Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour - after-lunch dessert - June 16, 2001
On Saturday, my husband and I and another couple made an after-lunch dessert trip out to the Farrell's in Temecula. We had already had plans to meet them (my husband's best friend and his wife) for lunch, and when we found out that there was a second Farrell's in California (we'd already known about and been to the one in San Diego) and mentioned it to them, they expressed an interest in going, and since we were in the area, the excursion was set.
The Farrell's is located in the Promenade mall in Temecula (40820 Winchester Road, Suite 1000, Temecula, CA 92591, [telephone] 909.296.0668, [fax] 909.296.0598), right next to a Brazilian steak house. When we had visited the San Diego Farrell's three years ago, we knew that that was the only one in existence, so we'd been surprised to recently hear about the one in Temecula. It turns out that the Temecula Farrell's has only been around for two years according to our waitress.
The outside of the Farrell's is missing the signature colors and design and just meshes in with the outside look of the mall. As you walk in, there's a little area right before the candy/merchandise store, which was ok, but unlike the fully-stocked stores I remember Farrell's having. There's also a little area with some video game machines. We were taken to our seats, which was kind of in an open space. There are two other areas that seem cordoned off as "party areas" (there were streamers hanging from the ceiling).
The menu looked very similar to what I remembered, though it did seem to have a few extra things (or maybe I'm just misremembering after all this time). The waitress kindly gave me take-home versions of the menu, which is simply the menu exactly printed onto regular paper. Very cool. The waitress also mentioned that they were going to be re-doing the menus in a few months, making some menu changes and printing the menus on newsprint (like the ones in the San Diego Farrell's). The food items consisted of appetizers (onion rings, butter breaded mushrooms, breaded zucchini, cheese sticks, jalapeno poppers, buffalo wings and chili cheese fries), soups and salads (soup of the day, chili and beans, dinner salad, caesar salad, chef's salad and cobb salad), "Farrell's Favorites" [sandwiches] (ham and cheese, turkey, reuben, club, philly cheesesteak, fish, garden burger, grilled chicken sandwich, and corned beef/ham/turkey), hamburgers (various kinds with various toppings), and pizza (cheese or pepperoni). There are also kids' items (hamburger, cheeseburger, chicken, grilled cheese, cheese pizza, fish, and ice cream choices). The ice cream varieties offered included shakes, ice cream floats, freezes, puffs, hot fudge favorites, sundaes, banana-based treats, and of course, the "belly busters" - Gibson Girl, Hot Fudge Volcano, Frosty Peak, the Pig's Trough and Farrell's Zoo. They also offer kids' party packages that include a food item, a beverage, party hats/balloons/blow outs and a dessert item.
Since we'd already had lunch, we just opted for dessert. My husband's best friend had a shake, his wife had a hot fudge cake (hot fudge sundae sandwiched in between two slices of devil's food cake with whipped cream and a cherry), my husband had a golddigger sundae (butter pecan ice cream with hot butterscotch, bananas and whipped cream), and I opted for a mocha nut sundae (chocolate, butter pecan and coffee ice cream with coffee, chocolate and butterscotch toppings, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry).
The service was very quick, and everything was delicious, and if I'd never known about Farrell's previously, I would say it's a very nice ice cream parlour. But it's not the Farrell's of old. This one seems a lot more "modern", less fun, a little more sterile, maybe because it was a Saturday afternoon during a non-meal time and there weren't a lot of kids running around, and ice cream being noisily carried everywhere and people singing happy birthday. As I said, the service was good, as was the ice cream, and it was a nice place, but it wasn't somewhere that I could see "hanging out" at.
The wait staff's uniforms looked familiar, although our waitress said that they were going to be changing soon, though she didn't know what the new look would be. She also mentioned that they had to personally buy their own hats - they look like straw hats with a colorful band around it with the Farrell's name, but they're really made out of styrofoam - which cost $6.
The one thing that really bothered me was one of the advertisement standees on the table, suggesting that having one of their beer varieties was perfect to go with any Farrell's occasion. I remember Farrell's as being very much a kids' place, and while they may have always offered beer, it was very disconcerting and a little disturbing to me that they were so blatantly advertising the beer - there was one of these standee ads on every table.
The waitress mentioned that another Farrell's is being built at The Block in Orange, scheduled to open in the next few months. I'm sure I'll pop by to visit at least once, and maybe over time, it may turn into a different kind of tradition, but I still plan to make the occasional trek to the "real" Farrell's in San Diego.
For the review of the Santa Clarita location, please click here.
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