If you’ve driven down Main Street in Heber City, Utah, you’ve probably seen Dairy Keen even if you haven’t actually stopped. The building is reminiscent of a train stop and has an overall train theme…they even renamed their restaurant “Home of the Train – Dairy Keen” when they rebuilt the place in the last 1990’s, but I think everyone still called it “Dairy Keen.” Interesting name…and there’s a story to it. When it was originally opened, the owners were trying to save money and had owned a Dairy Queen previously, so they just changed the QU to a K!
Dairy Keen is a local fast food joint known for its ice cream and hamburgers, so on a recent drive through Heber, we stopped for a little of both. The place was crowded and crazy when we arrived, but it was because we had arrived at the same time as two large groups. Soon it settled down to a reasonable crowd.
After ordering, we were excited to try their new drink machines. They have two Coke Freestyle machines that allow you to mix and match drink flavors with syrups for over 100 flavor combinations with everything from regular Coca-Cola to Peach Fanta, Coke with Raspberry or Barq’s Vanilla. It’s fun just to look at all the options and even more fun to sample them! Coke has been testing these machines all over the country since 2009, but more and more are popping up and I hope they’re here to stay!
After playing around with the drink machines, the little diners kept occupied with all the fun things they have around the dining area. They have both a lego table and a train table in addition to a coin-operated “Harry Potter” train. We popped a quarter in to see what it did, but it was a bit disappointing…it just goes back and forth inside the cabinet. The main star of the place is the train that goes around a track right next to the ceiling. There are mini murals along the track and it is quite fun to watch.
Dairy Keen has incorporated a buzzer system for orders (similar to what many sit-down restaurants use when you have to wait for a table). When you order, you are given a buzzer that goes off when your order is ready and you pick it up at the counter. Better than calling out names, in my opinion.
We got our food and stopped by the condiment station for their delicious fry sauce – yum! Mr. Diner ordered their signature Train Burger…a quarter pounder with ham, melted swiss and American cheese, in addition to their special sauce, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. EVen though it’s only a quarter pounder, it’s a big burger! The flavors melded together well and it was dee-licious! I wanted to save room for ice cream, so I ordered the Jr. Cheeseburger with onion rings. The Jr. Cheeseburger was a smaller hamburger with cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, and pickles. I added tomato, but you can add almost anything to any hamburger for no charge. My sandwich was disappointing…it was room temperature, which makes it hard to comment on whether it would have been good hot because a cold hamburger is just a big turnoff! The onion rings, on the other hand, were very good! They were breaded (I know some like only breaded or battered…I like both!) and crispy. The little diners had corn dogs and I snatched some of their fries, which were good, but I preferred the onion rings! After all that, there wasn’t much room for ice cream, but several of us topped it off by getting a baby swirl cone, which is just the right amount to top off a meal. Just a little bit of ice cream for less than 50 cents a cone. It is teeny, so if you want a real ice cream cone, go for a bigger one (they have three other sizes). It was good ice cream…very creamy.
Next time, I think Mr. Diner and I will split a Train Burger with an order of onion rings and share a shake. But we’ll both have to get our own fountain drink just to play with the machine again! For those who don’t like burgers, they also have chicken options, cold and grilled sandwiches, salads, and a few other items. Outdoor dining is available including a fun little train of dining tables. There is also a drive-though for those wanting to get something without going in.
Entrée Price: $
Average Fork Rating: 3.8
Mr. Diner: 4
Mrs. Diner: 3
Amazing Diner: 4
Sweet Diner: 4
Little Diner: 4