Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
Manchester drive-in feeds your summer
By Susan Ware firstname.lastname@example.org
High quality, low prices and killer onion rings is what you will find at Cremeland Drive-In.
This family-owned Manchester institution turns 60 years old this year and on May 12 will be lauded by the city and the state.
Cremeland Drive-In opened for the season a few weeks ago and manager and co-owner Tom Queena says that business has been stronger than ever.
Queena and his wife Nicole own the business with Nicole’s parents Richard and Carolyne Choate. Cremeland Drive-In was started in 1947 by Nicole’s great aunt and uncle, Armend and Cecile Gaudette.
“Cremeland is all about tradition and a strong sense of community,” Tom Queena sai.
If you have never eaten at this unassuming, one-story, white-shingled eatery on Valley Street, you are in for a treat. Cremeland Drive-In serves up good, nostalgic food at prices that won’t make your wallet ache. As it has always been, you order from a walk-up window and try to grab a seat at one of the picnic tables on each side of the building.
As for best sellers, locals will all mention the onion rings, and then the grilled hotdogs and the lobster roll followed closely by the homemade ice cream, but Queena said it is not that simple.
“Everyone likes something different at Cremeland. Some people just come for one thing, some eat off the whole menu, and some just for the ice cream,” Queena said.
Choate has been making all the ice cream since 1988 and Queena said that it has made a huge difference, putting Cremeland Drive-In on the map.
“Richard does an amazing job making ice cream, so much so that we now have people coming here just for that,” Queena said.
The menu is simple and has a focus on grilled and fried foods. From the grill, there is everything from the famous grilled hotdog ($1.90), which is served on a grilled bun and also comes with chili or sauerkraut (50 cents extra). There is a hamburger ($1.95), grilled cheese ($2.35) with a tomato option, and a BLT ($4.10). Also look for a chicken burger ($3.25) and chicken tenders ($5.50).
Cremeland serves up a large amount of seafood, most of it fried, save the lobster roll ($10.25) served in a grilled hot dog roll or a steak roll, which is a bit larger with sesame seeds. Also, look for the clam roll ($7.95).
Cremeland has a selection of seafood plates available baked or fried: clam plate ($15.95), haddock plate ($9.95), scallop plate ($13.25) and shrimp plate ($14.35) plus a combo plate ($16.95) and fish n’ chips ($7.80).
There are side orders of fries ($1.85), cole slaw (60 cents) and chili ($1.80), but the best seller here is the onion rings ($2.55-$5).
Cut from large white onions, then hand battered before being deep fried to order, these onion rings are what they supposed to be: crunchy, full of flavor and just a tad greasy.
Queena said that Cremeland Drive-In, like the original sign out front, is going strong.
“It is really wonderful to work in a business where everyone knows you and your family so well. The sense of community is amazing. We are very grateful,” Queena said.