Having lived in the Las Colinas-part of Irving for 1.5 year now, I had never really been to what they call the 'downtown Irving' area until just yesterday. The only time I went to this part of the city last year was to pay for my speeding ticket at the Municipal Court (yeah, I know, I'm not proud of it haha), so I didn't know that there were more than just courts and malls pass the 183 highway! Oh my gosh, how could I miss it!
So what brought me to the area yesterday? The return of Blue Bell Ice Cream to North Texas. I was invited by a friend of mine from Visit Irving to attend a little celebration of the ice cream's come back at the legendary Big State Fountain Grill. They were going to give away free scoops of blue bell ice cream from 1 to 3 p.m. , so of course I said yes to the invitation.
One of the oldest joints in the area, this place used to be a clothing store and then turned into a drug store, and now a restaurant.
It's very colourful and bright, with a vibrant and retro vibe that I like. Very family-friendly, in fact the waiters treat us like family here.
I am glad that I decided to have lunch here before getting in line for my free scoops of Blue Bell. Look at those pretty tiles!
So why is Blue Bell such a big deal, here in Texas? I might never fully understand that, because I'm not from here. But I can tell you that it's more than just ice cream here. It's like a tradition. I remember trying Blue Bell for the first time at a friend's house when we first got here, and they told us that "It's a Texan thing, you just have try it!". So we did, and we liked the Dutch Chocolate and Cookies n Cream!
Anyhow, a few months ago, Blue Bell issued a recall due to listeria found in some of their products (read here). It was the first recall they've done in 108 years! Yesterday, thankfully, they have managed to make a come back in North Texas, with better and improved products of course.
I invited a friend of mine, a fellow mom-blogger, Roselle to join us. Her son, Ezra couldn't wait any longer! He wanted his ice cream a.s.a.p.! Oh, I feel you, Ezra.
It was still 12.30, and the ice cream was not going to be served until 1. So, a grilled cheese wouldn't hurt, would it? :) The housemade fries were also delicious!
A few minutes later, people started lining up. Oh, it's time!
Yasssgimme gimme gimme!
Sonja and Jay, a lovely couple I just met yesterday, savoring the Dutch Chocolate and the Buttered Pecan ice cream. They're the nicest people! Recommending me on what and where to eat around the area, and telling me how amazed they were at the fact that I was carrying J with my Boba baby-carrier. "We didn't have that back in my day. That looks hard to me!," Sonja said.
The next 2 hours were filled with media people taking photos and recording videos around the store. The news coverage was aired on NBC 5 yesterday. The journalist, Eric King, had actually talked to a elderly couple who took a day off from work, just to have some Blue Bell scoops at Big State yesterday! What a devoted love they have for the ice cream!
More than just the ice cream, my little one was interested at the Jukebox. Something that his generation might not even know if it wasn't for retro places like Big State.
So, my little one took a 50-minute nap, had 2 scoops of ice cream, and discovered a jukebox,while I had 3 scoops of ice cream, a cheeseburger with housemade fries, and a great chit-chat with my mommy friend. Ah, what a good day. Welcome back, Blue Bell! Can't wait to pick you up on my next grocery shopping ;)