- Neighborhood: Chester County
- 210 Painters Crossing, Chadds Ford, PA
- Phone: 610-558-2220
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Price: $$
- Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
There is something endearingly goofy to me about operations that try to make us feel better about our terrible eating habits simply by attempting to make the foods we shove in our snack holes healthier for us. At Farmer’s Road, they make the argument that it isn’t the drive-thru itself that’s bad, but the stuff generally available there. Here, you can order a breakfast sandwich made with all-natural eggs, a whole-wheat bun and locally sourced scrapple, or a stadium hot dog made with an all-natural grass-fed beef dog, low-sodium mustard, low-sodium sauerkraut and a rye pretzel hot-dog roll, with sweet-potato chips on the side, a vanilla-protein-and-skim-milk root-beer float to quench your thirst, and vegan krispy-rice treats for dessert. There are salads, edamame,
burgers and wraps, bento boxes for the kids … and the surprising thing about the place is that nothing tastes as tiresome as the menu seems determined to make it sound.
Farmer’s Road Drive Thru
210 Painter’s Crossing, Village at Painter’s Crossing Shopping Center
Chadds Ford, PA
First appeared in the September, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
In the cover story of the current issue of The Atlantic, David H. Freedman lays out an argument to soothe the stomach of every Bloomberg-hating, Pollan-weary fancier of Big Macs and 3 Musketeers bars: “How Junk Food Can End Obesity.”
“Demonizing processed food may be dooming many to obesity and disease,” the article’s subtitle posits. “Could embracing the drive-thru make us all healthier?”
Freedman’s answer is a hopeful yes. The gospel of local, organic, unprocessed whole foods may be fine for people who have enough money to buy them and time to cook them, but most Americans simply don’t. And for them, Freedman contends, the surest path to a healthful diet is likely to depend on food processing of a still higher order—using “ultra-high pressure, nanotechnology, vacuums, and edible coatings,” among other emerging techniques, to engineer food that tastes good but doesn’t turn you into one of those space cruise passengers from Wall-E.
I couldn’t help thinking about Freedman’s salvation-by-the-drive-thru thesis as I tucked into a hamburger at a curious new restaurant in Chadd’s Ford. It’s called Farmer’s Road Drive Thru, and man, would it drive Freedman half-crazy.
The first time I saw the name of this place, I didn’t believe it really was what it said it was. I mean, sure. Plenty of people have talked about opening a healthy, farm-to-table fast food joint, but no one has ever actually done it. “Farmer’s Road Drive Thru” was, I thought, just a clever name for a proper, sit-down restaurant.
Turns out I was wrong. And it turns out that owner Courtney Rozsas really has opened a healthy, occasionally vegetarian, sometimes gluten-free drive thru. Or rather, she will be opening one next week. Farmer’s Road opens to the public on Tuesday April 9, at 210 Painters Crossing in Chadds Ford, with a menu of burgers (organic, grass-fed, topped with turkey bacon), hot dogs (all-natural, with sodium-free sauerkraut and a pretzel bun), veggie burgers and pork roll, all assembled by Ryan Sulikowski, chef at Rozsas’s other spot, Lotus Farm To Table.
Farmer’s Road Drive Thru [Facebook]