Food review: De Soto Pharmacy and Soda Shoppe


Photo by: Alan Castro

Sundaes with a cherry on top, malts and milkshakes with whip cream and sprinkles, and ice cream floats with scrumptious scoops that appear to levitate in the bubbling soda.

Frozen desserts are the pinnacles of a lively, homey childhood, and De Soto Pharmacy and Soda Shoppe offer that nostalgic experience—with a rich and creamy taste—every day.

Located at the corner of De Soto Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard, this pharmacy can take care of medical needs, along with everyday toiletries and cleaning products, but it’s also a place to enjoy a cool and refreshing sundae or malt.

The soda shoppe employees greet everyone with a smile. Patrons might not notice the ice cream bar unless they look immediately to the left. The soda shoppe section is quaint, with a bar area shaped in a “7” that will seat 10 customers, along with three small tables of two chairs each.

The bar and matching tables are shiny black marble with a wood edge. A brass rail goes along the foot of the bar and curves around the corner. Behind the bar hangs memorabilia, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and dish washing soap ads, as well as household items and toys from the ‘50s. It’s a trip back in time without leaving the shoppe.

With numerous selections, it can be difficult to choose an ice cream and syrup, but a classic vanilla malt milkshake with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and a maraschino cherry on the top is a lovely decision to match the mid-20th century vibe.

Employees are helpful if you don’t know what to order. They create the orders with ease, as if they’re ice cream veterans.

Watching the milkshake preparation is almost as tasty as drinking the finished product.

The rim of the milkshake’s cup is dipped in hot chocolate, which drips down to the base. The milkshake is then poured. With the milkshake cooling the cup, it also cools and hardens the chocolate, adding an interesting and wondrous look to the concoction. Add the whipped cream, sprinkles and the cherry, and the result is a beautiful yet simple malt milkshake. In the classic style, the remainder of the malt milkshake rests in the steel mixing cup.

A person can be hesitant about destroying such a simple yet magnificent work, but one taste will bring you back to childhood, and quickly lead you to many more tastes.

The texture is smooth and the savory malt flavor embraces your taste buds.

The cooling sensation as the milkshake rushes through the straw and onto your mouth is invigorating and eye-opening.

With the milkshake fully devoured, it’s easy to be tempted to go for the chocolate coating surrounding the mouth of the cup.

“It’s just for show. You can’t eat it,” said one of the employees. But, anyone who really wants it, can chip away the drippings of the coating to satiate a desire for extra chocolate.

The delicious milkshake has a base price of $5.25, which even John Travolta’s character in Pulp Fiction would agree is worth it.

The price may not fit with the 1950s, but the ice cream creations at De Soto Pharmacy and Soda Shoppe are pure classic refreshment.