Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chestnut Hill Cafe

Shop Name: Chestnut Hill Cafe

Location: West Chestnut Street, Lancaster

Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams

This past weekend was the Fall Artwalk in Lancaster- it's a fun event, basically like a First Friday concept, but it's all weekend long. A lot of the galleries have special exhibits and tasty snacks as well. It was a perfect fall day to be walking around town and we decided to end our day at the DogStar book store and the Chestnut Hill Cafe. I had heard rumors that this new cafe serves ice cream and I was not disappointed. That is, until I found out that it's Coleman's Ice Cream. As you know (if you read my blog), Coleman's is one of my least favorites in town. Chestnut Hill had quite a few interesting flavors that I had not seen in Coleman's store including a Mango ice cream. I asked to taste just a sample of it and it was pretty bad. It had a really strange flavor and the texture was bizarre- it was kind of gritty, like sugar crystals that had not dissolved. Strange. Anyway, because the mango was kind of terrible, I opted for a safe flavor- mint chocolate chip. Once again, it was under-whelming. The flavor was so-so- nothing too amazing. For now, I'll keep Coleman's ice cream rating the same as last time- 3 1/2 screams.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dairy Queen


Shop Name: Dairy Queen

Location: Columbia Ave, Lancaster

Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams

On Monday evening, I met up with some friends of mine for an ice cream outing- Jill and her kids Noah and Neve. We had plans to go to Scoops Ice Cream in Mountville- it's close to where they live. Unfortunately, the only day of the week that Scoops is closed is MONDAY!!! Bummer! We were already in the car, so we decided to just drive until we found ice cream. I couldn't disappoint Noah and Neve! The first place we found was the Columbia Ave Dairy Queen, and I actually thought that was a great place because it's the time of year when their famous Pumpkin Pie Blizzard is available! Yay! Noah ordered a chocolate ice cream on a cone. Neve opted for the vanilla in a cup and Jill (their mom) ordered the vanilla ice cream on a cone with the chocolate dip. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the DQ invent the concept of the "dip?" Genius, don't you think?

I, of course, ordered the pumpkin pie blizzard. In my memory it was so deliciously pumpkin-y, but this time, it was a little disappointing. I remember lots of pumpkin flavor, but this fell short. It tasted mostly of vanilla, with bits of pumpkin pie filling & crust. Not the best pumpkin flavor I've ever tasted, to be honest. But the DQ will always have a special place in my heart, even if their pumpkin pie blizzard isn't the best. I upped their current rating to 3 1/2 screams just for having pumpkin flavor available. Neve and Noah seemed to enjoy their ice cream quite a bit, although I wonder how much made it into their mouths. Most of it seemed to end up on their faces.

Jill seemed to enjoy her ice cream, too, and was nice enough to share it with Neve and Noah who just weren't satisfied with just ONE serving! I guess those kids LOVE their ice cream. (Which is probably one reason why I like them so much! Any friend of ice cream is a friend of mine! lol)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coleman's Ice Cream



Shop Name: Coleman's Ice Cream


Location: Rt. 340, Lancaster

Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams


You may or may not remember, but Coleman's was one of the first ice cream establishments I reviewed for this blog and they did not receive a very high rating. Actually, they are currently the lowest rating in the history of this blog. On Tuesday, my company bought the entire production staff ice cream at Coleman's, so they had the opportunity to change their rating with me. And change they did. First of all, they have pumpkin ice cream right now, so that alone earned them an extra point. Second, the day we were there, they had a special sundae called the Apple Dumpling Sundae. I made the decision to replace the vanilla ice cream on the A.D.S. with their pumpkin ice cream. It was a perfect fall combination. Once again, the ice cream itself had a lot of ice crystals throughout, which as you all know is the biggest no-no for me, but the pumpkin flavor was really delicious, so I decided to ignore the ice crystals as much as I could. The apple dumpling was ENORMOUS, so the sundae was actually a little embarrassing to order, especially since almost everyone else got a small cone. I was the over-indulgent one with my giant sundae, but I don't care because it was a real treat. There was some sort of caramel sauce all over the dumpling that made it even more delicious, but I really can't stress enough how good the pairing of apple dumpling & pumpkin ice cream was. Seriously. Look into it.




Overall, the sundae and the pumpkin ice cream boosted Coleman's rating to a solid 3 1/2 screams, which is much more impressive than their previous rating. Good job, Coleman's! I'm pretty sure that everyone really enjoyed their ice cream that day and I even saw some other interesting flavors including a carrot cake flavor that looked pretty tasty. And even more exciting are the hilarious pictures I captured of the crazy staff I work with. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

DOVE

Shop Name: Dove Ice Cream

Location: Your local supermarket

Boo's Rating: 5 Screams

Now that I have managed to visit MOST of the ice cream establishments in the Lancaster area, I figured it wouldn't hurt to survey some of the ice cream available in your basic supermarket and/or convenience store. First up: Dove Ice Cream. I was craving chocolate in a BIG way one night, so I drove to the Giant Supermarket and bought a pint of Dove's "Unconditional Chocolate" ice cream. I had never tried Dove ice cream before, so I figured, "Why not?" I took it home, popped open the pint and just about DIED. Did you know that Dove covers the top of their ice cream pints with a layer of CHOCOLATE GANACHE?!?!?!?! I have one word to describe that idea: GENIUS. The ganache is so smooth and velvety- I literally ate all of it before feasting on the actual ice cream. Let's talk about the ice cream now. It was some seriously RICH chocolate ice cream. It had swirls of dark chocolate as well as chocolate chunks throughout. And much like Ben & Jerry's standard, every bite had a bit of the mix-in. And that, my friends is what has earned Dove's Unconditional Chocolate 5 Boo Screams. Congrats, Dove. You rocked it. I would even go so far as to say that this flavor rivals my long-standing favorite chocolate-y chocolate ice cream: Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I would not go so far as to say that it's better, but I would say that they are on an equal standing. And that's saying a LOT.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I'm starting to expand the topic of this blog beyond ice cream & gelato to anything worth screaming about. I've already covered an amazing pumpkin lasagna recipe, and I'll probably stick with pumpkin-related items for a little while, but I'm always open to suggestions. What do you scream for? What fabulous food should I try? Please leave suggestions in the comments section and I'll do my best to accomodate. Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna

Shop Name: Betsy's Kitchen

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Boo's Rating: 5 Screams

Since this blog is called "I Scream You Scream" I figured it didn't HAVE to be all about ice cream. Although I will try to keep it in that area as much as possible, I thought it just wasn't fair that there were so many other delicious eats that I wasn't covering simply because they didn't fall into the ice cream category. Since fall is here, I'm constantly reminded of one of my favorite flavors of all time- Pumpkin. Let me tell you this: I scream for Pumpkin and you'd better, too! I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin chili, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ice cream (of course), and now I love pumpkin lasagna.

I recently drove across the state to visit my friend Betsy in Pittsburgh. Betsy shares my love of all things pumpkin and for the occasion, she conjured up the most delicious lasagna I have had in a good, long time. It does not have a tomato sauce, the sauce is what contains the pumpkin and it's actually made with milk. Click on the title of this blog and you'll be directed to the recipe, courtesy of the Rachel Ray show. I'm usually not a big fan of Rachel Ray. Her voice drives me bonkers. It didn't bother me quite so much when she was just a host of "30-Minute Meals" on the Food Network, but now she has that terrible talk show where she's just AWFUL! Stick to cooking, Rach!

