As I approached the vast pink building of the Sugar Bowl, which has been around since 1958, I was amazed by how even the manliest of men weren’t afraid to enter. Greeted by a large bar with stools, the impressive vintage look with touches of pink interior throughout, made a well-lasting impression. However, the bright and vibrant environment would quickly become an afterthought — what impressed me most were the unforgettable flavors of Sugar Bowl’s ice cream.
However, this popular eatery doesn’t limit itself to just ice cream; they also have fine foods and even an arcade area for the kids. And to give you an idea as to how well-known this place is, the Sugar Bowl was featured in the Family Circus daily comics drawn by Bil Keane.
Due to its reputation and popularity, one of my main expectations going into the Sugar Bowl, located in Old Town Scottsdale, was that it would be crowded, loud and overpriced. But that couldn’t have been farther from what my experience turned out to be.
After taking my seat, I looked through the menu dazzled by the variety of food that was available. The Sugar Bowl provides a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches as well as “Fruit N’ Meat” plates, which consist of various meats and assorted fruits, for those who crave something a little different. The variety and quality of the plates are impeccable and compete with the Sugar Bowl’s fabulous ice cream.
I decided to order a grilled tuna melt on cracked wheat (but your options include white, whole or cracked wheat, marble, light or dark rye, and sourdough). I was hoping to eat something flavorful that would allow me room to eat dessert comfortably.
When my plate was brought to me, I was immediately bombarded by the sweet aroma of the toasted bread smothered in tuna, with American cheese melted on top. Taking the first bite, I was greeted with a warm treat; the light flavor of the tuna complimented by the cheese became more filling than I anticipated. This meal was well worth the price ($7.95), with the crisp pickle and lightly salted chips on the side complimenting the flavor of the tuna with every bite.
My boyfriend, Travis, who had never been to the Sugar Bowl, ordered a toasted double-decker sandwich with sliced turkey, baked ham and American cheese ($9.25). When his sandwich arrived, it was cut into four parts making the thick, meaty sandwich easier to handle. Although it was in smaller sections, it took some effort to fit the sandwich into his mouth to make a complete bite.
Known for its ice cream, the Sugar Bowl gives you the option to order your food and dessert all at once for those who like to have a shake or malt with their meal; you can also opt to have the servers bring a menu to you later, after you’ve completed your meal.
When it came time to choose dessert, I felt pretty full and decided on one scoop of cookies n’ cream ice cream. The ice cream was presented in a small dish filled to the brim. A variety of thick and small cookie chunks covered my entire ice cream. The texture was soft and melted on my tongue in a cool, satisfying splash of flavor. Although I was tempted to try every flavor, I was satisfied with the amount of food I ordered as well as the portions.
Feeling a bit more daring than me, Travis ordered an “Old Dutch Chocolate” malt for $4.50. It came in a tall glass filled to the brim, with malt powder decorating the top. As he drank for quite some time, it looked as though he’d barely touched his drink. Trying a sip, I found that the chocolate was smooth, creamy and thick. I, myself, do not really enjoy chocolaty treats, but for just having a sip, it was good. Would I order a whole one myself? Probably not, but for someone like Travis who absolutely adores chocolate, it was a delicious.
If you’re looking for a new atmosphere, great food and service — and not to mention an eatery that offers decent dessert options — check out the Sugar Bowl. With a wide variety of ice cream, shakes, malts, parfaits, pie, cheesecake and even Camelback Sodas (old fashion coda with scoops of vanilla ice cream and an extra pitcher of soda water), there is something for everyone, to suit any occasion.