Dozens of restaurants have come and gone from south Dayton, but few have endured as long as this humble food stand near downtown Moraine. The Dixie Dairy Dreem is an old-fashioned hamburger and ice cream stand, which this year celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in business. Many cars pass through this area on the way downtown and still many more local residents walk here from surrounding neighborhoods. This is the kind of place that friends and family gather on hot summer nights for an ice cream cone, and where generations of families have made memories.
The food is pretty classic, the menu is full of hot dogs and hamburgers, chili dogs and sandwiches. It’s definitely Americana, you can find chicken fingers, pork tenderloin, barbecued beef and swiss steak. Many of the side dishes are classics; fries and mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers. It’s pretty hard to do these old favorites wrong. They fry some pretty creative stuff here too, like broccoli, zucchini and cauliflower, which for the life of me I haven’t found another place that does this. The Dairy Dreem might give off an aura of old times but that doesn’t mean it’s uncreative. Who can forget the ice cream? There are quite a few flavors of soft serve and frozen yogurt on hand.
- Hot dogs are pretty standard, but the chili is great. It’s the savory, slightly spicy variety, not sweet like the Cincinnati style popular elsewhere. It’s decidedly unique.
- The burgers are “slider” style, smaller burgers sold in twos and topped with onions, pickles and cheese. Spectacularly, the burgers are made in-house. They’re not frozen or store-bought.
- Swiss Steak is a good sandwich, basically a burger with gravy. Pretty simple.
- Ice cream: Pretty simple soft serve by itself, the ice cream is nice though because it can be dipped in chocolate, sprinkles or just about anything. A nice summer tradition for Moraine.
- Frozen yogurt: A bit lighter than the soft serve that comes here, the frozen yogurt still comes in more flavor types. Delicious.
It’s really refreshing to see that, in spite of the many chains which have settled both up and down the street, the Dairy Dreem still takes no shortcuts with its food. If I had to pick quality ingredients or lower prices, the former prevails any day.
The environment of the place is great, since it seems to be such a neighborhood institution. There’s a small interior dining room but most of the business comes through the drive-through window and walk-up spot in the front. It’s the kind of place you’re inclined to linger after you get your food; the radio blares local music and the benches are inviting. The clientele is definitely friendly and local.
This is the kind of place you’ll want to not only try, but also to bring your family on a warm summer night. Much of this area seems lost in time, albeit in something of an unfortunate way. The Dixie Dairy Dreem, on the other hand, remains a whimsical, friendly, positive experience, and one you’ll definitely appreciate, even in 2012.
- The drive-thru offers the most convenience and seems to be the most popular option.
- I’d suggest you try the burgers first, they’re sliders and you can expect to want at least two.
- People tend to frequent this place for its ice cream, as well.