Here is one of the world’s great hot fudge sundaes. The hot fudge itself is the consistency of chocolate syrup, not too thick; nor is it intensely sweet. Bittersweet is the descriptor that comes to mind, but there is nothing bitter about this sophisticated super-fudgy warm sauce that is ice cream’s best friend. You’ll get a bright red maraschino cherry nestled in the whipped cream crown, but the real cherry atop this soda fountain marvel is its spill of pecan halves. They are roasted to a crisp, which brings out their buttery richness, and they are salted with enough brio to provide an ideal savory halo for the fudge and ice cream. The only possible improvement on the package is to make it a turtle sundae, which adds caramel sauce.
Great as the sundaes are, the signature concoction of Taggarts’ fountain is something else, known as a Bittner. Invented in the 1930s when a customer dared the staff to make a milk shake so thick that a spoon would stand upright in it, the Bittner is 3/4 of a pound of vanilla ice cream blended with chocolate syrup and heaped with those good roasted pecans.
Beyond sundaes, shakes, malts, floats, sodas, coolers and ice cream pies, Taggarts offers a full menu of sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, soups and salads. We have tried a grilled cheese sandwich, which is swell, and a charmingly retro olive-nut-cream cheese on toasted rye. If we lived nearby, we’d no doubt eat sandwiches here all the time. But Taggarts’ ice cream concoctions steal the show.
It’s a supremely charming place, dating back to 1926 (the old wooden booths are original).