London: Dairy Dart Delivers a Dandy Dog
In the old Carnaby Square, where TG&Y used to be and where I saw The Empire Strikes Back when it was released, is London’s Dairy Dart (don’t make the mistake of stepping into the parole office next door).
Chili buns and dogs, served with a beanless chili, are a southeastern Kentucky speciality. In London two names dominated, Weaver’s (read my review, but closed for fire) and Dairy Dart. Like with Weaver’s, although I grew up going to London all the time, I had never eaten at Dairy Dart. I decided to change that with a recent trip to London.
With a name like Dairy Dart and a specialty in chili dogs and milkshakes, I expected a retro 50s style bar with stools and booths lining the wall. My expectations were very wrong.
Dairy Dart is in a space that looks like it might be a Chinese buffet. Ferns hang from the ceiling and sconces with plants line the walls. Rather than ordering at a counter, a server takes your order from the table.
But despite the setting, the menu is what you would probably expect, a large laminated card (as it should be) with a focus on chili dogs, burgers, and shakes (and various other odds and ends). I, of course, ordered the foot long chili dog with everything, fries, and a Butterfinger shake.
Service was friendly and attentive, although somewhat frenetic. I think they were perhaps a bit understaffed for the lunch hour, but the food showed up without too much trouble.
The foot long dog arrived perfectly wrapped in wax paper, like a summertime Christmas present. And after a couple of bites it was clear that the Dairy Dart hype was deserved. It was put together perfectly, and the taste was just right.
The Dart’s fries were a nice complement to the dog. And my Butterfinger shake was, without question, the strongest flavored shake I’ve ever tasted. You don’t have to worry about simply getting a vanilla shake with a sprinkle of Butterfinger in it. I actually requested they mix in some vanilla to cut it down some.
A visit to the Dairy Dart and it’s obvious why it has so many loyalists. And for those missing Weaver’s, Dairy Dart will satisfy your chili dog hankering. Dairy Dart should absolutely be on your eastern Kentucky eating tour.
841 S Main Street