Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don's Pharmacy

Don's Pharmacy Soda Fountain 
Cherry Lime Phosphate (above)
Chocolate Milkshake (below)

Head past the world-class soap selection, gardening tools, and racks of novelty greeting cards to the back of Don's Pharmacy and you'll find a soda fountain installed in 1962 and untouched by the intervening years.  Seating is at your choice of booth or counter stool; service is quick and sassy--but completely genuine, like a sharp-tongued big sister rather than a gum-smacking, beehived retro cliche.  
The waitress is happy to explain some of the menu's more archaic items ("Brown Cow" is a Coke float, "Green River" is a lime soda) and to make recommendations.  She makes milkshakes (below) as thick as spackle from milk and hard-packed ice cream, with an entire second shake in reserve in the mixing cup.  

You can also get a made-to-order phosphate, a tart relic from soda's early days.  Although pharmacists initially introduced soda fountains as a way of making medicine more palatable (see my earlier post on the 1850s soda fountain at New Orleans' Pharmacy Museum) the public soon developed a taste for sweet syrup and fizzy water, minus the medicine.  The addition of phosphoric acid to drinks created a puckery sourness that found many fans; phosphates were a popular and prominent soda fountain offering from the late 19th century through the 1930s.  

Today many so-called phosphates, including those served at Don's, are made with citric acid rather than the harder-to-get phosphoric.  Although the citric acid gave my cherry-lime faux phosphate a deliciously sharp edge (waitress:  "Like drinking a sour patch kid!"), phosphoric acid aficionados claim that nothing matches the experience of genuine article.  

Don's Pharmacy Soda Fountain
1151 Water Street
Port Townsend, WA

1151 Water StWA 98368
(360) 385-0969

1 comment:

la petite said...

This place sounds amazing! Also, love the blog. It combines my two favorite things: desserts and travel!