Fentons' sweet celebration

Surely you remember your first Fentons Creamery sundae. It arrived at the table a glorious mess -- rivers of hot fudge cascading down the sides of the glass, scoops of ice cream so large they looked like they might topple unless you dug in right away.

You thought perhaps a new, overly eager fountain employee had made this creation by mistake. Nope. Excess is a delicious hallmark of Fentons, now marking its 120th year delighting legions of ice cream lovers with its Black and Tans, Black and Whites and Fudgeannas.

On July 20, the Oakland creamery will celebrate the occasion with a big outdoor ice cream social. From noon to 3 p.m., you can get a free scoop of ice cream or buy a junior size Black-and-Tan sundae for the anniversary price of $1.20. There also will be 4-H animals, retro tunes, crafts, barbecue and a raffle.

Founded in 1894 by E.S. Fenton at 41st and Howe avenues, Fentons came up with the inspired ideas for the now-legendary and often-imitated Toasted Almond and Swiss Milk Chocolate flavors of ice cream. (As for Rocky Road, well, both Fentons and Dreyer's claim credit. So one thing's for sure: That popular flavor has its roots in Oakland.)

Fentons remains a locally owned operation, now run by the Whiddens, a multigeneration Oakland family. The July 20 celebration will be held at 4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. 510-658-7000; www.fentons creamery.com.

Five best noshes

TravelChannel.com just assembled a list of the best summery foods, from the bar noshes at Nepenthe to the Chicken Parm with Thai basil -- and a side of DC Nationals' baseball -- at chef Mike Isabella's stadium sandwich shop. Here's the top five. Find more at http://bit.ly/TCsummer.

1. G Sandwich Shop, Washington, D.C.: Skip the ballpark franks and head to this "Top Chef" helmed concession stand for Isabella's roasted cauliflower with poppy-paprika vinaigrette.

2. Nepenthe, Big Sur: Stunning view, pictured. California wine and bar noshes like a Laura Chenel goat cheese with roasted Gilroy garlic.

3. Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul: Cheese curds, french fries and more -- at more than 1,000 food booths.

4. Kogi BBQ Taco Truck, Los Angeles: This is the taco truck that put taco trucks on the food trend map.

5. Matsumoto, Haleiwa, Hawaii: Shave ice, shave ice, for heaven's sake, shave ice.

-- Jackie Burrell and Linda Zavoral, Staff