Ok, so despite my issues with the queen of tight-shirts, she's got a winner with this pumpkin sausage lasagna. It has that perfect fall flavor that you want at this time of year and the pumpkin pairs beautifully with the sausage. Betsy actually opted for turkey sausage and I have to wonder how a pork sausage would have done. The turkey sausage was so mild and of course not nearly as fatty as a pork sausage would have been, but overall I feel her choice of sausage was flawless.

What I'm trying to get at is that this could quite possibly be life-changing lasagna. I don't know if I'll ever want a traditional lasagna again- this one was THAT delicious! Congrats, Betsy on your amazing culinary accomplishment. The recipe earned 4 Boo Screams! Why not 5? Well, I think the fault actually lies with Rachel Ray. I think the recipe could use some more veggies. So really, the recipe is what got 4 screams. Betsy, you earned 5 screams for your stellar execution.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What?

I am posting this article from wnbc.com because it is just WRONG! It made me laugh, though. I have to tell you all that if any ice cream manufacturer decides to use human breast milk as part of their recipe, I will NOT be reviewing it here. You're on your own with that! Anyway, here's the article:

VERMONT -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.
"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says.
PETA officials say a move to human breast milk would lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms and benefit human health.

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."
In a statement Ben and Jerry's said, "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child."
Read PETA's letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield
September 23, 2008
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.
Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,
On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's.
Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits.
Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease-America's number one cause of death.
Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.
And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to 17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.
The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President


Can we all say it together? CRAZY!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Zealand Ice Cream


Hey Folks, I want you to know that this is a VERY special blog. We have our very first review from our own overseas correspondent, Mr. Brance Cornelius (more on him later). We hope to be receiving ice cream reviews from the far east over the next couple of months as he tours with the Broadway Asia production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" starring Lea Salonga. Check out the show here: http://www.cinderellaonstage.com/
And now for the review:


Shop Name: New Zealand Ice Cream


Location: Xi'an, China (just across from the Bell Tower)


Corn's Rating: 3 1/2 screams



Well, ni hao ice cream fans, it's the long awaited ice cream taste testing in Xi'an, China, at a New Zealand ice cream store. Bare with me. My Australian friend, and castmate, was eager to share his NZIC knowledge with us and I was happy to tag along for the experience.
Okay, now for the experience. The staff of about 3 college aged kids were extremely friendly and very eager to help us. Although only one spoke English there was plenty of laughing and giggling. After all it's ice cream, a funny subject. After perusing the selection, I chose the popular flavor: Hokey Pokey. Okay, it wasn't popular but I like to think that ice cream named after a widely successful dance craze, often performed on roller skates, has some popular appeal. And I like to pick my ice cream based on funny names and color, (even though my all time favorite is simply, Vanilla) I digress. I ordered 2 scoops (for 28 RMB or yuan, about 4 US dollars-a little pricey for ice cream in China, but since it's "New Zealand Ice Cream" I like to think that it was imported!) That's 2 scoops of Hokey Pokey in a cone, but alas, they were out of cones. Hmmm? Must have been a big cone day here in Xi'an. I settled for a cup and enjoyed the 'cream (if ya catch my slang). It was great, much like a butterscotch with not too much butter and just enough scotch! Would I go back? YES! Would I try a new flavor? YES! Would I like to pay less? HECK YES!
Quickly after the group received their orders the staff wanted to pose for pictures with us crazy Americans and token Australian. Being the actors we are, we were happy to oblige; "anything for the press" is what I say!
Hopefully in the upcoming weeks I will be able to report on the numerous ice cream desserts found in the freezer of side street vendors. We are currently living in a tourist section of Xi'an (not just for foreigners, but Chinese tourist as well) and the choices are plentiful and a bit odd... Pea Ice Cream or Corn Ice Cream? Until then...
Boo here: I'd like to thank Corn for his eloquent ice cream review. I think he's got quite a knack for it, and I'm sure you're looking forward to his next review as eagerly as I am. Visit again soon, everyone!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Jigger Shop

Shop Name: The Jigger Shop

Location: Mount Gretna, PA

Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams

Ok, crazy ice cream fans, here it is- the long awaited VIDEO BLOG!!! (For those in the know, the term is "vlog." OMG, I feel so technologically savvy.) Ok, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Mike and I traveled across the many roads and farmlands of PA to the lovely village known as Mount Gretna. Since starting this blog, at least 4 separate people have HIGHLY recommended the Jigger Shop. I quote, "You've got to go and have Jigger." The only problem was that it was in Mount Gretna! It's not even in Lancaster COUNTY, much less Lancaster city. I felt torn about driving all that way just for ice cream but people persisted and so I relented. Fortunately, there was an art show in Mount Gretna, giving us the perfect excuse to drive all that way. I mean, if it's only for ice cream, that's a little weird. If it's for ART and ice cream, that's totally normal. At least that is my logic. (I'm not gonna lie, though. I did seriously consider driving out there just for the ice cream. Common sense stopped me, but my taste buds fought the good fight.)

First, the art show review: I really enjoyed it. It was not so large that you couldn't cover it in an hour or two. They had a good variety of artists, some with really unique media choices. It was NOT your basic Home Goods or department store landscape paintings and photographs. The artists at this show all had an interesting point of view and that's what I liked about it. I even bought some art from an artist named Philip Singer. You can see his artwork here: http://www.psingerart.com/

His work is very surreal, but also very beautiful. I was an instant fan. Unfortunately, the painting I bought is not on his website, so if you want to see it, you'll have to visit me. (Especially all of you New England folk.)

Ok, on to the ice cream. The Jigger Shop only earned 3 1/2 screams because while the ambiance was absolutely charming, the ice cream was just okay. It didn't blow my mind. As you can see on the video, both Mike and I tried the "Jigger" and found it to be okay. Nothing mind blowing. So, I think that when people recommend the Jigger Shop, they're really recommending the experience, not so much the ice cream. And the experience is a good one- the seating extends outside on this porch that has the trees coming right through it. You feel like you're eating in the middle of the woods, which you kind of are. The trees provide a lot of shade as well, perfect for a hot summer day.

Here is the youtube link to the video of our Jigger Shop experience. (I know I said I feel all technologically savvy, but I can't figure out how to put the video right on this page. I'm so pathetic.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ivhi6k6Kp2w

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard

Shop Name: Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard

Location: Park City Mall

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams

I was once again in the mall for work, and decided to sample another ice cream establishment while I was there. Kohr Brothers has a stand in the center of the mall, so as I walked from the JC Penney hall towards Boscov's, I stopped and sampled some of their frozen custard. As far as I know, the difference between ice cream and custard is the amount of eggs in the base. I could be wrong. Anyway, frozen custard usually has a consistency similar to soft serve, but it's a little more thick and rich. This particular custard stand had only a few flavor options and combinations. Solo flavors included chocolate, vanilla, orange sherbet and peanut butter. Twists included chocolate & vanilla, orange & vanilla (to make a creamsicle- yum!) and chocolate & peanut butter. I tasted a small sample of the orange sherbet and it was heavenly, but in true Boo form, I opted for a plain cone with a twist of chocolate & peanut butter. Maybe it's because I haven't had ice cream in a few weeks, but it was SO delicious that I wished I'd ordered a larger size. The flavors were perfectly balanced and the texture of the custard was rich and creamy. Yum. Overall, Kohr Brothers earned themselves a respectable 4 screams. I remember last fall (long before the start of my blog), I got a cup of their pumpkin spice custard. At the time, I think you could twist that flavor with a cinnamon custard, which I didn't opt to do. Their pumpkin custard was delicious then and I hope they bring it back this fall.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sweets for Sweeties


