Frozen Bananas on Balboa Island
Don and I returned last year to Laguna Beach where we lived 35 years ago.
During our visit, we were pretty eager to indulge in some of the yummy treats we once enjoyed. We started with Balboa Island for a banana on a stick!
There seems to be some disagreement about who created the first frozen banana. There are two places on the island that claim to be the original. Even the whacky comedy "Arrested Development" focuses on this debate in a few episodes.
I didn't actually care who created the frozen banana. Dad's and Sugar and Spice both had lines, so I just chose the one that had the sign I liked best. Dad's won, with the banana shaped sign.
Dad's also had lots of other options. The place just smelled plain sweet, with donuts and cookies and ice cream!
But I already had lots of decision making to do, since there were 4 sizes and lots of toppings! I kept it simple and had a chocolate dipped banana, coated with peanuts! Tasty!
Husky Boy's in Laguna Beach
This was another nostalgia food stop.
Don and I once lived within walking distance from Husky's. It was the burrito that I always craved the most.
Top Dollar Property
How is it possible that this still exists? It is right on the Pacific Coast Highway, just up a ways from Laguna's Main Beach.
The photo doesn't make it look like those are glam houses on the hills, but you can be sure there is nothing under a million.
So little has changed in 35 years! You still order at the window and sit down at one of the picnic tables near the dumpster or near a couple work trucks.
I love it that you have surfer dudes, lawn crew workers, manicured mamas with model perfect blond tots, all sharing tables beside the parking lot!
Don went for a burger, but I went for the burrito.
I was so hungry that I forgot to snap a photo, but it was every bit as delicious and filling as I remembered.
The Shake Shack!
Just north of Laguna, before Corona del Mar, we found a bright yellow "shack" overlooking North Beach. Don and I struggled to recall what we could, of our date shake memories.
Did this replace an older shack? We certainly didn't remember anything so bright or an ocean view deck with patio heaters! But who cares, we got our incredibly thick shake made with huge chunks of date!
While we indulged, we studied the land jutting out into the blue water. We noticed lots of homes scattered on top. We had remembered only one ritzy mansion, and the rumor that it belonged to Elton John.
And where was the mobile home park that claimed the beautiful beach area below? I always meant to get a picture of that ideal trailer park! We later learned it had been the setting for a scene in Lucille Ball's "The Long Long Trailer" movie.
Crystal Cove Shake
As we pondered the changes, we became more grateful that the Ruby's chain had bought the old shack.
I don't care much for chains, but Ruby's has kept this prime location from turning into some elite hotel that most of us can't afford. Plus the guy working there was surprisingly friendly and gracious.
As we finished up, the small parking lot began to fill with carpooling moms, who must have promised their kids, after school treats.
Funny to think about kids growing up in beach communities and how different their routines are. As we headed to the car I spotted the yellow one-sided picnic table. I do love a picnic table and especially a bright yellow one with an ocean view. Next time!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.