Jim’s Ice Cream Barn – Salem NH

8 07 2012

July is National Ice Cream Month, and today we’re pre-gaming for next Sunday’s more specific holiday: National Ice Cream Day. With time in the car under air-conditioning not a problem in the least, Tim and I headed to New Hampshire and found ourselves just across the state line in Salem at Jim’s when I landed a Cinnamon Coffee Cake ice cream cone.

There isn’t much of a history to Jim’s despite being part of a barn that looks like it could long have been part of this landscape. Owners Jim and Kim Solloway opened Jim’s in July of 2010, yet the place seems as though it’s deeply entrenched in the local community already: the only thing missing is the wall full of photos of different Little League teams.

There’s ample seating inside, enough that I was a bit surprised to find that the Barn wasn’t opened year round. I know that if I were a kid whose birthday was in February (rather than my actual August), I’d want to bring my friends here for a party … or at least get an ice cream cake. Outside of the barn there’s a nice bench to sit at, and there are picnic tables and other seating around the barn, though they may be more officially part of other businesses in the building. The only thing missing is much of a view, as what you see is the backside of commercial buildings that face route 28.

Once inside you realize the wealth of options available as two large boards are needed to cover the flavors – one for homemade ice cream, the other for soft serve. It’s always nice when there are new flavors that you need to read descriptions of to figure out what they are (my brother went with the Mocha Carmela by the Sea), and I quickly realized that what I wanted was the cinnamon coffee cake.

The flavor was spectacular with a golden yellow cake ice cream with a crunchy cinnamon swirl that infused every bite. It wasn’t the gooey sloppy cinnamon bun that I was expecting but instead it really was the more grown up cinnamon that you usually find as part of the topping of an actual crumbly coffee cake. The cake ice cream made this a richly decadent delight, and isn’t that exactly what the best ice cream is supposed to be.

This is so close to Massachusetts that it’s tough to think of it as New Hampshire, but then again we did stop at a state liquor store between the state line and here, so it’s not right on the line. The only big shock was that we didn’t spy any fireworks closeout sales in this stretch. Oh, and if you’re going to go with the salty caramel flavor that my brother had, our recommendation is that you go for the pretzel cone to help draw the salty flavor to the fore.

Cone – kiddie $3.35 small $3.85 large $4.35

Sundae – kiddie $4.35 small $4.85 large $5.35

Frappe $5 (?) or go on Thirsty Thursday when they are $4

Jim’s Ice Cream Barn

5 Kelly Road #1R, Salem, NH 03079

603 890-3500

Open April-October

Daily noon-9p (8p before Memorial Day)

jimsicecreambarn.com





Sugar & Ice – Barrington NH

31 08 2011

The fun thing about being early is that you can venture out and discover other places. Having already trekked to Dover to visit Golick’s, today I drove to the next town west and found myself to a miniature toyland that also makes some fine ice cream on the premises. I checked things out while walking around with an Orange Ginger waffle cone.

Even though Sugar & Ice is set back from the road, it seems like the sort of place that is difficult to drive past without noticing. Firstly there’s a color scheme with pastel yellows and pinks that dominates the landscape, but dotting that entire terrain are wooden signs of various shapes and sizes that seem like they should be posted around town with arrows leading people here. The fact that the Mad Hatter is among the things adorning these signs is the most revealing aspect of what’s going on here. The rest of the back yard is full of those oversized playskool yard toys that seem to be some toddler’s greatest dream.

Pink picnic tables seem to mark the perimeter of the land that the ice cream joint uses here, and there’s a massive oversized umbrella that fits another seating section beneath it. Open and spacious, there are sight lines so that parents can be sitting in real seats and yet still be able to keep an eye on how their kids are adding grass stains to their pants. Located on 125 up here, you’ve really got to be heading here to find this place, but if you’ve got kids with you, it’s worth the extra miles.

They’ve got someone who works here that has great penmanship as the signs all around the windows are full of colorful slogans and menu options and tips to put up pictures of your kids on facebook to get free stuff. Walking up there’s an incredible smell as it seems like they’re making waffle cones freshly as I pulled into the lot. I look at the specials, but all that’s left is the orange ginger, which I sample and quickly commit to a whole cone, and one of those waffle ones at that.

Firstly, I realize that the waffle cones weren’t being made and stacked, they were made to order as I grab my cone and feel the warmth emanating between me and the ice cream. It makes me want to dive in for fear of the ice cream quickly melting away, but its cold enough to hold its own. The ice cream has that sweet subtle orange flavor that you’re more likely to find in an orange pineapple than a creamsicle. In fact, the pineapple is a very apt comparison as the pieces of ginger take their place to make a very elegant mix. In a place where the color schemes cream kids, a flavor like this shows that they know well how to keep all of their audience interested.

This side trip was only really an extra ten minutes drive, and with the time to kill, the only thing I would likely have done instead is spend money that’s been burning a hole in my pocket at a music shop or on something even more dumb. I got back to the Barley Pub to find Tim & Djim waiting around so we head out for dinner and then came back to rock things out.