Shop Name: Sweets for Sweeties


Location: Paradise, PA


Boo's Rating: 3 Screams


I was on my way to Philly the other day and I remembered that there is an ice cream shop on Rt. 30 on the way, so I figured I'd stop to check it out. Turns out, Sweets for Sweeties is primarily a candy shop. I'll have to go back sometime to try their homemade candies. In the meantime, I decided to sample their Moose Tracks, one of my favorite flavors. Turns out, they serve Turkey Hill ice cream, which I've already sampled and covered in my blog on Willow Valley at the Central Market. However, I hadn't sampled that flavor. It was okay. Not great, not terrible, just okay, hence the 3 screams.
Now for the exciting part: Soon I Scream You Scream will join the 21st Century with a real VIDEO BLOG!!! OMG!!! So exciting. My friend Mike and I went to the Jigger Shop in Mount Gretna and soon all the details will be available via vlog!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Haagen Dazs

Shop Name: Haagen Dazs

Location: Park City Mall

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams

Ok, I think we all know that Haagen Dazs is pretty high standard ice cream, so it's no surprise they've got a high Boo Rating. I try not to go to the mall if I can help it, but my job pretty much requires that I end up there pretty often. I figured that since I had to be there, I might as well make the most of it. Turns out, there are at least 3 different ice cream establishments within the mall that I will now attempt to visit on my next few work-related outings to the mall.

The man at the Haagen Dazs counter was so friendly and offered me samples without making me feel guilty. I tried the coconut pineapple first and let me just tell you, it was DIVINE. I almost ordered it without any other samples, but then I saw- out of the corner of my eye- Brownie a la mode. Wow. I tasted a sample and fell in love. I ordered a kiddie size on a sugar cone. No, that's NOT a typo. I actually went for the sugar cone, even though it wasn't homemade and even though I have serious issues with sugar cones. (See my first blog entry for details.) Anyway, the ice cream was REALLY expensive- I paid $3.08 for a kiddie size scoop and it was definitely that. "Tiny" might be a better description for the size. Normally I don't even consider the cost, but I was a little blown away by the cost-to-scoop size ratio in this particular case. While I was considering what flavor to order, the very nice man behind the counter explained to me why Haagen Dazs is so delicious. He said that it has absolutely NO AIR in it. Almost ALL ice cream has air in it because it's continuously stirred while it freezes and the air in it is what makes the texture so great. Apparently, keeping the air out of the ice cream makes it really rich. They're not lying. Haagen Dazs ice cream is nothing if not rich.

Anyway, I have to say that my issue with sugar cones was proven right yet again. I was almost done eating the cone when a bit of brownie a la mode dripped out the bottom and onto my pretty pastel pink dress. DAMN! At least I was in the mall. I hopped over to CVS, bought one of those Tide-To-Go pens and tried my best to get it out. (Why they ever stopped making Shout Wipes, I'll never know. But that's another subject for another blog.) Fortunately for Haagen Dazs, their sugar cone was especially delicious, or the mishap might have upset me a little more than it did. The cone had a strong amaretto flavor to it that made it a little more sophisticated than your average sugar cone. Delicious!!!

Overall, Haagen Dazs earned 4 solid screams. Impressive.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Brickyard


Shop Name: The Brickyard


Location: N. Prince Street


Boo's Rating: 1 Scream


I want to be very clear that the Brickyard is NOT an ice cream shop. It is a sports bar and restaurant that happens to have ice cream on its menu. Their menu boasts an "ice cream du jour" which is whatever the chef feels like making that day. My meal prior to dessert had been pretty much terrible, but I want to be clear that the meal is not what was judged in determining the number of "screams." I ordered the crab-stuffed flounder. The waitress had recommended it pretty highly and I'm not gonna lie, it sounded delicious. The flounder came with a mango salsa on top of it with sides of rice, green beans and salad. I was really looking forward to this meal, but something went wrong in the kitchen and they turned my flounder into fish jerky. Seriously. It was awful and completely inedible. The sides were good, but not good enough for me to not send the dish back to the kitchen. I was still hungry, so I decided to order dessert and that's when I saw the "ice cream du jour" on the menu. Without even asking the flavor, I said, "I'll take it." When it came, it looked fabulous. The waitress informed me that the flavor of the day was Kahlua-strawberry-cheesecake. Doesn't that sound AMAZING? It was SO not. I know I'm always saying that busy ice cream needs to be sufficiently busy. Well, the Brickyard took that philosophy WAY too far. There was hardly any ice cream in the ice cream. It was ALL strawberries and the occassional chunk of bland cheesecake. Aside from the main problem of actually being just a bowl of strawberries, the Brickyard had another issue. They didn't chop the strawberries very small, so when mixed into the "ice cream" (I put it in quotes because I think they're abusing the term), the strawberries just ended up frozen solid. Eating one was like biting into an ice cube. Not good. And as for the kahlua? The flavor was non-existent.


I think I'm actually be generous by giving them any screams at all. The reason they get a scream is because I'm assuming their plain vanilla and chocolate ice creams are good enough to earn at least that. Also, since I sampled the ice cream du jour, it's fair to say that it might never be on the menu again. (We can hope, at least.) However, after the fish jerky and frozen berries experience, you'd have to pay me to go back to the Brickyard.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rosie's


Shop Name: Rosie's


Location: Somewhere near "the Buck"


Boo's Rating: 2 1/2 Screams


I was SO excited when I first walked into Rosie's. I was with Mindy and Alex (a.k.a. "The New Guy") and we'd just had a relaxing afternoon kayaking on the Susquehanna River. We were very hungry and Mindy suggested Rosie's because we could get dinner AND ice cream (for my blog, of course). When we walked in, I saw a sign listing all sorts of exciting flavors- mango, pineapple, strawberry, mocha cappuccino, raspberry, etc. I was SO excited to try some of them because they were ALL soft-serve and I'd never had many of those flavors in soft serve. After scarfing down a seriously good burger, I went back in to get some ice cream. I ordered the mocha cappuccino in a plain cone, as did Alex. Mindy opted for a chocolate/vanilla twist with chocolate dip. I also got chocolate sprinkles. I asked the girl behind the counter if I could taste a spoonful of the mango and she flat-out refused saying it's not possible. Hmmm... you just lost a couple points, Rosie. Then, she handed me my ice cream. It was a generous portion, but that's about all I have to say about it that's positive. Their idea of "mocha cappuccino" ice cream is a barely perceptible swirl of flavor on the edges of a swirl of vanilla ice cream. That is how ALL their special flavors are achieved. I'm sorry, Rosie, but I feel misled, deceived, and dare I say it? Lied to. You should explain somewhere in your signage that all those special flavors are actually just vanilla ice cream with a tiny glimmer of a different flavor. Seriously, after the first lick around the cone, the mocha flavoring was pretty much gone. And since I'd been so foolish as to order sprinkles, I really didn't even get to taste the mocha flavoring. It couldn't have been that good, since the chocolate sprinkles completely overpowered it. The vanilla ice cream was pretty bland and I didn't feel like eating it all, but I felt a responsibility to taste the cone. I scraped most of the ice cream off the top so I could take a bite of the cone. It was fresh, at least. There was a cute little dog with a Red Sox collar on (go Sox!) who I befriended while we were there. He enjoyed the rest of my cone, or at least he appeared to. I gave Rosie 2 1/2 screams because it's pretty bad when a dog enjoys the cone more than me.
P.S. Sorry for the poor description under "location" but I have NO idea what street Rosie's is on. It is definitely close to "the Buck" and probably about 10 minutes from "Lock 15" if that helps.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pine View Acres Dairy


