Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Harry's Restaurant & Dairy Bar

When a restaurant's 1950s drive-in style marquee states "CLAM ON OVER AND PAY US A VISIT," you just can't deny them. I've often driven past Harry's Restaurant & Dairy Bar in Westborough, MA at high speeds (well, as high as they'll let you go on Route 9), but I had never taken the time to go there. It must have been the dancing clam on their website that sealed the deal for me.

On June 6 (my first week working with my fellow blogger), C.C. and I headed to Westborough to check out some office space. But before we went to speak with the sales agent, we stopped for some well-needed nourishment that would fuel us through the afternoon.

When you drive up to the restaurant, it doesn't seem like much. A nondescript parking lot gives way to a fairly mundane storefront. It's not really that inspiring, but let's face it, when you've been around since 1946 like Harry's, you're not as concerned wit aesthetics. It's clearly all about the food.

The same could be said for their web site. Again, nothing fancy - but then again, you don't need fancy. Just tell me how to get there and I'll do the rest. After recently checking back, I noted they removed the PDF of their menu. No matter, I've reproduced it here. I'd imagine they're changing the prices & such (the menu is (c) 2001), so don't think of it as the gospel truth.

So, when you get inside, it's probably no more than 10 booths, and another 10 or so brushed metal & vinyl swivel stools at the counter. You can see the frappe maker machines behind the counter, along with neon signs, handwritten specials, wood paneling and formica as far as the eye can see. But the thing that really stood out: a 42-inch flat-panel TV mounted on the wall. Get your food from the 50's and your news from the present.

But the whole reason we were there was the food. When I arrived, C.C. was already nose-deep in the large metal cup that housed his chocolate frappe. I just ordered a Coke and then we dove into the menu full bore. With lots of great burgers and club sandwiches to choose from, this was going to be a hard decision. Not to mention the all-day breakfast options. I ended up going with a fried clam roll and fries, C.C. got the fried scallop platter and onion rings. We were in heaven. I finished it off with a piece of aged lemon meringue pie (the meringue was gummy, rather than light & fluffy) and a cup of coffee.

Our assessment? A top-notch place that does well with fresh food. Unless it's clearly baked that day, I'd stay away from the desserts in the display case. But otherwise, well worth jamming on the brakes and causing a 7-car pileup.

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