Monday, February 13, 2012

Franklin Fountain

A quaint little ice creamery in Olde City, the Franklin Fountain – colloquially known as “Franklin’s” – takes you back in time. Almost literally.

As soon as you step into the ice cream shop to the tinkering bell on the door, you are greeted with the sweet smell of chocolate and pastry, and an air of the 1800s. The ice cream is hand-made from local ingredients, and comes in twenty-two delectable flavors, which they whip up into various sundaes, banana splits, and milkshakes. The flavors range from the classic vanilla and chocolate to more daring tastes such as black raspberry and teaberry gum. They also have a selection of sorbets, sugar-free flavors, and ice cream made from soy milk.

I ordered the Mt. Vesuvius – a scoop of chocolate, a scoop of vanilla, perfectly cut cubes of brownies and hot fudge, all topped off with whipped cream and a sprinkling of malt, all delicately arranged in an aluminum floral-shaped cup, to be eaten with spoons with swirls engraved on the handles. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The ice cream, the obvious hero of the dish, is so creamy and not too sweet, and there are flecks of vanilla bean in the vanilla, so you know it’s authentic. The fudge is thick and rich, so much so that it sticks to the spoon, and goes excellently with everything else in the bowl. The brownies are great too – moist and chocolatey. Plus, they don’t get soggy, even when they’re covered with half-melted ice cream.

As someone with a serious addiction to Ben and Jerry’s, I like to consider myself knowledgeable in the ice cream department. And the Franklin Fountain’s borderline orgasmic sundae more than makes the cut.

But it’s the décor of this store that really makes it. With flavors embossed on a wooden board, postcards with vintage images printed on them for sale, a small barrel for water that you pour into small paper cones, and even a nineteenth century telephone – that still functions! – the Franklin Fountain is from a whole different time.

--Michelle See-Tho

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