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Highland Park Soda Fountain

3229 Knox St., Dallas, TX - (214) 521-2126
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/20/2012 5:45:00 AM
The Highland Park Soda Fountain, circa. 1912, is an anomaly. Whereas this Dallas neighborhood is rich and swanky (the TV show Dallas did location shooting here), the luncheonette, which until 2010 shared space with an actual, working drug store, endures as a relic of humbler times. The menu includes a panoply of soda fountain concoctions that would have made Archie and Veronica happy. Cherry Coke, anyone? A from-scratch cherry Coke, mind you.

Nothing I ate was in the least bit extraordinary, but the ordinariness of it all was itself rather amazing. A large number of ladies at tables and counter spoon into chili. It is not a formal Texas bowl of red, for it contains beans, but it is true luncheonette chili, a tremendously satisfying meal either by the bowl or spread across a plate of Fritos in Frito pie.

My chocolate soda was expertly concocted: first, chocolate syrup is squirted into a tall glass beaker; then a hard stream of soda gets jerked in, hitting the syrup hard enough that no spoon is needed to mix it; finally the whole foamy brew is topped with a couple of large scoops of vanilla ice cream. A long-handled spoon is provided; customers grab their own straws from a stash on the counter.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Frito Pie
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There is an ongoing debate between boosters in Dallas and Santa Fe, New Mexico, as to which city was the original home of the Frito pie. No doubt about the fact that Fritos were first made in Texas, by Elmer Doolin, who got the idea from a streetcorner vender selling fried tortilla strips. History aside, this soda fountain version simply is a bowl of stout chili garnished with Frito chips and cheese. Chopped onions are optional.
"There is an ongoing debate between boosters in Dallas and Santa Fe, New Mexico, as to which city was the original home of the Frito pie. No doubt about the fact that Fritos were first made in Texas, by Elmer Doolin, who got the idea from a streetcorner vender selling fried tortilla strips. History aside, this soda fountain version simply is a bowl of stout chili garnished with Frito chips and cheese. Chopped onions are optional."
Michael Stern





Chocolate soda is just one among many soda fountain concoctions available: ades of orange, lemon and lime; shakes; malts; phosphates; coolers; freezes; floats; sodas; sundaes; and one curious item I need to try next visit: ''chocolate milk with cream.''
"Chocolate soda is just one among many soda fountain concoctions available: ades of orange, lemon and lime; shakes; malts; phosphates; coolers; freezes; floats; sodas; sundaes; and one curious item I need to try next visit: ''chocolate milk with cream.''"
Michael Stern


Until 2010, when the drug store side of the business ceased operations, it was possible to sit down for a grilled pimiento cheese sandwich and an ice cream soda while the pharmacist in back filled your prescription.
"Until 2010, when the drug store side of the business ceased operations, it was possible to sit down for a grilled pimiento cheese sandwich and an ice cream soda while the pharmacist in back filled your prescription."
Michael Stern


Now known as the Highland Park Soda Fountain, this blast-from-the-past is an oasis of culinary ingenuousness surrounded by razzle-dazzle retailers and aspiring restaurants.
"Now known as the Highland Park Soda Fountain, this blast-from-the-past is an oasis of culinary ingenuousness surrounded by razzle-dazzle retailers and aspiring restaurants."
Michael Stern



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