I am surprised it took me so long to hear about Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland – it is supposedly a Bay Area institution. And of course, once I found out I was on a mission to go on a food ‘venture. Ria and I got ourselves all fired up by looking at the photos on Yelp and the Fenton’s website (do check out & drool). The strategy was laid out – which sundaes we were going to eat and how we were going to share the entree so we would have plenty of room for ice cream. The whole week was spent obsessing about the dream sundaes.
We begged and prevailed and Papa took us one Sunday evening across the bridge for our great ice cream adventure. At Fentons, we were greeted by spectacular crowds and immediately the strategy changed. Dinner at Little Shin Shin restaurant (supposedly the best Chinese restaurant in Oakland) down the street and takeout sundaes afterwards.
Finally the moment of truth came, we ordered a junior black & tan. While we waited, Ria and I walked around and gawked greedily at other people’s cartoonishly large sundaes. Ria even before eating a bite kept saying, “Let’s come back with (insert name of friend)”. Ok, stop already. She definitely possesses some of my more annoying traits.
It wasn’t great ice cream. Maybe the giant expectations I had ruined it for me. Great to look at, but unfortunately not great in the mouth. Maybe, we are spoiled by Bi-Rite and homemade ice cream. I was so ready to be won over but wasn’t. Ria, on the other hand had stars in her eyes and could not believe that she was being allowed to eat so much ice cream. That in itself I think was enough for her.
As we drove away, I was thinking how Fenton’s is everything that is good and bad about America all in one sundae. I swore never to eat ice cream again (yeah, right). That brought to mind Berthillon in Paris where they give you such tiny scoops that you leave and 10 years later you are still dreaming about their ice cream. While I was waxing philosophical on ice cream, Ria prattled on and on about how much she loved Fenton’s and wanted to go back, maybe for her birthday party. I guess for some of us, size is everything.