The Guilty Pleasure: The entire store. But mostly the milkshakes. Where To Get It: Bertie's Vintage, 4041 East Thomas Road (at 40th Street) The Price: $5.25 What It Really Costs: Just went up a size from all the decadence? You're in luck: They have swell clothes for sale, too.
I have two well-documented weaknesses. Go through the Guilty Pleasures archive, and you'll see that I have a massive sweet tooth. Go through my closet, and you'll see I love swanky retro and vintage clothing. Then someone told me that there is a place in Arcadia (truthfully, a bit outside Arcadia, down on 40th Street and Thomas; close enough for me) that sells both. Even better, they serve up the best shakes my friend has ever had. My waistline and my wallet both quaked with fear.
Bertie's is a few shops rolled into one cozy package. There's a small but well-curated selection of vintage (or at least vintage-looking) clothing and accessories, and a retro candy shop. The centerpiece, though, is the soda fountain counter. My friend was right: These are some of the best damn shakes around. The secret at Bertie's is simple and ingenious: In addition to ice cream and milk, they're spiked with a dash of Torani syrup for a serious flavor boost. While my friend's favorite is the Sophia Loren (vanilla ice cream, Big Red soda, cinnamon syrup, and crushed Red Hots candies), so far my favorite has been the James Dean (marble fudge and vanilla ice creams, with Kahlúa and caramel syrups). I'm trying to figure out what to have on my next visit. I may just have to start at the top of the menu and systematically work my way down the whole list.