Ty Burr
May 03, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Car Hops and Curb Service

Current Status
In Season
Jim Heimann
Pop Culture, Coffee Table

We gave it an A-

The next time your kids yammer to be taken to McDonald’s, drag out Jim Heimann’s splendiferous ”History of American Drive-In Restaurants” and show them what true drive-thru style is all about. Spanning the decades from the ’20s through the ’60s, Car Hops and Curb Service offers photo after photo of gleaming art-deco diners, feverish neon signs, demented waitress uniforms, and swank menu artwork. Whether it’s revealing the identity of the ”Big Boy” of franchise fame (a 90-pound 6-year-old who hung out at Bob Wian’s L.A. diner in the 1930s) or inculcating the reader in the mysteries of waitress-speak (a ”mean egg” is a deviled-egg sandwich), this is a Jumbo-burger of Americana. A-

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