Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ice cream triangle

My neighborhood is full of tree lined streets, relatively old houses and more than a few retreat houses for the catholic lay missionaries. One of the better hospitals is 10 minutes away, and am close to the LRT3 system, so a couple of stops away and I'm in a shopping mecca. But what probably stands out as the major landmark is the ice cream factory.

As a child, the ice cream factory was also known as the Magnolia factory, it had a cafe/ice cream shop that we'd go to after mass. We would order our choices from parfaits, splits, cobblers, or shakes. My brother was an Ernie and Bert guy, while my sister loved the splits with the occasional parfait thrown in. I'd always get the Black and White. My parents would try different things, so I can't recall what they typically ordered. We also would always try to sit near our favorite ice cream server who would add in extra cream or extra crushed peanuts when he could without any charge. If my parents had their way, we'd sit at a booth, all skwushed in, my brother and I fighting for leg room. But if the booths were full, we'd rush to the stools and watch the scoopers prepare our orders. I liked the stools.

Sometime in the 1990s a big multi-national came in and bought Magnolia. Or took over, or in some form or another swooped in and changed the face of my childhood ice cream shop. For awhile it was Nestle-Magnolia, then it just became Nestle. And the ice cream shop at the factory? It lost it's je ne sais quoi. I heard it got a bit grimy, and less customer friendly. Plus it wasn't our own anymore, excuse the nationalism. So when I came home in the late 90's I didn't go back to the old ice cream shop.

Moving into the neighborhood two years ago, I was faced with the fact that the behemoth was right there, a good landmark when giving directions. But sometime earlier this year, I realized that Magnolia had a place, right across from the factory. Sort of like a kid nyah-nyah-nyahing the big brother across the street. I didn't go around to either ice cream shop for most of the year. Until yesterday. What changed my mind? Well, there's a new kid on the block. It's called Amazing, it took over the space of my neighborhood chicken inasal place, and it offers pizza in a cone, and soft serve ice cream. Hmmm, interesting combination, no?

So after dilly dallying for a few weeks, and seeing all those people trying out Amazing, I thought about going over there to test it out. I walked over and ordered myself a soft serve cone (was not in the mood to try the pizzas, and considering the displayed pizza cones looked congealed, I will pass on the option) with chocolate chips and crushed reeses pieces (peanut butter and chocolate!!!). I was looking forward to it, then took a lick. Ugh. It tasted like non-dairy creamer!! Yuck. I had a crestfallen not-real-ice-cream moment. Sorry but that isn't amazing in my books.

What to do when one's plans for an ice cream treat fall by the wayside? I walked down the road and decided to have a foot massage. And after an hour of that, I realized that I was right next door to the Magnolia ice cream shop. With P220 in my wallet, I turned into the shop and went over the menu. It really looked like the old menu from when Magnolia was across the way, and I saw they had Ernie and Bert, Black and White, all the floats, shakes, splits. What oh what would I have? I had to erase the memory of the icky soft serve from not amazing. And there I saw among the parfaits, the Brown Derby! Whoohoo, yes, I would order the BD.

The Brown Derby is a three scooper, strawberry, mango, and chocolate, with chocolate syrup, strawberry jam, and crushed pineapples. They also poured in some sprite (why? eh, for the fizz!), topped it with a large dollop of real Magnolia cream (not that nondairy stuff), and lots of peanuts and a small sliver of maraschino cherry. All for P144. Not bad, but my dad would probably intone "it used to cost P25 for a shake!" I loved smushing it together, avoiding too much side spillage, getting flavors, textures and happy feelings all rolled into one. I had no problems forgetting the bad earlier incident in favor of a moment of feeling like a 10 year old again. I'll have to go back and see if the servers will toss in extra peanuts!


Katrina said...

Hey, so you did the ice cream test! :-) Ugh, sorry to hear about the Not Amazing experience. I, too, love chocolate with peanut butter, so ruining it with fake ice cream is just terrible. Good thing you managed to erase that taste memory with a better one -- and one from your childhood, at that!

I didn't grow up going to the Magnolia House near you, but they had a branch in Quad that my mom would take us to for merienda during Saturday afternoons spent shopping in what was then called Makati Commercial Center. I didn't have a regular order; each visit was spent vacillating between Ernie & Bert, or Black & White, or a parfait, or...nothing much has changed, huh? ;-)

christine said...

Wow what memories, Ernie and Bert!! Katrina, that was the one we'd frequent as well, the one in Quad, by the old Rizal Theater right?

But Mila, would you believe we used to go to that one as well? My aunt lives in Santolan so it wasn't very far from there, and sometimes when we go have lunch at her place, we'd stop by there for merienda before going home.

Too bad about Amazing. What a misnomer, how disappointing! But at least you ended it on a delicious note. :)

Anonymous said...

nice story... for me after meal desserts or hot summer desserts is all about the company.. i usually spend it with my folks... eating ice cream or halo-halo together... i love places that specializes in ice cream... though it is quite inferior to the ones abroad.. but we have to stick with what we have and be contended:)

mtan said...

Ah Makati Commercial Center, I remember the old La Cibeles there, and the movie theater. Can't recall the ice cream shop since Magnolia in QC was my primary go-to place.

Hey, maybe we should do a meet up over an Ernie and Bert/parfait one of these days.

Dondi said...

Hi! Sorry to hear that you didn't like our ice cream then, we temporarily used a local supplier since our imported soft serve mix was still in transit. Please try it again soon cause the quality is much better now.

We really appreciate your comments and suggestions. Please continue to do so on our website www.amazingcones.com

Dondi OƱate
Vice President
Amazing Cones

mtan said...

Hi Dondi, Thanks for posting and letting us know about the change in ice cream suppliers. I do hope you provide a real dairy base, and not one that tastes artificial.

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