Watson's Drugs & Soda Fountain
116 E Chapman Ave., Orange, CA
92866, Call: (714) 633-1050
California--Watson's Drug & Soda Fountain in the City of
Orange is located in the historic Old Towne Orange at
the Orange Circle. Established in 1899, it is one of the
oldest restaurants and businesses in Orange County,
California. But the restaurant is by no means alone for its
age in the downtown shopping and dining district. Old Towne
was founded in 1873.
While people vary in their opinions about the
food at Watson's Soda Fountain, the name should provide some
indication of the tried and true items the diner delivers on. A
huge selection of old-fashioned bottled sodas, the big container
of malt powder to go into malts, and the pot of steaming coffee
don't do the trick for me.
I made my way to a counter seat and went
straight to the request--a vanilla phosphate. The waitress who
worked there 11 years looked like a teenager but she had a
can-do attitude, and she knew how to make her soda beverages the
old-fashioned way. I first requested a lime-aide, and she asked
me for clarification. It is fresh lime juice (approx. 1 full
lime) squeezed into a bubbly sweet drink such as 7-up, then a
little bit of cherry juice or a maraschino cherry is placed on
top. No--they didn't have fresh limes. But she knew vanilla
phosphates and even knew enough to ask which version I would
like--the sweet-sweet drink, or the sweet-sour version with a
squeeze of citric acid added. Delicious!
French fries come hot out of the oil, sandwiches
and burgers all smell great. But some people love them and
others say "not great". Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the
hot waffles seem to be one of the all time favorites on the
menu. I've tried their food and don't recall whether I liked it
or not. But there's only one thing I really come to savor--and
that's the flavor of a vanilla phosphate.
The restaurant was used in the Tom Hanks
featured film, "That Thing You Do". You can buy several
postcards with Hanks pictured in the store with the owner.
All-American fare includes hamburgers, french
fries and sandwiches.
1950s jukebox tunes.
Cherry sodas, banana splits, chocolate malts
Good pie with ice cream