Thursday, June 28, 2007

For whom the bell tolls

The old Standard Oil Station on Nicollet Avenue sounds like the inside of a gigantic pinball machine. We're trapped inside its robin's-egg-blue enamel walls where ring-dings and kid's screams and bonus-point-bells zigzag and bounce their way through mazes of red metal-fleck chairs and turnstiles of chocolate-covered arms.

At Liberty Frozen Custard, born last year in an old garage stall, everything is over the top. And even that top, which is way beyond that other top, comes with whipped cream and a cherry on its precarious and so, so sweet tip-toppy point.

While there on a recent visit, we got our little sticky hands on some of the sweetest and saltiest and gooiest sundaes ever to touch these sun-burnt lips. Made with vanilla frozen custard (a creamier soft-serve), topped with sweet and warm caramel, and sprinkled with salty pecans shipped in from a special nut-house in Chicago (the non-crazy kind), this two-scoop bowl of milky goodness only cost us $2.80. In fact, for lactose lovers, Liberty has all kinds of cheap but delicious custards and sundaes, including one that apparently tastes like freedom. (We imagine it tastes like the future, and maybe fireworks and gold.)

And if being inside a pinball machine feels like too much, there's always magazine-reading that's sure to reduce the cacophony to an American breeze. Our favorite? A 1960 copy of Man's Illustrated, where we learned all about sex swindles, aliens, and those love-mad women known as "nymphomaniacs." As American and pure as apple pie indeed.

Liberty Frozen Custard: