$7 at Hank's Ice Cream

Where: Hank's Ice Cream, 9291 South Main, 713-665-5103

What $7 will get you: We tried to utilize the full expense allotment. We failed. The banana split comes in at $5.50, which includes tax and three toppings. We went for more toppings, but the girl behind the counter refused to charge for them. We threw in a can of root beer, listed on the menu as 75 cents. She insisted on making the bill an even $6.

Hank's has been serving its famous homemade ice cream out of the same small, cozy location for 24 years, and some of the patrons seem to have been coming that long. The most popular flavor by far is the butter pecan, so we went with that, strawberry and cookies-n-cream for our three scoops.

In addition to chocolate syrup, whipped cream and, of course, a split banana, the dish comes with pineapple and strawberry sauces -- the kind of sweet deliciousness that makes you sick in most cases but not, for some reason, at Hank's.

There was a cherry for each scoop to add an extra childish (and possibly little-girlish) smile to our face, which made our dining companion, staff writer Paul Knight, perhaps an extra level of uncomfortable as he was forced to sit and observe our 15-minute ordeal after quickly finishing his milkshake (which received his highest compliments).

The small TV in the corner might have been some help to Paul, but it was playing some sort of infomercial, so after exhausting his fancy Blackberry he reached for the stack of classified ads behind him. As we had taken the only plastic table, a middle-aged couple wearing matching yellow T-shirts sat against the wall, facing us as they licked their matching vanilla cones.

The butter pecan lived up to the hype. The strawberry was soft and candy-sweet. At that point we started feeling a little nauseous - but it was the happy nausea of a spoiled child with still a scoop to go.

"Wait, is this all for seniors?" Paul wondered, going through one of the booklets. "Oh yeah, it is." He crossed his legs, grabbed a new one and began gushing over the price of a welding class, $120 a pop.

At this point things get a little hazy from all the ice cream, but we're sure the cookies-n-cream was just as good as all the rest. And yes, this spoiled our dinner.

Recommended? Mmmmmmm... Sorry, what was that?

Bonus point: The people behind the counter seem as excited as you are about all the wonderful ice cream goodness.

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