Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lyons and hot dogs and shakes, oh my!

Lyons, Colorado is a charming and active small town in between Boulder and Estes Park. Mr. Tart and I have driven through it several times on our way to the mountains, but recently we stopped in at its most famous restaurant: the proudly old-fashioned Lyons Soda Fountain, serving ice cream concoctions, soups and sandwiches, and baked goods.

As the welcome sign indicates, the Food Network has praised their ice cream, so even though snow was falling outside,

we ordered shakes with our meals. Er, malts, that is; the soda jerk (actually the owner--I just like saying the phrase "soda jerk"--it's so evocative of an era that disappeared before I was born) talked us into upgrading to malts. For me, choosing the flavor was the hard part. Look at all the options!

Toto, we weren't in Dairy Queen any more.

Mr. Tart had the chocolate raspberry malt, which boasted real whole fresh raspberries, while I almost chose the lemonade cream but then realized that I needed chocolate: the chocolate brownie malt. The owner told me that because it's so intensely chocolately, he's had to cut down on the amount of syrup he includes because it was too rich to finish! Isn't it gorgeous?

Although we probably could have filled up on ice cream, it was 11:30, so we ordered lunch. After all, when a soda fountain serves one, and only one, type of sandwich (and a whimsically-named one, at that), you may as well try it (and a soda) too!

Mr. Tart enjoyed his Hungry Lyons, one with cheese and one without. He reported that they were similar to sloppy joes but without the tomato-based sauce. I partook of the veggie dog with pickle relish and onion, along with a bowl of Tomato Garden soup that was as thick as chili.

And of course, Mr. Tart had a just-mixed root beer. (Other flavor possibilities included sarsparilla, mint, lime, and strawberry.) The infectious 50s music playing in the background made me want to throw on a poodle skirt and find a sock hop; even Mr. Tart started dancing in his seat!

The restaurant has been there for eight decades, but unfortunately much of it was destroyed in a fire years ago. However, they managed to save the stained glass over the bar, and I think next time we stop there I want to sit right there at the counter to people watch and chat with the owner. Yes, we know that we will


Post a Comment

<< Home