I used to frequent Dub's Dairy Bar in London (Arkansas not England) on days when a class at ATU was cancelled (or I was just skipping). I'd stop in, order a burger and fries, and watch the social interactions around me. You could tell the owner of the restaurant knew the vast majority of his patrons, and that little restaurant was a focal point of the community.
It wasn't too long after I graduated college that Dub's closed down. The building housed a couple different restaurants in the following years, but none of them lasted long. In fact, all these years later, it is hard to find places like Dub's. Fast food chains have gobbled up so many of the mom and pop old school burger joints. I couldn't even find Dub's mentioned on Google when I searched for it.
This is exactly why I was excited to see a Tasty Freeze. Sometimes I want a burger that takes me back to those Dub's Dairy Bar days. I want to see the patties sizzling on a flat top grill. I want to watch the locals that all know each other having conversations. I want to watch that same social interaction I used to see at Dub's. And sometimes I don't want my burger to be "gourmet" and topped with fig preserves and goat cheese. Sometimes I don't want to know which keg of local IPA just got tapped. Sometimes I want simplicity. A burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo made to order in a place that doesn't look just like any other place in any other town.
All of those things are exactly what I get when I stop by to grab a burger at Tasty Freeze (or is it Tastee Freez, I never can decide). The staff has always been friendly. The cooking takes a little time, but only because it is made to order. The locals have never disappointed either. Happy kids getting ice cream. Couples grabbing a bite and having a conversation. Older Arkansans getting their weekly sweet treat (try the strawberry shake).
I'm glad places like this still exist. In fact, I hope they never go away because they are an integral part of our past. Well, at least my past, and I want to share that past with my children.
What I get:
I'm stuck on the burger, fries, and strawberry shakes.
David Thornton is a two time national award winning writer, chef, husband, father, and fitness enthusiast.