YouTube star Daym Drops gets his own Netflix series: 'Fresh, Fried & Crispy'

In 2012, Daymon Patterson ordered a double bacon cheeseburger and Cajun fries from the Five Guys location in Farmington, across from Tunxis Community College. He settled into the driver’s seat of his car and turned on his camera to shoot another fast-food review video for YouTube, like he’d been doing for three years prior.

There was something different about this one, though. It may have been his trademark exuberance, or the moment when he bit into the bacon, raised his fist and excitedly sang “damn, damn, DAMN!” The review video went viral, to the tune of nearly 11 million views, and a remixed version, set to music by the Gregory Brothers, garnered nearly four times that many views.

Patterson, known as Daym Drops, was an instant star. The Connecticut native, who grew up in Stratford and now lives in New Britain, appeared on national television with Dr. Oz, Jimmy Fallon and Rachael Ray. He hosted his own Travel Channel series, “Best Daym Takeout,” in 2013, and starred in fast food commercials. And on June 9, he can add Netflix star to his resume, as his new series, “Fresh, Fried & Crispy,” launches on the streaming service.

“All of this, since 2009 to now, has been for this very moment,” Patterson says, referencing his first forays into YouTube food criticism.

The series takes Patterson to cities like St. Louis, San Diego, Denver, Cleveland and Birmingham, Ala. as he seeks out the best fried dishes in each destination, “coming from the streets, fancy restaurants, and home kitchens.”

Patterson said he was approached by production company Ugly Brother Studios to shoot a pilot for the show, and he was thrilled when Netflix picked up the series. As the production team planned out the travel schedule, he gave his input, telling them he’d like to focus on locally-owned places revered by those who live there.

“[It was] three or four locations [in each city] that folks always talk about, they always have to go to,” he said. “When I finally get there and I’m talking to the owners, and then I get the backstory of how they even opened the restaurant, their passion for food, and it was just amazing. I had a job of responsibility at that point, to be able to tell this story in a larger way.”

Patterson infuses his affable personality into each scene. When presented with a fried bologna sandwich in St. Louis, topped with pimento cheese and fried sunny-side-up egg, he kisses the top of it before taking a bite. In Baltimore, he edits a colossal crab sandwich made with fried soft-shelled crab and a crab cake, whipping off the fresh lettuce and tomato (or in his parlance, “crunchy water,” and “red ring of death”) and replacing them with Old Bay potato chips.

In Las Vegas, at Slater’s 50/50, they present him with the “Whale Burger,” with a pound of Wagyu beef, truffle cheese, a fried lobster tail, slab bacon and a gold-dusted bun, served with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. After taking a bite, he hunches over the table, speechless. “Me and the burger are having a moment,” he tells the manager.

Patterson shot the series over two months last year, he said, and he and the crew “remained in a bubble” to minimize any possible COVID exposure, testing regularly and staying in their hotel rooms when not filming.

“That’s what you had to do to keep safe...the ultimate goal was to be able to showcase these mom and pops, and we can't possibly do that if we're outside, and individuals are starting to get sick,” he said. “So we just we kept it a close knit family, for those two months straight, and we made it through.”

Patterson made digital content creation his full-time career after the viral Five Guys video, leaving his job as a buyer for CarMax in Hartford. Before that, he was an assistant manager at Walmart’s Rocky Hill location.

He’s also branched out into other ventures: he has an ownership stake in the Windsor location of MofonGo, a Puerto Rican restaurant, and he launched the Daym Drops Diner concession stand in partnership with the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin’ Donuts Park this season, selling his take on ballpark fare. (Hint: There’s a slab of bacon on a stick.)

He’s also the marketing director for Impossible Kicks, a sneaker boutique with locations at the Westfarms Mall in Farmington and The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. Two more locations are planned for Orlando and Tampa.

Patterson hopes the series will inspire others to find as much pleasure discovering these spots as he has.

“I just want them to say, ‘Listen, I need to go to where Daym Drops went; I have to be there, and I don't care where it is, how far I have to drive... I just need exactly what he had, so I could experience what that man experienced,” he said.

“Because I go through some raw emotions in this show that you've never seen before. On any given food show, I promise you...to the point where you're like, ‘I need to have that exact same experience at that mom and pop location, I need to be there, and I need to be there yesterday.’”

“Fresh, Fried & Crispy” launches June 9 on Netflix. See more at netflix.com.