Delsa's Ice Cream Parlour 

7923 Ustick Rd., 208-375-3495. Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; closed Sunday

After an invitation to one friend turned into a mob of 12, my first attempt to review Delsa's Ice Cream Parlour failed. For my second trip, I took my mother to the restaurant for an early dinner, and since mothers are prone to donations, an inevitably free meal.

Still among the species of financially challenged young adults, I am a frequenter of Delsa's. This cost-effective land of $3-$4.50 real burgers, $1 sodas and $1 sides of fries has a great appeal, particularly when you consider the discount they give Capital and Centennial students with school IDs.

Delsa's is a restaurant where families, teens and senior citizens co-exist in the most literal of fashions. The constant echoing from the small seating area, however quaint, makes it almost impossible not to eavesdrop on fellow diners' conversations.

Eating at 4:30 in the afternoon on a Monday, Mom and I found ourselves the only diners for a good portion of our meal. Our own echoed conversations competed with the Delsa's staff singing along to "Wild Thang" in the background.

Rather than sitting outside, Mom compromised in favor of my fear of sun, and we sat down in the corner nearest the windows to ease her sun-worshipping withdrawal. The commercial advertisement, "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down" came to mind each time we set our drinks down and the table erupted into a brief earthquake of instability. In almost every one of my excursions to Delsa's, wobbly chairs and wobbly tables have been a constant. I like to think it adds to the ambience.

I ordered the "My Favorite Burger" ($5.50 with fries) with, considering its name, high expectations. The "Favorite," toasted sourdough bread blanketing a juicy, somewhat greasy burger with sauteed onions, lettuce, "special" sauce and Swiss cheese made for a nice, but somewhat heavy combination. By the end of the meal, I felt more like an artery-clogged construction worker than a diner in an ice cream parlor.

A truly "favorite" burger from Delsa's would be its bacon cheeseburger, which I have enjoyed on several occasions. Simple favorites, like a regular burger, stand out when accompanied by a side of Delsa's perfectly salted Ore-Ida fries and soda in an old-fashioned Coca Cola glass.

Mom opted for the chicken strip basket ($6.50) and raved about the salting of the fries. A truly exceptional blend of "special" sauce is a rare commodity, and while I am extremely picky in regards to my fry sauce, I had no complaints. Ketchup, mayonnaise and the "special-ness" Delsa's claims as an ingredient were delicious with the fries, Mom once again pointed out.

We agreed that, while maybe the meals were not the best we've ever had, for the price and the quaint atmosphere, we had enjoyed an appetizing dinner. It wasn't like we were expecting Kobe beef.

We were too full to actually partake in the main staple in Delsa's business, ice cream. I'll draw on past experiences to say any ice cream, sundae, milk shake or malt from Delsa's is bound to be one of the most delightful frozen dairy products you will encounter. The Old Time Sundae ($3.25-$5.50), served in a shiny silver boat dish, is particularly delicious, if only for the aesthetic appeal of the bowl. With over 50 flavors of ice cream, it's exceptionally difficult not to find something you like.

Wobbly tables and chairs, worn wallpaper, vintage blinds, scuffed tiles, horrible acoustics and a constant flow of oldies rock—all of this comes together to give Delsa's a strange mystique I can only assume emanates from 46 years in the same location. In a world of corporate ice cream digs like Maggie Moo's and Cold Stone, it's nice to see a genuine, homegrown ice cream parlor still thriving in the Treasure Valley.

—Collin Veenstra avoids direct sunlight and fears garlic.

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