When my friend Cyndy and I drove by Crown Candy Kitchen, it was nearly 1:30 in the afternoon. Even so, a large group of Crown fans hovered around the entrance. An earlier treadmill workout had heightened my appetite and Cyndy was showing some hunger pangs as well. So we moved on. We had lunch elsewhere, still both of us had our hearts set on a sweet treat. As we passed Crown Candy on our return from lunch, the line had diminished, so we stopped and joined the gathering of about 20 waiting just inside the door.
For those who have been living under a rock, I might mention that Crown Candy is one of the oldest soda fountains in the country. The vintage juke box, candy jars, Coke memorabilia, and spiffy wooden booths give the North St. Louis icon the charm of yesteryear.
We hadn’t been there long, when word was passed down the line that a table for two was available. As it turned out, we were the only twosome, which made us perfect for one of the tiny center aisle booths. Once we squeezed into the little cubicle, we quickly chose our mid-afternoon decadence—a World’s Fair Sundae for Cyndy; an ice cream soda for me.
The Crown Candy Malt Challenge
The Malt Challenge started years ago still remains: Anyone who can drink five malts in 30 minutes gets them free! Just to show how much CCK admires your indulgence, winners also get a tee shirt and their name added to the Wall of Winners. Find the rules of the game here. Note the contest is not available during rush hours.
The “Heart Stopping” BLT
On our way out, I noticed the guy in the next booth was about to chow down on the decadent “Heart Stopping” BLT—the one with 14 slices of bacon. I couldn’t resist. I paused at his table and explained that I had a food blog and would like to photograph his platter of porcine extravagance. (Well, I didn’t exactly use those words.) Cyndy looked the other way and acted like she didn’t know me. Fortunately, the fellow was proud of his lunch choice and even offered suggestions on the best camera angle to include his chocolate milk shake in the photo. People bond so easily over food.
Crown Candy Kitchen, 1400 St. Louis Avenue. Open: Mon-Thu 10:30a-8p; Fri-Sat 10:30a-9p; Sun: Closed.
(Painting at left is by St. Louis artist Marilynn Bradley of the Old Orchard Gallery.)