For as strong as I can be at geography, sometimes I just get lost. I’m really glad that my friend Tim was driving here, because I’ve realized that my knowledge of Portland is very peninsula-centric. Tim, his girlfriend Katie, his bandmate Sean, and I headed north and I wound up with a Soft-Serve Chocolate cone with a Butterscotch Dip.
Much like Red’s in South Portland, Lib’s is the sort of place that may have been here forever. The art deco coloration and simple roadside architecture reinforce those feelings. The fact that no one can remember a time when Lib’s wasn’t here is almost enough for confirmation of that concept. The only thing most people remember is the throngs of folks that line up on the first day of Spring – even when they are clad in winter coats and scarves.
The drive-in doesn’t offer a menu of road-fare here, focusing instead on the dairy treats of their name. Sometimes places like this can get lost in trying to please everyone. Thankfully, they don’t and there is no chance that anyone will have relish from someone else’s hot dog drip on their cone or have nacho cheese mix with the rest of the dairy. Lib’s doesn’t even make an attempt at hard ice cream.
The lot is laid out so that most of the people who order here just head back to their cars and eat in drive-in style. With a crew of folks holding cones, the picnic tables provided a better locale for taking our time and just hanging out. Sitting in the car and eating is no fun when you can’t really turn around in the car to see those behind you.
With no crazy flavors to try, I opted for a simple chocolate and then had it dipped in butterscotch. There were a few options for dips as well as the possibility of jimmies or crunch instead. My dip seemed as though the person who did it was a bit afraid to commit to dipping the first time and went back for a second attempt. The result was a thick coating that was a special treat, but it also raised the temperature of the ice cream below so by the time I cracked the shell, the ice cream was leaking like crazy. A nice soft-serve destination, but who knows if I could find this place again.
I still don’t understand why soft-serve places don’t ever offer sugar cones. We had a nice argument over the relative merits of the cake cones. I wish I had opted for the swirl, but I was a bit frightened by the machine that shared peanut butter ice cream and a blueberry confection that was sort of like a sorbet. I’m not sure that a peanutberry cone has the same merits that a javaberry does.
Cone – kiddie $1.36 small $1.87 medium $2.23 large $2.51
Sundae – small $2.25 medium $2.59 large $2.89
Shake – small $2.95 large $3.41 malt +$.40
Lib’s Dairy Treats
Hours- not posted