This ode* to Friendly’s has to do with another story (I swear I’ll get to it), but it turns out I have a lot to say about Friendly’s on its own.
In case you don’t live in the suburbs of the Northeast U.S., Friendly’s is a sit-down diner-esque restaurant chain, that is slightly fancier than Denny’s but less fancy than Ruby Tuesday’s.
…And if you don’t live in the U.S. at all, I’ve made nothing clearer for you - although, side note, we went to a Ruby Tuesday’s in India so that’s apparently universal.
Friendly’s is famous for their ice cream, especially:
The Wattamelon Roll
sherbet with chocolate chips – you’d think they’d clash but they don’t
And, most of all, the Cone Head sundae.
When I was a kid, the Cone Head was the thing. And, it needs to be said, Friendly’s leadership! If you ever stumble on this:
DON’T THINK NOBODY NOTICED THAT YOU TOOK THE EXTRA REESE’S PIECES OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE CONE HEAD.
There used to be bonus Reese’s Pieces in the bottom of the sundae and the menu description even said “with a surprise at the bottom” but they stealthily removed that about 15 years ago and I will NEVER forget. Hope you’re enjoying all those Reese’s Pieces savings, corporate fat cats. Actually, the company has been struggling in recent years despite improvements made over the last decade, but I digress…
Friendly’s has been a weirdly big part of my life, starting with my childhood. Here’s a preview of my to-be-self-published memoir, titled…
Ice Cream Cone Dreams: My Life in Terms of Friendly’s
When I was a kid, there was a Friendly’s right by our house,which Amy and I used to walk to with our parents. Now that I’m living there again, I’m sad it’s no longer around, and sometimes fantasize about buying the building from Aboff’s and convincing Friendly’s to reopen because the building is still vaguely Friendly’s-shaped.
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My friends and I also used to spend a lot of time at Friendly’s in high school. You know, just eating fatty foods, annoying waiters, writing songs and plays, typical trouble-making teenage stuff. The cool kids hanging out at Mill Dam probably had nothing on us.
Many years later, Tom and I bonded over how we both still love Friendly’s and ended up going there on our third date. (Hot!)
I’m guessing the future includes our taking our kids to Friendly’s, and my begging the server to hide some Reese’s Pieces at the bottom of my hypothetical daughter’s sundae until she gets old enough to demand one of their new-fangled sundaes like the Monster Mash or Vol-Cone-O or whatever.
And after that? A Black Raspberry ice cream IV drip in my nursing home? All I know is that my love affair with Friendly’s won’t die until one of us (the restaurant or I) does.
*Disclaimer: I’m fully aware that I should be ashamed of my love for Friendly’s.