Cone – small $3.50 medium $3.95 large $4.95

Sundae – small $4.95 medium $5.50 large $5.95

Frappe $4.95 extra-thick $5.50

Sugar & Ice Creamery

555 Route 125, Barrington, NH

603 335-1140

Open seasonally (April-October?)

Monday-Thursday noon-9p, Friday & Saturday noon-10p

www.iscreamforicecream.net





Hayward’s – Nashua NH

5 10 2010

The worst part about the fall in New England is watching all of the summer businesses go dormant. While Nashua is certainly no coastal community in Maine that becomes a ghost town, this shack at the end of Daniel Webster Highway was getting ready to close its doors for 2010 when my dad and I stopped in for cones. He went for the Apple Pie, I opted for a Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

Hayward’s has been a part of the New Hampshire landscape since 1940, providing homemade ice cream from this location and a sister site in Milford. On this day, signs of the transition were most apparent by the fact that all of the other people in the parking lot were perusing the farm stand carts perched at the roadside that were overflowing with tomatoes and apples and other produce (there was even a sign that said they had their own butter and sour cream available.

Since this location is not surrounded by the strip malls that define most of this town, it takes a concerted effort to get yourself here. Once at Hayward’s they do make things accommodating with a large parking lot and tree-covered area with benches that extends out either side behind the building. The delivery trucks behind the building all seemed as though they had seen their last action of the season as well.

The greatest peril of ice cream stands at the end of the line is the limited options available. The menu board was whited out by magnets that went over the names of flavors that were not replenished, and a few of my preliminary choices were thus eliminated. Once I pointed out the seasonal flavors to my dad he quickly went for the apple pie, and I realized that there were too many different concepts for what chocolate covered strawberry could be so I had to give it a chance.

The small cone was teeteringly high, but without much sideways overflow didn’t cause too much dripping. Not that the 70 degree weather was going to be as punishing as July heat. My dad liked the apple pie, but once i asked about the pie crust and he commented on the lack of any, we got into a discussion of why they don’t call this just apple or apple spice or some such thing. My cone was not what I expected, but instead was a strawberry ice cream with a rich fudgy swirl running through it. The ice cream had a light consistency, but more of an artificial strawberry flavor and there were no chunks of fruit inside. While actual chocolate covered strawberries suspended in this mix would have made it heavenly, the results were pretty unique and quite stellar on their own.

We’d headed up to Nashua in a quest for new sneakers. Searching for size 16s is an exercise in futility, my brother had a friend of his special order a new pair of Nike’s for me, so we made a visit to Runner’s Alley up that way. After demolishing my last pair of kicks from softball and general overuse, it was nice to slip into cushy shoes whose air pockets still held air.

Cone – kiddie $2.95 small $3.40 large $4.20

Sundae – small $4.85 large $5.65

Frappe $4.65 extra thick $5.65

Hayward’s Ice Cream

7 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH 03060

603 888 4663

Open April-Columbus Day

Hours 11a-9p

http://www.haywardsicecream.com/





Return Engagement: Annabelle’s – Portsmouth NH

15 09 2009

Apparently SoundScan really does police their records. I had to wait until midnight before the guys working would turn over the Big Star box set to me. After wasting a bunch of time in there finding 10 other records to use my credit on, I wandered around downtown Portsmouth for a couple hours and stumbled into a Pumpkin Pie cone.

annabelle's ice cream portsmouth new hampshire nh

Appearances are proving that newspaper reports are true that Ceres Street here on the waterfront in Portsmouth is in for a major reconstruction. Eliminating a couple aluminum sided buildings and providing an unimpeded view of the waterfront could really do wonders here. As it is, this is an alley with an old world charm, and the giant ice cream cone mounted on the side of the largest brick facade is always a welcome sight.

I turned the corner and saw it still lit, unlike most of the rest of the town on this Monday night. I figured maybe it was just a switch unflipped, but then the waving of the ‘open’ flag was a tractor beam to my soul. A sign for Fall flavors brought some extra lift to my step and I had a pretty good idea that I was going to find something special. I started with a taste of the pumpkin pie and stopped there

After I ordered the cone I actually commented that I was surprised they were open extra late on a Monday night. The guy working looked down a bit when he told me that he just hadn’t shut off the lights yet. The store was empty and the busy nest of tables and chairs crowded into this small wood-floored space had all been cleaned off for the night. So I stepped outside and wandered toward the Strawberry Banke waterfront park.

