Summer feels like it has arrived early in Pennsylvania. With sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s, it feels like the right time for summer foods and cool treats.
One place that offers a little of both is Just Mom’s Ice Cream, Deli and Grille.
Just Mom’s is located along Route 23, between Morgantown and Elverson (but still inside the border with Chester County) and is basically next door to one of our favorite finds on Berks County Eats – Morgantown Coffee House.
The restaurant sits in a strip mall where it takes up three storefronts – one for each of its primary businesses: restaurant, deli and ice cream parlor.
Opened in 2017, the Morgantown/Elverson location is the second for Just Mom’s. The original still operates a few miles south in Honey Brook, Chester County.
Julie, Jakob and I stopped in for an early dinner on a recent Saturday afternoon and placed our orders at the counter before grabbing a table near the deli stand. There are more than enough seats with a combination of booths and tables throughout the main dining room.
The ice cream parlor, which occupies the right hand side of the building, has its own unique vibe with a checkerboard floor and stainless steel tables and high-tops.
Just Mom’s menu doesn’t stray far from a typical pizza and sandwich shop, though they have a few items that you won’t find too many other places. Of course that’s what we were drawn to.
The sandwich that caught my eye was the “parmageddon,” breaded chicken, breaded eggplant, fried mushrooms and meatballs with marinara sauce and mozzarella. The sandwich, like many of their hot sandwiches, was toasted to melt the cheese and create a harder roll.
I liked many of the individual items that made up the sandwich but they didn’t go together very well. Only the chicken and eggplant were thin enough that you could reasonable get them together in the same bite. There was only one or two meatball halves in the sandwich. And the breaded mushrooms were a little much. The marinara was pretty good and there was just enough cheese, but they were both lost in the shuffle with so many strong flavors.
If I had to do it over again, I would have ordered an eggplant parm sandwich because the eggplant was my favorite part of the sandwich. Or I would have tried one of their cheesesteaks.
Julie opted for their unique French dip cheesesteak that was advertised on their dry-erase board at the counter. The beef steak meat was mixed with fried onions, French onion crisps, Provolone and Swiss. Instead of marinara, it featured a sweet French dip.
I actually enjoyed my taste of it. It wasn’t far off the flavor of a French dip sandwich, though both Julie and I were expecting – and probably would have preferred – to have a cup of au jus for dipping instead of having it mixed in with the sandwich. Still, it was a pretty good change of pace from a typical Berks County cheesesteak.
There’s a limited kids menu where your choice of chicken tenders, hot dog, cheeseburger or grilled cheese comes served with fries and a fountain soda. We decided to order a hot dog for our 18-month-old only to find out that they were out of regular hot dogs and only had quarter-pound dogs left. We decided to go with it, knowing that he would never finish.
It was a good hot dog, split open and grilled (the best way to make one in my opinion). Because of its size, it was served on a hoagie roll. We cut up both for Jakob and he enjoyed it with a little ketchup. The fries were battered and very good.
Normally, Julie and I would have split an order of fries, but we were saving room for dessert.
The ice cream parlor has both hand-dipped and soft-serve ice cream and serves a variety of sundaes, twisters and other sweet treats. I went with one of my personal favorites, the black and white milkshake.
For me, it doesn’t get much better than a little vanilla and a little chocolate in the same shake. The soft serve shake was just what I needed to cap off my meal.
Julie tried one of the more unique hand-dipped ice cream flavors available: French toast. There’s not really a better way to describe it than to say it tasted like a really good French toast but sweeter. It even had actual pieces of French toast inside the ice cream. It’s a flavor that doesn’t seem like it should work, but it did.
Of course we had to get a little dish of soft serve for Jakob as well. He loves ice cream (we try not to give it to him often) but he had filled up by eating a good portion of his oversized hot dog so he was done after a few spoonfuls.
Our dinners cost around $25 while our dessert was about $10. For $35 total, we certainly didn’t feel cheated.
Really, we had no complaints about the meal and the service we received was excellent and accommodating. We had two servers – one behind the counter and one who brought us our food. They were both very nice and helpful, especially with our little guy. I don’t know if either one of them were the “mom” in Just Mom’s, but they made us feel at home during our visit.
With so many options closer to our home in Wyomissing, we probably wouldn’t make a special trip to Just Mom’s, but the next time we find ourselves at the southern tip of the county looking for a quick bite – and maybe a little treat – we would stop in again.
Ambiance: Good to Very Good
109 Darby Sq
Morgantown, PA 19543