A Sweet Surprise: White Dotte Dairy Bar & Grill

White Dotte

 She did such a great job with our last newsletter that we’re giving Vicki a chance to do some posting of her own. Hope you like it!-John

We’ve all seen them. Those places that you drive by and you think to yourself, “Huh, I wonder if that’s any good. I should stop and try it next time.” But then you never do because, well, it is a little ramshackle, and right across the street is somewhere familiar and more comfortable looking. But that voice in your head keeps saying “I wonder…”

Well, I was tired of wondering. I’ve made it my food writer’s mission to go in and eat at these places, those food establishments that from the outside can only be described as “interesting,” in hopes of finding something extraordinarily good. In the case of White Dotte, located just across the street from the well-known South Jersey favorite, Vincentown Diner, I found just that. Do you like ice cream? White Dotte’s homemade soft-serve is some of the best around (the best, in my opinion). And from what the regulars say, the rest of the grub is pretty darn tasty too.

White Dotte was opened in 1952 by local farmer Charlie Green as an outlet to showcase the fresh dairy from the family’s nearby dairy farm. After taking a course in ice cream making at Penn State, the White Dotte Dairy Bar was born. To draw in more business from the traffic passing by on commuter-heavy Rt. 206, Green added an electronics store (due to the many truckers needing tools to fix their vehicles) and a grill, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner items. It is now run by his son, Mike, and his wife Carol, but the same mom and pop, family friendly atmosphere has been maintained.

The grill menu consists of the standardIMG_0267 fare: appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches and dinner platters, including homemade fried chicken. Most of the menu is homemade, based on family recipes that have been passed down through the generations. But there is the occasional nod to food pop culture, like chicken and waffles, Juicy Lucys and the eating-contest-worthy-sounding Breakfast Burger, described as a 100% certified fresh black angus beef patty deep fried in pancake batter, with a fried egg and choice of bacon or sausage patty served on French toast with pancake syrup (served only on weekends). I ordered the homemade chili, which was meaty, beany, hearty and filling, like you would expect a traditional, homemade family recipe to be.

IMG_0268They have a wide selection of frozen dessert offerings, including Philadelphia Water Ice and Richmans hard ice cream, but I heartily advocate ordering their soft-serve. I had the vanilla and orange sherbert swirl, but it was hard to pick from the six different flavors available. I cannot describe it any other way than saying that it was the purest, freshest, creamiest, smoothest soft-serve that I’ve had. The lush milkiness of the ice cream paired perfectly with the refreshing citrus zing of the orange sherbert. It is so good, it’s brain-freeze-proof because you can’t help but savor every lick. If I get a chance to return, I will be ordering one of their rotating dinner specials that include the Famous White Dotte Sundae for dessert.

You won’t find any frills at White Dotte, which is why it might be so easy to pass by. It’s just a plain, trailer-like building with a Porta Potty around the back. There are no flashing lights and no fancy signs. It’s a family business through and through, and that extends to the food. The menu is simple, homemade, prepared with fresh ingredients and served with love. Its just good. And these days, that’s hard to come by.

IMG_0269

White Dotte Dairy Bar & Grill – 2345 Route 206, Southampton, NJ 08088.

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