The Art of Sundae and Milkshake Preparation

I’ve written a couple posts that showed off my ice cream sundae-making capabilities, including one centered on a hot-fudge brownie sundae. There was another piece in which I briefly put the spotlight on Barone’s Italian Water Ice & Ice Cream of Drexel Hill, PA. My wife and I returned there this evening.

The experience left me even more in awe of Mr. Barone’s artistry when it comes to putting together sundaes, malts, and I’m sure every other ice cream treat on their long menu. Actually, it’s more like randomly ordered photos of their various offerings plastered all over the outside of the fairly small stand than it is a menu. Although they have one of those too.

Barone’s sits at the end of a small strip of shops. 

Barone’s is in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, a western suburb of Philadelphia.
Turkey Hill’s soft serve is used by a number of places in the region, including the Phillies’ stadium. While I wouldn’t mistake it for genuine frozen custard, it’s at least moderately dense and has discernible vanilla flavor, making it at least a little above average for soft serve ice cream.

Based on my admittedly limited observations over perhaps five or six stops there over the past couple seasons, soft-serve ice cream – made by Turkey Hill – seems to be their most popular product, although they also offer hard ice cream and Philly-style Italian water ice. 

Aside from my personal experiences, I’ve spent a little time looking at photos of Barone’s offerings online. Some of them, especially the various banana splits they serve, truly are works of art in my opinion. All of the ingredients are organized and proportioned perfectly.

Some of the well-known frozen custard stands of the Milwaukee area are known for making intricately layered sundaes. While Barone’s soft serve isn’t as good as genuine frozen custard, the man I assume is Mr. Barone doesn’t take a back seat to the sundae-makers along Lake Michigan. 

He is generally in the back preparing something for his next lucky customer while the woman who may or may not be his wife takes and relays orders; then grabs and presents the finished product. 

You can see the back of the ‘artist’ who makes Barone’s sundaes, milkshakes and a host of other ice cream treats.
I’ve yet to take advantage of Barone’s interesting-looking selection of sodas. I’ll have to try a root beer float at some point.

I’ve never ordered anything there that was less than stellar. The vanilla malt I highlighted in that earlier post was unquestionably the best vanilla malt I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a decent number of them. Every ingredient was perfectly measured to achieve greatness in the finished product. 

The greatest vanilla malt I’ve ever had – during a previous visit to Barone’s earlier this spring.

I ordered a large hot-fudge brownie sundae tonight. My wife initially said she wasn’t having anything, but wound up getting a chocolate-covered frozen banana; one of her favorite treats going back at least to the days when we watched the first few seasons of Arrested Development. And if you’ve watched it too, you’ll understand the reference. 

“There is always money in the banana stand.”

My sundae was, as expected, perfectly prepared. There was no skimping on any of the ingredients, but they were all in proportion to each other, so nothing overwhelmed anything else. I’m reminded of my comments about there being a lack of proportion between the cheese and meat on the steak in my last post. There was no analogous situation at Barone’s.

My hot-fudge brownie sundae. It’s not possible to see all of the ingredients beneath the whipped cream and top layer of brownie, but there was plenty of ice cream in there, and as you’ll see below, lots of delicious hot fudge too.

I’m pretty sure I’ve also posted on a soft-serve stand called Richman’s, which is a similar distance from me, but in the opposite direction from Barone’s. My wife and I were semi-regulars at Richman’s for some years, and I still hold them in high regard. They put out a good product. But they don’t prepare their sundaes and shakes quite as perfectly as what I have experienced at Barone’s. So we’ve been heading in that direction since first trying them a year or two ago. It’s actually nice to have both options. Richman’s is right off I-95. I can stop there when I get off the highway if I am craving ice cream.

On a side note, we went grocery shopping after leaving Barone’s. I spotted this 20-plus pound brisket in the meat section. That’s a huge brisket to find in a supermarket, at least in these parts. It would probably take me comfortably over 24 hours to smoke that based on my past brisket-smoking experiences.

No; I didn’t buy it.


I’ve got my next cheesesteak lined up for late this week. The place I’ll be visiting, which is on the Jersey side of the Delaware River, is another of the area’s hottest steak shops among those who care about such things. They also serve promising-looking pizza I hope to try.     

Published by BZ Maestro

I live outside of Philadelphia and fairly food-obsessed. Thank you for taking the time to share in that obsession. If you enjoyed this post or the blog generally, please consider clicking the "like" button and signing up as a follower.

3 thoughts on “The Art of Sundae and Milkshake Preparation

  1. Oh, where are the sundaes of yesteryear? I haven’t had one in … decades. I used to make them often. Now, I don’t seem to burn calories as I used to. I rarely even eat ice cream. Thank you for giving me a trip to one of the more socially acceptable parts of my youth. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The ice cream shop in Sharon, WI makes shakes and malts with the customer’s choice of either soft serve or hard pack. Now that Barone’s has hard pack maybe they’ll offer that option as well. I rarely eat ice cream anymore but maybe once or twice a summer I’ll enjoy a chocolate malt.

    Turkey Hill won a vanilla ice cream taste test on either America’s Test Kitchen or Cook’s Country a couple of seasons ago.

    Liked by 1 person

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