When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Bertie's of Arcadia Location: 4041 East Thomas Road Open: Two months Eats: Ice cream, milk shakes, sundaes, snacks. Price: Between $3 and $8 per person.
A milkshake called the Marilyn Monroe, candy by the pound, 1960s leopard-skin pants? If your heart just skipped a retro beat, you'll want to pop into Bertie's of Arcadia, the way-cool home of Trejsi Mulac, who named the shop after her grandmother.
Opened in October in a strip mall at 40th Street and Thomas, Mulac's got her retro-riffic vision down tight. Sure, the vintage shopping is fab (and priced right), but Bertie's soda fountain is the real show-stopper.
The menu features over 15 kinds of ice cream in addition to sundaes, shakes, malts, home made sweet treats, Italian sodas, phosphate sodas, and fountain sodas such as Hires Root Beer and RC Cola (see the full menu at the end of this post).
Mulac's 12 signature shakes ($5.25), named after movie stars and television shows from the '50s and '60s, are as fun to read about on the menu as they are to slurp. A Sophia Loren ("A cat on a hot tin roof, meow.") made with fire red cream soda phosphate, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon syrup, and whip cream sprinkled with red hots was as flavorful and feisty as the notable Italian actress.
For those after a homemade sweet treat, glass cake stands filled with daily changing delights like fresh-baked brownies, cake pops, lemon "twinkles", whoopie pies, and cookies, make for some tough decision-making. That is, if Bertie's candy shop, called the Sugar Shack (think Sugar Babies, Bit-O-Honeys, and Chiclets), hasn't already been raided.
And just to make sure the 50's soda fountain picture is complete, Bertie's does a daily soup special as well.
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With its soda fountain, candy shop, vintage clothing store, and cosmetics counter, Bertie's small space could easily be a confusing and cluttered experience. Not so. Mulac keeps an organized and tidy house. One where the retail section is just as easygoing and peruse-worthy as the soda fountain with its television tuned to classic movies from the '50s.
But it's probably best to experience Bertie's for yourself. And if you go, don't bother searching for those 1960s leopard skin pants -- they're all mine.
See the full menu on the next page.