Running away with the spoon

Published 11:12 am Thursday, May 14, 2009

When Sharon Williams brainstormed names for her old-fashioned ice cream parlor in downtown Montevallo, nothing sounded right until her husband, Collin, made a nursery rhyme-inspired suggestion.

“He said, ‘What about The Dish and The Spoon?’” Williams recalled. “And the minute he said it, I thought, ‘That’s it.’ I didn’t want (the parlor) to be named after me. I wanted the name to be catchy, cute and fun.”

The Dish and The Spoon opened in March at the corner of Main and Boundary streets to the delight of the young and the young at heart. Collin, an associate professor of art at the University of Montevallo, illustrated the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” on the parlor’s front window.

The Dish and The Spoon serves the classics – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. But the most popular ice cream flavor bears an unappetizing name.

“Our number one flavor is called Garbage Can (vanilla ice cream with chunks of seven brand name candy bars – 3 Musketeers, Baby Ruth, Snickers, Heath, Reese’s, Hershey’s and Nestle’s) ,” Sharon said. “”I’ve had some kids come in, ask for the trash ice cream and I tell them, ‘I think you mean Garbage Can.’”

Other customer favorites are Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (sweet caramel ice cream with thick caramel and chunks of cheesecake), and Caramel Caribou (toffee ice cream with a thick caramel swirl and chocolate covered caramel cups). Milkshakes, floats, sundaes and splits round out the sweet treats on the menu.

The Dish and The Spoon also offers savory fare – hot dogs served with homemade sauerkraut and grilled sandwiches made with a customer’s choice of meat (turkey, chicken or ham), cheese (Colby, Monterey Jack, Gouda or Provolone) and spread (olive, regular mayo, tangy mayo or mustard).

Vegetarian options include a “Mater” sandwich, a marinated tomato sandwich with fresh basil and cheese, and veggie hot dogs.

Surrounded by the parlor’s vibrant red and white walls, Williams said The Dish and The Spoon revives the warm and retro feeling often associated with old-fashioned ice cream parlors.

“This is a happy place. It’s sheer enjoyment,” she said. “I just want people to feel welcome when they come.”

Parlor hours are 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.