$1 on Opening Day

31 03 2009

The Red Sox kick off their 2009 season on Monday, April 6. In celebration of the return of baseball to the hub, local ice cream chain J.P.Licks is offering cones for a dollar all day long at all eight of their locations. They began cross-promoting baseball and ice cream with the introduction of the flavor Cherry Garciaparra back in the dark ages.

redsox0606

That flavor has been since changed to Cherry Ortiz, and J.P. Licks is rolling out an entire line in celebration of various current Sox stars.  Flavors include: Rice DICE Kream, Green Monster Tea, One Sweet World Series, Peanut Beckett and Jelly, Very Berry Ellsbury Lowfat Yogurt, and Pedroia’s Passion Fruit Sorbet.





The Name of the Game

28 03 2009

We recently made a trip to the frozen yogurt emporium BerryLine in Harvard Square, but last night there was a concert at the Pierre Menard Gallery just across the street. While I opted for Little Debbie snacks from the market just up Mass Ave, I walked into BerryLine with some friends to check things out (in reality, if they had a chocolate-based frozen yogurt I’d’ve tried it again, but neither Coconut or Strawberry struck my fancy).

Anyway, while inside I noticed a sign that BerryLine seems not to be so keen on that moniker and they are asking their customers to help rename the place. They’ve even got a website set up just to help people submit suggestions. If they choose your name, you could win either (A) one Nintendo Wii OR 16GB iPod Touch OR $300 cash AND one (1) $200 BerryLine gift certificate or (B) $1000 donated to a local Massachusetts charity of the winner’s choice AND one $100 BerryLine gift certificate.





Caraway’s ‘N’ Creme – Wayland MA

21 03 2009

I was just out for a drive without any forethought of a cone, but my radar has become acute and the banner proclaiming ‘Ice Cream’ was in big red letters. After driving through Weston and wondering where their residents went if they were looking for a non-soft serve cone, the shops at the Wayland border seemed like a great spot. A mile on up Route 20, I found a Mint Chocolate Chip cone.

caraway's n creme ice cream wayland mass

I wonder how many times I’d driven past this place. Just from the fact that it is a bagel shop in its primary guise, I was embarrassed to have not been  here in any capacity before. It’s a bit overshadowed by Russell’s Garden Center just to the west, but I should have been more aware. This area is a bit of a vortex where ice cream is missing as there aren’t shoppes to be found in adjacent Lincoln or Sudbury.

Inside, Caraway’s is a cross between a bakery and a breakfast nook. They serve breakfast whenever they are open and most of the focus is on egg-based sandwiches and pastries. The ice cream is tucked into the front corner with an array of ice cream that is limited to ten choices plus a sherbet and three yogurts.

Needless to say, none of the options was particularly innovative, and there wasn’t really anything that I could even ask for a taste of  since the options were so ordinary. The girl who waited on me seemed shocked that I was looking for ice cream and packed my cone in a way that I haven’t seen before. She put tons of miniature scoops together to try and make it take a regular shape, but before I even got the cone to my mouth, wedges had fallen free.

Caraway’s doesn’t make their own ice cream and when I asked where my mint chocolate chip came from, I got an absolute deer-in-the-headlights expression. She did go back to the freezer and look at lids for some sort of printing and the only thing she could gather was that one of them said ‘Adam’s Farm’ on it, but research hasn’t uncovered anything on that. The ice cream was perfectly mediocre, with a taste remarkably akin to any random grocery store brand.

mint chocolate chip ice cream caraway's n creme wayland mass

The poppy seed bagels that I picked up were a few steps better than the ice cream they offered here. While they don’t match up to the sort that I got regularly when last on Long Island, they are as good as you’re going to find in the Boston Metro West area. Bagels, if you’re nearby, but this is an area that could certainly use some better ice cream.

Cone – children $1.90 1scoop $2.86 2scoops $3.33

Sundae – small $4.29 large $4.90

Milkshake – small $3.99 large $4.75

Caraway’s ‘N’ Creme

325 Boston Post Rd, Wayland, MA 01778

508 358-5025

Open year round

[Winter Hours] Monday-Thursday 7a-4p, Friday 7a-5p, Saturday 8a-5p, Sunday 8a-4p

Caraway’s online





Sprung!: Rota Spring Farm – Sterling MA

14 03 2009

I‘m actually a week late! I drove up around noon, to find a batch of cars already ringing the stand. Even more amazing is the fact that I missed the opening weekend entirely by being in Maine last week. Any place that knows it’s worth opening in early March is rightfully a destination ice cream shoppe. I had a cone with a scoop of Ginger Snap and another of Chocolate Walnut.

rota spring farm sterling mass new addition ice cream vegetable stand

A little inquiry has found that the gigantic new addition on the the stand itself is going to be taken over by a vegetable stand. There are usually makeshift stands that were propped up during the summer and fall, but this seems like a far more concerted effort. And it’ll give the ice cream mixing area and the office their own separate places.

