Christina Mendenhall

In the bestselling children's book Madeline, our dear protagonist lived in a Paris boarding house covered in vines. In her world — full of adventures and classmates and nuns — nothing was ever really so bad, although she might encounter a case of appendicitis here, a roving band of gypsies there, and perhaps have a standoff with a misbehaving tiger at the zoo. We like to think — nay, we are certain — that if Madeline lived in West Palm Beach circa 2008, Sloan's Ice Cream is the place she would eat. It's mint-green on the outside, pink on the in, and packed with feather boas, toys, and an operational choo-choo train. The pink brick walls and polka-dotted booths are whimsical; the bathroom, legendary. (Featuring see-through doors which fog up when you enter, the loo's been the subject of a Travel Channel show.) Since opening about a decade ago, Sloan's has spawned three satellite locations. Decadent flavors on tap have included Apple Pie and Circus (cotton candy flavor with gummy bears), and the last time we popped in, our sundae was served in a flower pot with crumbled-up Oreo "soil." Honestly, though, Sloan's could make its ice cream out of cod liver oil and we're sure it would taste delicious. Nothing could ever be bad here.

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