Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Giffords Ice Cream and Candies


Damian
 Share

Recommended Posts

Bob's Famous - I worked at Bob's Famous summers and weekends all through high school, weekends and summers, starting when I was 14. The ice cream was made downstairs, and in high school the ice cream maker used to put a shot of rum in my coke at the end of my shift - we used real rum in the rum raisin. My favorite flavor: Orange Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Bob was a lawyer who quit to make ice cream. There were 3 stores: Capitol Hill, Glover Park, and Bethesda.

Welcome Jessker. Which Bob's did you work at?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget the Waffle house on Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown. I always got the cheeseburger platter. A huge burger with the works and a whole plate of fries.

A good deal for the under $3 price.

:raz:

Edited by tastykimmie (log)

"look real nice...............wrapped up twice"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I worked at the Capitol Hill Bob's, and later went back and managed while taking a year off from college. Bob sold it and the Glover Park one, and they went down hill from there and closed a year or two later. i think he sold the Bethesda one long before... Also, there was a Steves Ice Cream in Dupont Circle, based on the boston one with the smashed in toppings, but my loyalty was too Bob's. I ate so much ice cream working there that I dont even crave it anymore....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I worked at the Capitol Hill Bob's, and later went back and managed while taking a year off from college. Bob sold it and the Glover Park one, and they went down hill from there and closed a year or two later. i think he sold the Bethesda one long before... Also, there was a Steves Ice Cream in Dupont Circle, based on the boston one with the smashed in toppings, but my loyalty was too Bob's. I ate so much ice cream working there that I dont even crave it anymore....

You must have served me ice cream. That's too funny. We used to walk all the way over from the SE/SW freeway. I always got milkshakes.

I only went to Steve's once or twice. I liked watching them do the blend ins.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Way back when or at least a decade ago."

Damn, am I old.

Gifford's in Bethesda is NOT the Gifford's that opened in the early '30's in Silver Spring. When it closed in 1981 or 82 the name was sold and that is what survives today. The man who made ice cream for Gifford's from the early '70's until its closing opened York Castle on Georgia Avenue in Montgomery Hills using the exact same base as Gifford's. The "base" is different from the base that today's Gifford's uses. He also made Swiss sundaes, pumpkin and peach in season and made ice cream sodas the correct way using a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, blended with soda water to start as well as heavy whipping cream made from scratch. Today York Castle's primary, non tropical flavors are Gifford's flavors. Still, it's not the same since Gifford's served ice cream on metal dishes and banana splits in long rectangular glass bowls. I haven't had a sody or sundae in several years so I don't know if these have changed. Their biggest sundae, the "Big Top," that sold for $1.00 in 1955 (when hot fudge sundaes with hot fudge served separately in a little ceramic pitcher-was 35 cents) disappeared when Gifford's closed. Their chocolates, the home made fudge and other candies have also, for the most part disappeared. Not to burst any bubbles but there is little resemblance between the Gifford's of today (and their purchase of the name when the original owner got into tax trouble) and the original store that had lines literally 100 long on summer nights in all four stores. The closest anyone can come to Gifford's is probably in Cincinnati at one of the original Graeter's which have much of the same ambience and spirit.

Steve's had a franchised outlet in College Park near Route 1 and Knox Road in the mid '70's. At some point Steve Herrell closed his Boston store and moved to Northampton, Mass where, as of two years ago, he still sells some of the best ice cream in America along with the nearby Bart's.

With all due respect to Capitol Hill I never thought it matched the personality of the original Bob's on Wisconin. Of course I never thought that Gifford's, Bob's or Steve's were as good as either the Unviersity Pastry Shop at Wisconsin and MaComb or the Calvert Pastry Shop across the street from where Bob's later opened in the mid '70's.

And don't forget Wagshal's or Avignon Freres and, if any grandparents are on here, Reindeer in Silver Spring, Polar Bear on Georgia Avenue and, in the '50's the original Martin's Dairy on Georgia Avenue near Olney where you ate ice cream with cows grazing nearby. No smell on earth was more authentic and timely for eating ice cream!

Last, I should pay homage to the greatest, most spectacular ice cream parlor of all: Weile's in Langley Park, home of the $30.00 Lincoln Memorial sundae which was created for a party of fifty (yes, 50) to eat. Breyer's ice cream which meant that it was mediocre but after they moved from Kennedy Street, NW (about the same time in the late '50's that Jerry's Sub Shop moved from Kennedy Street to University Boulevard in Wheaton) they developed a legendary reputation for incrediblly huge, over the top sundaes and hamburgers.

Today, it is a pawn shop.

