There are places that you go for the experience. And there are places that you go for the food. And then there are places like Sweet Moses that you just go to because they are simply, well, awesome. Actually, awesome isn’t quite the right word to describe Sweet Moses. It would be more apropos to say keen, swell, or truly, the cat’s meow.
See, when you walk into Sweet Moses, you walk back in time. To a simpler time. One that old Beaver Cleaver lived in. It’s a time when a soda jerk was a real profession, where people bonded over an ice cream sundae, and where talk was of things far less tragic than today. I had never heard of Sweet Moses until Ashley mentioned we check it out one night. And now, at the time of this writing, I’ve been there four times, more than anywhere else in Cleveland (save a coffeeshop or two), and I can’t wait to go back.
I’ve never been one to have an exceptional sweet tooth. I mean I’ve been known to have a few desserts, an occasional scotcheroo, or some Sour Patch Kids. But while their desserts are top notch, it’s the experience that keeps pulling me back. The first time we went, we walked in and saw two gentlemen, probably in their 70s, sitting at the throwback ice cream counter and talking over a hot fudge sundae. I felt like I’d just walked into a scene from Leave it to Beaver. I looked at the display cases of the hand made chocolates and the jars of licorice and gummy straws. I marveled at the classic tools of the soda jerk behind the bar. I was amazed to see things like made-in-house root beer for the floats, and made in house sodas and phosphates! That night we didn’t even have the ice cream. I simply walked out with some chocolate and some salt water taffy, knowing full well I’d be back.
The next time, with Ashley’s mom, I had to go for the special; a holiday ice cream sundae in honor of the Sterling-Linder Christmas tree. Peppermint ice cream, a frosted cone in the shape of a tree, and fresh whipped cream. It was delicious. The next time with Yvonne, a classic banana split, made the classic way. Three flavors of ice cream, three different toppings, whipped cream, and homemade marachino cherries. Then out of nowhere, on the next trip, a slice of homemade apple pie a la mode.
Even with all that, there is still so much to try. A root beer float. A traditional soda. A phosphate. Brownie sundaes and chocolate dipped rice crispy treats. Sour straws and chocolate. Milk shakes and malts. Even peanut butter sandwiches! And who knows what the special of the month will be.
In a time where it seems like everything is being reinvented and deconstructed, where there is a push to new and modern, and never been done before, it’s refreshing to see a place that is taking us back to the timeless classics and doing it right. I didn’t grow up in the era of the soda fountain and the pharmacy, but every time I walk into Sweet Moses, a little part of me thinks that this is what it was like for my grandparents. I part of me wonders what it would have been like to live in those simpler times. And a part of me can’t wait to sit down at the counter, enjoy an ice cream sundae and smile. See, for me, Sweet Moses isn’t just about the ice cream (which is great), it’s about the experience…the time and thought and patience that goes into everything that they do.