During his term in office, President Ronald Reagan recognized that Americans love ice cream, and that the ice cream industry generated billions of dollars in annual sales and provided jobs for thousands of citizens. So, in 1984, he declared July to be National Ice Cream month and the third Sunday in July to be National Ice Cream Day -- a celebration of the treat with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."
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And Gloria Felix, the head chef and co-owner of Reservoir in Silverlake, and a firm advocate of seasonal food, launched the restaurant's new summer menu with a holiday-appropriate reimagining of the slider. For the duration of summer, Felix will serve the restaurant's house made ice cream in flavors like strawberry and Nutella on sweet Hawaiian buns with puff pastry fries and white chocolate and strawberry puree dipping sauces.
Perhaps thanks in some small part to the national endorsement, ice cream has grown to a $21 billion industry, generating $16.5 billion more than it did at the the time of the holiday's declaration. At $8 each, Reservoir's summer sliders are a cool way to contribute to the well-being of the nation's dairy industry (essentially what the holiday is about), without feeling like a conservative.
Reservoir: 1700 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 662-8655.
Charlie Temmel's Ice Cream: 1313 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, (310) 664-9564.