Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tom's Dairy Freeze (aka What I Did This Summer)

Remember the first week of school, how they'd always make you write that stupid "What I Did This Summer" essay and share it with the class?

e.g. THIS SUMMER I PLAYED OUTSIDE AND WENT SWIMMING AND ATE POPSICLES AND KILLED ANTS WITH A MAGNIFYING GLASS AND MY MOM & DAD GOT DIVORCED SO I GOT 2 BIRTHDAY PARTIES AND I WISH I HAD A NEW BARBIE DOLL.

Actually, that sounds like a pretty fun summer!

Anyway, if I were to write one of those essays, come September 2010, it would go something like this:

THIS SUMMER I WENT ON SOME TRIPS AND THEY WERE FUN AND ALMOST EVERY NIGHT I ATE ICE CREAM FROM TOM'S DAIRY FREEZE WHERE THEY HAVE THE BEST ICE CREAM (AND ICE CREAM CONCOCKTIONS) IN THE WORLD.


Tom's Dairy Freeze is a place in my 'hood - mid-way between Park Lawn & Royal York on The Queensway - and I love it! I'm not the only one, either - online, there are tons of uniformly positive reviews of Tom's and at night, in the summer, there's always a huge line-up, right up 'til midnight (closing time).

Obviously, the quality of the product they serve is what keeps people coming back - the ice cream is unbelievable! (No offense, Dairy Queen, but Tom's treats are infinitely superior, at least in my opinion). They have everything you'd expect from an ice cream parlour - delectable soft serve (chocolate, vanilla or swirly, twirly combo!), choice of cones (waffle or regular), sundaes, banana splits - they even have a version of DQ's Blizzard - the Super Shake.

Actual conversation between Poop & the obviously disdainful (though less disgruntled than most teenaged food service workers) cashier:

Poop: What's a 'Super Shake'?

Cashier: Oh! It's, uh, sorta like a McFlurry or a Blizzard - only - obviously - way, WAY better!

I recently tried their 'Super Shake' - the Smarties variety - and it was awesome!

Note for my American readers: When I say "Smarties" I am referring to the colourful candy-shelled/chocolate-in-the-middle Canadian version - not the repulsive, uber-sweet, comes-in-a-roll U.S. version.

Contrary to their wholly reasonable prices, Tom's portion sizes are HUGE! If you are inspired to visit Tom's, after reading this glowing recommendation, be forewarned & repeat after me: ALWAYS ORDER SIZE SMALL. My Super Shake was a "Small" and it still lasted a week, in the freezer, serving as dessert for several nights in a row!

Tom's evokes nostalgia - it's like throw-back to a simpler time. It says right on its sign that it opened in 1969, which is entirely believable - it doesn't look like it's been renovated or updated at all in the time since - which is a good thing! Real retro! And it's not just the look of the building, it's the whole 'feel' of the place.

I fondly remember trips to the ice cream parlour with my dad, on summer evenings, when I was growing up; I usually had a small cone or a small sundae, except on special occasions, like the last day of school, when I was allowed to order anything I wanted (which often resulted in a tummy ache, but the memories are still fond).


Tom's is a "drive up" spot - no interior seating - you park, walk up to the window & get in line to place your order (don't worry, even though there's always a line, they are really fast!). Then, you can hop back in your car & take your treat home or you can have a seat at one of Tom's many picnic tables (which are almost always packed with smiling, ice-cream-filled people).


Tom's only takes cash. And you might be surprised by the scene that greets you - even though it's always busy, the many customers are happy, milling about, eating their ice cream - no petty arguments or nasty glares - just dairy-fueled joy!

Hey - I just had a thought - perhaps if everyone on the globe had access to ice cream like they serve at Tom's, we'd be able to achieve some semblance of world peace!! Unless all those stupid war-mongers are lactose-intolerant. Boo. Oh well. It was an idea.

Anyway - if you're in Toronto, I highly recommend Tom's Dairy Freeze!

P.S. Every single picture/image in this post was taken from the internet without the owner's permission. Think of it as an homage, rather than a theft.