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!