Thursday, October 24, 2013

There’s Always Room for Ice Cream

We (cousin David, Chuck, and I) are walking down Water Street on our first day in Port Townsend and I am wanting lunch. What do we pass but an ice cream parlor and restaurant going by the name of Nifty Fiftys Soda Fountain.
I don’t know about Chuck, but I was immediately reminded of a burger and fries joint on Street Road (Yes, the name of the road is Street.) in Bensalem, PA—Nifty Fifty's. Over the years, we had many a burger—and good burgers at that—at this 50’s-themed restaurant. (A quick “Google” told me that this Nifty Fifty’s was destroyed by fire this past July. Can we observe a moment of silence?)

And while the Port Townsend restaurant also had a menu of burgers, fries, hot dogs, chicken strips, etc., we walked on and eventually found ourselves eating Asian noodles at Hanazona. But no reason we couldn’t go back for ice cream at “… this fun and happy eatery. A blast from the past, you will think you are back in high school (if you are from my generation) or you will experience what your parents did after school.
There is a long counter with stools topped with red vinyl, individual juke box players, wonderful black and white checkered flooring…” (
The large jukebox dates to 1952 and many of the decorative items come from the owners’ collection of 50’s memorabilia.
So we took a seat at the counter (No, not on that seat missing its top.) and scanned the selections.
This did not start out well. Under the list of beverages was “Rickies.”

“Can I get a Lime Ricky” Chuck asks the woman behind the counter.

“Ricky?” she asks.

“Yes” responds Chuck. “The board says you have Rickies.”

“No Rickies” was her response. So, instead, he orders a Green River.

What he got was a large mug filled with a beverage that was of a color not occurring in nature.
Yes, it did taste of lime. But mostly it tasted of sugar. “Want some” Chuck asks me as he pushes the glass my way. I think that this was his way of pleading, “Please drink some of this.”
With his Green River, he had a small dish of marionberry sorbet that was nice and tart and tasted of fresh berries.
I wanted to return following lunch because I saw an ice cream flavor listed that I had not seen before—licorice.

“You’re not” was David’s reaction when I said I wanted to try this.
This tasted just like the name and color suggests—black licorice. And while it didn’t turn my teeth black, I did walk around with a black tongue for the rest of the afternoon.

But Nifty Fiftys isn’t the only ice cream parlor on Water Street. So following the Kinetic Skulpture Race, we headed back into town. Our destination? Elevated Ice Cream, which was named one of the seven best ice cream parlors in the country by
“The Elevated Ice Cream Co. began serving ice cream from a courtyard antique Victorian elevator cage in 1977, hence the name Elevated Ice Cream Co., and the motto ‘Lift Your Spirits!’ Although we advanced after one summer from street vendor to ice cream parlor, we retained the name ‘Elevated’ for our ice cream’s superior quality…
“Julie and David were taught to make ice cream by a very dear friend of Julie’s grandparents…who had an ice cream parlor in Seattle for close to 40 years. Norm taught us how to make his most popular flavors and showed us his special techniques—methods we still use to this day. In time, we invented our own flavors, and adapted other flavors to our own tastes. Julie and David also attended the Penn State University, ‘Ice Cream Short Course…’” (

David was looking for vanilla chocolate chip but this flavor didn’t appear on Elevated’s menu. Instead, he opted for the Espresso Chip.
While licorice was on the menu, I went in a different direction and ordered a small cup that was half coconut Italian Ice and half chocolate Italian Ice (in Philadelphia these are called water ices) so that I could have a Mounds Bar in a bowl.
While the chocolate Italian ice had an intense chocolate flavor, the same could not be said of the coconut.

Chuck ordered a three flavor sampler of the Italian ices with raspberry, marionberry, and black current, and all three had intense fruit flavors.
Given the size of his portion, I felt it my obligation to help him eat it. An obligation I did not feel with the Green River at Nifty Fiftys.

And so I ask you, is there any better “pick-me-up” in the middle of the afternoon? Well, a nice single malt scotch wouldn’t be bad either.

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