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Monday, May 14, 2007

Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain - South Pasadena

Too many sweets!

Sunday started off ordinary enough. I grabbed my little cousin and we went to the farmers' market in Alhambra to buy romaine lettuce for Caesar salad with homemade dressing and
Croutons with Garlic and Seasoning, a few sprigs of basil for some Pesto Pasta, blood oranges just because, and dill for pickled okra.

Later that day, we decided to check out Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain in South Pasadena. I had driven by many times before but had never gone in.

Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain lies on the historic Route 66 and has been in business since 1915. Besides those tables outside, there's just a few more bar stools inside. The soda fountain area is really tiny. The counter and bar stools were bought from another soda fountain in Missouri that was also on Route 66. This is still an operating pharmacy and drug store so that takes up the rest of the space. It still has a very quaint mid-20th century vibe though.

I was imagining myself in saddle shoes and a poodle skirt swinging my legs and singing...

"Well, I'm still sittin' under the apple tree
The apple tree, the apple tree
Still sittin' under the apple tree
With nobody else but me..."

I've got my decades mixed up you say? Pshaw. Well, I wasn't alive either way so what do I know. :P

The must-have items to get here are the rickeys - lime or cherry syrup, soda water, and a wedge of lime; phosphates - flavored syrup splashed with soda water and a secret "potion" with a choice of 10 flavors; and the egg creams - soda water, milk, and choice of chocolate or vanilla.

We opted to try the orange phosphate for $2.25. It tasted like orange soda, except not as carbonated or fake tasting.

The hot fudge sundae for $4.50 did not have hot fudge. It was just melted fudge. The ice cream was nothing remarkable either. Aww, man, I was so disappointed. I saw a vat of fudge on the counter and thought it'd be amazing. :( It wasn't awful, but I had high expectations.

Luckily the macadamia nut malt for $4.95 made up for it. I like the portion in the metal cup because it's thick and dense. So yummy.

And no, I didn't eat all that by myself. There were four of us.

There's also a lunch menu with burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and salads, and a coffee bar. And for the truly gluttonous, there's "the kitchen sink" -- your choice of 8 ice cream flavors, 8 toppings, diced banana, and brownie chunks for $22.95. Eeek!

After we got home, cousin Q said he was going out to Lee's Sandwiches for some Vietnamese iced coffee and asked if I wanted some. I really should have said no but a nice ca phe sua da with a small croissant was just too good to pass up.

And the later, later that same day, my friend called and said she was driving back from her uncle's house so she'll be passing by mine and asked if I wanted to do a Fosselman's run. So I got a scoop of taro ice cream.

Yes, I was good and ate salad the next day. But does a Caesar salad make up for too many sweets?

Other ice cream shops:
Bert & Rocky's Cream Company - Claremont
Fosselman's Ice Cream Co. - Alhambra
Scoops - Los Angeles
Saffron Spot - Artesia (Little India)

Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain
1526 Mission St.
South Pasadena, CA
Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


  1. Hey hey *firm tap on your hand* what happened to the diet plans? How many weeks do you have left?

  2. Yich,
    You should be tapping me on the head! I was bad! :( 5 weeks left.

    Yup! I think your Watson's post was on the back of my mind when I drove by that day. :)

  3. Oh, my goodness, chopsticks! I saw that hot fudge ice cream and then the malt... my first thought was, "She ate all that???". LOL. Then I read it was divided by 4.

    Even so, if you lose weight on this diet, I think you should write a book and tell us all how you did it. It would be my kind of diet. I think it would be a best seller for sure!

    I love all your videos. Do you just save a video like a picture and post it the same way? My camera takes video, but I never use it.

  4. Long time since I've had taro ice-cream. Yum!
    And I thought phosphate is a chemical name :O ...as in carbonate.

  5. Zoey,
    If I could come up with an ice cream diet that would lose weight, I'd be a millionaire! :)

    For the video, you have to upload it to youtube. Then you take the "embed" link and in html edit mode, paste it into your post. You can't see it in compose mode, but it'll show up when you publish.

    Yup, that's how carbonated drinks originated. :)

  6. W.C., thanks so much for answering my question. I will have to check this out and see if I can do it.

  7. Hi Zoey,
    Maybe you can do a walking garden tour video? :)

  8. I wonder which "little cousin" you are talking about...

    because the truth is, none of them are so little anymore!

  9. Tania,
    You should know which "little cousin" I'm referring to when I said farmers' market and kettle corn! He ate almost the whole bag before I told him to save it for your other brother. :)

    And you know all of you will always be "little" to me!


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