I have been going to Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland, California for almost 20 years now. I’ve known it before the arson fire of 2001, before it made it’s movie debut in the Pixar™ film “UP” in 2009, and before it franchised into a vendor at the Oakland International Airport. Moving back to the bay area a decade ago, I have been there many times to get ice cream. It’s been a while, though, since I’ve had real food there, so I was very excited to take my nephew there last week for dinner.
Unfortunately, this was an extremely disappointing meal. Each time I come, it seems that the prices on the menu are higher than the last. What I didn’t expect with the increasing cost was a decrease in quality of the food. This is my nephew’s macaroni and cheese:
My sister got the Fenton burger (photo credit to my nephew):
Looking a bit bare? Well, if you want fries, it’s an extra dollar. My sister asked if she could substitute the special sauce for BBQ? Sure, but it costs an extra dollar. Really? You can’t give us some chips for free or at least let us substitute the sauce? Incredible.
I got their “famous crab salad sandwich”, which was actually pretty good. Toasted on the grill, you could also get it with cheese so that it’s like a tuna melt. But the onion rings on the side? That’s 2 dollars extra.
But I guess, you go to Fenton’s mainly for their handcrafted specialty ice cream and fountain desserts. To share, we got their Sundae of the Month, which, being March, had a St Patrick’s day theme. Touting mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and Girl’s Scout® Thin Mint Cookies, my sister and I were so excited for it to come (we love Thin Mints!). I guess I expected the thin mints to be crushed into the sundae for some texture or to actually be incorporated into the sundae (because that is what I would do!) but it was just 2 cookies on top of the whipped cream as a decoration. SERIOUSLY?? The servings of ice cream were still generous and the chocolate syrup overflowed.
From reading this blog, you now I have no problems shelling out money for good food. So my ravings in this post are mainly a protest to the changing times and the diminishing quality of a great restaurant. But I guess it’s no problem for them because there is a line out the door every night. http://www.fentonscreamery.com/
If you are willing to travel further east from Oakland, I recommend you check out San Francisco Creamery in Walnut Creek. http://sanfranciscocreameryco.com/ A similar restaurant and concept to Fenton’s, they make all their own ice cream and baked goods. The food is ok, BUT you at least get fries included with your burger and the ice cream portions are just as generous at Fenton’s.