Serendipity is the occurrence of a happy accident, having something happen you weren’t expecting, and having it work out with marvelous and wonderful results.
While living in Washington, D.C. or during a visit, you might have found yourself wandering the streets of Georgetown, looking for something to eat.
If you look up when crossing the neighborhood’s busiest intersection—Wisconsin and M Street—you’ll find yourself looking at a sign that bears that exact word. And wouldn’t you know it, it is a place you can grab a bite.
Serendipity 3, located on the Southeast corner of the intersection, harkens back to an older time in America: the 1950s to be precise, with art deco décor and a menu that screams Americana. But it is a place anyone would feel at home at, where you can scarf down a hot dog or share a milkshake with someone you love.
The Georgetown location is an offshoot of the original, which has been a New York institution ever since it opened. The shop was founded in the Upper East Side in 1954. The original place was a boutique coffee shop, a place where people could sit and sip drinks, but over time it expanded to a complete restaurant. It’s also developed a distinct niche: dessert. The restaurant is now known for having some of the best frozen treats in the country and it’s been expanding ever since.
Just over a year ago, in May of 2011, Serendipity 3 opened their third location, which resides at one of the most bustling corners in the United States.
The restaurant pays tribute to the original location’s look and feel. Stepping inside transports you immediately back several decades, to an era of big band music and soda jerks. The floor is done in black and white checkered tile. The walls are littered with giant pieces of art, straight from American culture. In the main dining room sits a six-foot high Pegasus, the former symbol of Mobil gas stations. The ceiling lamps are done in a spectrum of stained-glass, covered with the infamous Tiffany’s shades of the Baby Boomer generation.
The menu at Serendipity will take you back as well, with staples from this country’s past. Gigantic potato skins and popcorn shrimp are offered as appetizers. Chicken pot pie appears on the entrée section, alongside spaghetti and meatballs and foot-long hot dogs.
But the real treat for anyone visiting Serendipity 3 is the post-dinner offerings. The restaurant is most known for its “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate,” which comes in two sizes: for one and for two. Both are generous portions, with the sharable selection arriving in a glass mug the size of a person’s head. The dessert contains hot chocolate blended with ice into a milkshake-like consistency. It’s topped with a several inches of whipped cream, as well as chocolate shavings. The serving size is more than enough for three or even four people to comfortably share.
But that isn’t the only dessert restaurant-goers can enjoy. There are a variety of sundaes, including a cookie dough and carrot cake versions. They also sell another staple of American lore, Deep Fried Oreos, which come with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.
While it may not be frozen dessert season, we are currently being blessed with temperatures in the mid-50s. Which means not only is it okay to eat ice cream, you should enjoy it while there’s still a chance. So head to one of the most famous shops around, Serendipity 3, to get your frozen fix.
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