It was a quiet day at the track for the Belmont Stakes, and due to the fact you can’t make an exacta pick for the horses that come in second and third, I didn’t win once on the day. I was most lucky to find Dari-Land lit and a Cherry Vanilla cone waiting for me on my ride back to the North Fork.
Here since 1953, this store really marks the start of the North Fork, at this point you are east of Riverhead’s core and all that’s ahead are vineyards and strawberry farms. Located near where Rt. 25 merges with Main Street, the glowing sign promises frozen treats, though the implication is that their focus is on soft ice cream and Italian ices rather than hard-pack ice cream.
Inside the store there is no seating, only the benches in front of the shop and the parking lot moat to wade in while eating a cone. There are two coolers with ice cream inside, the first is stocked with the Hershey flavors that dominate the North Fork, and the second has a few batches that are made here.
From that selection I chose a very pink cherry vanilla. The ice cream seemed almost a wine color in the case , though the photo below is blown out by the florescent lights and seems much whiter than the reality. While cherries seemed to supply ample color for the ice cream, the flavor was didn’t present a bold vanilla anywhere in the mix and it seemed like a tinted sweet cream with great chunks of fresh cherries carried along with it. It actually was what I hoped for from the color of the ice cream, I just think this should be dubbed Cherry or Cherry Jubilee or something and take the vanilla wholly out of the equation.
Since I walked in late, the fun flavor machine had already been cleaned, so had I wanted a soft ice cream I would have been stuck with a simple vanilla chocolate swirl. Reports from my uncle are that this place does soft right, and judging by the queue of teenagers waiting for Italian ice, that’s not bad either.
I didn’t drive past a Friendly’s on my way in to the Stakes, so I missed out on the free cones there. After the races I stopped at Eddie’s in New Hyde Park for the second best pizza in the world (it’s my mom’s favorite and it was her birthday so even though she was in Massachusetts I indulged for her).
Cone – small $3 large $4.25 (soft $2.60/$3.25)
Sundae – kids $4 regular $5 jumbo $5.75
Milkshake – small $4 large $4.75 jumbo $6
Dari-Land Ice Cream
Open year round
Sun-Thurs 11:30a-10p, Fri & Sat 11:30a-10:30p