They say you can “taste the memories” and they’re right.
Walking into Nifty Fifty’s is the equivalent of going to a classic diner mid-twentieth century.
The sparkly red vinyl booths are straight out of an Archie comic book. A bar with high top chairs greets you at the entrance, while a neon sign above it reads, “Watch us to do it fresh.” Black, red and white tiles glued to the walls complete the theme.
As you read the concise yet variety-filled menu, the glow of neon comes in through the windows. In each of the 16 street-facing windows, there is a large neon sign. One promotes the World’s Largest Soda Fountain. One features a Greek God’s head and a bowl of lettuce glowing next to the words “Caesar salad.”
Sticking to a classic American theme, the menu has dishes from burgers to hot dogs to french fries. Oh yeah, and milkshakes.
The World’s Largest Soda Fountain at Nifty Fifty’s has over 100 flavors. For $2.39, choose any of the handcrafted flavors. There is banana, mango orange, raspberry lemon, bubblegum and almond cheesecake to name a few. If one isn’t enough, there is an option to combine flavors.
Beginning with an appetizer, my boyfriend and I ordered the Smothered Philly Cheesesteak Fries. The fresh cut french fries are topped with cheese whiz, steak, and thin shreds of extra sharp provolone. The heavy $7.29 dish did not skimp on the cheese but maybe on the steak.
On the other hand, the Royal Filet Mignon sandwich was rich yet clean. The steak, cooked to your liking, was topped with American cheese and two large homemade onion rings. A toasted bun held the $11.59 sandwich together.
The Mushroom Swiss Burger was lightly seasoned, allowing the ground beef flavor to pour out. I got a double, which meant two burgers and 2 slices of cheese. The burger was greasy but filled with goodness. The $5.69 burger didn’t come with fries, but a small order of fries was available for $2.89.
As you enjoy your meal, there are a subtle noises of spatulas on a grill and a deep fryer sissling. The voices of other people in the restaurant allow the diner feel to surround you.
As we were getting close to finishing our meals, our waitress asks if we’d like to put in a dessert order. We order the Waffle and vanilla ice cream enveloped with hot fudge and a S’mores excotic milkshake blended with homemade ice cream.
The warm waffle took up the whole place and had two scoops of cool ice cream with 3 dollops of whip cream. The milkshake came in an antique tulip style glass, accompanied by the classic tall silver malt cup. Graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow each fight to dominate your taste buds.
Similar to the soda fountain, the milkshake options were just as ambile. From traditional flavors like vanilla and mint chocolate chip to unique flavors like Pop Rocks and Jelly Krimpet, Nifty Fifty’s has it all for $4.89.
Two older couples sat across from each other in the booth next to us. Families filled the seats around us making new memories.
Speaking of families, did I mention the game room and mini golf? Over 30 games filled the room, along with sounds of revving engines and air hockey pucks. A bike on the wall hung with a sign informing anyone could win it with just 120,000 tickets. The arcade was up-to-date with a machine that printed a card that held cash and counted tickets won. At each game, you swiped the card and it alerted you to your balance and ticket count.
Leading out from the game room, the golf course looks like it would fit on the Ocean City Boardwalk. Fake rocks paved the way through 18 holes. Unfortunately, but logically, the golf course was closed due to the cold weather.
Anytime you’re looking to take a step out of 2018 or play a few games after enjoying a great meal, Nifty Fifty’s has the food and nostalgic feel to get you there.
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