Growing up in Southern California I have strong memories of going to Farrell's for ice cream birthday parties. The noise of the drums, the candy shop, the whirlwind that surrounded every. single. birthday child. It was chaos, crazy and I loved it.
Then all the Farrell's disappeared and no modern children ever got to know the fanfare that involved ordering 'The Zoo' ...until now. Yes Farrell's
has made a small comeback, ironically the one I went to most recently in it's new introduction was in Hawaii
but now there are a few stores here in California.
I finally made it over to Brea (which is a trek for a non-OC person) and I wasn't disappointed. It very much reminded me of the Farrell's of old. Fun, food, lots of ice cream and craziness.
My kids had gone there prior to me so it was old hat for them, but for me - going back for the first time as an adult, well - it was noisy. Every two seconds some sort of noise was going off and while I enjoyed that as a kid, as an adult I had a hard time...concentrating, holding a conversation, eating, etc. But I had to remember that's the fun of it and the whole reason you choose Farrell's for lunch.
Wanting to save my appetite for dessert, I ordered a half blt and half caesar which was tasty and plentiful and just enough to save room for something sweet. After all, the ice cream is what you come for and the dessert menu options were extensive.
Dessert menu items like 'ice cream nachos' and 'fake chicken dinner' sounded interesting, but not interesting enough to order them. The tried and true 'Belly Busters' were the ones that feed more than 2 people and when they arrive at your table it's very reminiscent of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I found myself saying "ZIGGY PIGGY" when this "Pig's Trough" arrived.
All large sundae orders come along with custom songs and dances (it's
amusing that the fine print on the menu says you can opt out of them.) If you power through and finish the large ones you get MORE fanfare and a celebratory pin. I decided to just stick with my favorite, the Mocha Nut sundae.
More importantly, true to the old days, if it's your birthday you get a free sundae, a pretty good deal nowadays!
My one complaint would be that the group of waiters and waitresses who do their song and dance took time to 'shame' an entire table for texting. I get it, texting in public is bad form but what about for us food bloggers who tweet, instagram and basically do free pr for some of these places? I get the shaming, but the fact that the waiters made us all BOO this one table was kind of off putting.
Per the norm, after the meal we stopped for the obligatory stroll through the famous Farrell's old fashioned candy shop. I somehow remember it being a lot bigger when I was a kid but maybe I was just smaller. Hm.
215 S Brea Blvd
Brea, CA 92821
update! New location at Buena Park, across the street from Knott's Berry Farm!
Farrell's Buena Park
8650 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620
Labels: farrell's, ice cream, ice cream parlor