Any kid will tell you: There's always room for dessert. Sandra Burnett caters to the kid in all of us with Sandy's Sugar Shack in Sandpoint's newly remodeled Cedar Street Bridge (formerly home to Coldwater Creek).
Sandy's serves all the usual ice cream treats: sundaes ($4.25), splits ($4.50), shakes and malts ($3.50/16 oz.), and root beer floats ($3/16 oz.). Cones are available in traditional or waffle ($2.25-$4.25), even dipped.
Sandy's offers 25 flavors of top-shelf ice cream and sherbet brands, like Glacier Cascade and Denali, some sugar-free. As if Espresso Explosion, Birthday Cake or Granny's Caramel Apple weren't enough, toppings like Butterfinger candy or Oreo cookies can be added for $.75.
Tempted though I was by the Black Licorice ice cream, the fudge proved irresistible. A postcard-sized box can be filled with half a pound (a quarter-pound for each buttock is how I look at it) for $5. Flavors include Orange Creamsicle, Heath English Toffee, Chewy Praline, Snickers, Amaretto Chocolate Swirl and plain old chocolate. A plastic mini-knife is included and is very handy for shaving off little slices of sugary heaven from each piece, which I did before giving the box away to a fellow sugar-hound. (I won't tell if you won't.)
As if ice cream and fudge weren't enough, Sandy's Sugar Shack also offers store-bought candy, regular and huckleberry lemonade, and both to-go tubs of ice cream and ready-made ice cream cakes.
Owner Sandra Burnett modeled her place after a 1950s-era soda fountain with black-and-white checkered floor, chrome and red vinyl seating and memorabilia along the walls. Toys to tinker with and puzzles to play with are scattered along the counter and tables, giving the place a quaint mom-and-pop feel. Folks can also look out at the river, which is visible from every vendor in Cedar Street Bridge -- a sweet place to be in Sandpoint.
-- CARRIE SCOZZARO
Sandy's Sugar Shack, in Sandpoint's Cedar Street Bridge, has summer hours of Mon-Thurs from 10 am-6 pm, Fri-Sat from 10 am-7 pm, and Sundays from 11 am-5 pm. Call (208) 263-6710.
FESTIVAL Peach Dreams
Imagine this: Joanne Smatlan made 25 peach pies on the first morning of Green Bluff's annual Peach Festival. By 1 pm, they were gone.
Peaches are so revered on Green Bluff that the growers set aside an entire month to celebrate them. This weekend, they'll be picking and selling more of the sweet, fuzzy-skinned fruit, including Smatlan's favorite variety, the Red Haven, also known as the "bend-over peach."
"It's called that because when you eat them you get juice all over and you have to bend over to keep the juices from dripping down your chin," says Smatlan, the co-owner of High Country Orchards and vice president of the Green Bluff Growers Association.
The Green Bluff farm collective, about 15 miles north of Spokane at the base of Mount Spokane, was formed in 1902. Each farm is operated independently and provides local produce that patrons can either pick themselves or buy off the shelf.
In addition to peaches, the festival has live bluegrass on the weekends. Some farms offer wagon rides, in addition to selling antiques, quilts and other homemade gifts. The idea of the festival is to "promote the idea of the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables," Smatlan says.
Marilyn Beck, the co-owner of Harvest House, another farm involved in the celebration of peaches, thinks there's another reason to come up to the Bluff. "You cannot buy a tree-ripened peach in the store," she says. "If you haven't experienced that, you need to come out."
Eat 'em there or take 'em home. Belgian waffles topped with fresh peaches and loaded with whipped cream are my favorite peachy dream. Peach smoothies, pies or cobblers may be yours. Peaches are wonderful any time of the year -- but in August, when they're fresh off the tree, they're heavenly.
--- TAMMY MARSHALL
Green Bluff Peach Festival * continues on Saturdays-Sundays, Aug. 25-26 and Sept. 1-2, from 8 am-5 pm * High Country Orchards and Harvest House are on Green Bluff Road north of Day-Mount Spokane Road in Green Bluff, Wash. * Visit: www.greenbluffgrowers.com * Call: 238-9545 or 238-6970