When I was a kid we took bike hikes from Piney Branch and Flower to Wheaton just to eat subs. And to Langley Park for sundaes and Silver Spring for Swiss sundaes and when Ledo's opened in '57 we took bike hikes there as well. In fact I can actually remember several friends and myself going to Ledo's for pizza and stopping at Weile's for a huge sundae on the way back.

It doesn't seem like that long ago!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a kid we took bike hikes from Piney Branch and Flower to Wheaton just to eat subs.

That was cool, Joe.

Where did you go for subs in Wheaton? Was Marchone's in the Triangle yet? I really need to cook up an errand in Wheaton and get a Marchone's sandwich.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shakey's!, now that brings back memories. We used to go to the one on rockville pike, which if I remember correctly might be a hooter's now? I remember their pizza being cut in triangles, I'm pretty sure Ledo's is the square slice you are thinking of...

Poste

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jerry's when the original owners had it then later when Max and his wife made it locally famous. Jerry's was named after Sol's son when it first opened on Kennedy Street, NW. Adam Schwartz and Bob Beigleman bought it around 1980 after both working in the Wheaton store while going to Maryland. Today I suppose there are several hundred. The other subs in Wheaton that were popular were the ones in a small Italian deli in the back of a shopping center, fronting a parking lot. I think that was called Marchone's but I only went a couple of times. Pop's on Henderson was the other big deal in Wheaton and this was for pizza. I went to Blair, graduating in '64 and there were several places that were considered best for pizza, starting with Luigi's downtown (still there). Anna Maria's and Gusti's were also a big deal, then a step up to the Roma. Next were Ledo's and Pop's. Shakey's opened their first Montgomery County store on the Rockville Pike in the '60's; McDonald's first Montgomery County store was also the one on the Pike which opened in the late '50's. (Hybla Valley was the first.) Shakey's sliced their pizza with a butcher's knife on a wooden block. Every pizza had a small strip of aluminum foil on it identifying what it was. Shakey's was good pizza but different from all of the others. The D. C. pizzarias, as much as anything, were known because it was a big deal to go downtown on a date. Pizza was a natural once you got there.

Mario's was at River and Little Falls Parkway adjacent to an Amoco. Bish Thompson and O'Donnell's were both considered to be superior to Silver Spring's Crisfield's. But this was the '50's and '60's when they both had really good food and rum buns to die for. The original O'Donnell's was adjacent to the Warner Theatre on PA Avenue and dated to the 1910's or so. Wooden floors, beamed ceilings, a lot of atmosphere and the best overallseafood restaurant in D. C. Crisfield's was a step up from Kushner's on Piney Branch near Flower but not considered great, just a less expensive alternative. At some point in the '60's or '70's Bish Thompson's started going downhill, down O'Donnell's closed and the Bethesda store wasn't quite on the same level. Then Calvin Trilling called Crisfield's "the best fish house in America," Julia Child discovered it and Phyllis Richman, who grew up here, began to rave about it after ignoring it for years. She summarized one review by suggesting Gifford's up the street for dessert.

Washington also had great fish sandwiches at Benny's on Maine Avenue where fresh french fries were fried in lard and fresh fish was piled four filets high with homemade slaw and hot sauce on Wonder bread. Horace and Dickey's is a pale imitation of this today although Boyd's (who they bought out) was once just as good. I remember going down there with my parents in the '50's and stopping at the YWCA for their chocolate chip cookies which were legendary.

Ben's Chili Bowl was good as was the nearby Hazel's "Texas Chili." (Which the Hard Times Cafe copied when they first opened in Alexandria. The Post had a full page feature celebrating the return of "wet" chili and Hazel's to the D. C. area in the '70's.) I remember going to Ben's after seeing James Brown at the Howard in the early '60's. I went with some friends from where I had a part time job at the Safeway at 14th and U where I was the only white person. Across the street was Wings and Things with Mambo sauce where I became a regular every night that I worked. At 14th and Swan nearby was D. C.'s redlight district.

Further downtown, on 9th Street at E was the Gayety Burlesque Theatre. Hecht's, Woodie's (two buildings), Lansburgh's, Garfinckel's-all were still open then. The Capitol was the city's largest theatre on F street with 5,000 seats. A blcok down was the Palace and several blocks further down were two more theatres. F street was the center of downtown Washington. The Mall had temporary buildings everywhere left over from WWII. Washington had a clear Southern identity in the '50's and '60's. When you crossed the 14th Street bridge, you immediately found a Southern Accent from anyone born in Alexandria. Today you have to go south of Fredericksburg for this. In fact Old Town then was almost exclusively segregated and poor as was Georgetown in the early '50's. Rosslyn was literally a collection of pawnshops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With all due respect to Capitol Hill I never thought it matched the personality of the original Bob's on Wisconin. Of course I never thought that Gifford's, Bob's or Steve's were as good as either the Unviersity Pastry Shop at Wisconsin and MaComb or the Calvert Pastry Shop across the street from where Bob's later opened in the mid '70's.