Shop Name: Pine View Acres Dairy


Location: New Danville Pike


Boo's Rating: 3 Screams


Pine View Acres Dairy was .... ok. I would probably not drive out there again just for their ice cream. It was good ice cream, but far from the best I've tasted. I ordered a scoop of Oreo on a cone. At first I was really excited because I looked at the scoop and there was an ENTIRE OREO COOKIE poking out. For busy ice cream that would have been impressive, if it weren't for the fact that the cookie I saw was just about the only cookie in the ice cream. Once I'd eaten the cookie, it was as if I'd ordered a cone of vanilla. Shame on you, Pine View!


Fortuntately for the dairy, there were a lot of other flavor options, all homemade. Vanessa ordered a scoop of pineapple coconut ice cream and her review was that while it was delicious, the pineapple chunks were a bit too large. It was, however, quite busy. I believe she said she would prefer the coconut ice cream at the Lapp Valley Farm, which we visited a few weeks ago.


The good news about Pine View is that they also have a small convenience store where they sell their fresh milk (in bags, fyi). You can also walk around to visit the cows, as pictured above. I'm starting to think Vanessa will only go ice cream blogging with me if there are farm animals to pet. I personally think she's got an obsession with cows, but I could be wrong. For me, I'd rather NOT smell manure while licking an ice cream cone. However, that did not effect my rating- I gave Pine View a very fair 3 screams.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Boo's Vanilla Ice Cream Making Adventure

Shop Name: Boo's Home

Location: Greenland Drive

Boo's Rating: 2 1/2 screams

In honor of National Ice Cream Month (July), I decided to try to make my own homemade ice cream. I did a little bit of research and discovered that nearly every ice cream recipe ends with the words, "Pour mixture into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer directions." Hmmmm... I don't have an ice cream machine, and I don't think I want to invest in one, so what to do? I looked into other methods and found they're all pretty much the same concept. The "ball" method, the coffee can method, the double-ziploc bag method, etc. I didn't really want to use any of those methods because they all involve ice mixed with rock salt around the ice cream mixture, but they all said it created a soft-serve consistency. I wanted real hand-dipped consistency. One website I found said that you can actually pour the ice cream mixture into a shallow dish or tupperware and stir it with a hand mixer or spatula every half hour to 45 minutes. Bingo! Now that I'd found the least expensive method (no machines or rock salt to track down and purchase), I set about finding a good recipe. I didn't find one that really worked for me, so I pretty much used one as a guide and then altered it a bit. After that, it was off to the freezer for my ice cream. Unfortunately, after only 3 hours of chilling my ice cream in the freezer, it was not yet at the right consistency and I had to go to work! NOOOOO!!! I think if I had spent a couple more hours babysitting it, the consistency would have been better. I'll have to try it again on a day where I have more free time. I think the flavor of my ice cream was spot-on. It's got a really strong vanilla flavor. The consistency, however, is not so fabulous. If I were to be served ice cream at a local shop that was the consistency of mine, then that shop would probably only get 2 1/2 screams at the most. I'd like to say that my fabulous flavor would be enough to boost the score up a bit, but I'd be lying. I'm a harsh critic and I can't get all soft just because of my ego. So.... 2 1/2 screams for me. Sad, I know. I'm currently letting my ice cream warm up and soften a bit and I'm going to try to whip it up some more with a hand mixer to try to get rid of some of the ice crystals. Even if I don't, it's still a respectable first attempt at making homemade ice cream and it's definitely edible. Not only is it edible, it's pretty delicious.

In case you care, here is the recipe I used to make my homemade ice cream:

Ingredients:
4 c. half & half
2 c. heavy cream
15 egg yolks
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 vanilla bean

In a saucepan, combine cream with half & half. Score the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add both seeds and pod to the cream mixture. Slowly heat to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL!!! While the cream mixture is heating, combine the egg yolks and the sugar in a mixer and combine. After heating the cream mixture, remove the vanilla bean, then temper the eggs by slowly adding about half the cream mixture. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream and heat until the mixture thickens (about 170 degrees). Run your finger down the back of the spoon and if it leaves a clear path, the custard is ready. Cool the custard and then pour into a 9x13 baking dish, or similar sized plastic container. Every 30-45 minutes stir the custard with a hand mixer or spatula until it reaches the right consistency. Yum!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lapp Valley Farm


Shop Name: Lapp Valley Farm


Location: New Holland, PA


Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams


It was quite a drive out to the Lapp Valley Farm, but it came highly recommended by several locals, so I had to get out there. It is definitely a farm- there are cows and everything. Unfortunately, it smells like a farm, too. The good news is that the farm smell stays outside and when you're in the ice cream shop, all you can smell is the delicious scent of homemade waffle cones. I'm starting to think I might have to start another blog about the homemade cones around here! Lapp's homemade cones are definitely different from the SCS&C's cones. They're lighter and the flavor isn't as strong, but they are totally delicious. Autumn made the comparison to the flavor and texture of a pizzelle, and I think she's right about that. Although, I think a pizzelle traditionally has an anise flavor and these cones did not. The texture was almost exactly the same, though.
Along with Autumn, Jeffrey and Vanessa (a.k.a. Beanie) also came along for the trip to Lapp's. You can see how friendly Beanie got with the cows in the picture above. Lapp's not only has cows, but also peacocks everywhere. Also, Beanie got really friendly with a bulldog that was wandering around. Lapp's is definitely an animal-lover's ice cream destination. They also sell milk, cheese and butter and you can even go to the drive-through to order those things! I bought a huge piece of farmer's cheese and I can't wait to snack on it!
Ok, now for the ice cream. I sampled the butter brickle flavor which was basically vanilla ice cream with toffee bits mixed in. It was good, but I didn't want to eat a whole cone full of it. I also sampled the coconut (at Beanie's recommendation) and it was also really delicious. It was chock full of coconut shavings. Delish. In the end, I opted for a homemade sugar cone with chocolate almond ice cream. It was actually really disappointing because after tasting the other two, I had high expectations for the chocolate. Unfortunatelly, the chocolate flavor was barely there at all. It was like eating sweet cream ice cream with a hint of chocolate mixed throughout. Not good. The quality of the ice cream is clearly very high- it's really smooth and creamy, but the chocolate flavor was SO disappointing! It's good for Lapp's that I sampled the other two flavors, or their rating might have dropped. Taking all things into consideration, I had to give them 3 1/2 screams, certainly a respectable rating.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Turkey Hill Ice Cream


Shop Name: Turkey Hill Ice Cream


Location: Central Market, Lancaster City


Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams


I was pleasantly surprised to see a booth selling ice cream at the market today. How did I ever miss it? I guess I just don't usually visit the bakery stands at the market. My bad! My bags were full of fruits and veggies and some uber-yummy manchego cheese when I saw a sign that said "Sample cones: $0.50" Umm.... perfect!!! I asked for a sample of cookies & cream. The lady behind the counter pulled out the tiniest little cone you've ever seen! It was about 2 inches long! So cute! She scooped a bit of mint chocolate chip and I was like, "Oh, I wanted cookies & cream..." Oops! She was super sweet about her mistake, though and gave me both samples for the price of one. Can't let ice cream go to waste now, can we? Anyway, the ice cream was decent. It was pretty much your basic grocery-store variety. No complaints, but also nothing spectacular. However, I think their "sample cone" is a brilliant concept. I sometimes feel guilty if I ask to taste a lot of different flavors, but the fact that you pay a nominal amount for each sample makes them totally guilt free! Overall, Turkey Hill got 3 1/2 screams.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Strasburg Country Store & Creamery (SCS&C) PART TWO!

