About 75% of the human population is lactose intolerance. Whether or not they chose to accept it or not is their own business.
As a part of the 75%, I usually cringe at the sight of people eating straight pieces of cheese. There are other times I try to forget that I’m lactose intolerant so that I can enjoy a slice of pizza after a late night out like a normal college student. I’ve grown up reminding my dad daily that I am still unable to eat cheese but appreciate the thought of him making lasagna for dinner. Unfortunately for me, awkward first dates always seem to end up being made even more awkward when I’m taken to the guy’s favorite pizza joint or out for ice cream. Pizza parties and ice cream parties in middle school were misery. I’ve poisoned myself by forgetting to ask for a milk alternative in my latte or no cheese on my hamburger because the waiter was hot. And let me tell you Oreo’s dipped in soy milk is not the same.
So you’d think that knowing that I am lactose intolerant that I wouldn’t dare succumb myself to the torture of being surrounded by ice cream during the most popular time of year. However, needing cash and a summer time job, I decided to be an idiot and surround myself with the poison that is for me ice cream.
So behold, Scoop Handmade Ice cream; delicious, unique, local and a lactose intolerant’s living hell. Six out of the seven days of the week you could find me hanging out the window of a small little red food cart passing out ice cream cones in downtown Portland, Oregon or driving the ice cream truck from various events in the city.
When I first started working I never let on that I was lactose intolerant. Instead I became very skilled at explaining a flavor of ice cream I had never tried. I shocked people when they asked how I stayed so thin working around ice cream every day and answered with “by eating it for lunch” or that “the gas gage on my ice cream truck is broken so I sometimes have to push it home”. However, on the rare occasion that I let it slip, most of my customers found it very amusing that I was the lactose intolerant ice cream girl. In fact, sometimes having that tid-bit of knowledge slip, made a customer buy more ice cream to eat in my honor or an extra buck was added to my tip jar out of pity.
Although I could never indulge in the delicious handmade ice cream I surrounded myself with all summer long, I still enjoyed my job very much. I was able to meet tons of unique people, and make a lot of people happy with a sweet scoop of ice cream on a freshly handmade waffle cone. The other great thing about working in an ice cream truck is the fact that it attracts dogs and babies, two incredibly cute things. From working that job I learned to parallel park an ice cream truck on the busy streets of the city. I also never went home after a shift smelling like anything but vanilla and waffle cones. I developed one very toned right forearm and I made way better tips than I ever did being a barista. Overall, the good of the job outweighed the torture of being surrounded by ice cream almost every day. I also believe being able to parallel park an ice cream truck is a valuable skill that everyone should have in their back pocket and I would have never learned that working at a pizza joint.
Looking for a new bar in your area with more character than the rest? Here are a few bars in the Northwest that bring great experiences with even greater beverages to liven the night. Take a look and see if your favorite bar(s) made the list! Please share if you enjoy!
Zola – Spokane, WA
For those who love live music, this is a bar for the books. With quality live bands and artists every night of the week, the ambiance is one that livens the soul. The décor provides a fun and rustic experience that includes old tilt-a-whirls for seating. Not to mention great beverages; I recommend the Huckleberry Lemonade cocktail and the Sex Panther cocktail. http://www.zolainspokane.com/
Borracho– Spokane, WA
This Mexican bar and grill offers great food with a great experience. Borracho is fun and affordable while it offers a variety of authentic Mexican food items. If you come in on Tuesdays you can order street tacos for $1 each and complement it with a $3 Mexican beer. There’s even been numerous sightings of Spokane native Chris Pratt here. http://www.borrachospokane.com/
The Rhino – Missoula, MT
The Rhino offers over 50 beers on tap for the beer lovers in addition to mixed drinks if you’re feeling like something a little stronger. With free shuffle board, pool, and great service, it’s obvious why The Rhino is a hot spot to meet in downtown Missoula. https://www.facebook.com/TheRhinoBar
Triple Nickle Pub – Portland, OR
If you’re looking for a bar where the company is great and the drinks are strong, Triple Nickle Pub is the bar for you. Triple Nickle Pub gives you great service and entertainment in one with their live music, large variety of beer, and games to play. “The drinks are cheap and strong, and you can be easily entertained between the darts, pinball, pool, and of course giant Jenga.” -A Yelp Reviewer http://www.triplenickelpub.com/
White Owl – Portland, OR
The White Owl Social Pub offers affordable food and drinks with an amazing daily happy hour special from 3-7. “Great relaxed vibe. Perfect for outdoor summertime seating on the huge deck outside. Dog friendly. Fire pit. Stiff drinks and delicious menu. I love the vegan Mac and cheese salad with vegan Caesar dressing and quinoa burger.” -A Yelp Reviewer http://www.whiteowlsocialclub.com/
The Lucky Labrador Brew Pub – Portland, OR A dog is truly a man’s best friend and The Lucky Labrador Brew Pub of Portland knows this. This pub allows you to bring your furry best friend with you as you have a brewski. With great tasting beers and events to share with your dog such as Dogtoberfest, this is a must see for all dog lovers. http://luckylab.com/
Sunrise Saloon – Missoula, MT
If you like live country music and an open dance floor, this is the bar for you. The Sunrise Saloon brings out the country side in you and provides for a fun night of drinks and line dancing. In addition, the Sunrise offers a variety of specials including a Monday through Friday happy hour and ladies’ night every Wednesday. http://sunrisesaloonandcasino.com/
Spacebar Arcade – Boise, ID http://www.spacebararcade.com/
Drinking while playing arcade games? Who doesn’t want to do that?!? The Spacebar Arcade is a bar and an arcade for adults to let out their inner-youth. In addition, the Spacebar Arcade host a variety of music events. If you find yourself in Boise, this is a MUST visit.
The Diller Room(previously The Diller Hotel) – Seattle, WA
This hidden gem is a historic site in downtown Seattle. The Diller Room offers both food and drink with excellent service and a unique history. The bar has been operating since 1890 and according to their site, The Diller Room served as a speakeasy during the alcohol prohibition. Experience the history and give The Diller Room a visit while in Seattle! http://dillerroom.com/about.html
Altstadt German Restaurant- Seattle, WA
If you’re looking for an authentic German food and drink experience, this is the place for you. With excellent customer service to complement the open and inviting atmosphere, Altstadt gives you the energetic, fun, and true German experience your looking for. http://www.altstadtseattle.com/dinner/
Sip n’ Dip – Great Falls, MT
Mermaids! Need I say more? This bar features live mermaids that customers can watch as they enjoy their drinks and food. Who doesn’t love mermaids and booze? This just complements the great drink and service the Sip n’ Dip offers. Their Tiki drinks are of high recommendation! http://ohairemotorinn.com/sip-n-dip/
Sluggers – Seattle, WA Baseball, bros, and beer – the three best words known to man. At Sluggers, you get all three of these with home-run service and you’re walking distance to both Safeco and CenturyLink fields. As you walk into the bar, there are jerseys and sports memorabilia all over the walls, just as a sports bar should be. A great place to be to feel the energy of Seattle’s sports pre-game through and post-game! http://sluggersseattle.com/
By: Christy Gliko