Whenever we take a trip up to Matt’s sleepy little hometown, two things invariably happen. 1) He takes great offense at my referring to his town as “sleepy” or “little” and 2) he rattles off a ten page list of people he knows on each street and restaurants he grew up going to that we have to check up on. And he wonders why I call it a small town. He knows EVERYONE who lives there!
No matter how many new restaurants might have opened, we have to run by Jimmy’s, the old Italian place where his childhood babysitter still works. Other favorites include the Dakota, a wild-west themed steakhouse, Friendly’s (a classic one), and Bonanza. I thought I’d heard of all the old favorites, when suddenly, as we drove down another familiar street, Matt suddenly sat up and shrieked. ”King Kone!” he cried, “they’re still there!?!? We have to get one!”
King Kone is a tiny operation, run by, as far as I can tell, two people. The ramshackle, bright red hut is covered with handpainted lettering and in the summer lines stretch far into the parking lot as people come for their daily dose of soft serve. King Kone only does soft serve, but they do it well. The traditional order is a kone in a boat, which can be rolled or dipped in the topping of your choice:
Flavors? Vanilla or chocolate. Toppings? Jimmies or crunch. King Kone keeps things simple. One evening I peered into the shack to see home-style crock pots, the kind you might have on your kitchen counter, keeping sauce warm. Intrigued, I ordered a caramel sundae. The woman ladled hot caramel onto a monstrously tall heap of ice cream, then garnished the dish with a generous wreath of whipped cream. To my dismay, the caramel all slid down the ice cream to the bottom of the dish, and I had to eat about 3 normal sized portions of ice cream and whipped cream before I could even get to it. However, oversized ice cream sundaes are one way to keep this pregnant lady quiet and happy for a while
The price of this generosity? A measly two bucks, and that, I hear, is a price hike:
King Kone is one of those tiny town traditions that I love. I hope they never go away.