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Another Time

Rosenberg soda fountain offers nostalgia to diners.

Meanwhile, my dining companion was eating his bacon cheeseburger so quickly, I had to stop and remind him to save me at least a few bites. I was almost surprised to find that although the patty itself was cooked much more thoroughly than I would have preferred — almost well done — it managed to remain appropriately oozy throughout, the complete opposite of the patty melt I'd had a week earlier. The juices from the half-pound, hand-formed patty saturated the thick bun, which happily stood up to the tremendous amount of cheese and meat that was straining to get out. Perhaps there's hope for the patty melt after all (with help from some cheese and onions, of course).

Afterward, I idly dipped one salty French fry after another into my Coke float — godfather of those Coke floats, a classic Coke float contains Coca-Cola syrup mixed with ice cream — and watched the soda jerks at work, mixing up one shake after another in the three-slotted Hamilton Beach machine on the counter. It was a fancy new machine, but another one — colored a gleaming sea-foam green that looked as if it dated from the 1950s — was still being put to use further down the counter. Everything old is new again.
_____________________

On my last visit to Another Time, I didn't want to leave. Part of that stemmed from the fact that I'd eaten so much I didn't want to hop off my barstool at the soda fountain. But an equally large part was the calm, comforting embrace of the place: older ladies behind the soda fountain who treat you like their own kids, the warm vibe emanating from tables filled with happy diners, the homespun look of the place that made it seem as if time had never passed.

Memory lane: a shake and a chili dog.
Troy Fields
Memory lane: a shake and a chili dog.

Location Info

Map

Another Time Soda Fountain

800 Third St.
Rosenberg, TX 77471

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Outside Houston

Details

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

Half-pound burger & fries: $6.95

Chili cheese hot dogs & fries: $6.50

Patty melt & fries: $7

Steak fingers & fries: $7

Phosphates: $2

Banana split: $5.25

Shakes: $4

Malts: $4.25

Another Time Soda Fountain

800 Third St., Rosenberg, 281-232-2999.

Only our clothes and chirping cell phones were anachronisms in this place. That and the canisters of whipped cream the soda jerks were whizzing onto sundaes — for a place that makes everything itself, it was odd and jarring to see canned whipped cream in use when it's so easy to make yourself (even Starbucks does it, after all).

It was raining softly that afternoon and freight trains were rumbling steadily by outside. If you sit at the soda fountain, you can watch them on the railroad tracks less than a block away. "They should offer train specials," my dining companion joked. "Free scoops of ice cream to the first person who calls out 'Train!'" I laughed, thinking of the bingo hall atmosphere this might bring to the otherwise tranquil restaurant, with its simple blue plate specials and homemade phosphates.

While we sat and took it all in, we saw another of the enormous banana splits being made and delivered to an excited little boy, perhaps eight or nine years old, at the bar. His mother had been busily explaining to him beforehand what a soda fountain was, what it did, what things used to be like in the decades before soda fountains went the way of tailfinned cars. I don't think the little boy cared; all he could concentrate on was that banana split.

As it was finally placed in front of him — a knife and fork in both hands like a soldier in a mess hall — he hesitated for a moment, throwing a glance at his little brother. He took a cherry off the banana split and put it on top of his little brother's single scoop of ice cream. The tiny boy grinned, while his big brother looked bashful for a second before tearing into his banana split with abandon.

And therein lies the appeal of Another Time Soda Fountain: You might just walk away with a little bit of its good-natured attitude in addition to a belly full of burgers and shakes.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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4 comments
Cory Martin
Cory Martin

I'm really crossing my fingers that businesses like this get the engine running on revitalizing downtown Rosenberg. The strip mall developments near the freeway are helping, but I've always felt it could only really shine if folks like these took pride in the town. I'll definitely be checking this place out.

Kelli
Kelli

Man o man, I wish there was somewhere in town like that, I think the closest places would be Avalon Diner or Yale St. Grill......mmmmm just thinking about a shake and burger like their's gets my stomach growling.

Tom_byron
Tom_byron

What is your going rate for a verbal bj? "a grape phosphate, in my case — is the purest, cleanest-tasting soft drink I'd ever had. It's enough to turn you off canned soft drinks for good" I guess most HP readers must be morons.

ndrew
ndrew

This is the only restaurant where I can justify ordering an ice cream shake with a hamburger--the satisfaction is worth the calories! Just be warned that they close at 5; we drove out there from Houston for dinner once and were so disappointed that we had to drive out again the next week for lunch.

 
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