Dating back to 1908, Lagomarcino's is a classic, nostalgic ice cream parlor and soda fountain where you can enjoy a big delicious overdose of sugar. With homemade ice cream, handcrafted chocolates and the best hot fudge you can imagine, "Lago's" as it is also known has been featured in Midwest Living and National Geographic Traveler and earned a James Beard "America's Classic" Award.
Have a seat at one of the mahogany booths or a barstool at the counter in this charming old-school place that is also a deli, serving up sandwiches on their own freshly made soft rye bread. The hot fudge that is served on the ice cream is from a special recipe that Angelo Lagomarcino, an immigrant from Northern Italy, purchased from a peddler in 1918 for $25. The man promised him and exclusive recipe for the perfect hot fudge. He seems to have been a man of his word. The recipe proved to be popular and is still used nearly a century later.
The ice cream selections span three pages of the menu with sundaes, shakes, malts and other treats. The beverages, fresh from the soda fountain, come in a variety of flavors - orange, pineapple, root beer, homemade chocolate, lime, cherry, vanilla, strawberry and black raspberry. You can also get a green river or a "Lago," which is a fruit flavored soda pop created by Charlie Lagomarcino in the 1930s that is similar to Dr. Pepper.
We visited the location in Moline (there's another across the river in Davenport, Iowa) and the place is one of those destinations that is just frozen in time and somewhere to definitely add to the itinerary of a visit to the Quad Cities or for a lunch stop when traveling I-80.
I tried out both an egg salad and a white albacore tuna salad on the homemade bread - a recipe that the Lagomarcino family bought from a Moline woman about 70 years ago. It's got such a soft texture and a good aroma. I paired it with a Vanilla Coke and there's just no comparison to one from a soda fountain versus one out of a can or two-liter bottle. I also tried a sip of my husband's "Lago" soda, which was unique and refreshing.
For dessert, I got a massive Bachelor's Kiss, with sliced bananas under generous scoops of vanilla and Dutch chocolate ice cream with hot fudge topping and marshmallow topping with whipped cream and pecans. Perfect for a chocoholic like me - and even better than a banana split.
Don't leave without trying some truffles, caramels, creams, English Toffee or other mouthwatering handmade candy. For more information, visit lagomarcinos.com.
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