Every July is National Ice Cream Month, and on the last day of July I celebrated with a much-anticipated Chocolate Ice Cream Soda! A year ago, in the July 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine, Jerry’s Soda Shoppe inside the De Soto Pharmacy in Canoga Park was highlighted as having one of America’s Best Ice Cream Treats. Since the day I read that article in the Food Network Magazine, I put Jerry’s Soda Shoppe on my must-visit list. So you could say I have been waiting 365 days to try one of America’s Best Ice Cream Treats, even though it’s located right here in Southern California. Canoga Park is not exactly around the corner, especially dealing with weekday traffic which is when I tend to do my foodie research. Jerry’s Soda Shoppe is closed on Sundays, so that leaves weekends out since I lead tours every Saturday.
My bestie was visiting from out of town and as I was planning our time together, I knew she would be the perfect friend to share this special visit with. She and I used to love making late-night runs to Baskin Robbins for their Peanut Butter ‘n Chocolate ice cream! Now we live five hours apart, so our ice cream visits are obviously less often. We headed up to Canoga Park mid-day on a Friday and arrived in 45 minutes to a strip-mall with a blue awning calling out the location of the De Soto Pharmacy. Walking in, we were greeted with aisles full of drugstore products, gift items, greeting cards, and more. To the left of the pharmacy is Jerry’s Soda Shoppe with a few tables and about 10 barstools around a 1950’s counter, which we promptly hopped up on. We told our server we were there for ice cream, and mentioned the July 2013 Food Network Magazine. Our server Edith placed a framed copy of the article in front of us and said for our first visit, that’s what we should get. So we ordered the Chocolate Ice Cream Soda, plus a caramel sundae with different flavors of ice cream, for a well-rounded experience.
For the Chocolate Ice Cream Soda, we watched as our server at Jerry’s Soda Shoppe covered a glass mug with a layer of warm, melted chocolate that spilled over the rim and handle. After it hardened, she filled it with 3 scoops of Lappert’s vanilla ice cream, seltzer water, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, sprinkles and a pretty red cherry. Thanks to Facebook, this ice cream soda has become the most popular item on the menu. And then the Food Network Magazine hit the stands and now even more people know about this special treat. As you can see in the picture here, I enjoyed every last drop of my Chocolate Ice Cream Soda, and then helped my friend polish off her caramel sundae! I am happily declaring my Chocolate Ice Cream Soda at Jerry’s Soda Shoppe in the De Soto Pharmacy as my best bite of the week!
By Trish Procetto