Shop Name: Strasburg Country Store & Creamery

Location: Main Street, Strasburg

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams

Yes, it's PART TWO for the SCS&C. I said in my first review of this place that it was good enough for me to go back, so I did. In my first review, I forgot to mention one of the best things about the SCS&C- the smell. I forgot how when you walk in, you're nearly knocked over by the amazing sweet smell of the place. I asked what it is and the lady at the counter told me it's their homemade sugar cones. There's a little room in the middle of the store with all these waffle-maker-looking things and they seriously make their own homemade sugar cones! I had to try one. I was so focused on the cake cone on the first trip, I didn't even consider getting a sugar cone. They should be advertising these sugar cones by shouting from the rooftops about them. They are delicious! And I am not usually a fan of sugar cones. They almost always leak and they're a lot harder to eat because they usually crack and then you risk ice cream spillage. Problem? I think so.

I ordered a kiddie sized scoop of oreo cookie ice cream on one of their homemade sugar cones. It was a fabulous scoop of ice cream and the cone was delicious. I also asked for a sample of their pumpkin ice cream. Kudos to the SCS&C for offering that flavor in a month other than September or October. AND it was great. I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin flavored- pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin chili, pumpkin soup- I love it all. Their pumpkin ice cream didn't disappoint. That combined with the fabulous oreo cookie/sugar cone combo upped their Boo Rating to 4 screams!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gelato di Babbo

Shop Name: Gelato di Babbo

Location: Eastern Market on King Street

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams

This will be brief because all I have to say is: "Get your butt down to the Eastern Market on King Street and try this gelato!!!" It's all homemade with local ingredients and it's insanely delicious. Apparently it's also being sold by the pint in at least four local supermarkets. I sampled three flavors- coconut, dark chocolate and mulberry merlot and all three were delicious, but the mulberry merlot was FIERCE. I could eat that flavor all day. Gelato di Babbo, you're high in my ratings with 4 very loud screams.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Treats Creamery and Cafe

Shop Name: Treats Creamery and Cafe

Location: Market Street

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams

Treats Creamery is definitely a special place. First of all, it's located inside the Quilt and Textile Museum in downtown Lancaster. If you have not been to this museum, you really should go. The ladies there are so knowledgeable about not only the quilts, but the history of the building as well. They are SUPER sweet, too. The price of admission is a mere $6- a bargain, really. The museum also has a gift shop and of course, the creamery & cafe.

Today I sampled the pistachio ice cream on a cake cone. It was absolutely delicious. The ice cream was rich and creamy and full of WHOLE pistachios! Yum! I am forever looking for really delicious pistachio ice cream, and this was some of the best I've ever had. Seriously! The creamery also offers about a dozen flavors of ice cream, sundaes with lots of different toppings, shakes of all kinds, and light lunch options including soups, sandwiches, wraps and salads. I'll have to go back there sometime for lunch! Not on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday, though, because with it's location so close to the Central Market, it's hard to resist heading there as well! Overall, the creamery scored an impressive 4 screams. You can bet I'll be back there soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Waterhouse Country Store- Gifford's Ice Cream

Shop Name: Waterhouse Country Store



Location: Windham, NH



Boo's Rating: 4 Screams



Waterhouse Country Store serves Gifford's Ice Cream, which is fairly common for many ice cream shops in NH. For a small "country store," there were MANY flavor options, too! I love the names of a lot of the flavors, including the one I tried- "Wicked Good Chocolate." You can't get more New England than that! And how was my ice cream? Wicked good, of course! It was rich and creamy, and the cake cone was fresh. Delicious! Overall, they earned 4 screams. It was wicked good, for sure.




Saturday, July 12, 2008

Udderly Delicious

Shop Name: Udderly Delicious


Location: Lincoln, NH

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams

I know, I know- 4 screams? For real? Yes, for real. Udderly Delicious is not only utterly delicious, but the shop is a hoot! You can see the mayhem I created trying to get a candid photo of the employees with my cone (I particularly like the girl diving into the cash register to avoid being in the pic). As you know from my Oregon Dairy blog, I LOVE the cow hats on the ice cream shop employees. But that's just the beginning of the greatness at Udderly Delicious. It's a little tourist-y, but there were a bunch of locals there as well, so I won't brand them a "tourist trap." Having side-stepped that landmine, Udderly Delicious didn't cease to impress. For starters, they have LOTS of flavor choices. Among those choices? GRAPENUT. Raise your hand if you've ever had Grapenut ice cream? That's what I thought. Not too many of you, right? It's basically vanilla ice cream with Grapenuts cereal mixed in. You either like it or you don't. I remember summers at home as a kid, pouring Grapenuts cereal on top of my ice cream and then sitting in the living room, watching TV, hoping I'd get to stay up just a little later! Anyway, as for the ice cream, it's a surprisingly delicious combination. It's a rare find, even for NH ice cream shops so U.D. gets mad props for having it on the menu.


"What else makes them great?" you ask. Well, I'll tell you. They also have an ice cream sundae bar. Uh-huh. You read that right. An ice cream sundae bar. See?


Totally awesome, right? Well, guess what else is awesome? Made-to-order ice cream cookie sandwiches. Also, free chocolate sprinkles (jimmies) for kids! Check it out:


I'm no kid, obvi, so my sprinkles weren't free, but I ordered them anyway, on top of my chocolate ice cream on a cake cone. (Side note: U.D. called it a "cake" cone, too- more evidence that it's the correct term.) So, forget about all the extras like ice cream sundae bars and made-to-order ice cream cookie sandwiches because even without all that, the ice cream was delicious. Rich and creamy, it didn't disappoint. Good job, U.D. You get 4 very loud screams. Holla!!!

Here's one last picture of Kevin & Melanie, my friends who joined me for this tasty blog trip.

P.S. One more SUPER COOL thing: The U.D. had brownies for sale that were GIGANTIC!!! My only vacation regret is that I didn't try one.





