Saturday's VendrediFriday adventure to glamorous Teaneck, NJ included a stop at Bischoff's, a blast-from-the-past ice cream parlor / candy store on Cedar Lane. Although it looks like it was made over with a drop ceiling and some bad wallpaper a few decades ago, it doesn't seem to have changed much since it opened in 1934. It's that old-school kind of place that doesn't really exist anymore--at least on the east coast.
We sat at the counter so we could watch the servers in their bow ties and paper hats make everyone's mid-afternoon treats. I couldn't decide between two childhood favorites. Would I go for a scoop of butter crunch? I LOVED that stuff when I was a kid, as our local dairy's version was kind of crunchy-caramel-booger-like, which oddly appealed to my 5-year-old sensibilities. Or would I go for a root beer float, which my Grandpa Krenz used to make me when we'd arrive for our visits. Then I thought...hmmm, why not break out of the box and combine the two? I ordered.
I watched the sweet old man--who's probably worked there since 1954--make a REAL root beer float. First the squirt of root beer syrup, then a little seltzer from the old-school tap, then a scoop of the butter crunch ice cream, topped up with more seltzer. Stir. He placed it in front of me, and I tasted.
Wow. Buttery goodness. Completely insane. Best. Float. Ever. Sorry grandpa. While nothing will ever replace my memory of Breyer's vanilla and A&W root beer in the Scottie glass sipped through a paper Carnival straw, this new experience is the adult, grown up, 4-star Michelin version.
Coincidentally, Bischoff's is celebrating its 75th anniversary on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, so go for a visit!