A really fun resource for people looking for fun things to look at while driving around is Debra Jane Seltzer’s Roadside Architecture. I look at it from time to time wondering what might be nice to see. You know what we don’t have a lot of in Georgia? Buildings shaped like ice cream cones. That’s okay. Florida’s got that covered. There’s a small chain of ice cream shops around central Florida called Twistee Treat, and we drove out to the one on E. Colonial Drive (FL-50) to get some milkshakes.
Yes, I knew that going out this far east from the city center would be a bit of a drive for a milkshake and a funny building, but we also wanted to actually see the Orlando area, and maybe spot some other interesting buildings or businesses. We didn’t see anything of note, though, and we certainly didn’t enjoy the jammed sprawl of cars trying to make it through construction and horribly-timed traffic lights to get so far. We took the toll road back.
Marie had a caramel shake and our daughter had a pistachio one. I’ve had a hankering for a cinnamon milkshake since I had that one at Walls’ Drive-In back in June. I keep asking about them and am always told that the restaurant doesn’t make them. The girl at Twistee Treat immediately replied, “Not on the menu, but I can make you one.” Now that’s the right answer. (And yes, I know that I can make my own at home, but if I make one, then I’ll have one every night, forever, and weigh 300 pounds before Christmas.)
A little later in the day, after some shopping and another snack, we made our way in a nice zig-zag back to the Orange Blossom Trail neighborhood which we had used initially to come into town from Apopka, and continued south a little ways to a tiny walk-up ice cream stand called Goff’s. It is one of Orlando’s oldest surviving restaurants, originally opening in 1948. Ed Goff sold the business to a man named William Truesdell in 1972, and his grandson runs it today. They have a really neat specialty that I’ve never seen before. Soft-serve ice cream dipped in chocolate is pretty common, and pretty wonderful, but how about dipped in a cherry topping? I apologize for letting my eyes get bigger than my camera, if you will, and taking a couple of bites out of this treat before remembering what the heck I was meant to be doing.
A pro tip for travelers: if you’d like chocolate ice cream, you need to come during the weekdays. On weekends, they only have vanilla, since the crowds are much larger, and they haven’t the room to offer both. I wonder how good chocolate dipped in cherry is…? Other than dipped cones, they also have shakes and sundaes and a banana split that the locals say is the best in town. There’s nothing really fancy on the menu at either of these walk-up windows, and no indoor seating. There are no hot dogs or nachos here, just ice cream for warm days. Or rainy days. Or any excuse.
As for shopping, among the places we visited between the two ice cream stops were a pair of comic and game stores. Living Dead Comics on Curry Ford Road disappointed us with its tame selection of mainstream superhero and Image books and a so-so collection of games, nothing that any other shop couldn’t have ordered from Diamond in the last eight months. Sci-Fi City was a good bit more interesting, with aisles and aisles of games and quite a few tables of activity, but neither shop had the piles of old zines, old imports, and unexpected fun stuff we’d never heard of before that makes for a really great comic shop. Do any locals have any good recommendations for us?
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!