One of the places where my friends and I used to go for something to eat after football games, concerts or other events was Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant at the Granite Run Mall in Media, Pennsylvania. Farrell’s was a west coast franchise that made its way to the east coast in the mid-1970’s.
We mostly went for the interesting ice cream creations, but you could also get burgers, sandwiches and fries. The really big deal dessert was called the Zoo, a sundae that consisted of two and a half gallons of various kinds of ice cream, all the ice cream toppings and syrups and whipped cream. It was designed to be eaten by a group, not an individual. Ambulance sirens would blare as the servers carried the enormous bowl on a stretcher to your table with a bunch of long handled spoons. Of course, everyone there cheered for those willing to take on way too much desert.
Ridley and Springfield High Schools were intense rivals in the 1970’s. On one occasion, nine of my band friends and myself challenged ten of their band members to a Zoo eating contest. The challenge ended in a draw, as each team of ten consumed two Zoos.
I’m not sure if my mom and dad knew where we were going when a bunch of my friends loaded up into our car, a bare bones 1970 Ford Falcon station wagon, and I drove us all to Farrell’s or other places where we liked to hang out. It’s probably better that they didn’t know exactly how many friends were loaded into the car. It’s only by the grace of God we all got home safely every time.
The last Farrell’s closed in 2019.