A not-forgotten taste of growing up

By By Brad Robichaux / American Press

Fancy dress? Gourmet food and fine

dining? Nah! Sometimes when that highfalutin adult restaurant stuff just

doesn’t seem appealing,

you might try someplace where it actually tastes good to grow up.

Complete with toy trains, a rather loud

train whistle that some children can’t help but pull and enough

nostalgia for the

days when the burger and shake was the staple of the kid diet,

Dairy Barn recreates the taste and mindset that made old-fashioned

homemade burger joints so popular in their heyday.

These are the kind of burgers you simply can’t find in the conventional fast food places anymore.

Dairy Barn has two locations, one at 2251 Maplewood Drive in Sulphur and one at 4453 Nelson Road in Lake Charles. The Lake

Charles location has gone through several moves, at one time having a restaurant on both Prien Lake Road and Ryan Street,

while the Sulphur location has stayed reliably in the Maplewood Plaza Shopping Center diagonal to Market Basket.

You’ll get the same burger joint

experience with just about any burger you’ll order at either location.

While fries are a

burger’s natural friend, the onion rings are the real winners as

far as sides go. Thin, stringy, crispy and especially good

with ketchup, these onion rings are the kind I generally prefer,

as opposed to larger thicker-cut rings. The portion for a

small onion ring is rather generous, so it might not be a bad idea

to split a small with a friend.

Not one to venture too far from the ordinary, I used to order a simple hamburger with onion rings. One day while on lunch

with former coworkers I felt pressured into trying something new when everyone else had been getting a “P-Spesh,” a Pierre

Special, so I got one as well. I don’t get anything else anymore.

With two patties with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese between not a hamburger bun but two slices of Texas toast, this burger

beats out its competition in terms of sheer flavor. As with most things delicious, the P-Spesh can be rather messy and can

easily disintegrate in a mess of burger if you don’t handle it with care. Also, too much of a good burger can quickly ruin

not only your waistline but also the burger’s appeal, as I have experienced.

Dairy Barn offers other dinners you can

try when coming down from a P-Spesh binge, like shrimp poboys, catfish

and chicken

sandwiches, even chicken strip baskets and hamburger steaks. If

the burgers makes you feel a little guilty try a grilled shrimp

or chicken salad next time.

But if, like most kids, you’d really

rather throw caution to the wind, you can try out Dairy Barn’s namesake,

the ice cream.

Walk up to the ice cream bar at the Sulphur Location or visit the

separate but adjoining ice cream shop next door to the Lake

Charles restaurant for a sweet fix. A personal favorite of mine

are the chocolate malts, made right in front of you with vanilla

ice cream, chocolate syrup, a splash of milk and a scoop of malt. I

ask for a little extra malt in mine, which makes for an

especially good malt I’ve tasted only occasionally from homemade


Yes, sometimes we have to hold our noses and force down grown-up food for business lunches or dinner get-togethers, but it’s

nice there are places that still serve food that tastes so darn good to our younger taste buds.