Another great Retro Roadmap Recommendation from our field reporter, Aubrey Murrin Collins!
My reason for driving through Carneys Point, NJ on Route 40 is too embarrassing to explain (but let’s just say it involved seeing a dog wearing sunglasses at one point). Because of our wacky day, the sign proclaiming “Olympia Dairy Bar: Famous Burgers – Shakes” was like driving up to a giant, wooden beacon of delightful old-fashioned light, a mirage on a frustrating drive.
Built in 1956, the building is separated into two parts. One side is an ice cream stand, where you can get sweet treats like the thick shakes and frozen custard noted on the rectangular signs above the building. You can get cones and sundaes, too, and at the moment I’m a little disappointed to say I tried neither. What I wouldn’t give for some sprinkles or hot fudge right about now.
The other side of the restaurant houses the non-frozen side of life, a tiny little area with a flat griddle in the back, a counter with stools and a few adorable booths.
We opted to get our food to-go because our dog was along for the ride, and he was as hungry, sweaty, tired and thirsty as we were. I wished we could’ve stayed to eat inside or at one of the tables on the patio. The umbrellas weren’t in place outside or we might’ve done so. Even eating it while driving, ketchup packets and all, the food was pretty decent.
Generally, I think anything made on a griddle and/or deep fryer and/or topped with cheese is almost always good, and it was certainly better than anything else we could’ve mustered up in the area. I was especially excited that the fries came not only in a basket but also in their own steamy little bag!
Guess I’ll have to head back for some frozen custard!
I better get there quick, and so should you, because even though they are open from April to January, my Internet sleuthing tells me the Olympia Dairy Bar is up for sale!(BOOOO sez your hostess!) Let’s all cross our fingers that the future owners keep things as is.
Update 9/2012 – I just drove past the Olympia Dairy Bar a few weeks ago and it’s still there – good news! Also I happened to notice that it’s actually also called Lapp’s Olympia Dairy Bar, because it’s owned by the Lapp family, and they also now have a Facebook page!