Friday, July 11, 2008

Chelsey's Ice Cream



Shop Name: Chelsey's Ice Cream


Location: Campton, NH


Boo's Rating: 3 Screams


Chelsey's Ice Cream is located inside Chelsey's "A Wicked Cool Country Store." At first I thought Chelsey's would be a total tourist trap, but it was actually a fabulous store! It was full of really cute decorative items as well as NH souveniers and all kinds of stuff. (Even a jewelry-making station- perfect for the kids on a rainy day.) Inside Chelsey's Wicked Cool Country Store was Chelsey's Ice Cream. The saleslady on the store side convinced us to try it with her description of the "Belgian Chocolate Dip." Mmmmmm... delicious! Unfortunately, the only ice cream flavors available were chocolate and vanilla soft serve. They had lots of "Flurrie" options, which my friend Melanie tried. Bonus points for Chelseys- they let her combine TWO different Flurrie flavors- Butterfinger AND Snickers. Yum! Melanie's Flurrie was LOADED with mix-ins, which we know for busy ice cream is really important. I tried vanilla ice cream dipped in (are you ready) Dark Belgian Chocolate. Holy cow. It was the most delicious ice cream dip I've ever had. I don't know if it's just their dip recipe, but the coat of chocolate on the ice cream cone was SO thick! Most dips you can just lick right off. This dip required me to bite into it in order to get to the ice cream underneath!
Unfortunately, with only 2 flavor options, I can't really give Chelsey's the highest rating. What they had was good, but really it was all the exciting options you could ADD to your ice cream that made it good. The ice cream itself was pretty much your basic soft serve. So, 3 screams it is, Chelsey.

Raymond's Frozen Custard Ice Cream

Shop Name: Raymond's Frozen Custard Ice Cream

Location: Raymond, ME

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams

OK, this place had some seriously delicious ice cream, or rather- frozen custard. I asked what makes it custard and was told that it's the use of egg yolks that makes it custard and not ice cream. Hmmm... interesting. But let's be honest, the only thing I really care about is how delicious it is, not necessarily HOW it gets to be so delicious, right? Right.

I was with my family while sampling this place. I ordered chocolate (of course), my mom got white chocolate mocha and my stepfather Mike got gingersnap. More like gingercrap if you ask me! Just kidding. I have to admit, when he ordered that flavor, I was like, "WHAT?" Who orders GINGERSNAP ICE CREAM? I guess when there are flavors like chocolate or white chocolate mocha or strawberry, it's just the LAST flavor I'd think to try. To be fair, it tasted EXACTLY like gingersnaps, but without any crunch and I think that's why I didn't like it. I like the whole package with those snappy little cookies, but when you take away what in my opinion is an essential element, it's just not the same. But enough about that- I know you're wondering why I know so much about an ice cream flavor I didn't even order. I make it my responsibility to taste as many flavors as possible when reviewing an ice cream establishment and I must admit, I am shameless in that respect. I will ask the clerk at the counter for several "samples" before making my flavor decision. If friends and/or family join me at an ice cream shop, I make them give me a taste of what they ordered. You know- for research.

Ok, so enough about gingersnap. My mom's selection- white chocolate mocha- was AMAZING, as was my chocolate cone. The texture of the custard was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! Most frozen custards I've seen are soft-serve, but this seemed to be hand-dipped. It was still pretty soft, compared to your basic hand-dipped ice cream, but still oh-so rich and delicious. The only problem I found with Raymond's was the fact that they only had 8 flavors to choose from. But even so, 4 screams is pretty stellar.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream

Shop Name: Blake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream

Location: Manchester, NH

Boo's Rating: 4 1/2 Screams

The picture really covers it all. Let's be honest, whoever decided to dip a cake cone in chocolate and then also dip into chocolate sprinkles is a genius! I haven't had New England ice cream in quite some time and my first cone back didn't disappoint. Blake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream was never one of the places I frequented when living in NH, but now I really regret that. I ordered the Triple Chocolate Ecstasy on the type of cake cone described above. It was so delicious and rich that I couldn't even eat enough ice cream to get down to the cone! I ended up getting a dish and scraping almost an entire scoop off just so that I could taste the delicious cone I'd ordered! The ice cream was so rich, so chock full of chocolate-y goodness, I was in complete ice cream heaven. Hence, the 4 1/2 screams rating.

As you all know, I've been on vacation in New England for the past 10 days and just returned last night. My next few posts will cover the 5 ice cream establishments I visited over that vacation. I really meant to visit more shops, especially the ones I remember being my favorites growing up, but we know what they say about the best laid plans, right? Anyway, it really got me thinking about different ice cream shops in different places. In the spirit of National Ice Cream Month, I'd like to hear from all of you about your favorite ice cream shop. Tell me what makes it great- the ice cream, the employees, the atmosphere- whatever it is that makes it your favorite. It doesn't have to be in the Lancaster, PA area- it can be anywhere. Wherever it is, I want to hear about it!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Coming Soon....

I know that all four of you who read this blog are waiting with eager anticipation for my big "NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH" blog entries. However, I am currently away on vacation and am not blogging regularly. (I prefer sitting in the sun and shopping.) However, I have kept up my ice cream research while on vacay and will post those shops as well. Coming soon are:


Blake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Manchester, NH

Raymond's Frozen Custard Ice Cream
Raymond, ME

Chelsey's Ice Cream
Campton, NH

Udderly Delicious
Lincoln, NH

Gifford's Ice Cream (at the Waterhouse Country Store)
Windham, NH

I'll be back soon! In the meantime, please leave a comment telling me your favorite ice cream shop and location and I'll make sure to visit as many as I can!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dairy Queen


Shop Name: Dairy Queen

Location: Columbia Ave

Boo's Rating: 2 1/2 Screams

Ok, I'm gonna be straight with you- this wasn't my first trip to a DQ. One of my favorite treats of all time is an Oreo Blizzard. Today, I decided to order the new Xtreme Chocolate Blizzard. It's made with chocolate ice cream, brownie bits and chocolate chips. Delicious, right? Well, I'm thinking they didn't follow the recipe quite right at the DQ today. Mine was clearly made with a vanilla ice cream base and the amount of brownie bits and chocolate chips was shameful. DQ, I expected better from you! It was such a disappointment that I might call it a fluke and give the DQ another shot a little later in the summer. But for now, I'm afraid the Boo Rating is 2 1/2 screams.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Freeze & Frizz



Shop Name: Freeze & Frizz

Location: New Holland Pike


Boo's Rating: 2 1/2 Screams






I think the Freeze & Frizz is better for BBQ or burgers than it is for ice cream. They have a handful of softserve flavors, and some shakes and malts, but that pretty much covers it. They do have one thing going for them- the dip. I sampled the chocolate soft serve in a cake cone with chocolate dip. It brought me back to my childhood. Also, it's always impressive when they dip the cone perfectly. When I was in high school, I had a job serving ice cream and the dip was the hardest thing to master. Especially the strawberry dip. Anyway, their ice cream was okay- nothing too spectacular. The dip was exciting in theory, but not that delicious in practice. I'd probably rather have chocolate sprinkles. Just in case you're interested, the Freeze & Frizz also has the pretzel cone. It appeared to be the same manufacturer as the pretzel cone at the Willow Street House of Pizza, so I didn't feel the need to try it again. Although, maybe I'll go back sometime and have them dip the pretzel cone! That sounds delicious!

In the end, the F&F gets 2 1/2 Screams, but I'll definitely go back sometime to try their BBQ.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

TCBY


Shop Name: TCBY (The Country's Best Yogurt)

Location: Hempstead Rd.

