I started off the day in Maine, but after a bit of wandering, I pointed my car toward my folks’ place with designs on dinner. I had called my dad before anyone else woke up and told him I was bringing dinner. He didn’t know I was in Maine, so had no idea I was bringing lobsters. After we ate, we hopped in the car and headed off where I got a Grahamma Meola cone, dad had the Frozen Pudding, and mom the Coffee Kahlua Brownie.
Figuring out just when Meola’s started into making ice cream is a bit difficult to determine, but the adjacent Mount Wachusett Dairy that this sprung forth from was founded in 1920 by Anthony Meola. From all reports this place has been around for ages, and my dad and I were both guessing different dates in the fifties, but agreed that they probably started scooping at any time after WWII.
This store is the main shoppe for Meola’s which has opened shops along 190 in both Sterling and Leominster as well, but both of those are relatively recent additions. Here in West Boylston, the easiest way for people to find this place used to be determining the distance from the second largest body of water in the state – the Wachusett Reservoir. Nowadays, people will say it’s just past the Walmart if you’re coming from the north or if you’ve gone too far if you’ve got there from the south. With big signs, bright lights, and Mount Wachusett Dairy neon, odds are pretty low that it would be tough to drive past this place on Rt 12, even at night, unless it was too late and already closed.
On a Monday night, things were really busy, and the three serving windows couldn’t keep the lines from growing. In a way that delay was good because many of the flavors here are odd and original combinations, but bordering the top of the wall above the windows are in-depth descriptions of each flavor, so it took a while to examine and figure out what you wanted. After you got a cone, there were a few seating areas, and more than enough kids just wandering around trying to get their parents to let them mount the cow statue.
I started with a taste of the German Chocolate Cake, which was divine, but I wasn’t in a big coconut mood and figured I may stumble before I got to the bottom of a whole cone. Instead I switched course and went with the grahamma Meola cone. Graham cracker ice cream is stuffed full of chocolate covered ‘krispies’ and then subject to a graham cracker swirl. While most graham ice creams I have encountered have balanced the flavor with cinnamon, this really lets the cone succeed on the power of graham itself, with a strong flavor that dominates everything beyond the first crunch of the chocolate. With farm fresh ice cream and truly original flavors, this is a true gem.
With no Red Sox game on tonight as a suitable audio accompaniment on our way over, I tried plugging in my iPod and seeing where the shuffle might take us. In the most startling turn of events, there was no music that I had to scramble my thumb to skip past. Even “Darling Nikki,” the tune that set Tipper Gore aflame back in the eighties passed their ears without any real offense. If there was ever a good sign that my iPod needs a full overhaul, this is probably it.
Cone – small $3.19 medium $3.39 large $3.59 waffle $3.75
Frappe $4.50 thick $4.75
Meola’s Wayside Ice Cream