Maggie’s Drive-In Food Truck: '50s classics in the 21st century

Mystery Diner • Jan 29, 2020 at 7:30 AM

I have high regard for entrepreneurs who operate a food truck. They don’t wait for their customers to come to them; they go where their customers are.

Take entrepreneur Lisa Bragg. Her late mother always wanted to open and run a diner but never had the chance. To honor her mother’s memory, Bragg decided to hit the road as the proprietor of Maggie’s Drive-In Food Truck. Bragg and her team know what local diners want. On their first day of operation, Maggie’s served more than 500 customers. Business has been steady ever since.

The menu at Maggie’s features hamburgers, cheeseburgers, sandwiches and Nathan’s hot dogs. A phone call to the Carnivore about this along with the phrase “Nathan’s foot-long” got him and his lady the Dieter joining my dining partner and I for supper at Maggie’s Drive-In.

Bragg’s place of business is decorated all-over, resembling a classic ’50s-style drive-in right down to the chrome-plated diner stools and jukebox painted on the outside. Six picnic tables are set up nearby under a well-lit pavilion. Bragg’s kitchen on wheels is quite spacious, a bonus when orders are coming through the window thick and fast. The result: a bright, clean and friendly dining area.

Toasted cheese sandwich & bell pepper coleslaw: While the Carnivore and the rest of us stood in a cold twilight breeze admiring the Maggie’s food trailer artwork, the Dieter was talking with Bragg about ordering a Maggie’s grilled cheese sandwich ($3.50) along with some of Maggie’s scratch-made bell pepper coleslaw as a side order. The Dieter’s grilled cheese sandwich was thick-sliced delicatessen-grade American cheese on two perfectly-buttered and grilled pieces of good ol’ white bread; soft inside, crunchy good on the outside. The bell pepper coleslaw was delightful, the finely chopped green bell pepper adding a nicely pungent note to the overall slaw mixture

Philly cheese steak sandwich and fried onion rings: My dining partner ordered Maggie’s take on the classic Philly cheese steak sandwich ($8.25) along with a side order of Maggie’s fried onion rings ($3.50). The Philly was good, with just the right degree of crispness in the beefsteak and grilled onions. My dining partner said that her bun was steamed, not grilled and lacked the looked-for crispness. Fortunately, my dining partner’s fried onion rings were prepared just right; she could bite all the way through the breading and the onion ring itself, an example of Maggie’s taking time to do the job right. My dining partner found both sandwich and onion rings absolutely delectable together.

Double cheeseburger, French fries and a chocolate shake: My choice for supper from Maggie’s was straight out of the ’50s: a double cheeseburger ($7.80) done “all the way,” as in two 100% beef patties with some American cheese melted on them, topped with tomato, onion, dill pickle chips and mayo on a steamed hamburger bun. I also ordered Maggie’s French fries ($2) that were deep-fried to a turn and “best buds” for my cheeseburger. Add a classic chocolate milkshake ($4) and my ’50s fling was complete.

Nathan’s footlong hot dog: The Carnivore engaged Bragg in an animated conversation about Nathan’s hot dogs as served at Maggie’s Drive-In Food Truck. Were they genuine? What kind of buns did Maggie’s use? How about the condiments? Finally satisfied (and stopping just short of asking Bragg to show him the wrapper the hot dogs came in as proof of authenticity), he ordered a Nathan’s foot-long hot dog ($5.75) assembled in Carnivore-specified correct order: steamed foot-long hot dog bun first, then an authentic Nathan’s footlong hot dog grilled just right, next a squirt of yellow mustard, then some meat-only chili and onions on the top. Wrap it up in a foot-long hot dog sack and hand it through the window. Perfection.

The bottom line: It took the Maggie’s team about 10 minutes to get our orders ready, by which time the sun had set and the cool twilight was fast becoming a breezy and very chilly evening, so the Carnivore and Dieter invited my dining partner to their place for supper. Inside, “in the warm,” the four of us agreed that owner Lisa Bragg and her team at Maggie’s Drive-In Food Truck got high marks for cleanliness, friendliness, customer service and some of the best classic ’50s diner food we’d ever had. The Carnivore was particularly pleased that Maggie’s had his footlong hot dog done “his way.” Since Maggie’s is a food truck, expect them to move their location from time to time, making it a good idea to keep track of their whereabouts, hours and daily specials on their Facebook page. Like the Carnivore does; if Maggie’s Drive-In Food truck sets up close to his home, my friend may be getting his Nathan’s fix by camping out in Maggie’s parking lot.

Maggie’s Drive-In Food Truck is “Recommended” by the Mystery Diner.

Maggie’s Drive-In Food Truck

5051 Bobby Hicks Highway



Daily except Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Check their Facebook page for current location, hours and daily specials

Credit cards accepted

Johnson City Press Videos