Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Last One Standing

I can’t find any information about how many ice cream shops – or should that be shoppes – were operated under the Borden’s name. What I do know is that the last remaining one is located in Lafayette (LA) and on every visit to this city we have told ourselves: “We have to go there” but never did. Now is the time.
“Borden's Ice Cream is a historic ice cream parlor…which was built in 1940. In 1981, the then owner, lifelong Lafayette resident Flora Levy, died. Her will stipulated a large bequest to the University of Louisiana Lafayette's Foundation; the ice cream parlor was part of that bequest. The Foundation held title to the building, and rented the space to the manager who continued to operate the business. The building had been passed down from generation to generation in the Levy family; Flora had received it from her mother.

“In May 2009 the Foundation sold the store to…Red Lerille, who bought the property with the intention of keeping the local icon alive in Lafayette…. Lerille's daughter…will manage the store. Lerille was quoted as saying that he is interested in mom-and-pop type businesses like the ice cream store. ‘I believe it is the American way, but it is dying fast. This location is actually the last Borden’s retail ice cream shop in the United States. It is a Lafayette tradition and my daughter and I fully intend to bring it back to its original state’” (

I did read that Dickie Breaux, owner of Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge, had investigated purchasing the shop from the Lerilli family, but don’t know if that transfer of ownership ever occurred.

Borden’s is a charming place with the requisite soda fountain, booth seating, and

these “low to the ground” tables designed for the youngest of diners.
At one point, a man and woman of a certain age entered with their two grandchildren in tow. The kids really wanted to sit at one of these tables but Grandfather explained with the greatest patience that if he could get down on one of these chairs, he would never get up again.

Jessica R. at wrote “Not only is this a shiny, happy place with delicious frozen treats, it's also staffed by super awesome people who totally tried to track me down on Facebook and elsewhere when I left my wallet there one night. They weren't able to find me, so held onto it until I called the next morning (after having exhausted ALL other possible places I could've left it). Thanks so much to Patrick for finding it and making sure it was returned to me.”

Well, we didn’t have to retrieve any lost belongings, but our server—also of a certain age—was extremely tolerant when we took an extraordinarily long time to order. You would think that two people, both with advanced degrees, could order a banana split without dithering. But, when two people have to agree on which three flavors of ice cream to order, which three toppings, and—worse yet—what toppings go on each ice cream, it becomes a daunting task.

We finally settled on (from left to right) Cookies ‘n Cream with pineapple topping, Rocky Road (Yes, they still make this!) with white chocolate topping, and coffee ice cream with hot fudge topping. This latter has been my favorite combination since I started drinking coffee, and since Chuck is no big fan of coffee flavor, this was mine. All mine.

This baby was huge with two scoops of each ice cream flavor. I must admit that the ice cream was probably no better than any of the more premium brands like Breyer’s or Blue Bunny but with it you get the 4.0 Addie experience of dining in a piece of history.

If It's Borden's – It's Got To Be Good
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

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