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The vintage neon clock on the deco glass brick wall of Tony’s Ice Cream in Gastonia NC clearly showed that it was breakfast time, so we stopped by this family owned and operated business for our first roadfood meal on our retro road trip through North Carolina.

Tony's City Ice Cream Neon Clock
Tony’s has been serving the Gaston County area since 1915, and since 1947 they’ve operated out of this yellow brick building right on the main drag in town. They also make their own ice cream here too, just 20 miles or so outside of Charlotte and a short hop off of 85.
Tony's Ice Cream and Sandwiches Exterior
We parked in the handy parking lot and entered through the side door to find a line of folks waiting for their breakfast fix. I was immediately taken with the tile walls, well kept chrome & red leatherette booths and Formica tables, many of them filled with families and local folks.

Tony's Ice Cream Red Booths
We were still getting our sea legs, this being one of our first food stops on our big retro road trip, so we decided to share a standard breakfast sandwich on toast. Looking at the menu now I wish we had thought to get country ham, or a biscuit or something more adventurous, but am relieved that we didn’t get the liver mush!

Breakfast Menu at Tony's Ice Cream

After placing our order (and trying to ignore the looming vintage scale behind us) we waited at the window for our number to be called, and tried not to get in the way of folks coming in the door. I wanted to grab some photos of the outside of the building so I met RetroRoadhusband out in the car where we unwrapped our delicious amalgam of egg, cheese and the everlovin bacon on white toast.

Breakfast Sandwich from Tony's Ice Cream
Mmmm look at that piece bacon sticking its tongue out!

This was to be one of many meals on the road, and I knew I had a burger in my future, so I graciously allowed RetroRoadhusband to polish off most of this sandwich. Next time we’re going through town I’m definitely getting an ice cream, no matter what time of the day it is!

Tony’s Ice Cream
604 East Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 867-7085

Tony's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

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Speaking of vintage Italian restaurants – Tony’s Baltimore Cafe in Atlantic City New Jersey is an authentic old time AC eatery, located just a block from the famous boardwalk.

Tony's Baltimore Grill Atlantic City, NJ

There are 2 entrances- one on the corner that leads directly to the bar, another into the wonderfully in-tact retro dining room. Either way you’re told to sit anywhere you like, by one of the seasoned waitresses.

Bask in the Glow of Red Neon

We opted for the dining room, which at the time of night we were there wasn’t packed, but did have a decent stream of folks coming in out of this freezing cold windy evening for some warm pasta, pizza and throwback ambiance.

If you’ve spent more than a minute inside one of the many boardwalk casinos, with their recycled air and shopping mall vibe, you will appreciate the authentic feel of a place that has been here long before the giant buildings took over the seashore. And as you can see, they cater to the late night crowd.

HoursOpen for over 70 years, you could almost envision the Rat Pack sitting at one of the booths. (Alas the music on the jukeboxes did not live up to my swingin’ sounds expectation).

Tony's Dining RoomLike the front sign says “Spaghetti Pizza” and we said YES! I got the pizza, RetroRoadhusband got the spaghetti and meatballs and we both split a “Large Salad Bowl”. As well as a couple of affordable beers!

The pizza crust was definitely fluffier than the thin crust pies that are my fave, but this pizza was still good. RRH dug his spaghetti tho the meatballs are on the mushy side, however I informed him that I read they’ve been that way for years.

Tony's Grill PizzaI thought it was ironic that some of the casino hotels and restaurants give that old time vibe (thinking of The Continental, etc) but right here, in the shadow of these behemoths, the real deal lives on.

You Go, Little Guy!

Tony’s Baltimore Grill
2800 Atlantic Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 345-5766

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