116 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
By Mrs. Dine O Mite
Sometimes older is better. A shining example of this is the Franklin Fountain, an old time ice cream parlor in Old City Philadelphia. This vintage venture, born in the Summer of 2004, is the baby of brothers Ryan and Eric Berley. The Berley brothers have made painstaking and thoughtful efforts to not only preserve the historical building which houses the Franklin Fountain, but also to transport anyone whosteps through the door, to a much simpler place and time. Think ice cream in an era when women wore corsets and petticoats and cars were started with a crank.
Everything in the Fountain is a throw back: the verbiage and selections on the menu, the mechanical cash register (cash only please, you know they didn't have credit cards at the turn of the century!), the look of the staff (men with crisp white shirts, bow ties and slicked back hair) and all the decor inside (note the ceiling fans above head run on a belt or the antique pink marble counter top).
This place is no modern day ice cream parlor...sure, they have sundaes and cones, but they also have things I've never heard of before, like Phosphates and ice cream flavors such as Hydrox Cookie (old school Cookies and Cream) and Teaberry Gum. The portions are outrageous (just try eating a Mt. Vesuvius on your own) and the ice cream is top notch.
Be prepared for long lines in the warm weather, but if you are patient, you will be rewarded with a truly unique and satisfying ice cream experience. My personal recommendation is the Ice Cream Waffle Sandwich with Maple Walnut Ice Cream and topped with whipped cream (of course). If you order this dish, you'll have to wait. It will take the staff about 5-10 minutes to cook up the warm, sweet waffles that beautifully complement the ice cream they encase...but oh, what a worthwhile wait it is! Your anticipation is followed by pure ice cream perfection!
Another must eat when in Philadelphia. I just advise the you have a light dinner beforehand, because you won't want to share and you won't want to leave a single bite behind when you travel back in time at the Franklin Fountain.