Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Chief

Every region seems to have a favorite locally-owned food shack or drive-through. In our area of Northern Indiana, it is The Chief, a homemade ice cream stand in the downtown, open for business between mid-spring and Labor Day. This year, it opened for late-afternoon/evening business on April 15th. It's run by schoolteachers, so the longer summertime hours can't begin until school is out. Once summer vacation begins, however, they open at noon and close at 9:30 PM, except for Sundays, when they open at 2:00, after they all go to church.

On opening day, my facebook news feed was filled with people bragging about how long they'd stood in line and what flavor they got. I have about fifty friends who "became a fan" of the Chief on FB also. The above picture shows what the line was like on April 15th, and while that's definitely an opening day line, you never walk right up to a window, even in mid-June, when the novelty wears off.

Last week, when the girls and I drove by and saw a line like THIS, we whipped the van into the gravel parking lot to take advantage of the short wait. My older two children were both born in late summer/early fall, so I spent many a summertime month in maternity clothes. I had a hard time resisting the Chief during those summers. I think it's safe to say that I had a dip of lemon in a waffle cone more days than I didn't. In those days, the owners' teenaged son, Josh, was one of the main employees. I'd look for his window, he'd slide it open, grin and say, "Lemon?" Today, the owner himself took a break from filling the ice machine to come over and speak to me while this year's batch of teenagers filled our order. He marveled over the size of my children, remembering the summers before they were born when I stopped in daily. I still only order lemon.

There are places I go, where I only order the same thing over and over again, because I know I'll love it. Do you do that or do you try something different every time? The rest of my family usually gets one of about three tried and true favorites. On this day, Sophia got Mint Chip...

...and Ava got Cookies and Cream.

Brooks usually gets the Peanut Butter ice cream and Michael... If he's really holding back and just getting a cone, he'll get butter pecan. But if he's getting his favorite, it's the Turtle Sundae. Also good is the Coconut Almond Crunch Sundae. They have excellent toasted coconut ice cream. In the sundae, there is some hot fudge involved and topped with an almond cookie. Oh my.

Next time you're in the "Michiana" area, pop in and find your favorite flavor. Anyone in the tri-state area will be able to give you directions.

1 comment:

  1. What a great story!
    I usually do try to order something new and unusual, but I make an exception for my childhood ice cream haunt: black raspberry all the way.
    And at the beach, I can't bear the thought of not getting peanutbutter and chocolate twist.

    hunh. Maybe I am more attached to my ice cream flavors than I thought!

    And now, at 11:20pm, I WANT SOME. so thanks, Deanna Beth, thanks a lot.


I write my posts imagining that I am already in the middle of a conversation with you. I hope you will comment and be a part of the conversation.