Frosty Mug serves up decades of drive-in treats

SCOTT HAWKINS/SUN HERALDFrosty Mug, 415 Magnolia Drive, Wiggins.
SCOTT HAWKINS/SUN HERALDFrosty Mug, 415 Magnolia Drive, Wiggins.

If the colorful murals on the sides of the building and signs out front aren't enough to entice you in, then perhaps the name, Frosty Mug, will be the clincher.

The sign says "Frosty Mug EST. 1960" and the chilly logo has surely beckoned many passers-by in for a meal or a treat over the years.

On a recent Saturday after a round of golf, my buddy Doug Barber and I couldn't help but stop in for a bite.

The sign out front hawked, "Awesome Po-boys, Philly Fries $5.50, Fried Bologna Sand. $1, Lot O Burger Combo," and that was all it took to reel us in.

The building at 514 S. Magnolia Drive is painted with pink trim emblazoned with menu items ("shakes, sundaes, Bar-BQ"), and a mural on the side has a cheeseburger, fries and a shake painted on a black and pink checkerboard background.

Walk-up ordering

The menu by the walk-up order window boasts burgers, po-boys, salads, French fries, tots, chicken, hot dogs, wraps, ice cream, shakes and more, and the whole experience is reminiscent of a bygone era of mom-and-pop fast-food joints.

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Indeed, co-owner Tim Thibideau, who, with his wife, Jan, bought the Frosty Mug in 2008, said they strived to bring back the original era when they bought it.

They talked to Betty Roberts, the wife of the original owner, after they bought it from the second owners.

"Betty gave us all the recipes," Tim Thibideau said, "the chili, the order of the condiments on the burgers. We replicated everything the way it was back in the 1960s."

Some updates

There have been some menu updates and additions, including grilled chicken wraps and grilled chicken wings.

I somehow knew the fried Oreos $1.99 were in my near future when I made my initial order, settling on a "Double Lot O Cheese Burger" ($4.50, add bacon for 50 cents more) and a large order of half-fries, half-onion rings ($2.55), which wasn't on the menu, but special orders definitely do not upset the helpful, friendly staffers. I also ordered a large root beer ($2.35), and, yes, it is Barq's.

Barber opted for the Philly Cheese 8-inch po-boy ($5.99) and a medium Coke ($1.85) -- he has more self-restraint than I do in the diet category.

Front-porch dining

We took a seat under the porch, enjoying the shade and the atmosphere as our orders were being prepared. A few locals came in to place orders while we were waiting, and we had a chance to chat with one who confessed to being a longtime repeat customer. She spoke highly of the Frosty Mug.

Tim Thibideau said he has many customers who have been coming to the Frosty Mug since the 1960s and still visit frequently.

"Cutomers say it is just like it was way back then," he said.

After a few minutes our orders were ready, served through the takeout window in brown paper bags. The waitress asked if we'd like any ketchup or extra napkins.

That's a lot o'burger

When I pulled my Double Lot O Cheese Burger with bacon out of the bag, I was amazed at the size of it -- it is, indeed, a lot o'burger, piled high with two beef patties layered with cheese on top of lettuce, tomato and onion on the bottom bun and on the top, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and bacon.

I wondered how I was going to eat such a large burger, but being the trouper I am, I found I had no problem being a member of the clean-plate club. The burger was fantastic, melt-in-your mouth good. A burger like I haven't had since I was a kid growing up in the 1960s.

Thick-cut fries

The French fries are thick-cut potatoes that were fried to perfection, the onion rings as well, and the Barq's in a big cup was a refreshing accompaniment.

Tim Thibideau said his No. 1 rule for the Frosty Mug is "Don't run out of meat," which is just ahead of keeping the air of 1960s authenticity.

Barber spoke highly of his beautifully prepared Philly cheese po-boy, which was loaded with beef and smothered in cheese and sauteed onions and peppers.

After seeing several people order shakes, I decided to order a shake and some fried Oreos for dessert -- you only live once.

When I asked what flavors of shakes they had, the server said "chocolate, vanilla, caramel, pineapple, strawberry ..." I had to cut her off, and said, "Can you do banana?"

"No problem," she said.

Freshly made ice cream

Tim Thibideau said they make their own soft-serve ice cream twice a day and use it for all the ice cream treats including cones, sundaes and shakes.

Whoa! When I got it, it was creamy, and tasty with chunks of banana in the shake, but not such big chunks that it would clog up the straw.

I was a newbie to the fried Oreo offering, so I wasn't sure what to expect. They were served in a white paper bag. They resembled beignets covered in powdered sugar. When I bit into one I was surprised at how good it was -- think beignets served with a melty, creamy Oreo filling. Wow!

Now, for the fried bologna sandwich for $1: I really wanted one, but I didn't have any room left for such an offering, even at $1.

I know what I will have on my next visit.