I really hadn’t intended for my first two Connecticut stops to be in Mystic. The place I really want to venture to is the UConn Dairy Bar in Storrs, but that destination is out of the way enough that it needs to be a target. I saw this place as I was heading to New London, and one of our readers commented that it was her favorite place, so I went and tried a Sticky Fractured Finger cone.
When it comes to Connecticut’s South Coast, I’m far more well versed in the culture of New London. I’ve got a few friends that live down there and am willing to make the two hour drive from Boston to see concerts in some odd venues. Plus it’s where the Cross Sound Ferry docks. That town and it’s sister Groton are based around a shipping economy, and more significantly submarine building, so they are very blue collar. It’s easy to forget how posh a nearby place like Mystic actually is.
My knowledge of Mystic really doesn’t get much further past Mystic Pizza, and I hadn’t seen that film since I was in high school (plus I figured that Annabeth Gish was going to be the breakout star from that film, not Julia Roberts). So when the traffic got heavy, I assumed the bridge was up and parked a few blocks away figuring it would be an easier walk. I wandered down Main Street and looked at the boutiques and curios that filled the windows. Also as forewarned on this last week of the summer, there were a lot of New York licence plates around.
Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream is located right at the drawbridge in the center of town and there is a sign that can be seen from the water side that says, “We Make The Best.” In the front windows, the signs instead say, “We Make Old Fashion.” With a section of the menu devoted to Drawbridge Originals (including the new addition Bird Chip – vanilla with trail mix and chocolate chips) their classic techniques for making ice cream one batch at a time are combined with a very modern approach to flavors. I selected from the originals menu with the sticky fractured finger.
It’s a caramel ice cream with broken butterfingers and a caramel swirl, that comes together in odd proportions. The ice cream is actually pretty light on the caramel, with the swirl inside being the part that tries to bring it to the consistency of a butterscotch pudding. The Butterfinger pieces are microscopic – this is truly fractured to the point that the candy never gets a chance to have any of the real bite that a bar might. After getting good advance notice, I do have a tendency to idealize what I think such a flavor could be, and while this didn’t meet my dreams, it was a pretty fantastic cone.
My only real gripe with this place was the service. I got stuck behind two families, and then another was behind me trying to make their way through close quarters with an unwieldy stroller. Watching a family pick out cones is actually kind of fun, but watching one girl be left to wait on all of us was disappointing, more so because one kid was on his break and out of the store, and another girl sat behind the counter idly playing with her cone and making no motions to help even as the shoppe filled up. If you work drawing scoops, don’t sit behind the counter unless you are working as everyone inside seemed on the verge of yelling and it actually changes the way that the ice cream tastes when the workers put a bad taste in your mouth from the outset.
Cone – single $3.50 double $4.50 triple $5.50 the sampler $7.85
Sundae – classic $5.65 specialty $6.60
Milkshake $5.65 malted +$.89
Open year round