Many years ago there was a little drive-in restaurant in Fairbury on the corner of First Street and Route 24 that was called RD’s Drive-In. Run by Ted and Ruth Doran it had an extensive menu, for the time, but it wasn’t a specialty menu – you know, sandwiches and deep fried foods that were popular or, became popular then, and an assortment of other treats that fit the “drive-in” venue. This little kitchen with the parking canopy and window service became renown as a local “go to” staple and the food they served was outstanding. Unfortunately, time had it’s effect and eventually RD’s succumbed to the likes of the giant fast food chains and, when Ted and Ruth retired, it was unable to continue in what became a highly competitive business. However, none of these newbies had that original menu that had become so popular with us locals and the memory of that experience has lived on with many of us.
Sally Goembel,, the Queen of Cuisine and Guru of Lost in Time, worked for Ted and Ruth back in the day and she credits that experience for having ignited her inspiration for the restaurant business. As a tribute to the Doran’s and RD’s, she has instituted an annual “back to the past” day at her restaurant and they call it, what else, RD’s Day. Setting Lost in Times regular menu aside for the day (there will be a limited breakfast menu from 7am to 10:45am) they will be serving the favorite foods from the memorable RD’s Drive-In menu from 11am to 8:30pm. This includes the serving fashion of that original atmosphere along with a decor that is reminiscent of those times.
The burgers (pizza, super, and doubles), hotdogs, tenderloins, and chicken sandwiches nail the times and, when you add deep fried mushrooms, onion rings, and French fries along with coleslaw and potato salad you’ve got memories revisited or, in the making. On the cold treats side there are rootbeer floats, 7-up freezes, orange freezes, banana shakes (and others), dipped cones, sprinkle cones and bakery items – it’s an adventure well worth the experience. There is plenty of seating with the main restaurant and the banquet room for inside dining and, if the weather is permissive, there will also be outside seating. It’s memorable, its fun, and its worth the visit so come on up to the corner of Fourth and Locust on Friday, June 19th and have a lunch or a dinner (or both) that will either remind you or show you why RD’s became such a “household” name back in their day. See you there in the historical “good eats” section!