Sunday, July 19, 2009

What's Up at Fentons

Last night my friend Joe and I finally went to see "Up" the animated movie, in 3-D. It was a beautiful film, with some fun moments, but waaaaay too sentimental. What's up with the people at Pixar? Do they want to be the next Hallmark Channel?

But one of the interesting moments in the film is the leads' reference to Fentons' Creamery, the Oakland ice cream institution on Piedmont Avenue. So after the movie, I suggested that we head to Fentons for some ice cream sundaes. It just seemed appropriate (or I'm such a sucker for subliminal messages implanted in films).

Actually, the story goes that the team behind "Up" would gather every Friday at Fentons as a way to celebrate the week. (Pixar's Emeryville offices are not too far from Piedmont Avenue where Fentons is.)

Fentons actually celebrates its 115th birthday today. So it's been around for a very, very long time. I remember first going to Fentons when I first arrived in Berkeley and my college friends (who were students at UC Berkeley) took me to Fentons for some ice cream. I'm pretty sure I was drunk out of my mind because I barely remember the place.

Fentons is still popular with the college crowd, and there were many Berkeley students or former Berkeley students there last night. One thing's for sure, there is always a crowd. Since I live in the neighborhood, my bus passes by Fentons all the time and there's always people waiting outside for a table.

The place serves typical diner food, but Joe and I were there for the ice cream and I guess the nostalgia since there are definitely better ice cream places around these days. But still looking over the menu was a bit overwhelming trying to decide what to get.

Joe took the lead and created his own sundae by ordering mango with coconut ice creams mixed with caramel and topped off with whipped cream. Joe loved the mango ice cream.

I saw that they had homemade pies so I ordered a slice. This is the peach pie. Sorry to say that it was kind of bad. It wasn't really the crust or the peaches, but it was the gelatinous filling. It was so sticky and goey that I couldn't finish eating it.

Along with my pie, I ordered a "junior" size of one of Fentons' classics, the Black and Tan Sundae. It's coffee ice cream (which I'm loving these days) filled with chocolate and caramel sauce. It's exactly what you think it is.

Here's a stuff animal of "Dug," the dog character from "Up," so you know the movie has really helped out business for Fentons, not that it really needed much help. I loved the dog character in the movie, he was sooo cute.

Fentons' ice cream may not be very special, but it's a very special place in many people's hearts.

Fentons Creamery, 4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. PH: 510.658.7000.


foodhoe said...

awww, I loved the movie! single guy, it's Disney. Disney movies always start out with a huge loss for the protagonist - think dumbo, bambi, nemo... I like your lead in tho! I love Fenton's although it's better to later to avoid the wild child amped up on sugar element.

Kim said...

I can't believe you can eat like this and stay so slim!

Mrs. L said...

I had never heard of Fentons until I saw the movie and started reading about it. Loved the movie (sap and all :)

Unknown said...

I teared up when I saw Fenton's in UP. Such a great movie. I love how Pixar represented the Bay Area in the movie. =) Your treats looked delish.

Donn R Hayes II said...

I loved Fenton's! I guess you went on a bad night because a Black and Tan is nothing but the best! I am actually on tonight hoping that I can find a recipe for their caramel sauce because I live in Alaska now. Not going to be getting me some anytime soon thats for sure. Thanks for the memories though because I love that place!