BUTTE, MT - Matt's Place Drive-In in Butte, Montana, holds a special place in the hearts of those who have had the pleasure of visiting. Looking like someone's expensive home on a sound somewhere on the East Coast, Matt's Place was more than just a place to hang out and munch on some good food; it felt like a portal to a time much simpler, an era filled with "Hey, how are you?"s and handshakes, a realm of cheap food with expensive taste. Plus, the nut burger? Nothing like it.

For decades, Matt's Place was thee place for hungry Butte Rats, serving up everyone's favorite classic American dishes that honestly seemed to taste better with the seasoning of its rich history. Did you know that Matt's Place, being founded in 1930 by Matt Korn, is the oldest drive-in restaurant in Montana? Did you also know—and this one is for the California haters—that he imported his idea of a drive-in diner from his trip to Southern California? That's okay, as long as we're only taking the good things from California then we're happy. The food? That's all Butte, baby.

Credit: Brittany Downey/Facebook
Credit: Brittany Downey/Facebook

The menu...oh, the menu! The menu at Matt's Place read like a love letter to the classic American diner experience. Just picture it: burgers cooked to delicious, juicy perfection; thick milkshakes made with real ice cream; and fries that made McDonald's fries seem unsalted. And, of course, the legendary nut burger. A presumably normal burger with a beef patty until you see that it's topped with chopped salted peanuts mixed with Miracle Whip, and you mouth to yourself, "What the?" Then you embarked on a flavor journey found nowhere else in the U.S.

But Matt's Place was more than just food. It was all about the experience: pulling up in your car, ordering from the same ol' familiar menu that never changed because it didn't need to, and hanging with friends/family/yourself.  Remember the anticipation as you wait for your food to be delivered right to your car window? Surely a practice that takes you back to a time when convenience and quality were not mutually exclusive. Looking at you, 90% of fast food nowadays.

As the years pass, Matt's Place will always be a testament to the enduring appeal of good food and good company. It's a reminder of the importance of preserving these places that offer a connection to the past—not just through the food they serve but through the experiences they offer. And, darn it, do we miss that experience.

What're your favorite memories from Matt's Place?

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