BITE-SIZED

A (Cold) Blast from the Past

Neighborhood spot serves up treats and nostalgia for 65 years (and counting)

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Since 1948, a rite of passage for generations 
of Northeast Florida natives has included 
a summer afternoon spent indulging in a 
frosty treat from the historic Murray Hill 
fixture Dreamette.

With basic flavors of creamy soft-serve ice cream — vanilla, sugar-free vanilla, strawberry and chocolate (and yes, you can ask for a good ol' swirl) — the possibilities quickly become endless as you decide from among sundaes, shakes, cones, cups, banana splits and beyond. Dream up something crazy, like a cotton candy milkshake, or play it safe with a traditional favorite, like a hot fudge sundae.

A unique take on the traditional banana split is the banana split in a cup: slices of banana meet chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream, strawberries, pineapple chunks, walnuts and a cherry.

Dreamette uses real pieces of Oreo cookies (instead of pre-crushed) to blend in the Oreo milkshake and real blueberries in the blueberry shake. Great ingredients equal great flavor.

Simple yet delicious is the kid's-size dipped vanilla ice cream in a crunchy, light cake cone. My go-to dip flavors vary depending on my mood. If I'm feeling nostalgic, I opt for the cake-batter dip or, as the temperature cools, I prefer butterscotch or toasted coconut to encase my vanilla soft-serve. The cones are served in a clever plastic sleeve that attempts to catch those pesky drips from ruining your day — and shirt. But if you take too long to enjoy the cool delight (especially in summer), you may lose the battle of the drip.

Dreamette is all about the experience. While there are a few small benches to sit on, most people roll down their windows and enjoy their frosty treat in the comfort of their cars. Many neighborhood regulars ride bikes; still others walk up. There's always a varied cast of characters and a handful of seemingly sugar-deprived eager children.

Open seven days a week, Dreamette ensures no ice cream craving goes unfulfilled. Be sure to snag a buy-10-get-one-free punch card. Be advised: Bring a wad of cash, because your credit card's no good here.

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