Soda Fountain

I had to share my photo of this old time soda fountain we found while circling the John Deere pavilion , looking for an RV friendly parking spot in Moline, Illinois. I have several iPhone apps I use along the way to point us toward odd roadside attractions, notable road food, and major sites, but none of them mentioned this local institution that has been in business since 1908.

We poked our noses in to see about their homemade candies, but once we saw the pretty lunch counter, the deep carved wood paneling, the intricate ceiling, the mosaic floor and the Tiffany lights we couldn't resist sitting down and ordering a late lunch. The kids' meals came with their choice of a phosphate for a drink. This was new to us: a flavored soda. They each chose vanilla to go with their grilled cheese. The fresh, reasonably-sized sandwiches left us plenty of room to contemplate dessert.

Jane and Michael Stern of Roadfood.com were quoted on the menu as saying that Lagomarciano's has the best hot fudge on the planet, possibly even the solar system. Indeed the menu told a story that the founder bought the recipe from a traveling candy salesman for $25 though his wife was irate that he paid so much but now it is beloved all over the area, if not the solar system.

Well, being from Michigan and firmly understanding that Sanders' hot fudge is the best, I needed to investigate this claim. The first thing I noted was that they serve their sundaes with the hot fudge on the side in a little pitcher so it doesn't melt the ice cream and so you can distribute the fudge as you wish. Good idea! The sauce was thin and dark. I will say it had a satisfyingly strong cocoa flavor. I really hate to complain about what was a delicious five-star hot fudge sundae made with house-made ice cream, whipped cream, roasted nuts, and a cherry. But if we are evaluating whether it is the best in the solar system, I will say that is was too thin and too sweet. Of course, I am comparing it to the best in the universe: thick, carmelly, chocolately, Sanders hot fudge. Note to self, keep an eye out for little hot fudge pitchers. I know just what to put in them.

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