Elizabeth Marcotte delivers an order Tuesday night at the popular Lewiston Drive-In. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Taste of Home named Val’s Drive-In on Sabattus Street in Lewiston one of the “best old school drive-ins around the country.”

Chris Lawrence is the third generation to run Val’s in Lewiston and with his wife Gail still work there day and night. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“There’s a lot of drive-ins still in America and I was pretty happy to see we made the top 20,” said owner Chris Lawrence.

His grandfather, Val, started the drive-in in the 1970s after breaking away from A&W Root Beer. Lawrence has owned it for about 16 years and his parents ran it before him.

“We have really good prices on our food, we have great specials, buy-one-get-one-free days,” he said. “People still like the nostalgic carhop service and it’s pretty easy when you have children.”

Last weekend, Val’s held its fifth annual eating contest.

The challenge? Down six hamburgers as fast as you can.

Eric Davin walked away the champ in a field of six at 2 minutes, 36 seconds. All five years, either Davin or Cruize Garland has won, Lawrence said.

Onion rings and a root beer hang on a window at Val’s Drive-In in Lewiston recently. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“The other (competitors) have two burgers left by the time these two are done,” he said. “Eric won by quite a bit this year. The last two years, it was neck and neck.”

This story originally was published in “The Buzz: New Lewiston brewery? Marijuana at the Auburn Mall? Maybe and maybe.“. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or kskelton@sunjournal.com.

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