The Dairyette hamburger, loved by Montgomery County residents for generations, has been recognized as one of the top five burgers in the state of Arkansas by www.onlyinyourstate.com.
The website listed the top 25 burgers in Arkansas with restaurants such as Cothams in Little Rock, The Chopping Block in Mena and DJ’s in Bauxite making the list as well.
The Dairyette, as well as many of the establishments on the list, has had decades to hone their craft as they strive to provide the best possible burger for their customers.
The Dairyette was opened in 1958 by George McClurkon and his family with the restaurant quickly becoming a fixture in Mount Ida.
Although the owners may have changed over the years, great food and great service has remained the heart of the restaurant.
Current owner Joyce O’Neal prides herself in the fact that she is able to hire local high school kids to work at the Dairyette.
“There have been a lot of high school girls who have come through here.” She quipped.
The smiles are as warm as the food and the service is as much of the legacy of the restaurant as the food is.
The eatery has fed many a local, as well as visitors to Lake Ouachita and Camp Ozark.
O’Neal stated that she could remember coming to the Dairyette as a child. Her favorite treat was the chicken and fries and a cherry coke made the old fashion way.
The old fashion way seems to be something that happens a lot at the Dairyette. Although it bears a resemblance to a fast food restaurant of yesteryear, O’Neal sees the Dairyette as more of a diner.
“We pride ourselves in the fact that we cook everything to order.” She said.
The menu is filled with a wide selection of food items with their burrito a local favorite, but the heart of their menu is their burgers.
While most restaurants depended on gimmick burgers to make the list, The Dairyette relies on nothing more than hot made to order burgers made with fresh ingredients.
When one orders a burger and fries the first thing you notice is the burger is just the right size.
The 1/3 pound burger patty is complimented by a variety of fresh vegetables nestled between a bun toashed on the grill.
The purple onions and pickles add just enough flash to bring out the flavor of the meat. In a world filled with burgers stuffed with jalapenos, eggs and macaroni and cheese, it is good to find a place that just lets a burger be a burger. The Dairyette does offer a selection of burger options with the pizza burger being one of the more popular burgers, but we suggest you start with the original.
As you eat the burger it doesn’t take long to realize that the Dairyette burger passes the drip test. If you are a health conscious person who is afraid of eating a burger filled with grease then this is not the burger for you. We were three napkins in when we finished our burger and had thought of reaching for a fourth.
This burger is what a burger is supposed to be. Every bite was filled with beefy flavor. The fries and shake were the perfect compliment to a perfect burger.
The Dairyette is located on Highway 270E on the east side of Mount Ida and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.