People love the old-fashioned favorites, and the Root Beer Stande on Woodman drive in central Dayton is about as old-fashioned as it gets. The humble little dive offers service directly to your car with a mess of timeless fast food faves. I have to imagine countless memories have been made here; people who grew up stopping in summer nights. People who cam here for dates. This is the kind of gem that an outsider would find mundane but that a local resident would really and truly come to love after many years of memories.
The menu at the Stande is the classic small-town fast food option. Hot dogs top the menu, especially the foot longs, topped with chili, mustard, onions, and just about anything else you like on them. It’s not gourmet, but it’s great. Quite a few delectables come from the fryer as well; from crinkle-cut fries to chicken patties. It’s a classic greasy spoon.
- Bacon burger: The quarter-pounder burger served up with bacon and veggies and cheese. Timeless.
- Fried cauliflower: One of the many fried goodies to try at the Stande, the cauliflower is soft with a crisp outside. Get it with cocktail sauce for a tasty extra kick.
- Root beer: Who could forget, of course, to order a mug of root beer while you’re at it? Sweet-on-sweet root beer that is less carbonated and more sugary. The Root Beer Stande does root beer floats in frosty mugs, too.
- Chili cheese fries: One of those delightful things best eaten at a burger stand like this one, the chili is spicy and there’s plenty of cheese on top. Best when shared or eaten with a mug of that frosty root beer.
- Ham sandwich: One of the tamer options at this stand, but when it’s open, everything here is really and truly great! Get this sandwich with chili cheese fries.
- Philly cheese steak: A hoagie bun stuffed with beef, peppers and onions with just a little cheese. Greasy, meaty and delightful, but probably don’t try to take this one to go, it’s a mess.
Altogether, there’s a simplicity and a charm to this place, it still makes this Dayton suburb feel very much like a friendly small town. Quaint places like the Root Beer Stande are a dying breed, all too rare nowadays.
The concept it really cool, there are only a few tables and a small sit down area, because you’re supposed to eat in your car. Shaded parking spaces are available, and the waitress comes right to your window to take your order, then brings it to you on a tray that attaches right to your window. Once again you don’t see a lot of places like that around anymore. It seems to cater mostly to local traffic, and during meal times the crowd is made up of local groups of working men. It’s a nice place to relax.
I think the best word to describe this place is friendly. It’s comfortable, casual and very charming. I can’t account for all the memories people have probably made here over the years, those kinds of people would love the Stande regardless of what this review said. It’s such a charming little business with a classic menu and wonderful people, that I almost can’t imagine finding anything to take offense.
- This is a cash-only establishment, no credit cards. Though there is a cashless ATM available.
- Call-in and carry out service is available, also.
- The foot long hot dog the is kind of the menu, hands down.