Going to Gertie's is like taking a step back in time. With plush velvet booths and a candy counter, you feel as if you are in the 1950s. The walls are decorated with framed newspaper articles about the business, from its beginnings in 1901 to the present (including an article about the owner, Mike, who worked his way up from dishwasher). There are also autographed photos of Mayor Richard Daley and former Gov. Jim Edgar. Stuffed animals line the walls and hang from the ceiling. The sign in the window reads, "We can proudly say we make our own ice cream." The old-fashioned banana split starts with three scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) and a banana--then it's topped with fresh strawberries, pineapple and chocolate syrups, whipped cream, Nabisco cookies, chopped nuts, and a cherry. It's no wonder that Gertie's is the only business to survive in what was known as the Ford City East Shopping Center. Gertie's has recently added its sister business, Lindy's Chili, to the menu. Now you can have a bowl of Chicago's famous chili and a bowl of Chicago's famous ice cream at the same stop: fire and ice. It's a good place to go after a movie at Ford City or whenever you've got a killer craving for some rich ice cream.