Darrell's Restaurant owner Dan Joseph comes by his bona fides the old-fashioned way — hard work and family.
As a boy, Dan worked side-by-side with his father in his restaurant in Halifax for many years. In 1970 Dan's father's restaurant was the first to deliver freshly-made pizza in Halifax.
Dan eventually went to work with his uncle, Freeman Joseph, when he acquired the family business on Quinpool Road following his father's retirement.
Dan has said that he was very lucky to have his dad and uncle to teach him the business and has both of them to thank for his knowledge and abilities. He misses them both a great deal and hopes they would be proud of his accomplishments.
Today, Dan can often be found in the kitchen at Darrell's, a Fenwick Street landmark since 1992. Among other delicious items Darrell's is known for its well-stuffed pita club sandwiches, "olde-fashioned" milkshakes (so thick the straw stands up in them), scrumptious "Darrell" fries and last but not least, Darrell's groundbreaking, commotion-making Peanut Butter Burger — a taste treat you just have to try!
Quality is assured by Dan's insistence on preparing all meats fresh on site and using only premium ingredients. He is always looking for better products to serve his customers.
Aside from the main dining room upstairs, Darrell's Sports Café (located downstairs) is an ideal venue for big screen events and private functions. A large and quiet patio on the main level is a Halifax hot spot in summer.
Darrell's is winner of numerous awards, including The Coast Magazine's Gold Award for 12 years running including Best Milkshake, Best Place to Eat Alone, Best Veggie Burger, Best Lunch Menu and Best Burger in Halifax for 10 years in a row. Also voted by Readers Digest as one of the 8 Greatest Burger Restaurants in Canada!
Although Dan spends less time in the kitchen these days, he admits that it's difficult to stay away as he enjoys it very much and is determined to maintain the quality and consistency that Darrell's is famous for. When asked what he strives for the most these days, he replies that developing a burger that will surpass the famous peanut butter burger always keeps him thinking but even he confesses that so far, he has not been able to accomplish that goal but he says that continuing to do so can only mean great new burger options for Darrell's loyal customers.
He believes that making sure his staff are treated well and always with respect has been a big part of Darrell's success. "They are the heart of it all" Dan says, "and they deserve a lot of credit for the job they do." He says he has his Mexican born mother to thank for the values he tries to live by. Dan and his hand-picked staff strive daily to fulfill Darrell's stated mission: The customers at Darrell's deserve the very best of everything.
Asked to describe the ideal Darrell's experience, Dan says he wants every customer to feel that they've enjoyed a great meal, great value, friendly service, made some new friends and found a place they'd like to visit again soon.