The Earthquake (Ghirardelli Square)

The Earthquake is a massive, eight-scoop ice cream sundae that is served at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in Ghirardelli Square, in San Francisco. In THE VEIL, three of the characters order this ridiculously awesome dessert in celebration of a birthday. I had not had one since high school and, in the interests of “book research” I thought it was time to revisit the tradition. This is how it went:

Here is the description of THE EARTHQUAKE on the Ghirardelli menu. Basically, you pick eight ice cream flavors and eight toppings (not including the bananas, whipped cream, nuts, chocolate chips and cherries – those come standard). My friend Tara asked if it also came with Pepto Bismol, but the guy we ordered from said, “No. We want you to die happy.”


This is what it looks like in real life!


Luckily, I had some backup with me! From right to left: Mark, my husband; Tara, one of my best friends (she was one of the two people who inspired the character of Olivia in THE VEIL – the other person was Nicole, the one getting married this weekend); and Brian, Tara’s husband. Tara and I had taken down an Earthquake before, but Mark and Brian were first-timers. You should have seen their faces when it arrived – I believe Brian’s comment was, “Are you girls crazy?!”


A spoon clink for good luck. At this point, a Ghirardelli employee stopped by the table and told us that she was “so impressed that only four spoons came out with that order.”



Going . . .                                                                                            Going . . .



Well, we did our best, anyway! We don’t quite have the metabolisms we had in high school. In fact, I am writing this post today from the treadmill, where I will probably be for about the next week or two in order to burn off all of the calories I consumed that night. Just kidding! Sort of . . . it was totally worth it! I am now satisfied that my depiction of The Earthquake in THE VEIL is quite accurate.

If you ever get to Ghirardelli Square, make sure you order an Earthquake! Tell them Cory sent you! Oh, and make sure you send me a picture so I can give you props on the blog!

And if you want to order like a true pro, here is a little cheat sheet: our receipt!