Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia

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You remember that trip we took to Philadelphia a few weeks ago where we ate our way through the weekend?


Well, given the fact that I could live on ice cream, I was most excited for our trip to Franklin Fountain.  An old school ice cream shop that models itself from the soda shops that used to be popular, what could be bad?


Well, you know how when you are excited about going to a restaurant and you quadruple check the menu online to decide what you want to order and you read to make sure you are getting the right thing? Wait, you don’t do that?


Well, that is the basic preparation I made for our trip to Franklin Fountain.  I studied the sundae menu like it was my job (hmm as a food blogger, isn’t it?) and strategized on the exact best time to go during the weekend.  Note to Philly fans – Sunday shortly after opening seems to be ideal, no lines at all!


I thought about what the ideal combination of ice cream flavors plus sundae toppings I could get that Matt would also enjoy.  Aka, no peanut butter.


So when we finally were ready for our ice cream indulgence, I was imagining the ice cream of all ice creams and sundae of all sundaes in my head.  This dessert (lunch?) was going to be mind-blowing.


Well, as much as I hate to admit it, I was really disappointed.  I loved the décor, loved the menu, loved all of the old school details that were incorporated into Franklin Fountain… but when it came down to what really matters, the ice cream, I have to give it a “meh.”


Don’t get me wrong, the ice cream wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t mindblowing.  As someone who would fly across the country solely for the purpose of some Bi Rite the ice cream just wasn’t up to par.  I kind of felt like I’d rather be indulging in a big bowl of slow churned if the real stuff wasn’t going to be outrageously good.


We had the Vesuvius and the hot fudge and whipped cream were certainly delicious additions, but the coffee and cookies ‘n cream ice creams underneath were as standard as Breyer’s from the super market.  I’m embarrassed to admit it, but after a few bites of the sub-par ice cream I called it quits and satisfied my craving with frozen yogurt instead.  Crazy? Probably.


Have you ever looked forward to a meal so much that your expectations could not possibly be met? 


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10 Responses to “Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia”

  1. the food dude May 2, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to visit this place after seeing an old episode of Man vs Food, the Mt. Vesuvius looked awesome! Too bad it didn’t quite match the expectation, but the place still looks pretty cool.

  2. Kiri W. May 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    This looks like the cutest place! And oh, how I crave that chocolate fudge jar ;)

  3. Baking Sereisendipity May 3, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    I am always looking at menus and reading reviews before we head to restaurants for the first time. And I hate when they don’t live up to expectations!

  4. Joanne May 3, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Ugh that is SO SAD!

    (And can we really fly across the country just for ice cream? I’m in.)

    • admin May 3, 2012 at 7:21 am #

      It would SO be worth it!

  5. Karen May 3, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    I’ve always wanted to go there after seeing it on TV but like you I would probably be disappointed. I do tend to have great expectations when I see something hyped and it never meets my hopes.
    Really good ice cream in MA and NH? Try Kimball Farms. Their Kimball’s Special (a really big sundae) is to die for.

    • admin May 4, 2012 at 7:03 am #

      Oh good to know! I’m also a big fan of SoCo creamery up in MA.

  6. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray May 3, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Oh dear, that makes me so sad…I’m totally one of those people who studies the menu for a week in advance, too. Gah!

  7. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite May 3, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    ah what a bummer! I do the same thing before going anywhere, especially someplace with a reputation for something specific!

  8. thelittleloaf May 4, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    I’m exactly the same as you – when I’m excited about going somewhere I look at their menu online, think about what I might order and research what people say is good. And it’s SUCH a disappointment when things don’t turn out like you’d hoped. Those jars of sauce do look delicious, and I love the style of the place, so it’s such a shame that the ice cream didn’t deliver :-(

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