Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to midnight.

Atmosphere: Clean-lined, chrome-and-formica ice cream parlor.

Price range: Cheap. Sandwiches in varying sizes from 35 cents to $2.40. Desserts, the ice cream variety, from 45 cents for a one-scoop dish to $3.75 for a gargantuan sundae.

Credit: Only hard cash accepted.

Special facilities: Accessible by wheelchair. High chairs available. And there's parking in an expansive shopping center lot.

When the mercury hits the 90s, just about the only thing our family finds appetizing is ice cream.But a self-respecting mother can't let her family gorge themselves on mint chocolate chip and call it a meal.

So recently I steered my family down the road to Soup 'r Scoops, an ice cream parlor that also serves sandwiches, salads and soup.

With a nourishing first course of sandwich and salad, I rationalized that we could all guiltlessly - or almost - dig into the desserts, Breyers ice cream concoctions. But Soup'r Scoops' soup and sandwiches are not just incidental to the scoops, and their main course offerings are varied, tasty and pleasantly presented.

The place itself is sparkingly clean with chrome bentwood-shaped chairs set primly around white formica tables. Orange, green, pink and yellow semi-circle supergraphics swirl around the wall, and the design is picked up on colorful place mats. All of which makes it a very plesant place to be.

On the Friday evening we visited Soup'r Scoops, the tables were nearly all empty. But a steady stream of customers came in from the heat and left clutching heavy ice cream cones. Other than that, all was quiet except for our two children and another customer who was wiggling in her stroller.

Since I was determined to get some vitamins into my clan before going on to the good stuff, we ordered something called "munchabunchacrunchies." For $1 this selection supplies carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, green pepper rings and celery stalks surrounding a cup of sour cream and chives dip. While we munched our crunchies, the staff was busy behind the counter putting together our "main course." For our 3-year-old, that was a peanut butter, banana and jelly sandwich garnished with carrot sticks and potato chips, 45 cents.

The 6-year-old gourmet in the family tried something called the "sweetie pie", an aptly named sandwich of toasted raisin bread, cream cheese, slices of apple and chopped walnuts, 90 cents.

Both the children's choices were reported to be tasty and were almost gone before I had a chance to sample them.

My husband chose the "Hungry Russian" ($2.15), a club sandwich with all the usual things - ham, turkey, salami, tomato, bacon and onion, layered with Russian dressing. We didn't hear much from him except an occasional "yum."

The "Starving Russian," as distinct from the "Hungry," includes the same ingredients, heaped into a double twist roll, for $2.40.

My choice was the "chickadee." You guessed it - a chicken salad sandwich on a twist roll. After I doused it with some salt, it was very good. The price, $1.50.

Also available are: a chef salad ($2.35), a tomato stuffed with chicken salad garni ($1.65), soup (75 cents), grilled cheese ($1.40) and a couple of other selections, which are best described as cheese "concoctions."

But enough about that. It was, after all, the deserts that drew us to Soup'r Scoops. Both boys decided to try "Scooper the Clown" (65 cents), which arrived with the clown's vanilla ice cream face (you can also get chocolate) decorated with chocolate and gum-drop features and a marischino cherry dripping on the tip of his sugar cone hat. His base was a chocolate cookie, and his non-existent neck was wrapped in a swirl of whipped cream. Needless to say, he was a great success.

I chose a frozen yogurt sundae, which I realize is a contradiction in terms and as such was not entirely successful at $1.40. My husband ate his way through a banana split, $1.95.

The bill, for the four of us, came to a very reasonable $12.63 including iced tea and cranapple juice and a tip.