Restaurant: Front Street Fountain
Address: 1 W. Front St., Media, PA 19063
Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★1/2
Style: Old fashioned soda fountain serving ice cream and casual meals
Food: Classic American burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and salads
Atmosphere: Colorful ambiance with a clean and well-lit interior
Parking: Small lot
Service: Friendly and casual
Price Range: Inexpensive
Unique Feature: Separate kids/family dining room and ice cream parlor
When I feel like shouting, "rain, rain, go away..." my thoughts turn to comfort food like grilled cheese, homemade soup, roast chicken and burgers. While a burger is not typically considered comfort food I lump it in that category because eating one always lifts my spirits. As rainfall in the Philadelphia area hits record levels I am constantly on the hunt for places which serve up hot and delicious delights.
Setting foot in Front Street Fountain in Media takes one back to a simpler time, a time of soda fountains and lunch counters gleaming with chrome. While there are two different entrances, I had the pleasure of walking into the ice cream parlor section of the huge restaurant, first. In addition to a wide array of Bassett’s ice cream flavors, there are other local treats, Tastykakes and Herr’s potato chips. If you’re feeling extra fan-tastic, there are Front Street Fountain T-shirts on sale, too.
I arrived starving and after carefully studying the extensive menu (there’s an entire section devoted to French fries and sweet potato fries) I opted for the homemade tomato soup, blue onion burger and French fries ($2 upcharge) with an iced tea chaser. The tomato soup arrived first. The generous portion of bright red soup came with the requisite duo of saltine packets. As I stared at the pool of red atop the bright red tabletop, I couldn’t help imagining tomato sauce. It looked like watery marinara sauce complete with those skinny slivers of tomato peel found in a jar of Ragu. The soup was piping hot but tasted like tomato sauce and chicken stock. It didn’t taste bad but improved dramatically with a dash of black pepper.
The blue onion burger with BBQ sauce was outstanding. After a disappointing start I was a bit apprehensive about my burger. Much to my relief, a gorgeous mountain of crisp golden skin-on French fries arrived next to a juicy burger. The fries were fantastic. Delicious enough to be enjoyed without ketchup, I savored each bite into the crunchy on the outside, brimming with tender potato on the inside, French fries. My interest was piqued. What would the burger taste like?
The blue cheese was a more mild version of what I am used to which paired well with the grilled burger (not quite medium rare but still good). Not overly salty with just a touch of creaminess, the blue cheese oozed over the patty. The onion ring was wonderfully crisp and revealed a sweet onion center. The BBQ sauce was on the smoky yet slightly sugary side. Each bite had a satisfying mix of textures and flavors. Normally I sprinkle salt and pepper on my burgers but this needed no extra help.
I decided to treat myself to an ice cream sundae as it seemed appropriate. The "single scoop" sundae was gargantuan. The ice cream scoop was made for a giant and I wasn’t able to put a dent in the coffee ice cream, hot fudge and wet walnut confection although I had fun trying. The Bassett’s ice cream was high quality as were the rich hot fudge, walnuts (a bit sweet for my tastes) and homemade whipped cream (no Cool Whip here!).
There could be no better cure for the rainy day blues than an ice cream sundae or delicious burger. It’s nice to know there’s a place in Media where I can get both. The friendly service and pricing will definitely keep me coming back. Perhaps next time I’ll bring my young cousins and dine in the kids’ dining room.
Click here for the website.
Click here for the menu.