Boo's Rating: 2 1/2 Screams


I have fond memories as a young girl of going to TCBY with my father. When those shops first started springing up all over the place, we'd drive down there after I'd finished school for the day and get a sweet treat. He was really into it- my dad's got a sweet tooth that I think I inherited. They had so many flavors of yogurt back then! It was all the rage because of the frozen yogurt low-fat recipe. I think there was even a Seinfeld episode about it. I was a little disappointed in the flavor selection at the Lanc TCBY. They only had chocolate and vanilla, and of course, the twist. For hand-dipped ice cream there were 8 flavor options total. In all fairness, the TCBY is a small counter in a gas station, but I don't think that's an excuse for only 2 flavors of frozen yogurt!!! As I was leaving, the girl behind the counter said that next week, there would be other flavor options. Maybe they'd just run out and were waiting on a shipment. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they could have 4 or 5 more yogurt flavors.


I sampled the hand-dipped chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles on a cake cone. (Side note: I bow to the infinite wisdom of the Lancaster, PA ice cream establishments in regards to this breed of cone. Three of you have now referred to the flat-bottom plain cone as a "cake" cone. No coincidence, methinks.) The ice cream was creamy and delicious and the flavor was great- very chocolate-y. Also, the girl behind the counter was very smart in her scooping technique. All too often, the ice cream scooper will just mash the scoop onto the top of the cone and you have to hope that the ice cream melts down into it. This girl was brilliant- she scooped a smaller ball of ice cream and then filled the inside of the cone with it. GENIUS! After that, she topped the cone off with a larger scoop. I was really impressed with her mad scooping skills and the delicious ice cream. It was all ruined by the stale cone, though. As soon as I bit into it, I knew it was over. TCBY, I'm afraid you're past your prime, so you only get 2 1/2 screams.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gigi's Grill



Shop Name: Gigi's Grill

Location: 896 Near the little "Sight & Sound"

Boo's Rating: 1 Scream

All I have to say is don't bother. I can list the flavor options for you: Chocolate, Vanilla and Twist and also Sugar free Vanilla, Sugar Free Raspberry. Yes, you can clearly see from the picture of crazy Mindy that they have plain cones and chocolate sprinkles. Too bad my cone was so stale it even had a weird taste. They get ONE scream for not ruining the ice cream and the chocolate sprinkles. HOWEVER, if you want a decent burger & fries, they've got a great menu of diner-style food. Just get one of their pies for dessert instead of ice cream.

In other news, next month is National Ice Cream Month, so please feel free to comment with your favorite ice cream in the Lancaster area because next month I'll be hitting it hard. I'd especially like to hear about unusual flavors, or something that makes YOUR favorite ice cream shop special.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Willow Street House of... Pizza???

Shop Name: Willow Street House of... Pizza?

Location: Willow Street (duh!)

Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams




I know you think I'm crazy, but this place was recommended to me by a local. She read my Bruster's blog and said that the H.O.P. will be my "answer to a raspberry ice cream cone." Who am I to turn down an ice cream recommendation from a local? I googled directions to the place and Monday afternoon I set out to sample. Too bad the Willow Street House of Pizza is closed on Mondays! DENIED! It's a good thing I'm persistent and not easily deterred. Tuesday afternoon, I drove back out there. It was right around lunch time and there were a few people dining on some delicious looking pizzas and subs. I might have to visit again for lunch sometime. Around the corner from the pizza counter is the ice cream counter. The raspberry flavor is actually a soft serve, which I haven't reviewed yet in the Lanc area. I sampled just a small taste of it and it was so creamy and delicious that I made it my choice of the day. The H.O.P. has chocolate, vanilla and raspberry soft serve as well as a half dozen or so hand-dipped ("hard serve") flavors.


However, the most exciting thing about the H.O.P. is their menu of cone choices. Yes, they have "cake" cones and of course sugar cones, but they have something else I've never seen in all my 29 years. They call it a "pretzel cone." Ok, take a minute and recover from your excitement- I know I needed to when I saw it one the menu. The lady behind the counter had no information regarding the pretzel cone, so I really had no choice but to try it. You know, for research! Don't you agree that it's a completely BRILLIANT idea? Because of their saltiness, pretzels are the perfect food to pair with sweets! Here is some evidence:

Take 5 candy bars
Chubby Hubby ice cream
Chocolate covered pretzels

Need I say more? Well, even if I don't need to, I will. I can't believe I had never encountered a pretzel cone before! It really seems like pure genius to me and after tasting it, I think it's got real potential. I ordered the raspberry soft serve in a pretzel cone and the combination started out AMAZING. The salt on the outside of the cone was perfect with the ice cream- every lick was absolutely delicious- the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I was disappointed when I bit into the cone, though. The texture was really hard, but not in the crisp pretzel-like way I had anticipated. It was very difficult to bite into the cone and the flavor of the cone was nothing like a pretzel. I think that if someone really set their mind on making the perfect pretzel cone, they could possibly move on from there to world domination. I'd like to suggest chocolate dipped pretzel cones as an option as well for anyone who pursues this amazing invention. This area has cornered the market on perfect pretzels, so I'm sure there's someone around here who can make it happen. If you know anyone in the pretzel business, please have them contact me. This could be the next great development of our time.

OK, enough about the pretzel cone. All in all, the H.O.P gets 3 1/2 screams because their flavor choice was limited, and while the raspberry was rich and creamy, it didn't blow my mind. If they had a better pretzel cone and more flavor choices, they'd really up their rating in my book.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Strasburg Country Store & Creamery (SCS&C)

Shop Name: Strasburg Country Store & Creamery


Location: Main Street, Strasburg


Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams





I found a coupon in my "Hospitality Days" Coupon Book for the Strasburg Country Store & Creamery. Too bad when I got there, I forgot to use it. Oh well. I guess that means I'll have to go back sometime soon! And I probably will. I googled the SCS&C and found out it's a bit of a tourist attraction. It's a cute little country store filled with your typical Amish-town souveniers, books about the Amish, quilted pot-holders, bonnets, etc. There is also a rather large selection of candy- everything from full-size bars to bulk candy, formerly known as "penny candy." The ice cream parlor has a selection of a little over a dozen ice cream flavors, with the option of adding "mix-ins" on their frozen stone. Trendy, right? You'd think so, but the shop itself is SO cute and homey! I totally fell in love the minute I walked in. It feels like you're stepping back in time with the iron tables & chairs, the bucket full of ice & bottles of sasparilla, the chalk board menu, and all sorts of chotchkes and decorations that take you back to another era. Even the staff behind the counter are wearing black and white striped oxford cloth shirts with white collars, black "Colonel Sanders" ties and black newsboy hats. I am not lying when I said I fell in love. I don't even care that it's all meant to manipulate the tourists into spending more money!

On to the ice cream. SCS&C also has the "cake" cone! I asked the girl behind the counter if it's a regional thing to call it a "cake" cone. She said she'd never heard that term before working at the SCS&C. I'll keep investigating that term. Maybe someday I'll get to the bottom of it. I sampled a flavor called "E.T. Special" on a cake cone (duh). It's vanilla ice scream with lots and lots of Reeses Pieces mixed in. I asked why it's called "E.T. Special." Once again, the salesperson was not much help, but then I seemed to recall something in the movie "E.T." and how E.T. loved Reeses Pieces candy. It all makes sense, right? Maybe the girl behind the counter is too young to remember that small detail from the movie. (SCS&C you just lost points for making me feel old.) The ice cream was rich and creamy and CHOCK FULL of peanut butter pieces. YUM! The overall experience earned the SCS&C a total of 3 1/2 screams. I'll definitely be back later in the summer, even if I don't have a coupon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bruster's Real Ice Cream


Shop Name: Bruster's Real Ice Cream

Location: Columbia Ave.

