Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dreaming of Dari-Crest

Today marks the beginning of my seventh week of hospitalization and summer will soon be over, and I have yet to make a pilgrimage to Dari Crest. Maybe it's because I still remember so fondly those visits we used to make to Dairy Queen as a special treat on the way home from visiting Grampa Cam -- (my brother and I would even playDairy Queen at his house, pretending to order from and to serve each other, opening and closing the louvered window on his back porch to add just that soupcon of reality!) -- but, as an adult today, soft-serve just seems so, well, juvenile, doesn't it? Super-premium ice cream, sorbet, and gelato all have their time and place, but, I don't care, I love soft-serve anyway, and was surprised to read a few years ago about a home-grown original only a mile or so from that old Dairy Queen we used to go to in Latonia.

Cincinnati CityBeat had a great article in June 2003 called Chillin' at the Dairy Bar. It showcased the variety of independent dairy bars operating in the Greater Cincinnati area and, although I had been to Putz's several times before, it was the first time I'd ever heard of Dari-Crest. One Wednesday night that summer, my friend Robin allowed herself to be talked into driving there and, after I'd given her only one wrong turn, we found ourselves looking at the old stand, freshly painted purple and pink, on the edge of Latonia, Kentucky. Soon we were standing at the window, perusing the overwhelming list of flavors, like nothing I'd ever seen in soft-serve. There were twenty-four flavors: not only vanilla and chocolate, but including maple nut, espresso, pistachio and crème de menthe. Thinking it might be a long time between visits (and has it ever--three years ago and counting!) and after tasting a few flavors, I ordered a sugar cone of maple nut to eat at the pretty purple picnic table on the grassy edge near the parking lot and a "Shake-a-Sundae", in which, yes, a shake is topped by a sundae in various flavors, but mine was black-raspberry shake with a pineapple sundae--a real treat!

Next time I'm taking my camera!

Dari-Crest
3024 Madison Avene
Covington, KY 41015
(859) 261-4709

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