The Pooj gets ready to catch some suds.(BevMo Pasadena, June 2012)
What started as a hot dog and root beer stand in 1953, dreamt up by two music teachers at the University of Illinois, spread throughout Midwest to become one of the largest franchised fast food chains in the country by the early 1970s. Dog n Suds Drive In (and the Dog’s name is Rover, for those keeping score) (I don’t know the Suds’ names, however) later merged their company of approximately 850 restaurants with an East Coast company in the mid-1970s, and that East Coast company very promptly and sadly drove it into the ground (source). Of the 17 locations that remain today, only 2 are original, but all still serve what they claim to be the "World's Creamiest Root Beer" (source).
Truth is, I've had creamier, but Dog n Suds is still fairly smooth as far as texture goes. While the carbonation is comfortably soft, the small bubbles build up to a modest amount of foam before wicking to the edges of the glass. Any creaminess that may exist, however, doesn't really translate into the flavor, which is slightly fruit-y, with cola-like tang – nothing close to the tongue-coating richness that I would expect from something claiming a “creamy” flavor (I suppose they never explicitly say that the flavor is supposed to be creamy, so perhaps I’m unfairly reading too much into it). I will say that its sweetness and scent are satisfyingly birch-leaning and pleasantly tempered, and that birch flavor extends to a nice herbal aftertaste with notes of menthol.
A little more of the advertised creaminess in the flavor would go a long way in kicking Dog n Suds up to a higher rating. The additional body and depth that creaminess can often add would be a welcome addition to what's already there. Having said that, I still like Dog n Suds enough to give it a 3.5.