Dairy Joy -- let the controversy begin!
It's been a month since we last argued about the merits of Dairy Joy, on Route 117 in Weston, but I picked up fried clams and lobster rolls for my extended family last night and have this report to provide:
Let's start with Dairy Joy's raison d'etre: fried clams. Once again, we were all convinced that Dairy Joy's fried clams are better than the Ipswich-area places. They are big, meaty and delicious, and not at all greasy. I always order a la carte, as opposed to the "plates" that include fries, and find that a small order ($13.50) is plenty for most people. (It is my unscientific belief that purchasing the small order of clams at Dairy Joy is a better value than purchasing the medium or large.)
Lobster rolls. Dairy Joy does not have a great lobster roll, but they do have a good one. And at $14.50, the price is not as offensive as many of Dairy Joy's prices. The lobster roll comes served on a grilled New England-style roll (I do not believe it was buttered), and the filling is nothing other than lobster and mayo (lettuce is optional). The roll was overstuffed with fresh tasting lobster meat. My main objections were: (1) they clearly do not have the facilities to make this lobster on site, so they either make it elsewhere or buy it pre-made and, in either case, refrigerate it. I prefer a warm or room temperature lobster roll. (2) Too much mayo. Nonetheless, this still is a good lobster roll.
Fries and O'rings: fine; nothing special.
So look, this place is expensive. For the kids who wanted hot dogs instead of clams or lobster, I made them at home rather than paying Dairy Joy's ridiculous prices. But for fried clams, this place is great. And the lobster roll is servicable too. And at least for these items, the prices are in the same ballpark as what you'd pay elsewhere.
So don't go to Dairy Joy for a burger or a grilled cheese, but when you're in the mood for fried clams, this is the place to go to!
I came across Dairy Joy while biking out that way one summer. I love finding places like this - stopped for a coke but made a special drive back to try the food some time later. I was disappointed with the clam roll (on the skimpy side, chewy, and just a bit too much money to write off easily) fries were better, but don't make the meal. Maybe I went there on an off day. I think the location and atmosphere is kind of cool in a nostalgic way, wish it turned out better.
No, I think your take is indicitive of the Dairy Joy experience.
Although I don't think the overused sysco battered on the outside and mushy on the inside fry has any more flavor than packing peanuts. Does no one make hand cut fries anymore? At least the handcut mimicking diner fries are better than those grease absorbers.
I thought Dairy Joy had very good fried clams, a pretty good burger, average fries, a subpar lobster roll, and excellent softserve ice cream, all very expensive for what it is. But your options in Weston are so limited, I don't imagine that the locals much complain. I spend most of my dining time in that neighborhood in Waltham, which has an enviable wealth of high-value places of every type and at every price level.
The super cheeseburgers are pricey but decent size, more of a luxury item there. I usually stick to the specials board when getting a burger there,much smaller but stull decent and you get a small boat of fries and a micro-drink included. The lunch specials are not a bad deal and certaintly better then any fast food joint.
They have come a long way. There was a time when they would only give you ketchup packets if you asked for them and then you would get like 2. Now you can at least grab as many as you want. I also remember when I was young if you wanted a water with your meal they would charge you something like .25 for the cup!
Back from vacation, the Roman and I went to Dairy Joy after the Lincoln parade. My other friend was in the mood for hamburgers, so off we went. Having never been there before, we didn't know what to expect. We got two supercheese burgers with fries, and one smokehouse burger. The woman who took our order at the window could not grasp what we wanted. The people waiting in line caught wind of what was happening and commented on that maybe the burgers weren't the only thing being smoked. Whatta chuckle that created. At a $8.95 pricetag per burger, you got what you got. Tomato and lettuce were extra. Nothing fancy, but the fries were great! Skinny and hot. I think though, I'll skip this place next time we get a meat craving. I would rather buy the burger and make them myself.
I grew up less then a mile from D.J. and have eaten there hundreds of times over the past 35 years. Also have many friends who have worked there over the years.
I agree that they do have great fried clams. Dont get the fried shrimp though. I have never understood why, but the fried shrimp are a frozen/pre battered deal.
I also think they make a decent haddock sandwich.
The lobster roll is made from lobster they get in a 5 gallon can. They mix it up with mayo there.
Im a bit surprised you say "nothing special" on the onion rings. In my opinion that is one of the best things they have there. They slice the onions fresh and thin on a deli meat slicer and hand batter them. So tasty, light and non greasy. The fries are nothing special, typical frozen bag deal.