The Big Huge Ice Creams of Chicago
The next of our acclaimed series on rampant obesity in the former Colonies
According to Healthline.com, a 1/2 cup (80g) serving of 'premium' ice cream (because life is too damn short to eat regular ice cream) contains 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 20 grams of sugar. Add hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry, and you're being ridiculous, because the fudge, cream & cherry will totally cover up the measly little spoonful of ice cream we started with in the first place.
Go big, or go home! If you're going to leave your house and schlep your butt all the way out in public for some ice cream, make it worth your while. Dat's da Chicaguh way!
Margie's Candies, Chicago
God Bless 'Murrica!
Up top is the 'World's Largest Terrapin Sundae'. You may know that a Turtle sundae is topped with both fudge and caramel, and pecans or other nuts. A terrapin substitutes butterscotch for the caramel. Some world renowned Largest Sundae governance board obviously decided that a terrapin sundae with fifteen (15) scoops of ice cream with commensurate toppings is the World's Largest. They say to share it with friends. Bah. That's unsanitary.
What I ordered is the ZombieGirl, because it featured several types of ice cream, sherbet and gelato, and because the four (4) individual sugar cone cups shoved into the morass had American flag wraps. Apropos de?
Colonial Cafe, Western Chicago Suburbs
The Colonial Kitchen Sink, as in 'everything AND the kitchen sink'
The Colonial locations are all cheery little places to bring the family, with a menu full of cheery American food. If you have any room leftover after some Macho Nachos or some BBQ Pork Mac & Cheese, and why wouldn't you? Dive into their specialty, ice cream! Choose from about a dozen convoluted and excessive sundae selections, or just hitch 'em up and go straight for the Kitchen Sink! Lifted straight off of the menu:
"All your favorites in one sundae! Two whole bananas, six scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, toppings of chocolate, pineapple and strawberry, covered with whipped cream, toasted almonds and a cherry. Plenty for two... or just you!"
Damn straight it's just for me. I know you stick your spoon in your mouth, and God knows where your mouth's been...
Rainbow Ice Cream, Chicago
Honestly, for a five-scoop cone, this ain't that big...
Founded by a true 'Murrican who was orphaned, pulled up his bootstraps, put his nose to the grindstone, used elbow grease, worked his way up to a point in his life where he could afford ice cream! Apparently, since he never had the opportunity of 'choice' when he was poor, once he got to the ice cream counter he had a hard time picking just one flavor. (I'm not judging him at all, just sayin')
No other ice cream shop would satisfy him, so he started his own, and invented the Rainbow Cone, a 5-scoop monstrosity consisting of Chocolate, Strawberry, Palmer House (cherry vanilla), Pistachio & Orange Sherbet. Located on the South Side of Chicago, where it is always hotter than the rest of the city for various socioeconomic reasons, big spectral ice cream has become a tradition.
I swear, outside from the brief exposition about what caused his predilection about multiple flavors, this happened exactly the way I portrayed it. As I think about it, based on my vast knowledge of Americana, the Rainbow Cone saga could very possibly be the most American tale ever.
Jojo's Milk Bar, Chicago
This somewhat, ok, quite phallic treat brought to you by Jojo's Milk Bar
Jojo's is a more modern restaurant concept than the first few places we've read about. The 'Bar' signifies what you might have hoped - liquor! They promise comfort food diner classics along with some truly excessively topped milkshakes either with or without alcohol. It's a great idea and except for the fact that we were the oldest people in their by a damn sight, it was a lot of fun!
What I've brought you today in photo form is my Nada Milk milkshake topped with cookie crumbles, brownie, banana and oh yeah, coffee and banana liqueurs.
Richard Hammond, if you are seeing this: I know what you're thinking but hey? I thought they were going to slice the banana first. It's all good. No worries.
Maple & Ash, Chicago
As an aside, this steakhouse has locations in Chicago and Scottsdale, Arizona. This is quite typical: if you worked your whole life in Chicago, and got yourself rich, you are 99% likely to retire to Scottsdale, an upscale suburb of Phoenix. Scottsdale is fun.
Anyway, Maple & Ash follows along with Chicago steakhouse tradition by offering decadent desserts, as if anyone needs it after polishing off the traditional 24 ounce Porterhouse, creamed spinach, baked potato, lettuce salad and bread. Since it is a modern take on the steakhouse, they don't just settle for cheesecake or baked Alaska.
Behold, the Maple & Ash Sundae Tower:
Welcome to your very own sundae station
Here in America, it's all about Freedom with a capital F, and that applies to the concept that you and only you know how to make your damn sundae the right way. But, Maple & Ash is far too highbrow to expect patrons to gather around an ice cream bar like it was some sort of feed trough. No, they'll bring the toppings to you!
I truly admire that kind of bending over backwards for my benefit, allowing me to preserve the 7 calories it would have taken me to walk halfway across the room and back, as well as my precious dignity.