Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Miner's Drive-In (Yakima, WA)

2415 S 1st St, Yakima, WA‎, T: 509-457-8194

In town to see a game of the Yakima Reds, we stopped by the Miner's Drive-In, after having read raving reviews on a variety of websites. Allegedly, it is a Yakima tradition, famed for its Miner Burger. One thing became clear right away: Miner's Drive-In is all about size! It is the biggest drive-in I have seen so far.

When coming in you are greeted by someone who either directs you to the next available free counter (if you are a regular), or answers your questions (if you are a newbie). The place was bumping with various soft ball teams celebrating their victory/eating their defeat away as well as people from all ages (but mostly the same size...). In the end, I decided upon a Miner Burger meal (clearly, one has to taste the original), while M. had a grilled chicken sandwich. We then headed to the sauces counter, where you can fill little cups with various different sauces (including fry, ketchup, ranch, and tartar).

Although we were enjoying the sun on the grass outside, the wait was excessive. This was clearly not fast food (although, to be fair, it was very busy that day). As we had read online, and were told by the greeter, the portions were huge! This somewhat justified the also fairly excessive price (together roughly $16). Unfortunately, the food only stood out in size, not in quality or taste. The Miner Burger is a very average burger in taste, just twice the size. I could hardly taste the thin patty; I assume a half pound, but spread thin over a huge bun. The fries were crispy, but also not remarkable, while the grilled chicken sandwich was, despite including real grilled chicken, to quote M, "dumb" (the taste was totally dominated by the very hot mustard).

VERDICT: 72/100
Clearly, we were much less impressed by Miner's than other people who post online. Maybe this is the best Yakima has to offer (although I would like to sample the provocatively named "Major's before making that call), but on a broader scale Miner's only stands out in size. That said, I rather pay half the price and get half the food.


  1. Wow! I am suprised by your comments! The food may be more expensive, but worth every penny. The salads are delicious and loaded with toppings. The burger itself is wonderful, as are the fries. Every thing I have ever had there, from sandwiches to salads to hamburgers and so on, has been outstanding. Maybe that's why Miner's has been around since 1948!

  2. First off, don't bother with Majors; they're a pale imitation, right down to the derivative name. I think the fact that Miner's has been in operation for 68 years speaks for itself. If I were ever sentenced to death, a Big Miner with everything and tater tots would be my last meal. I've never had a bad meal there. The only bad thing I can say is that I only eat there maybe once a year now because I no longer live in Yakima. It's well worth the 90-minute drive. You claim to like fast food, but you sound more like a pretentious foodie who'd be more comfortable with an arugula salad, because you certainly wouldn't know a good burger if you tasted it. The fries "weren't remarkable." Well, no shit. If you're looking for gourmet fries, you're going to the wrong places, because fast food ain't gourmet.

    (To be technical about it, Miner's straddles the line between Union Gap and Yakima. I've always considered it part of Union Gap, myself.)