By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – In an industry that often sees restaurants open and then close just as quickly, Harry’s Restaurant and Dairy Bar is an anomaly – it has been satisfying hungry customers for nearly seven decades.
The restaurant was first opened by Harry Cohen in Shrewsbury then moved to its current location (a former gas station) on Route 9 in 1968. Cohen’s son, Jon, now operates it. The décor still has much of its diner-like charm, with small whimsical murals, seats at a lunch counter and vinyl booths. The staff is very friendly and eager to ensure you have a great dining experience.
On a recent Friday evening, my husband, our son and I decided to have dinner there. We were seated right away but those who came in after us had a short wait. Perusing the menu took a bit of time as there are so many delicious-sounding options, ranging from hamburgers (everything from a traditional burger to the Zippyburger, which included fried salami, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion on toast), sandwiches of all types, chicken and beef entrees. There are many seafood options including the famous fried clams and lobster rolls. Harry’s also serves breakfast all day long with tempting breakfast options.
I ended up choosing the open face turkey sandwich which was served with a baked potato, winter squash, homemade gravy and cranberry sauce. The turkey was copiously piled on perfectly toasted bread and with just the right amount of gravy. Truthfully, I am usually disappointed when I go out to eat – something always goes wrong. But this entrée was delicious and so plentiful that there was enough for a second meal. I enjoyed it so much I was almost going to tell my husband he could not have my leftovers but I ended up letting him. He too thought it was really good.
My husband decided to start off with an order of chili. He is notoriously fussy about chili so I was eager to hear his opinion. It was very good, he said, not too spicy but spicy enough. Fresh cut onions and cheese melted on top were nice touches, he said. For his entrée, he ordered the salmon special. It was a good-sized piece of salmon stuffed with spinach, red peppers and goat cheese served on a bed of rice. He said that salmon was cooked perfectly and the filling was quite tasty.
My son, being a teenager, ordered what many would seem a strange combination – a side of fries and pasta primavera. I tried a bite of his pasta and agreed with his assessment that it was nicely mixed with a mélange of sautéed vegetables and had just the right amount of olive oil. He said the fries were very good. Although my husband and I were too full to order dessert our son decided to try a root beer float. He said it was delicious, with a perfect mix of soda to ice cream.
As the evening went on, customers of all ages arrived. No one seemed to mind the wait, most likely because they knew their patience would be rewarded with a hearty and delicious meal. What better way to start the weekend?
If you have never been to Harry’s, just be aware they do not accept credit cards or checks – only cash. There is an ATM machine right in the restaurant.
The restaurant’s summer hours are Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Harry’s is located at 149 Turnpike Road (Route 9). For more information and to check out their menu, visit harrysrestaurant.com.