Ray’s Drive In, Kokomo, Indiana

Rays outside

 

Ray’s Drive In, in Kokomo, is one of those places I’ve heard about for quite some time, but when we were in Kokomo it wasn’t mealtime, so we’d not had the chance to visit.

Friday we had the opportunity to go up to Kokomo for lunch, so we called our friend Doug Arnold up there, and asked him if he’d like to meet us, and luckily, his schedule allowed it!

Ray’s is located in a mixed industrial/commercial area of Kokomo, off of the beaten path.  It’s one of those places that you likely won’t just stumble upon (unless you’re lost!).  You will have to seek it out.

It’s an old, 50’s style drive in, but it also has an inside dining room which has obviously been added on much later.  They have curb service, but I’m not much of a fan of eating in the car…I spend enough time in the car as it is.  So when I have a chance I want to get out and stretch my legs, I like to take advantage of it!  We chose do dine inside.  The dining room is small, but comfortable with some pictures of the history of Ray’s on the walls.

They menu is a mix of traditional diner food (sandwiches, fries, etc.) and comfort food.  On the menu, there are 3 tenderloins listed…the king tenderloin, a tenderloin, and a mini tenderloin.  I asked our friendly waitress what the difference was, and she explained that the tenderloin and the mini tenderloin are fritters, but the King Tenderloin is hand made in house.  So, of course, I chose the King Tenderloin.

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The sign outside proclaims Ray’s as “Home of Indiana’s Largest Tenderloin” and if it’s not, I’ll be surprised.  This is one big sandwich.  It’s appears to be hand pounded and breaded, given the uneven shape, and the meat itself was a bit thicker in some places than in others.  The meat itself was tasty and moist, and I LOVED the texture of the breading.  The flavor of the breading was good, but in my opinion fell a bit short of outstanding.  For my personal taste, I think a bit more seasoning is in order.

And, although this sandwich is thinner than I prefer, I still like it a lot and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again…although I’ll share it with someone the next time I order it.   I’ll give it a 4 out of 5.  Had it been a little thicker and seasoned a bit more, I’d give it a 5 out of 5, no doubt.

For her lunch, Holly had a half order of chicken and noodles.  The lunch platter comes with mashed potatoes and gravy, an additional side, and a choice of bread.  This classic comfort food lunch was very basic and filling.

Ray’s Drive In is located at 1900 N Courtland Avenue, Kokomo, Indiana.  I was unable to locate a website or Facebook page for them.

Edward’s Drive In, Indianapolis

Let me start this out first of all by saying this place is FUN!  From the decor, the the friendly and helpful staff, to the music playing, it’s, quite simply, a fun place to eat.

Edward’s started as a Dog n Suds Drive In, in 1957.  In 1972, the Edwards dropped the franchise and became sole owners of the business.  In addition to the drive in, Edwards has a thriving catering business, catering corporate events, weddings, family reunions, and much more.

When we entered, a cheerful counter girl said  “Have you been here before?”, and when we said no, she said  “Let me make some suggestions to you…”  and she stepped us through the menu.  And, it’s quite a varied menu, from draft root beer to burgers, chili dogs, and much more.

Since they proudly boast of their jumbo tenderloin on their sign, I ordered the Breaded Tenderloin Basket, which includes cole slaw and your choice of fries or onion rings, for $8.95.

As you can see from the picture, the tenderloin is HUGE.  It’s pounded  thin, but not TOO thin, and covered with a nice, even coating of breading.  It was served on a toasted bun exactly as I ordered it, with Mayo, Onion, and Ketchup.

There are a couple of things that make this a good…a better than average..tenderloin, yet keep it from attaining greatness.
First of all, the meat, while flavorful, was a bit on the dry side.  In my opinion, a tenderloin sandwich should be moist, not dry, and while not arid this one WAS on the dry side.  Secondly, the breading was a bit on the bland side for my taste.  Not terribly, again, but just enough to keep it from being a great tenderloin.  And, lastly, they serve chopped/diced onions on their sandwich instead of slices.  In my book, it’s gotta be onion slices.  Still, all in all, it was a pretty good sandwich.  I’m going to rate it a 3, which is above average.  It’s worth a stop if you’re in the area, but I wouldn’t drive across town for it.

That said, I MUST say a word about the Onion Rings.  These, folks, were OVER THE TOP outstanding.  I can’t remember when I’ve had a better order of Onion Rings.  I live a long way from Edwards, but I’d make the 20 mile drive in a heartbeat for another order of their Rings.  Their burgers looked oustanding, also, and although I was a bit disappointed in their Breaded Tenderloin, I’ll go back for a Burger and Rings.

Edwards Drive In is located at 2126 S Sherman in Indianapolis, and you can visit them online here.