Boo's Rating: 4 Screams


Happy Father's Day, folks! My father lives 400 miles away, so I spent my day deliberating where to go for my next ice cream cone. The choices in Lancaster are getting rather limited. http://www.bigyellow.com/ told me there was an Edy's on Hempstead Rd. The interwebs lied. Either that, or I drove past it without seeing it. Instead, I ended up at Bruster's Real Ice Cream on Columbia Ave. It was such a perfect summer day- not too hot, but hot enough where an ice cream cone is the perfect refreshment.


I was really excited to see that they have a flavor called "Purple Dinosaur" listed. Where I'm from, we've got a flavor called "Purple Cow" that I haven't seen around here. It's basically black-raspberry ice cream with white chocolate chunks. Get it? Purple cow? So I thought Bruster's "Purple Dinosaur" was going to be something similar. I asked about the flavor at the window, and was sadly informed that "Purple Dinosaur" is nothing more than vanilla ice cream with a whole lot of purple food coloring. Gross. Not to mention really disappointing. There were a lot of other interesting flavors listed on the board including one I'd never seen- Chocolate Oreo. I had to have it. Who doesn't love Oreo ice cream, right? And CHOCOLATE Oreo? Delicious, right? Holla. I asked if they had plain cones and the girl at the window said they had sugar cones and "cake" cones. "What's a cake cone?" I asked. She brought one over the show me and lo and behold, a "cake" cone" is a flat-bottom plain cone! HALLELUJAH!!! Bruster's is the FIRST place on my ice cream quest to serve them! Whoo-hoo!!! I could barely contain my excitement. I ordered a single scoop of the chocolate oreo on a "cake" cone. The flavor was fabulous- nice and chocolate-y. And the texture was totally different from any other ice cream I've ever had. It was light and fluffy, almost like the texture of mousse. I usually like my ice cream really thick, but the light airiness of this was actually really nice. And it was CHOCK FULL of oreo cookie bits. The only complaint I have is that the "cake" cone was actually really stale. Maybe because they call it a "cake" cone, people don't know what that means and instead order a sugar cone, so the "cake" cones end up sitting around getting stale. I dunno. Either way, the stale cone and the food-coloring filled ice cream knocked Bruster's down a bit to a total of 4 screams, which is still a stellar rating.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friendly's


Shop Name: Friendly's
Location: Lincoln Highway
Boo's Rating: 3 1/2 Screams

Who hasn't been to a Friendly's? Who's never experienced a "Happy Ending Sundae" or a "Jim Dandy?" This post is very straight-forward because I think you've all "been there, done that" where Friendly's is concerned.

Ice Cream Selection: Good

Ice Cream Quality: Good

Topping Selection: Good

Let's be honest. Friendly's is pretty darn good. I'm not saying I'm shouting from the rooftops that it's the best thing to ever happen to ice cream, but it's not too shabby, right? Decent flavor selection, good quality ice-cream, lots of sundae options. And who doesn't love the way they make the smiley face on the ice cream with the cone on top so it looks kinda like a clown? No happier ending than that, my friends. But what's the best thing about Friendly's? When you order a Fribble, you get the glass full of milk-shake goodness with a side of- that's right- milk shake goodness! It's like you get two Fribbles when they bring over the glass filled with Fribble alongside the metal Fribble mixer cup with the "left-overs." You know how sad you feel when you're done eating something delicious? Well, with the Fribble, you get to delay that sadness by one entire glass-full of milk shake. And you're so full of sugary, ice-creamy milk-shake when it's over that you're really not that sad. You're satisfied.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oregon Dairy

Shop Name: Oregon Dairy
Location: Oregon Trail... ummm, I mean Pike
Boo's Rating: 3 Screams




Visiting the Oregon Dairy was a lot like playing Oregon Trail as a kid. I hopped in my covered wagon (AKA 2002 Toyota Prius- whatevs, they have like, the same emissions, dude) and Laura followed behind in hers. Laura was the first person to join me in my quest for the perfect Lancaster, PA ice cream and I think it's safe to say she'll be begging to come along again. Especially since she survived this trip without getting dysentery. (Which is more than can be said for the average Oregon Trail game.) Anyway, we traveled along Rt. 30 to the Oregon Pike. After losing several oxen to the journey, we finally arrived at Oregon Dairy where oxen are abundant, so I wasn't too sad over the loss of mine.
Let me just say that this place is HUGE. It was seriously crowded, and let's be honest- that's always a good sign for a food-service establishment. Oregon Dairy is far more than just your basic ice cream stand. It's part grocery store, part farm, part tourist trap, part restaurant, part ice cream parlor, part-- well, you get the picture. After wandering around a bit, we asked for directions to the ice cream portion of this farm-themed monstrosity. Upon entering the ice cream parlor, I was fairly impressed. The selection of ice cream flavors was pretty large. The poor kids working the counter have to wear cow-print baseball hats, and that upped the entertainment value of the O.D. significantly. They let me sample a couple of flavors, so I tried to keep my sarcastic remarks about their uniforms to myself. I tried a sample of peach cobbler ice cream and their choco fudge before deciding on the chocolate peanut butter with a plain cone. YAY for plain cones! Laura had the same flavor and we both agreed that on a hot summer afternoon, it really hit the spot. But if I were to be really critical, I'd have to say that all the flavors I sampled were pretty run-of-the-mill. The chocolate base of the chocolate peanut butter was pretty average, and as much as I love that combo, the peanut butter swirl totally overpowered the chocolate ice cream. Also, since the chunks of PB were so large, it made the choice of a plain cone as an ice cream vehicle kind of difficult. It would have been more suited to a cup, but I guess we can call that poor judgement on my part.
I recommend it as a place to bring the whole family- there are tractor rides and giant cows and all sorts of fun things. Overall, I gave the Oregon Dairy 3 Screams. It would have been more, but Laura nearly drowned as we tried to ford the river.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cold Stone Creamery

Shop Name: Cold Stone Creamery
Location: Park City
Boo's Rating: 2 1/2 Screams

Cold Stone is the franchise that brought the "frozen stone" concept to the masses. If you like your ice cream busy, this is definitely a place to try. I personally feel that Cold Stone is highly over-rated. People RAVE about this place, but I have to admit, I just don't get why. First of all, the mix-in concept is hardly new. DQ's been serving the Blizzard for years, am I right? Just because it's mixed on a stone and not in a cup, people think, "OMG! This is amazing!" But let's break it down, ok? In order to have a good cup of busy ice cream, one must first start with high quality ice cream. Just because you're adding a bunch of stuff to it doesn't mean it can be crap. Cold Stone's ice cream is run-of-the-mill at best. The flavor is average, the texture nothing special and the mix-ins can all be found at your local grocery store. In other words, "I'm over it."

NOTE 6/16/08: It has come to my attention that ALL Cold Stone Creameries in Lancaster, PA have been closed. No word yet as to whether or not they will open anytime soon. No big loss, if you ask me.