Full Tilt Ice Cream: Happiest Place on Earth

Popped into the Columbia City Full Tilt Ice Cream the other night and had a hard time popping back out.

First: The arcade games, great ones, a quarter apiece, which instantly addicted the 11-year-old and her roving posse to pursuits like Ms. PacMan and, yes, pinball.

Second: The fact that everyone was here. Everyone. Full Tilt opened in the southern fringe of downtown Columbia City right before the Big Heatwave of Summer ‘09, cultivating a devoted neighborhood following just as it had done before in downtown White Center. Then just last month a new outpost brought the same love to the UW’s 50th and Brooklyn corner. Every one of ’em attracts the kind of fizzy, alt-flavored family energy that builds community and makes Friday nights out in the ’hood really, really fun.

Third: BEER!!! The coolest thing about this ice cream parlor is that it embraces a grown-up’s need to bring the kids out for ice cream and enjoy a little naughtiness of her own.

Fourth: Astonishingly enough… there is ice cream. Really fine, creamy, and affordable ice cream in flavors like Mexican chocolate and a superlative salted caramel. I tried the newer salted caramel variant, enhanced with a fair amount of Sailor Jerry spiced rum, and found it every bit as compelling as the pinball machine.

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