I also remembered that buffalo is supposed to be a lot leaner and healthier than beef or chicken.  I went with a patty melt with a buffalo patty.  I'm sure all of the melted American cheese and the buttered rye bread did nothing to make the sandwich healthy, but I really enjoyed the flavor.  I thought I'd only eat half, but before I knew it I had finished the entire sandwich.  I guess I was hungry!  I went for a combination of onion rings and curly fries for my side order.  The onion rings were good but not amazing.  The curly fries were good but not as spicy or flavorful as what you'd get at Arby's.  Still, it was a huge portion, and I practically licked my plate clean.  I don't know the last time I've eaten that much greasy, delicious, authentic American diner food!

Bacon Cheeseburger
My husband ordered a bacon cheeseburger with a buffalo patty.  My mom got the exact same thing except she went with the traditional beef patty.  They both got the onion ring/curly fry combo.  They were both very pleased with their burgers.  We had three clean plates and three full bellies by the end of lunch.

I glanced around at what other patrons ordered, and I saw some impressively big salads, and another table ordered breakfast in the afternoon.  I also heard people asking for special requests, like putting an item that comes on the salad on the side or making a substitution.

They also have a case full of pastries and cakes.  Some ladies at a nearby table were raving about a pastry that they were sharing and saying they'd have to get some to go.

In short, if you're in Orange, you won't leave hungry at Watson's, and you'll get your food just the way you like it.  The staff is friendly, the tables are clean, and the food is delicious. 

Happy eating!

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