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Borden's

1103 Jefferson, Lafayette, LA -
Posted By Michael Stern on 12/13/2003 7:21:00 PM
"What is a frappe?" we ask as we study the drink section of the posted movable-letter menu above the counter at Borden's dairy bar.

"That's frapp-AY," replies the mixologist, a soda-fountain veteran to whom the differences among a shake, malt, freeze, flip, frappe, and soda are elementary. She explains that here in Lafayette, a frappe is four scoops of ice cream and your choice of flavor, all blended together. It is like a milk shake without the milk. "You eat it with a spoon," she advises.

Nice as that sounds, we go for a traditional chocolate malt. It is a pleasure to watch her assemble ingredients in the tall cup with aplomb, then tend the cup as the mixer strains to whir them all together. She works hard rearranging it round and round, up and down and at a cant so that unblended clods of ice cream get hit by the blades. The ultimate result: a classic malt, served with spoon and straw, with nary a single hunk of unmixed ice cream.

Sundaes are masterfully made, too – but served, alas, like the shakes, in paper cups rather than traditional soda fountain glassware. Among the broad choice of toppings, we are partial to hot fudge, marshmallow cream, and syrupy "wet nuts."

This old ice cream shop with its deco-stucco exterior is a blast from the past, and not only for the soda-jerking expertise of the lady behind the counter. It is in fact a genuine Borden's Dairy store, complete with cartoon images of mascot Elsie the Cow above the entryway and seating at 5 booths upholstered in lipstick-red leatherette.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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Borden's chocolate malt is presented with a spoon and a straw. The spoon is more useful, as the malt is too thick to suck up a straw.
"Borden's chocolate malt is presented with a spoon and a straw. The spoon is more useful, as the malt is too thick to suck up a straw."
Michael Stern





Here is where you stand to place your order ... and to watch the experts scoop, dip, mix, and squirt.
"Here is where you stand to place your order ... and to watch the experts scoop, dip, mix, and squirt."
Michael Stern


A neighborhood ice cream store, Borden's look like it hasn't changed in about a half century.
"A neighborhood ice cream store, Borden's look like it hasn't changed in about a half century."
Michael Stern


Portraits of Borden's mascot, Elsie the Cow, are evident inside the restaurant as well as outside above the doors. Her partner Elmer and their calf-child Beauregard are not depicted.
"Portraits of Borden's mascot, Elsie the Cow, are evident inside the restaurant as well as outside above the doors. Her partner Elmer and their calf-child Beauregard are not depicted."
Michael Stern


Sundae toppings. On the left, wet nuts. Right: strawberry
"Sundae toppings. On the left, wet nuts. Right: strawberry"
Michael Stern



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