ST. CHARLES – Since he began scooping ice cream at his family’s business as a teen, Clinton Anderson has crafted hundreds of Kitchen Sinks – Colonial Cafe’s six-scoop ice cream dessert that comes with its own bumper sticker.
Although the ingredient list is straightforward – including two bananas, three toppings plus whipped cream, toasted almonds and a cherry – creating the sundae is a different matter.
“There is an art to creating the Kitchen Sink,” Anderson said, pointing to “a lot of detail.”
In a year that Colonial Cafe is celebrating its 115th anniversary, the Kitchen Sink is getting attention, too. It is marking 40 years on the menu.
Former company president Tom S. Anderson – who now goes by the title of director of scoopin’ fun – said the confection was inspired by a dessert he encountered at an ice cream shop in Utah.
Measuring from the bottom of the custom-made stand to the top of the cherry, the concoction stands 15 inches tall. The sundae itself measures about 7 inches high and about 8 inches wide at its base.
As Tom S. Anderson described it, the sundae is large enough for one hungry person or big enough to be enjoyed by many more, such as families and teams.
“The Kitchen Sink has been a lot of fun for Colonial guests,” he said.
A lot, indeed.
On average, Colonial Cafe – which has seven locations, including two in St. Charles – sells about 7,000 Kitchen Sinks a year, according to the company.
For the Perez family on Feb. 8, the $14.99 dessert was part of a birthday celebration for son Fernando Perez Jr. The family, who gathered around a booth at the restaurant’s Randall Road location in St. Charles, described it as a treat.
Those who eat a Kitchen Sink receive a bumper sticker proclaiming their accomplishment. Tom S. Anderson said he has seen the sticker on cars in Chicago as well as one car bearing 10 stickers. He said he has yet to find the sticker on a vehicle out of state.
“I’m looking,” he said.
In 2012, the Kitchen Sink began grabbing attention in traffic in another way: in the form of a larger-than-life fiberglass replica mounted to the bed of a truck. In addition to visiting the restaurant sites, the Kitchen Sink truck also participates in community events such as parades.
“I think it makes a statement going down the road,” Tom S. Anderson said.
As Clinton Anderson – now Colonial Cafe’s president – finished making a Kitchen Sink on a recent afternoon, his father and others prepared to dig into the carefully crafted dessert.
“He hasn’t lost his touch,” Tom S. Anderson said.
Colonial Cafe’s Kitchen Sink dessert was added to the menu 40 years ago. Although patrons can customize their sundae, the standard ingredient list is as follows:
• Two bananas
• Two scoops each of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream
• Three toppings (chocolate, pineapple and strawberry)
• Whipped cream
• Toasted almonds
• One cherry