Skip to content

West lake Drive-In

July 21, 2011

  • 9138 Portage Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 327-5985
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

J and I were in Portage for an appointment and a trip out always means a stop for lunch.  At 12:30, I was yet to have my wake-up Pepsi and my head was starting to hurt.  I was thinking at all.  I didn’t have a taste for anything, but I knew I had to eat.

I deferred to J and she asked about that drive-in we always pass and say “we need to try that place.”  I knew exactly what she was talking about and started heading towards Portage Road.

West Lake Drive-In is on Portage Road right on the banks of West Lake.  It’s actually on that little strip of land between West Lake and Austin Lake, but the drive-in actually faces West Lake which is where it gets it’s name.

The drive-in is a throw back to the drive-in’s of our parents era.  There is a walk up building painted white with orange accents.  There are Coca-Cola menu boards above the building that is mainly used as a kitchen and an area for the car hops to pick up food.

The main feature is the large awning with several individual stalls.  We pulled in just before one on a hot Wednesday afternoon and all but a couple of the stalls were being used.  We squeezed in to one next to another SUV then went to work looking over the menu that that hangs from a stand on the side of each stall.  The one we pulled in to had the menu on the driver’s side.  The stalls alternate between driver’s side and passenger side so the menu and order speaker share a stand between two stalls. 

Once deciding on our order, I hit the little button on the metal speaker box.  A voice crackled “go ahead and order” a few seconds later.

The menu at West Lake Drive-In is pretty standard diner fare.  There’s really nothing on the menu that is going to make you go “hmmmm.”  I went with a double cheeseburger and fries.  J ordered a grilled cheese, fries, and a Root Beer float.  I already mention I was minus my morning caffeine, so it’s a little odd that I didn’t order a pop, but I really wanted a Pepsi and West Lake serves Coke.

We were planning on taking our food to go, but J didn’t say quick enough that the order was to go.  Instead, our food was brought out on a metal tray that is affixed to a tray stand connected to the menu and speaker box.  The sandwiches came wrapped in wax paper and the fries were served in little paper boats with fast food style cups of ketchup and salt packets for each of them.

The food is pretty much what you expect from a drive-in.  Deliciously greasy.  My hamburger and J’s grilled cheese were both served on the same food service bun.  My burger was a typical frozen patty good on a greasy flat top.  The fries were out of the bag restaurant fries.  Even though it all sounds pretty bland and boring, it all tasted delicious.  Part of it’s the atmosphere.  Part of it’s the greasy, seasoned cook top that everything is prepared on.

Our bill was a little over $12.  West Lake Drive-In is one of Kalamazoo’s must see stops.  The food is typical greasy diner fare, the view of the lake is fantastic, and the nostalgia West Lake Drive-In a destination in Southwest Michigan.

Double Cheeseburger w/Fries

Grilled Cheese

West Lake Drive-In on Urbanspoon

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: