He Said/She Said: Sundae bestDennis: In the midst of my transformation from a guy who scraped the onions off of a Mickey D’s hamburger to someone who can semiclaim to have a palate, I lost my sweet tooth.
Emily: For years I’ve recommended counseling. Think of the kids, I say.
D: But the one thing that can generally drag me out of my savory cocoon is a simple chocolate sundae.
E: There’s only one thing? Still a travesty, but we’ll take what we can get.
Dennis’ sundae profile: Chocolate sauce must be on top. I can live with whipped cream and maybe a cherry. Other accoutrements are not welcome.
Emily’s sundae profile: Any way. Any time.
Jennifer’s Pharmacy & Soda Shoppe
30 N. Central Ave., Clayton · 314.862.7400
Mon. to Fri. – 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sat. –
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
D: Here was my mistake: Upon entering Jennifer’s Pharmacy, I was so entranced by the old-timey soda fountain that I neglected my due diligence with the menu.
E: And to think I trusted you to order for us! It was only afterward that we learned Jennifer’s Pharmacy is the self-proclaimed home to the flying monkey. (You’ve seen The Wizard of Oz, right? So you know what I’m taking about.) And if you order the Flying Monkey Sundae, they’ll flick the lights; fly a stuffed, shrieking monkey; announce your name; and hand out tiny plastic primates.
D: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. We should have done that. My bad.
E: Live and learn. (Sugar always evokes my forgiving nature.) But tell me: What did you think of the regular sundae?
D: Knowing the chocolate sauce was Hershey’s, I went out of my comfort zone and ordered hot fudge. It was pretty standard.
E: Then I’d recommend the house-made strawberry sauce. It was exceptional. And the worthy ice cream is Wholesome Farms brand.
The Fountain on Locust
3037 Locust Blvd., St. Louis · 314.535.7800
Tue. and Wed. – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thu. –
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat. – 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun. – noon to 9 p.m.
E: How precious is this? The world’s smallest hot fudge sundae is served in a mini brandy snifter – just under 3 inches – and served with an itty-bitty spoon. Yet the best part was the hot fudge. I’ve found the stuff usually has a plastic-y texture, but this was perfection.
D: Did you try the root beer yet? Have you? Have you? Have you?
E: Focus on the sundaes.
D: Sundaes, yes, they were delicious; but the root beer was sublime.
E: A minute ago you have no sweet tooth to speak of, and suddenly you’re touting two sugary treats? Perhaps there’s hope for you yet. Now, tell the good people about your sundae.
D: Fueled by the complexity of the root beer, I was inspired to stray from my sundae comfort zone and ordered the Stutz Sundae. I chose one scoop of champagne sherbet and one of Zanzibar chocolate (the ice cream is Cedar Crest from Wisconsin), which called for the house-made strawberry topping. While missing the distinctive yeasty taste I enjoy most in champagne, the first scoop had a light, fruity, effervescent flavor. The chocolate was nice but not quite deeply chocolate enough for me, though the sauce pulled it all together. Bubbles, strawberry and chocolate put me in Paris for a moment. Then again, let’s not be hasty. Is even Paris worth missing this gorgeous root beer made by the glass?
603 E. Lockwood Blvd., Webster Groves · 314.963.3232
Sun. to Thu. – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat. – 11 a.m. to midnight
E: I’ve never been a Magic Shell enthusiast, so it’s no surprise I also wasn’t a huge fan of Cyrano’s chocolate sundae coated with gold brick – a gourmet version of the hardening chocolate sauce.
D: It might be meant to evoke childhood memories but the hard shell simply serves to make the eating process harder and messier.
E: I’m with you, but also feel as if some of the fault lies with us. We could have asked to substitute the gold brick with standard chocolate sauce.
D: Here’s the thing, I shouldn’t have to read between the lines. I should be able to trust that an establishment known for its outstanding dessert menu is putting the best version in front of me. Heck, even the whipped cream could’ve used more sugar. These were clearly not the results I had anticipated from a dessert mecca.
E: On the plus side, the locally made, ultravanilla-y French vanilla ice cream from Ronnie’s Ice Cream was scrumptious. Will it be my top pick? The probability is high.
Baileys’ Chocolate Bar
1915 Park Ave., St. Louis · 314.241.8100
Mon. to Sat. – 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sun. – 4 p.m. to midnight
D: It was an evening that will haunt me to the end of my days. There are a million excuses I could use – long day at work, distracted by our sauce-covered 1-year-old, etc. – but, if I’m honest, I was just too slow. My 4-year-old nicked the cherry.
E: Really, Dennis, you’ve got to learn to share with other kids, especially when you’re eating a sharing kind of sundae. (Read: massive.) Anyway, I thought you were only a “maybe a cherry” kind of guy.
D: Usually, yes. But in this instance it could have been an integral flavor component, playing well with the house-made chocolate sauce, left spiked with some bitter.
E: Ah, the sauce. There wasn’t as much as I normally like, but it worked. With a scoop of Webster Groves-based Serendipity vanilla nestled between two scoops of impossibly rich chocolate, we weren’t hurting for flavor. Not to mention the mix of cashews, pecans and almonds on top.
D: Nuts? I’ll have mine without.
E: What about the yummy house-made whipped cream?
D: I could take it or leave it, baby. Just give me that cherry.