Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. Sometimes you are embarrassed that everyone knows what flavor you want before you order it, and they greet your kids by name.
Super Scoops is part ice cream store, part best thing that has happened to southern Maine. I suspect it is the reason why Mainers think this is the way life should be. I also suspect that it is the reason why the word “super” was invented.
Located at 178 U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth, Super Scoops is the conjoined, tastier twin of Waldo’s General Store. It overlooks a parking lot. If you were to line a dozen sugar cones end to end, you could reach from the Super Scoops cash register to the nozzle of a gas pump.
Never has a location been so irrelevant.
I consider myself a frozen yogurt connoisseur. I used to live in New York City, the metropolis that gave birth to Tasti D-Lite, which went on to be featured in at least one episode of “Sex and The City.” If the chain had credit cards with frequent flier miles, I would have traveled the globe a handful of times for free.
When we moved to Washington, D.C., one of the major selling points for our townhouse was that it was within walking distance from a religious experience known as Thomas Sweets. I have no idea who Thomas is, but I know he is a magician. He could take the bitter acrimony of that city and churn it into a creamy sweetness that would make anyone believe in bipartisanship.
Super Scoops is better than both, and it doesn’t even have a customer entrance. All orders are taken at a small window reminiscent of a ticket booth. The only seating is on plastic benches or picnic tables. I’ve eaten there in the pouring rain along with approximately two dozen other patrons making the same cost-benefit analysis. We all stood under our open car trunks.
The reason why the smell of gasoline and the heat of sun-baked pavement are considered “charming” is that Super Scoops is selling heaven in a cup or cone. The menu is so long the library gives stickers to children who read it over the summer. You could order blindfolded, though; everyone looks mildly euphoric about their selection.
For the kid in you or with you, there is Playdough or birthday cake or cotton candy ice cream. For the purists, there is the soft-serve swirl, or the sundae, or the sprinkles on top. For the bizarre, there are frozen bananas. For the intelligent bombshells with killer personalities, there is chocolate peanut butter frozen yogurt.
I have ordered chocolate peanut butter frozen yogurt without deviation for years. For the first time in my life, “I’ll have the regular” actually means something to the person taking my order. I am both exhilarated by and ashamed of that milestone.
Ordering at Super Scoops is not just the means to an end, though. Ordering is part of the experience. To get a job there, you must be friendly, adorable, and studying for a college science degree I can only spell. Even though every one of those young women know how much sugar I over-consume in a week, I would still like to hire each of them to raise my children or be my best friend. The owners have lived in the area for decades, and may be the nicest people on the planet. Your ordering experience ends with a pat on the self-esteem to go along with your daily allowance of dessert.
The only bad thing about Super Scoops is that it isn’t open for breakfast, and it isn’t open year-round. As of this printing, it is open for about another month, and then you’ll have to wait until Tax Day 2014 to have happy taste buds. So hurry up and enjoy it while you can. Tell them I sent you.
Actually, I’ll probably see you there. I can tell them.
(This column was not sponsored. Although I should look into that.)