Cheap Eats: Mack's Ice Cream scoops sweet treats and family recipes
Update:This restaurant has changed its name to Dallastown Family Restaurant, Featuring Mack's Ice Cream. Hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
A framed aged menu hangs on a turquoise wall next to the entrance of Mack's Ice Cream in York Township, a piece of décor that could easily be overlooked.
I love old things, any item that can be a point of reference or a portal to the past. The menu, just one page in 1935, lists a small oyster fry for 25 cents.
"Don't you wish we had those prices?" owner Walter Bloss said.
Today, a small oyster fry costs $9.99.
Though the menu has expanded to five pages, Bloss said the restaurant still serves some of the original recipes created by the McDaniel family, such as chicken corn soup and potpie.
I recently ordered a broiled crab cake sandwich and a side of steamed cauliflower. The crab cake sandwich is one of Mack's signature items, so I thought I'd try it.
It was simple and delicious, a perfect mixture of crab meat and seasonings on a toasted hamburger bun. It looked like a sandwich you'd order 50 years ago, before restaurants started to nearly double portion sizes. Price and portion were appropriately aligned. I appreciated that.
Bloss has been in the business since he was a teenager. He first scooped ice cream and then learned to cook. He eventually bought Mack's Mount Rose Avenue location before buying the York Township restaurant 15 years ago from his uncle Butch McDaniel. Bloss sold the Mount Rose Avenue shop.
He said second- and third-generation family members own the five locations throughout York County. Although each shop might flavor its ice cream differently, he said each sticks to a basic foundation.
Bloss said the ice cream business has continued to grow, and Mack's recently started selling its creamy creations at Brown's Orchards and Farm Market in Springfield Township. Mack's made peach ice cream this summer and plans on dishing out apple pie and pumpkin pie flavors soon.
Mack's moved to a new building a block away about a year ago, and Bloss said he has more kitchen space and has added more items to the menu such as pasta, steaks and seafood.
Bloss said that as ice cream sales taper off in the fall, food sales increase.
But luckily, ice cream never gets old.
"They still like to have ice cream after their meal," he said. "Most find a way to save room."
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 771-2101, email@example.com.
If you go
LOCATION: Mack's Ice Cream, 2695 S. Queen St. in York Township
LEIGH'S PICK: Broiled crab cake sandwich, side of steamed cauliflower ($8.35)
HOURS: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
PRICE RANGE: $1.29 to $18.99
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit (except for American Express)
KID'S MENU: Yes
DETAILS: Call 741-2027 or visit www.macksicecream.com