Bite of the Palouse: Back to Basics, Zip’s style

My wallet thanks me for the break



I got more fries than the three, but you have to keep in mind the *aesthetics*

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

Sometimes the only thing I want after stumbling out of my room three hours into an essay is some greasy and grimy fast food. While you could go to Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s or other boring places, I choose the superior choice of Zip’s Drive-in. 

For those who are uninformed, Zip’s is a lovely little fast-food joint located in either our neighbors of Moscow or Colfax. While there are not any in Pullman proper, you have quite the opportunity to indulge in some burgers and fries that satisfy something deep inside as a college student. 

A Washington and Idaho unique chain, the aesthetic of the restaurant is something out of a bygone era, though outfitted with the joys of digging into food now. Most, if not all chains, have a drive-through of some kind but I would not deprive oneself of seeing the…unique interior of the restaurant. 

The atmosphere of the restaurant is straight out of a fever dream and rather than discourage my hunger it only drove it forward as I gazed over the menu. Well, it really is not anything to write home about. Burgers, fries, milkshakes and a few others stock standard items that you would expect from a burger joint. 

But. But. But. There are a few items on the menu that wow, like the double or triple patty or the chile dog. All a holistic part of the Zip’s experience and you cannot skip out on the tater gems, or tater tots, which only add to your meal. 

The food is slightly above average if I am being entirely honest, landing above the traditional Mcdonald’s or other fast food but not quite to the restaurant level. The fries come in much larger servings than other joints and I am a sucker for some crinkle-cut fries. 

But no no disembodied voice reading this sentence, the reason I go to Zip’s is for their milkshakes. I do not know what they put in those plaid-labeled cups but I can suck down an entire large chocolate shake like it was the last one I would ever get. Pure bliss, and pure happiness. 

So after talking about the good it is just as important to address the bad of Zip’s. You probably will not make the drive to Colfax or Moscow on lofty promises of greasy food and tasty milkshakes. There are a few things to address in this realm. 

First is the service. I would recommend clearing your schedule off for the next few days when you decide to make the trip down to Zip’s, you are not getting the food in the next century. That food will be delicious whenever you do get it but by that time your car may have run out of gas and broken down in the drive-through. While your food is served with a smile, you may forget the face of the staff in between ordering and finally receiving your bounty. Lumping it together with fast food might have been a bit generous. 

The second ding against almost every Zip’s I have gone to, and to my eternal credit it has been a few, is the price. While the quality of the food tends to raise the bar against other fast food spots by a fair margin it does come with a certain cost that does not match up with the quality. Beyond the large tub of fries, everything else comes with a premium compared to the amount of food you actually get. 

As a quick aside if you get anything fish related from Zip’s you are taking your stomach into your own hands. I have heard horror stories of the aftereffects of ordering fast food fish in the sea of the Palouse. But Zip’s does have the fishwich and shrimp for those willing to brave my warnings. 

All that to say I love Zip’s as a way to delve into the greasy and satisfying. Too often we associate going out to mean some fancy sit-down restaurant where you spend most of your paycheck on a dinner for two but that does not have to be the case. You can still go out while getting cheaper and simpler food and I would encourage you to do so. Grab some friends and visit our neighboring towns for a good Zip’s burger and fries. 

If you know of some food spots that I have not tried yet that you are just dying to brag about to your friends let me know by emailing [email protected].