An expatriate of Columbus, The Dairy Freeze actually opened its doors in 1942 in the state capital before literally moving to the tiny village where it is today, in 1957. By literally, I mean bricks, windows and signs were taken along the B&O railroad line to Mount Sterling. Today the store occupies a spot where that same railroad once stood. So much has the store seen in its long existence, in fact, that it claims to have seen everything from car shows to poker tournaments to dance parties in its doors. Oh, and it’s a place to eat, too.
First and foremost the store is obviously an ice cream shop. Unfortunately, The Dairy Freeze does not make its own ice cream. The soft serve is brought in from a dairy out of town, probably a corporation. This is a terrible shame because it means not only is nothing in the ice cream originally made in the store, but an opportunity to support local farms has been lost. A shame for sure, and it means I can’t review the ice cream.
There are a few other items on the menu, though, mostly hot dogs, burgers and things like that. While the ice cream options are utterly unimpressive, the hot dog, which is fried, is pretty good. It’s got a few different options for toppings, and while none of these is particularly original or inspired the overall effect is a good meal that is also filling. You can leave the fancier dishes for other places, this one is more for families and junk food junkies. Side dishes are the same: not the most original or ambitious, but they do a fair representation of the dish.
Service is good. In a tiny village of 1,800 like Mount Sterling, it’s a given that the workers are the friendly type. It’s especially nice, though, that an outsider can come in and expect the same treatment. I like the style and feel of this place, it is a credit to the town in that regard. It’s a little bit like going back in time, a place like this has been serving its community with the same foods and family atmosphere that breed good memories for the locals. If only the rest of the menu were up to the same standard.
For a highway town like this one, it’s hard to find the simpler amenities like an ice cream chain. Fortunately, places like this stick around to fill that role instead. While I can definitely see why locals keep coming back to the Dairy Freeze, I’m not sure it’s worth the detour from the interstate, though.
- The place sells a lot of ice cream options like sundaes and banana splits. The ice cream is your typical soft serve, though. Nothing special.
- Meals like hot dogs, corn dogs and barbecue sandwiches are nice to try and pretty good local versions of the classic foods.
- This is really a family type place and is great for all ages.