Nothing is better than Summer creeping in on Memorial Day weekend, except when you’ve gotta work in the afternoon and thus your chance at all potential barbecues is eliminated. With an early afternoon deadline on my fun, I set out to find something for my belly, even if it didn’t come from an open grill. I pointed to Woburn, where I found a hot dog and a Graham Central Station cone.
Judging simply by its architecture, it’s an easy guess that Nanabette’s was built no later than the early ’70s and most likely sometime in the ’50s. The building is shoehorned into a lot that’s on the acute side of an irregular intersection. While it looks like an old style drive-in, the thought of waitresses rollerskating across Main Street is perilous, and they’d have to. The parking is covered by the lot across the street that services a Walgreens and an AutoCenter.
On one side of the building is a triangle of sidewalk with a couple of trees to provide cover, on the other is a row of picnic tables. While I was here, a mother steered her kids back across the street to eat cones in their SUV rather than the tables, telling the kids, “you don’t want to sit there.” In the middle of the daytime, such a warning seemed to be overdoing it a bit, but she’s likely got a better sense of local history to know what’s up in this area.
With an empty belly, I started myself with a hot dog, which was boiled and wholly unexceptional. Heck, I thought that I might have been on some hidden camera show when I couldn’t figure out how to open mustard packets without getting my fingers all yellowed. Looking back across the menu for cone flavors, I realized that the ice cream here comes from Bliss Dairy and I asked for the graham central station in a sugar cone.
It came in a waffle cone, and by the time I realized I’d been charged accordingly, the kid working was already back to his iPhone and ignoring me completely. This flavor still works though, and the graham ice cream makes for such a fun taste rather than just getting soggy crackers in a simple vanilla. Thankfully, the ice cream was packed to the bottom rather than being perched on the top lip of the cone as too many waffle cones have been for me lately, and this more than made up for the mediocrity of the hot dog.
This place may not be a hidden jewel, but as a place to get a solid cone, it more than works. Plus the fact that I parked in an AutoZone parking lot made me walk in there and pick up some much needed new windshield wipers. Good ice cream and visibility during rain make this seem like a pretty good stop.
Cone – kiddie $3 small $3.50 medium $4.15 large $4.95
Sundae – regular $4.95 jumbo $5.95
Frappe - regular $5.75 jumbo $6.95
Nanabette’s Ice Cream, Hot Dogs, and More …