Ok, I'll resist the urge to say "worth it." Each of us needs to reach our own conclusion, and I know this place has many detractors. But tonight after taking my sweet four-year-old Labrador Retriever, Chloe, to the vet in Wayland with a suspected case of kennel cough (attention dog owners who use the dog run in the Southwest Corridor Park in the South End, I'm pretty sure that's where Chloe caught it, and it's highly contageous among dogs, although fortunately very treatable), I took my sweet nine-year-old daughter, Rebecca, to Dairy Joy for dinner. It was expensive, but it was very good.
It cost us $75 (yes, $75) cash (no credit cards, please) for:
1 small fried clams
1 clam roll
1 lobster salad
1 small onion ring
1 small sweet potato fries
3 bottles Poland Springs
3 small soft serve cones dipped in chocolate dip
Everything was delicious. I had the small clams and small onion rings. I was starving (having ingested less than 1,000 calories all day and having run 5-1/2 miles in the late afternoon), and scoffed down the clams (doused in tabasco sauce, which I keep in my car) in no time. I would have been happy to have more clams, but the onion rings more than filled me up. (In fact, I only ate about half of them.)
Rebecca had the lobster salad and the sweet potato fries. The lobster salad had large chunks of lobster on a bed of mixed greens with, I think, tomatoes and cucumbers. The lobster appeared to be too heavily dressed in mayo, but the couple of bites I had were sweet and delicious. I also enjoyed the sweet potato fries, which I never had had before at Dairy Joy.
For dessert, I had a coffee soft serve with chocolate dip. Yum.
Look, Dairy Joy is expensive. There is no denying that. And notwithstanding how well it does fried clams and onion rings, there are many misses on the menu, too. In fact, my experience tells me to pretty much avoid everything else on the menu. Don't go for the burgers or hot dogs or anything else (except that they do a credible lobster roll, even if it won't put Neptune or B&G out of business).
I also know from experience that ordering the small size portions usually is a better value than the larger ones. I usually get one small fried clam order for each person, and perhaps an extra one if there are, say, three or four of us splitting them. But if I'm by myself, I usually just get one small and some fries or onion rings to help fill me up. I suspect a really big eater will want a larger portion, but I can put away a decent amount of food, and I generally am happy with a small. (If I got a medium, I'd probably polish it off, and then feel sick afterwards!)
If you're not in the vicinity, I wouldn't recommend venturing out to Weston for Dairy Joy; it's not like driving up north for Farnhams or Essex Seafood (I think the clams are as good, but the overall experience is not.). But if you're in the western 'burbs with a hankering for some good clams, these guys do a mighty nice job with a fryolator!
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