get your kicks at the snow cap

route 66 classicIf you get your kicks from road trips, then Route 66 has to be the granddaddy of highway adventures!  Intrepid’s Greg Mazzola is based in our Boulder office and there’s nothing he loves more than trippin’ across the country and enjoying a real-life taste of America

“Cruising the historic Route 66 into Seligman, a small town on the north high plateau of Arizona, a classic American drive-in restaurant comes into view.  Decorated with ice cream cones a meter tall, a sign that promises, “Dead Chicken,” and a 1936 Chevy convertible parked in front decked out with flags, rainbow pinwheels and a Christmas tree – it’s no mirage, this is for real.

Welcome to The Snow Cap, where you can get your fill of classic Americana served with a generous helping of Delgadillo humour.

Established in 1953 by Juan and Mary Delgadillo, The Snow Cap is still a welcome stop for travellers chasing kicks on Route 66.  Juan built the place with the help of his brothers, using scrap lumber from the railroad and ran the place until the day he died in 2004 at age 88.  The Snow Cap continues as a family tradition.  Juan’s sons, Bob and John, now at the counter daily, offer the same menu and same dry wit.

Juan not only established a restaurant, but also put his stamp on unique service heavy with silliness and tricks.  It would be a disservice to give away their gags, but whether offering really sucky straws or handing out shredded napkins, customers get more than a meal and the boys have no shortage of gags and one-liners.

Even the decor is eclectic crazy.  The cozy order-counter space is covered floor to ceiling with Route 66 memorabilia, thousands of business cards from countries around the world, photos of the Delgadillo family and cheeky signs like, “Eat here and diet home.”  Seating is strictly outdoors at picnic tables and the back building is a museum of classic cars, more kitschy memorabilia and priceless junk.

Not forgetting it’s a restaurant, the Delgadillos have been serving a basic but proven menu of classics: cheeseburgers (with cheese), hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled cheese (or “girl cheese” as listed on the menu), and Mexican food standbys, burritos and tacos.  Better yet, combine the best of both American-Mexican fare with a red chili hamburger.  For first time visitors to Southwest with the culinary courage to handle heat, chorizo is another must try; ground pork sausage infused with spices, most notably chili, and then rolled inside a tortilla will leave your taste buds with a slightly numbing tingle.  Chorizo’s spicy bite is a slightly satisfying pain, not unlike stripping down to skivvies, rolling in snow and then jumping in hot water.

If the heat gets to you (from the climate or the food), there’s relief.  The “Ice Cream, You Scream” menu offers milkshakes, sundaes, floats (soda with a scoop of ice cream, root beer and vanilla being traditional), and of course, snow cones (shaved ice with flavored syrup).

For a real-life Americana dining experience, and your fill of humour, The Snow Cap drive-in fits the order!”

Tour America with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Route 66 Camping – 14 days Los Angeles to Chicago
Western Sun Southbound – 7 days San Francisco to Los Angeles

delguidillo brothersBob and John Delgadillo

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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