Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mr. Panda is Here to Stay

It’s Official. Mr. Panda is the new mascot for Portland Food Coma!

After facing stiff competition from Mr. Neglected Plant, Mrs. Microplane Grater, Captain Scallion, Ms. City of Portland 30 Gallon Trash Bag, and Admiral Wine Cork, Mr. Panda has emerged victorious and to celebrate, Gemma (tattoo artist responsible for the Bacon Cross) and I decide to take him for ice cream.
I was already covering local ice creams for an upcoming magazine feature, so we decide to make the epic journey from Portland to Brown’s Old Fashioned (232 Nubble Rd.) in York Beach, over an hour away.
The original plan involved very loud music and a mini-car-dance-party on the way down, but due to both of us being brutally hungover we just settled for pleasant conversation. It was all smooth sailing until we got to York, when fucking Google Maps almost got us kidnapped by Carnies.

It seemed strange that we were being instructed to enter York’s Wild Animal Kingdom (still closed for the season) but I figured “hey, seems like a reasonable place to have an ice cream stand!” As we drove through, we began to feel like pilgrims in an un-holy land. Google Maps said to continue down the road, but the Carnies eyeing us suspiciously made me think otherwise. It was a lot like the scene in the movie “Goodfellas” where Robert De Niro is trying to convince Lorraine Bracco to go down the alley and pick out some Dior dresses but is secretly planning to have her murdered. This may have been due to the fact that we were driving through the animal kingdom with an enormous Panda Bear in the back seat, but either way we decide to get the fuck out of there and reassess the situation.

I call Brown’s, and it turns out we were way off track. It’s funny how 90% of the time the iPhone GPS is spot on, and sometimes you just end up in the middle of nowhere. I accidentally admit to the person on the phone that we’d come all the way from Portland to have ice cream, which makes me feel like a shithead. His advice to us is to “drive towards the lighthouse,” which we found about twenty minutes later. Gemma and I agree on two things:
1. This is the longest journey either of us had ever made for ice cream.
2. Never to go near York’s Wild Animal Kingdom Again.
We both decide that Frappes would be helpful for our hangovers, and we were right. The quality of the ice cream is excellent, although they did not offer a bamboo flavor for Mr. Panda.


  1. First, what are Carnies? Second, have you tried a hot fudge sundae at Willard Scoop in South Portland? The hot fudge is made with melted down Ghirardelli chocolate. It was delicious, and combined with coffee ice cream, kept me up all night.

  2. Carnies are the people who work at carnivals, and after having enough of them buy me beer when I was 13 years old, I'm cautious when dealing with them.

    Willard Scoops is great, and also in their first year of making ice cream (MDI is opening on exchange street). I haven't had the hot fudge sundae but the salted caramel ice cream is insane.

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