The construction here isn’t totally complete, but things look close (but still need a paint job). However, the picnic tables were still stacked so I slogged through the gravel and mud and sat out watching the cows and scanning the horizon for the green that is starting to creep up from the soil to the tips of trees.

My peril came with my order. Indian Pudding, which I’ve long proclaimed as my favorite flavor, is gone. Apparently last summer they brought out a Ginger Snap flavor that used the same base as the Indian pudding, but without the same density (read a bunch less corn meal) but that is in turn augmented by the addition of cookies. Apparently the sales of the Indian pudding nosedived and people jumped ship to the ginger. After a sample, I figured it was still worth the cone.

This ice cream is why I go around eating ice cream. It’s why I started this blog: to find ice cream that compares. The chocolate walnut was wonderful and the ginger snap was great as long as I divorced it from my Platonic ideal of the Indian pudding. When I say this is a destination ice cream stop, I really mean it. Rota Spring Farm is worth the drive just for a cone.

chocolate walnut and ginger snap ice cream rota spring farm sterling ma

The expansion seems as though it will open up some new options for desserts in the area. The idea of ice cream cakes and pies was presented, and here’s hoping they find a great ice cream sandwich to add to that mix as well. And yes, if we can create a groundswell of demand, the Indian pudding will return, though likely only as a seasonal flavor in the fall.

Original review: http://weallscreamforicecream.wordpress.com/2008/06/28/rota-spring-farm-sterling-ma/

Cone – kiddie $2.43 small $3.10 large $4.05

Sundae – 1scoop $3.81 2scoop $4.52 3scoop $5.24

Frappe $4.05 extra thick $4.52

Rota Spring Farm

117 Chace Hill Road, Sterling MA 01564

978-365-9710

Open March-November

Daily 11:30a-7p

http://rotaspringfarm.com





Maggie Sundae – Amesbury MA

7 03 2009

When things start to thaw out, it has a knack for getting my wheels spinning in the same migratory directions as the birds. With a destination in Maine, I scoped out what ice cream shoppes along the way might be open this early in March. With a few possibilities on a single rerouting, I found the first of them open for business. The Chocolate Lab cone proved my geography experiments successful.

Maggie Sundae Ice Cream Amesbury Mass

Located in the heart of Amesbury, right next to the Town Hall, Maggie Sundae has become a fixture in only three years. Scott and Kim Richards founded this place and named it after their dog. With a dog bowl outside and special doggie ice cream, this place caters to canine customers as much as it does their owners (and those of us that don’t own pets).

The shop seems as though the core of its business is with it’s coffee and baked goods rather than ice cream. While the freezers take up a big part of the store, the hours imply the different focus. Not too many people are looking for a cone when they open up at 6:30a. Though if I found myself in Amesbury some morning, their wifi and cone might tempt me.

With the dog focus, it seemed as though one of the pun-based tunes was the way to go. I passed on Cherry Jeff Walker and Purple Pupand decided to venture to what seemed as though it had to be the most experimental. Thus I wound up with the crazy combination that also had a doggedly punny name: chocolate lab.

A dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips, chocolate swirl, brownie batter and  any other nearby chocolate is what I got. The ice cream was rich and dense and the overflow of chocolate like a strategically planned assault on my tongue. Different subtleties of chocolate flavor kept unfolding in waves and twisting things within a the realm of chocolate. If only the cone had been built as such and not merely unceremoniously dumped from a bowl, then this might have been an even better experience.

Chocolate Lab Maggie Sundae Amesbury Mass Ice Cream

Luckily, I found this place as the overcast day tweaked my sense of direction. Instead of heading due north, I got misdirected onto 107A and wound up driving around New Hampshire continually taking roads that pointed me more north and more east until I finally made it back to 95. An attempt to plot my path and show my errors is too embarrassing to post.

Cone – miniature $2.49 standard $2.99 big dog $3.89

Sundae – standard $3 big dog $4.75

Frappe $3.95

Maggie Sundae

60 Friend St, Amesbury, MA 01913

978 388-0100

Open year round

Sunday- Thursday 6:30a-8p, Friday & Saturday 6:30a-9p [5p or 6p closing time before 3/23]

http://www.maggiesundae.com/








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