Nostalgic in Houston: Desserts of Our Youth

Yesterday we remembered some of our favorite nostalgic Houston dishes. After dinner at the old San Francisco Steakhouse (remember the trapeze?), we could go home for some Blue Bell Caramel Turtle Fudge -- or we could head out for dessert. We sure loved that banana pudding at the Black Eyed Pea, or the flavored popcorn from the Corn Popper on Post Oak, but here are a few more of our favorite nostalgic sweet shops.

Petitfours from Moeller's Bakery I stopped by Moeller's Bakery last week and it transported me to my youth. Moeller's was *the* bakery back then, where everyone got their birthday cakes, their petitfours, their gingerbread men. I picked up cookies for Mother's Day and snuck an extra in for me... The cookie was just as delicious, frosted with sugar, glory, and bits of heaven. That cookie tastes like childhood.

Swenson's Ice Cream Baskin-Robbins was around, sure, but we always went to Swenson's - after school, a neighborhood bike ride, or softball games at the Y. The best part was pretending like you might choose something new, even though we always chose the most beautiful flavor of all: Bubble Gum. Don't like big gumball rocks in your dessert? There's always orange sherbet. Yes sir, we loved Swenson's right up to the moment that Marvin Zindler shut it down for slime in the ice machine. The Birthday Sundae at Farrell's Housed in the bottom floor of the Galleria was Ferrell's, a large restaurant that served incredible sundaes -- and they were free for the birthday kids. OK, so maybe they weren't incredible, per se, but they were incredibly huge -- which translates to incredible at the age of eight. We could sit by the rail and watch the ice skaters fly by... We never did get those ice skating lessons we always wanted. [Sigh.]

Frozen Yogurt at Russell's If we were lucky, our carpool would stop at Russell's on the way home from school. Our choices were limited - not by our imaginations, but by the fact that's all there was: vanilla or chocolate. Sometimes, we could choose a topping to add, but usually we just wanted plain.

Neal's Italian Ice When we weren't at Swenson's we begged to go to Neal's, an upscale Italian Ice and ice cream shop with a few locations around town. My favorite was the Sweet Cream, though I distinctly remember this being the first White Chocolate Mousse I ever tried. You could also buy Neal's wares at Jamail's grocery stores, but we preferred the storefront.

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Ruthie Johnson
Contact: Ruthie Johnson