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One day last week, my good friend S said she wanted to take me to Centifonti’s. I didn’t understand what she’d said, even when she repeated it a second time. But when she said, “Come on, I’ll buy you chocolate or gelato or beer-in-a-boot,” I told her to show me the way.

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Turns out, Centifonti’s is one of those bizarre little places that make downtown La Mesa so very cool. It’s like those old-timey “soda fountains” you’d hear about or see from the poodle skirt days. Not exactly, but kind of. It’s a diner/restaurant, bar, and a sweet shop.

So, you can order your gelato and your handful of chocolate and sit down in a vinyl booth right next to a couple of elderly ladies lunching on soup. Or you can have a beer-in-a-boot, if you so desire.

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S zeroed in on the grapefruit gelato before we were even in the door. She was kind enough to share with me, and it blew my socks off, literally (just kidding. Wouldn't that have been amazing!). But seriously, it was delish. We also pigged out on a blueberry truffle, a maple cream chocolate, a strawberry cheesecake chocolate, a milk chocolate cluster, and purple rock candy on a stick.

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S’s eyes rolled back in her head when she took her first bite of the blueberry truffle. I imagine she’ll get it again. My favorite was the gelato. So was the milk chocolate cluster. I'll have both next time. And a beer-in-a-boot, please.

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