How Sweet It Is

Jennifer's is a thick slice of Midwestern paradise

Jennifer sources her ice cream from a company called Wholesome Farms, because it's the closest thing she could find to organic ice cream sold in big tubs for resale. (Believe it or not, with all these calories and sugars in abundance, Jennifer actually makes a concerted effort to keep things all-natural and organic whenever she can.) Off the fountain menu, the classic banana split — a scoop of strawberry doused in strawberry sauce, vanilla topped with pineapples, chocolate topped with hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream over the whole thing — turned my boyfriend into a little boy. Meanwhile, a perfect vanilla milkshake I picked up to go one day didn't last ten minutes, I sucked it down so ruthlessly. (I then forced myself to walk around downtown Clayton for another twenty minutes to burn off a portion of it — the first time I've ever made myself do instant penance for food.)

Though Charming Billy would want nothing to do with my mother and her nonexistent pie-making skills, she did do wonders for my culinary upbringing when she introduced me to the egg cream, a New York City soda-fountain favorite that, ironically, contains neither egg nor cream; it's a mixture of chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer — basically, a chocolate-milk soda. (It gets its name from the foamy white head that forms on the drink after adding the seltzer, resembling beaten egg whites.)

An egg cream is one of the reasons my life is worth living, and on this subject I certainly am the world's expert. The ingredients must go into the glass in this order: syrup, milk, seltzer. It must be made with whole milk, seltzer from a soda gun or from an old-fashioned, pressurized seltzer bottle (I own two), and Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup out of Brooklyn. Jennifer's Pharmacy uses Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup! If the women here aren't committed egg-cream connoisseurs like me, they've certainly read up on the subject. I can't believe I live within biking distance of a sensational egg cream. (My one nitpick: It should be served in a glass, not a plastic cup.)

Pie's the limit: Mary Ruth O'Hagen preps sandwiches and other homemade delights.
Jennifer Silverberg
Pie's the limit: Mary Ruth O'Hagen preps sandwiches and other homemade delights.

Location Info

Map

Jennifer's Pharmacy & Soda Shoppe

30 N. Central Ave.
Clayton, MO 63105

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Clayton

Details

Jennifer's Pharmacy & Soda Shoppe
30 North Central Avenue, Clayton; 314-862 -7400. Hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 9: 30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu., 9 a.m-5:30 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.

Chicago-style dog $3.95
Tuna sandwich $4.95
Egg cream$2.95
Chocolate-chip cookie $1.25

Jennifer's Pharmacy reminds you that, if you look for it, there are pockets of good ol' fashioned Americana tucked among the trendbots and trendy boîtes of downtown Clayton: the little shoe-repair shops and tailors, the Chili Mac diner, the corner newsstand down the street. And Jennifer's, the drugstore lunch counter where somebody else's mom will happily make you lunch and a sweet treat — if you're lucky, just like your Mom used to make.

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