Bite of the Palouse: Cougar Country Drive In staple of Pullman food scene

Call it the Cougar Country in Cougar Country



Not Pictured: Me finishing the milkshake in 60 seconds

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

Sometimes the last thing I want to do on a busy school night is to sit down in a restaurant, especially when homework is breathing down my neck. On the other hand, getting another round of Taco Bell or McDonald’s makes my stomach do somersaults. I need something that fulfills both requirements and causes me to just hand over my paycheck. 

Cougar Country Drive In located on N. Grand Ave, scratches that itch by providing both a fast food or sit-down experience without compromising on taste. While more expensive than other fast food options, there is a tradeoff with quality that makes it worth it. 

Open Monday through Sunday, Cougar Country also has a secondary location in the Compton Union Building if the distance is a little daunting. If that dining hall food is getting old already, climb that hill for some delicious food and milkshakes. 

If there is one mark against our local burger joint, it would be the parking lot at their main location. The drive through is small and the parking lot isn’t better, making parking and actually ordering on the go difficult. More than once I have seen frustrated drivers yelling at each other about bottlenecks.

But a restaurant is not defined by its parking lot or my inability to fit my car right next to two trucks, but by its food and dining experience. Cougar Country offers both amazing experiences and is the primary reason that customers keep going back. 

On this particular outing, I ordered a milkshake and a Cougar Super Basket. The restaurant has a number of different options if a burger does not appeal to you including chicken strips, salads and even a clam basket. 

The food came out in a reasonable amount of time in which I was able to enjoy good company and even better AC. The main dining room is kept clean and the aesthetic of the restaurant is really pleasant to dine in.  

When the food came out, I was happy to see that the portions had not changed, with burgers large enough to satisfy and a good amount of fries to either dunk in fry sauce or your milkshake. I have found on multiple occasions that the food is actually too much and I had leftovers for later.

While the price may not be amazing, the taste never disappoints. 

Good fries are an art form, one that restaurants and even fast food chains seem to get wrong. Cougar Country is not one of those places and has crispy, salty yet soft fries that go well on their own or with their delicious fry sauce. 

The burger is not left in the dust by the fries and is able to hold its own. A double patty that is grilled with a reasonable amount of sauce, I find myself alternating bites between each, not wanting to miss out on either. 

But the central highlight of local restaurants is almost always the milkshakes and that is no different at Cougar Country. In this particular case, I got a refreshing watermelon shake, but nearly all of the flavors are a good choice. 

Once more, the menu of Cougar Country offers wonderful variety to those who do not just want to get another burger. The chicken strips are one of my favorite items off the menu and I would order it any day of the week, though I also know a number of people swear by the steak bite basket. 

At the end of the day, Cougar Country is a staple of the WSU community. Whether it is the Cougar logo or how integral the food becomes after a long day of classes or partying, Cougar Country is a restaurant that I find myself going back to again and again. 

Do yourself a favor and make the trip down to Cougar Country Drive In for either a delicious meal or a refreshing milkshake, you will not regret it.