When you commute to work, do you take the same path every day? Sometimes turning the wheel the opposite way can reveal a whole different world. On my way to PAs Lounge for Byron Coley’s No More Bush tour, I found myself taking a long cut through Medford and a Mocha Almond cone was waiting for me on the corner.
With a clock welcoming travelers to Medford Square mounted to the second story of Colleen’s, it’s a pretty good signal that this place is a local institution. The striped awning and white brick and tin facade, this almost seems modernist for the neighborhood. Inside things lose a bit of their charm and seem a bit more like a revivalist diner, but it is still endearing.
What isn’t endearing is the wait. In front of me are two families, one for each of the employees working the scoops. It seems as though everyone has ordered a frappe or a float or some other labor-intensive combination. One family comes back to dispute the bill after I have already paid, and I finally gave up and tended to my cone rather than wait for my change.
While Colleen’s does seem like a great centerpiece for the community, it has a limited menu that lacks any real local flair. The ice cream comes from Brigham’s and the rest of the layout closely resembles many of their shoppes as well. There weren’t many flavors on the menu that I hadn’t had recently, so mocha almond jumped out at me.
Whereas almond is often in ice cream only in slivers or pieces, these scoops featured lots of fresh whole nuts. The ice cream was light and simple, with flavors that tended toward sweetening the cone rather than dominating the taste. The mocha seemed most like a milk chocolate as the coffee flavor was merely a subtle hint. Surprisingly, this was better ice cream here than at the Brigham’s store we tried.
Whomever thinks that ice cream is not factored by where you eat it, is probably lying to you. Whether you are stuck outside with cream coating your forearm, or in a frigid diner, the circumstances of how you eat definitely effect the taste. Separating myself from the nuisance at the counter here let me appreciate the good ice cream and the neighborhood charm.
Cone – small $3.49 medium $3.99 large $4.49 xl $4.99
Sundae – small $4.29 medium $5.29 large $6.79
Frappe – small $3 medium $4.99 xtrathick $6.09
Colleen’s Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop
Open year round
Monday-Friday 9a-11p, Saturday 9:30a-11p, Sunday 10a-11p