By Sunday, it had all the hallmarks of a lost weekend. Sorting through graphic novels had turned, as it always seems to, into rereading them. I was restless. I wanted to do something. Rereading ElfQuest all weekend was not going to satisfy that urge. So I dropped an e-mail to The Lurker and Perfect Tommy asking them if they wanted to go birding.
The trip to Sandy Hook provided a perfect excuse to wander all over Monmouth County for an afternoon. When we were ready for dinner (actually, first we wanted to go for ice cream, then dinner got added on to the program), we started looking for likely places. When Jersey Freeze crossed our ken, Perfect Tommy started raving about it having been on tv and so forth. We turned around and decided to check it out.
Jersey Freeze is famous up and down the east coast for its soft-serve ice cream; it is even featured on Ice Cream Unwrapped on The Food Network. Dinner was a more immediate concern, however, so we went into the wing of the building that promised food.
A glance at the blackboard behind the counter showed a mixed romaine salad on offer, a good sign. The Lurker and I ordered burgers, while Perfect Tommy got a chicken cheddar sandwich. The burgers were real handmade patties, good and juicy. My bacon burger was topped with three big strips (slabs, actually) of the best-looking bacon I’ve seen in a restaurant for a long time. The buns were real. The fries weren’t greasy. Perfect Tommy, our most severe restaurant critic, said his sandwich was very good. We hadn’t expected much from the meal, to be honest, since Jersey Freeze is a humble sort of roadside place and its fame is for ice cream, not food. We were very pleasantly surprised, however.
When we sidled up to the ice cream counter for dessert, however, things took a turn. There were only four flavors of ice cream listed, black raspberry being one. Unfortunately, they were out of the black raspberry. Forced to choose between eating famous ice cream and eating black raspberry ice cream, Perfect Tommy chose the latter, so off we went on our quest. What ensued was a session of wandering all over central Jersey while trying to remember the locations of ice cream places we had eaten at in the past. We finally ended up at a Friendly’s, which is probably some kind of heresy. Perfect Tommy didn’t care, though, because he got his black raspberry. I had a pistachio cone and The Lurker opted to be good. In any case, I have a feeling that I’ll be back at Jersey Freeze in the future.