--By Diane Chang, Bon Appétit
Nothing takes me back to the hot summers of my childhood, sitting poolside with grade school friends, like a decadent ice cream sundae. The sundae has a place right alongside grilled cheese sandwiches, root beer floats, and tater tots--treats that have crossed over successfully from my childhood into grown-up guilty pleasures. I can still enjoy a really really good sundae with really really good toppings. Case in point: The best ice cream sundae I ever had was at age 23, at a mom and pop shop called Cafe Home in Los Angeles.
The cafe is situated in the heart of the city's Korea Town, and it serves a Korean-American dessert called patbingsu. A bowl of shaved is topped with green tea and strawberry ice cream, sweet adzuki bean paste, fresh fruit, cereal, soybean powder, chocolate syrup, mochi (glutinous rice flour balls), condensed milk, and whipped cream. Patbingsu is over the top. And it's fantastic.
Related: Supermarket Standoff: Ice Cream Sandwiches
We asked Facebook and Twitter friends to describe their best ice cream sundae experiences to us, and the number of responses was astounding. Here are some of our favorites:
"The Punchline Sundae"
Debra Smith says, "Ok. Go ahead and laugh... My all-time favorite ice cream sundae is the Dairy Queen Waffle Bowl Turtle Sundae. Lots of hard shell chocolate, caramel, pecans, whipped "topping" (why can't they use real whipped cream???!!!) Delish!"
Dairy Queen; various locations
"The Breakfast Sundae"
Sherry Balinski Monaghan says, "'6 A.M. Special' brioche french toast, maple-bacon ice cream, caramelized apples at Michael Symon's Lola in Cleveland!"
Lola; 2058 E. 4th Street, Cleveland, OH; (732-548-5652)
See Also: The Ultimate Labor Day Barbecue Menu
"The Tropical Vacation Sundae"
Tressa K Pearson-Franks says, "At Seastar in Bellevue WA. Banana Spring Roll Sundae: A crispy fried banana spring roll, seasoned with cinnamon and allspice, served with creamy vanilla-orange caramel swirled ice cream with fresh pineapple and warm caramel sauce. The best thing ever."
Sea Star Restaurant; 205 108th Ave NE. Suite 100, Bellevue, WA; (425-456-0010)
"The Savory Sundae"
@MealMuse says, "Vanilla soft-serve with caramel and sea salt. Picco Pizzeria in Larkspur, CA. Simple but AH-mazing."
Pizzeria Picco; 316 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA; (415-945-8900)
Related: 12 Burger Recipes for Labor Day
"The Farmers' Market Sundae"
@britcdancechef says, "The hot fudge sundae at Blue Plate Oysterette! The malt balls and homemade whip were the kickers!"
Note: The restaurant tells us that the sundae consists of "vanilla bean and triple chocolate ice cream, malted milk balls, whipped cream, cured cherries (reconstituted dried cherries from the farmers' market)."
Blue Plate Oysterette; 1355 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA; (310-576-3474)
Did we miss the best sundae ever? Tell us!
More from Bon Appétit:
Splitting the Check is for Teenagers
16 Secret Supermarket Ingredients Chefs Love
10 Spots for Fantastic Daily Specials
10 Places for Great Bar Food
- 3 Good-for-You Restaurant Foods
Photo of the Patbingsu at Cafe Home in Los Angeles by: m kasahara / CC BY 2.0