With all due respect Joe, when your six and just walked about a mile and a half for some ice cream, it has the perfect personality :wink:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joe -

you're a treasure trove!

do you still live in DC? born and raised? what are your favorite spots now? what do miss?

another place i've been thinking about lately, though - i'm almost ashamed to admit that i loved this place because the owners were so hated, but growing up close to connecticut avenue and mckinley in NW - we used to go to the fish market (??) and later to rossini's. i loved their white pizza and canneloni. later - in middle school, i went to the rip-off diner across the street for bland, expensive milkshakes and searingly hot french fries. jeffrey something was the patriarch - long last name...good cannoli.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Gildenhorn? Something similar I believe. I only post on here occasionally but am a regular on another message board, Chowhound. Thanks for the nice words, they are appreciated.

I was born in the "old" Sibley Hospital. I probably miss Griffith Stadium as much as anyplace. As a kid sitting in the bleachers in 1956 I came within two or three feet of catching an opening day home run hit by Mickey Mantle. It was seventy five cents for a bleacher seat! And, from the time you stepped off of the street car you could smell the Wonder Bread bakery blocks away. The Howard Theatre was two or three blocks down the street, the original Bohemian Caverns a couple of blocks away. Arthur Godfrey had a radio show and Roy Clark and Jimmy Dean alternated between the Crossroads and the Shamrock with Connie B. Gay trying to make D. C. the Nashville of the Mid Atlantic, if you will. Years later I passed plane geometry because Goldie Hahn didn't cover her paper, Ben Stein graduated from Blair the year before and Connie Chung had never heard of Maurie Povich in 10th grade. A kid named Jon Nusbaum said that if he was elected Class President that his father, who owned Banner Signs, would buy a McDonald's franchise and move it to where Ertter's was. Nobody believed him and he didn't win the election. I have no idea where he is today but my guess is that he is a successful politician, probably a Republican, somewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Gildenhorn? Something similar I believe.

He owns the American City Diner on Conn. Ave and is also a DC native.

:smile:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a few of us. My wife, too, who was born in P. G. Hospital and went to Wakefield when I was going to Blair.

As for Jeff Gildenhorn I have never met him but believe that in addition to the American City Diner he also owns/owned Circle Liquors and the three or four restaurants/carry outs adjacent to it. According to his resume when he was running for D. C. Mayor he went to Coolidge in the late '50's, a time when a lot of families started to move out of D. C. and into Montgomery County with Silver Spring and Blair their first stop. This also explains Jerry's Sub Shop, Weile's Ice Cream and a host of others that moved around this time, the latter two from Kennedy Street, NW. Forty years later those who lived in Silver Spring have now moved on to Germantown with a scattering in Bethesda and a handful like myself in Northern VA. For what it's worth Blair's senior class in 1964 had almost 1,100 students (not an exaggeration), of which over 40 now live in the San Francisco Bay area. I was almost one of them, accepted at Berkeley, but never left here for a variety of reasons, most financial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gildenhorn - that's it. he owned that whole block - amoco, circle liquor, rossini's (which may well be something else by now) american city diner (thanks hillvalley - i knew it was something like that!) and the fish market.

joe when you say "old" sibley - do you mean pre-renovation or was it actually located elsewhere?

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rossini's is gone :sad:

But the Parthenon and Chevy Chase lounge are still alive, as is Pupernickles.

The Fishery is now run by as Asian couple, and I am pretty sure they own it. Then again this wouldn't be the first time I was wrong. :smile:

I know it's not food, but while we are talking about that block, I miss the Cheshire Cat.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually not sure of the exact location of "old" Sibley. There's no address on my birth certificate other than the name of the hospital (don't believe that I'm talking about this!!!). But, it was a different location than the Silbey at MacArthur and Loughboro. I really want to say that it was off of North Capitol Street.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
But the Parthenon and Chevy Chase lounge are still alive, as is Pupernickles.

I don't remember if I'm the one who originally posted about Parthenon or not, but this is good to hear. It was the only Greek restaurant in the area that my (Greek) family would eat at. We had a big going away dinner there for my mother before she left the area about four years ago. I heard the old man had died; I didn't know if it was still around (news travels fast through the Old Greek Lady Network AKA my great aunt -- problem is that it isn't always accurate).

And I have since moved to the 'burbs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first couple of warm weekends every spring you can't get a table at the Parthenon. Now that the Avalon reopened there should be an increase in business on the weekend.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...