Robbie IraDell Storm (born 1911) passed away on New Years Day back in 2009. She was a remarkable woman. Born IraDell Upton, she was the 3rd of 10 children born to Ira Upton. I stumbled upon a hilarious anecdote she related about her father wherein he purchased a Model T when automobiles were still a novelty, and without any knowledge as to driving, crashed it on the way home, all the while pulling furiously on the steering wheel and hollering “WHOA…WHOA”
Along with her husband, Jim Storm, she opened the legendary drive in; Dairy Cue in Lampasas, Texas on September 23rd 1950. It maintained that name til 1974 when it became Storm’s.
The Dairy Cue had been up and running for nine years when Elvis Presley, who was stationed at nearby Fort Hood, became a regular customer. One can imagine the ruckus that caused in tiny Lampasas.
Mrs Storm worked as a public school teacher for many years prior to her career as a restaurateur. To prepare for this career she studied at Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College where she had a famous classmate; LBJ.
Her second career as a restaurateur carried her all the way to 2004 when she hung up her apron at 93 years of age.
I was thinking of the history of Storm’s Drive In the other night when I was passing through Lampasas on the way to Lubbock on a barbecue run.
The little town is quiet. Most of the restaurants have closed for the evening but I have a margin of hope that the little mom n pop will be open, and indeed, I make it in under the wire by a few minutes.
The house-ground patty is fortified with mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickle and comes straddling a good, buttered bun. Fries are cut in house and twice fried as is the custom of restaurants that know what they’re doing the world over. Everything gets washed down real nice with ice cold sweet tea served over chipped ice.
Apparently the Food Network is hip to Storm’s as they have published a recipe from the drive in’s menu. It can be found here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-best-of/storms-cordon-bleu-burger-recipe/index.html
Storm’s is being carried into the future by IraDell and Jim’s son Robbis who now owns 5 versions scattered about the hill country of Central Texas.
201 N Key Ave
Lampasas, TX 76550 (512) 556-6269