A hamburger plate and double cheeseburger from Dairy Delite in Berwick. Photo by Bob Keyes

BERWICK — Dairy Delite has been delighting folks in Berwick for generations with its soft-serve and hard ice cream. It’s a spring and summer tradition to treat the kids after baseball practice, a soccer game or another occasion. Or, just because.

I took my family for dinner after work on a recent weekday, and we couldn’t have been happier – or, frankly, more surprised. We knew the Shaker Pond ice cream was good. We had no idea how much we would enjoy our burgers, chicken, fries and onion rings.

Dairy Delite has been a Berwick tradition for families for many years. Photo by Bob Keyes

Dairy Delite is situated in the heart of Berwick, next to the fire station, across from the long-closed Prime Tanning plant, which is now mostly an empty industrial lot awaiting redevelopment, and a stone’s throw from the New Hampshire border. It offers outdoor dining on a small patio, but the view isn’t great. We walked the short distance from our house – our 10-year-old rode his bike – on a nice spring evening and brought our dinner to eat at our kitchen table.

We wondered if our food would cool on the five-minute walk home, but it didn’t. It was still warm as we unpacked our paper-wrapped bundles. That’s when the fun began.

Luke, the 10-year-old, loved his chicken tenders, as did his mom. Asked to describe them, he said, “When you bite it, the chicken kind of blows up.” His mother’s taste-test translation: “It has a light batter and is very moist and juicy.”

They both loved the fries, which were crisp on the outside and soft inside. The onion rings were a bit greasy, but otherwise appealing with their thin batter and salty taste.

The star of the dinner was my double cheeseburger. The patties were thick and cooked medium, and tasted local. By that, I mean the meat had a fresh flavor that suggested it hadn’t been processed somewhere far away and a long time ago. Cooked and complemented with lettuce and a tomato slice, the burger surely weighed a solid half pound on the plate. The only failure was the bun. It crumbled under the weight.

Everyone was happy, but our experience wasn’t perfect. There are easy alternatives to plastic plates – a half-pound burger notwithstanding – and we were disappointed having to toss plastic into the trash. I also realized, after the fact, we were charged 35 cents each for lettuce and tomato on the burger. I don’t mind paying extra, but I was surprised by the charges on the receipt.

Overall, we felt the prices were fair. The double cheeseburger was $6.50 plain – $7.20 with the lettuce and tomato. The seven-piece chicken tenders cost $10.95, and the onion rings were $3.95.

Most importantly, we had a nice family experience at a longtime local business in our community.

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