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Sherman’s Dairy Bar

July 11, 2018

  • 1601 Phoenix Street
  • South Haven, MI 49090
  • (269) 637-8251
  • Website
  • Menu

Go to South Haven on a gorgeous summer Saturday afternoon?  That’s crazy, you say?  I agree with you…but we did it anyway.

We haven’t been to the beach yet this summer and it was such a great day that we decided to fight the crowds.  Parking at the beach was impossible.  We tried both South and North Beaches.  We eventually headed towards the smaller beaches and found a spot at Dyckman Park.

We played for a couple of hours then figured we should get something to eat.  The kids were hot and they didn’t throw a fit when we left…so that’s a win.

We were trying to go to South Having Brewing Company…but….parking.  We drove around downtown several times and couldn’t find a spot, so I finally gave up and declared we were having ice cream for lunch.

There’s really only one place for ice cream in South Haven and that’s Sherman’s Dairy Bar.  I mean, we’ve had Sherman’s ice cream several times at different places in West Michigan but we’ve never actually been to the source.

Sherman’s Dairy Bar is on the outskirts of town on Phoenix Street near the I-196 interchange.  The Dairy Bar is part of a large building where the ice cream is made. This building has been used as an ice cream shop since the late 1950’s.  There’s a walk-up order window but that was closed.  There was a sign telling people to head inside.  We were met with a line out the door.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, Sherman’s was pretty busy.  The inside of the store isn’t very big and people were packing in to the small space.  B had fallen asleep on the drive from the beach so it was just L and I who went in.

They don’t form lines but use the take a number system instead.  This made things a little hectic because everyone was trying to push forward to see the ice cream flavors instead of looking to their left to see where they were hanging.  I grabbed one and was pleasantly surprised to see how fast they were moving to get people in and out.

We pushed our way up to the front when our number was called.  L and I had already talked about what she wanted and J had sent me a text from the car with her order.  I told the guy working what we needed and he went to work scooping the ice cream from the tubs in the case in front of us.

J wanted two different flavors in one waffle cone. I apparently didn’t order it right.  I wanted a single scoop of each so when I was asked if I wanted a single or double, I said single.  I should have said double.  Instead, I got two cones so I just didn’t order myself anything and J and I shared the two flavors she picked out.  The menu is hanging right above where I was standing but it just didn’t click when I said “single.”

The first one I asked for was Caramel, Caramel, Caramel.  I actually ended up eating most of this one.  It’s caramel flavored ice cream with caramel swirled in and pieces of chocolate covered caramel cups mixed in.  The waffle cone was a mess to eat.  There is so much ice cream (not a bad thing) that the cone has a hard time containing it.  I had to get some baby wipes out after I was done.  At one point, I was just holding ice cream in my hand trying to eat it as fast as I could before my fingers froze off.

The other flavor J asked for was Birthday Cake.  This one is white cake batter flavored with ice cream with candy and marshmallow frosting mixed in.  J and I were kind of passing the cones back and forth so she could get both of what she wanted, but she ate a majority of this one on her own.

We were a little smarter with L and made her get a dish.  I also knew now to order a “double” to get both flavors in the same dish.

L wanted Blue Moon…which is just described as “tutti-fruity flavored ice cream,” and Superman…because you have to have Superman ice cream when a place has Sherman’s ice cream.  Superman is a swirl of Blue Moon, Wild Cherry, and Lemon Flavored ice creams.  I had them put the Superman on top because it just looks cool.

Unfortunately for him, B stayed asleep during the ice cream stop and all the way home so he didn’t get any ice cream.  Shhh…..don’t tell him we stopped.  We ate our ice cream in the car so we wouldn’t have to wake, but there actually is a small dining room inside the building.  It looks like it was built in the ’50’s and hasn’t been redecorated since.  It has that retro charm, but I don’t think it could be considered retro.

The cost was a little over $17.  While it looked like this was going to be a pain in the butt when we walked in, Sherman’s has their operation pretty finely tuned.   I won’t get a cone next time and I’ll also know how to order so I don’t get handed two different treats instead of one.

Sherman’s is legendary in Southwest Michigan and there’s a reason for it.

Sherman Dairy Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steven Ohnsman permalink
    July 11, 2018 2:39 pm

    Locals have figured out a good solution: Ask for a plastic cup to go with your cone. Put the cone into the cup upside down so the ice cream is in the cup. No drips, no runs, no errors

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      July 11, 2018 3:04 pm

      That….is a great tip!

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