Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Battle of the Bananas

Anyone who has visited Balboa island has fond memories of many things, but right up there at the top of the list have to be Frozen Bananas and Balboa Bars. I sampled my first frozen banana in the eighties, after hearing The Man wax rhapsodic about them when he recounted his childhood summers.

Small child had her first one last night, and pronounced it fine indeed.

The controversy continues, however, over which venue can truly claim to offer the "original" Balboa bar,  a just-off-square chunk of ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in your choice of toppings (as in "give me a Bal Bar with everything"). 

Last night, we purchased our creamy, frozen magic from Sugar 'N Spice, which has far and away the best sign, not to mention the ever jaunty 'N.  Sugar 'N Spice has been on Marine Ave. since 1945, and claims to offer "the original frozen banana" as well as Bal Bars. When I found this photo on Google Image, I couldn't resist; what is more patriotic than a parallel display of Our Nation's Symbol and a half-peeled phallic fruit?

Just down the street, however, is another local favorite, Dad's Donuts. While Dad's has only been flogging carbs since the sixties, it claims to  sell the Original Balboa Bar and the "World's Best" frozen banana. Apparently, the competition is fierce. According to one source, Dad's once sent a hot teenage boy to pry the secret recipe for a favored topping from the girls behind the window.

While I may never solve this decades old mystery (Marcia, if you happen to read this perhaps you can offer a native's perspective), I feel obligated to evaluate the relative quality of each. A sacrifice, I know, but someone has to do it. Tomorrow, I plan to try the frozen banana at Dad's and see how it measures up to the one at Sugar 'N Spice.

Thursday, I'll buck up and move on to Balboa Bars. 

It's about a 3-mile walk around the perimeters of the Big and Little Islands. I'll need several laps to draw my conclusions and repair the damage.

P.S. to those who know the area. Word on the street from the old guys who drink coffee near Dad's in the morning is that the Fun Zone is being torn down. Good thing we made it here this year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sugar 'N Spice photo: Hilarious. Brent