As pumpkin, this was a magnificently spiced cone that mixed the pumpkin flavors with a mashup of spices ruled by cinnamon and nutmeg. The ice cream wasn’t overly milky or creamy, instead falling in that more ideal middle ground, and it was fresh and new as though only a few scoops had been dredged from the container. The only gripe here is one I always have about naming your flavor pumpkin Pie and then making no acknowledgement of the crust. A great pumpkin ice cream, but if you want to call this pumpkin pie, I need something more in here.

pumpkin pie ice cream annabelle's portsmouth nh new hampshire

The fact that this was still open was even more amazing considering I had made a first sidetrack over to Gilley’s. It seems they’ve got a new menu board, but it has all of the same great favorites on it. The one addition to the menu is poutine. For those who’ve never been to Montreal, think french fries covered in cheese curd covered in gravy. I recommend a fork. Leaving here without a cheeseburger is also a felony (grilled cheese is acceptable for vegetarians).

Original review : http://weallscreamforicecream.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/annabelles-portsmouth-nh/

Cone – regular $3.20 large $3.95

Sundae – regular $5.25 super $6.25

Frappe $4.95 extra thick $5.50

Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream

49 Ceres Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

603 436-3400

Open year round

Daily 11a-10p

http://www.annabellesicecream.com/





Golick’s – Dover NH

14 09 2009

Sometimes you have to wonder about the nature of toll roads. Frustratingly, this ice cream cone cost me an extra $1.50 by being one exit after the toll booths. As part of a slightly greater trip to New Hampshire, it was a perfect way to kick off a fun night with a Graham Chocolate Crunch cone.

golick's golicks ice cream dover new hampshire nh

In 1986, Alan Golick and Lisa Thompson took over a soft-serve location that had been operated for years as Princess Dairy, and expanded the menu and created the original Golick’s Dairy Bar. With a stand too small to make their own ice cream, they sought out local manufacturers to provide the best assortment of flavors. For their hard pack ice cream, their supplier is Blake’s in Manchester, the same place that services the nearby UNH Dairy Bar. Golick’s has since expanded and has a second location in Barrington as well.

The stand is located in the midst of a wide parking lot, with a few picnic tables off to either side. It’s right next to the seafood restaurant the Weathervane, and I watched in horror as parents who seemed like villains in a Roald Dahl book marched their kids from the front door right into the minivan without even acknowledging the protestations of the kids who likely only agreed to seafood because of the nearby prospect of a cone.

The road sign illuminated the facts that were evident by the night’s crisp air: it was fall and their special flavors fell right in line. Pumpkin and Apple Crisp ice creams were both on the menu for this last month that Golick’s is open (they close Columbus Day weekend). I tried the apple crisp, but it is a flavor that does best when the crisp is crispy and fresh, and my sample seemed like merely apple ice cream.

What I chose was the Graham Chocolate Crunch, or Graham Central Station as it goes by elsewhere. The graham based ice cream had a rich and full flavor with a heavy cream feel that was leavened by the inclusion of chocolate covered graham crunchies. In the fall ice creams can take on odd characteristics, and this had the strange ability to seem soft and warm on the outside and yet the inside of each scoop may have been the coldest ice cream I’ve had all Summer. It just meant I had to approach it slowly, and in the time just after dusk, there were no rays of sun to battle with. This just had such a weird weird balance to it, I needed to lick furiously, but if I bit I felt as though my teeth might freeze and shatter.

graham chocolate crunch golick's golicks ice cream dover new hampshire nh

Ice cream in belly, I hopped back in the car and made my way to Portsmouth with a bag of old CDs to trade in at Bull Moose so that I could get the new Big Star box set as midnight struck. The extra credit that I received there more than made up for the toll fees that increased the price of this cone fifty percent.

Cone – kids $2.50 small $3 medium $3.50 large $4

Sundae – regular $3.75 large $4.50

Frappe – regular $4.25 large $4.75

Golick’s Dairy Bar

4 Dover Point Rd, Dover, NH 03820-4687

603 742-1230

Open April-Columbus Day

Daily noon-9p

http://www.golicksdairybar.com/





Jake’s – Amherst NH

20 08 2009

My friend invited me out for ice cream. However, since she lives in Atlanta, the place she wanted to take me has no shoppes anywhere near Boston. What she did find was a similarly named ice cream joint in the wilds of New Hampshire for me to go to while she went to the one there. My dad was looking to take a trip this way so we hopped in his air-conditioned car and aimed toward an Almond Sweet Cream / Caramel Avalanche and Lime Coconut / Black Raspberry cone.

Jake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sweet Shoppe‎ amherst nh new hampshire

Jake’s owner Roni Vetter was an award winning pastry chef with the Ritz Carlton before she put her efforts into this location instead. The first thing you see inside the doors are counters full of pastries and baked goods as well as a few lunch items for those who are on the go. In the main room the focus shifts to dessert with open space and a ring of freezer cases creating a grand ice cream counter. There’s a make your own sundae bar on one wall and another has a case full of confections.

Open since 1988, this location makes about thirty flavors of ice cream that they also supply to an array of area restaurants. This comfortable location also has a bunch of tables outside with umbrellas and chairs. With temperatures around 90 degrees in the middle of the afternoon, all of the activity is inside where people can sit and enjoy their ice cream without battling the melting that comes with this heat. The front of the store has a separate sunroom sort of feel making it so people can all create their own space.

It’s always fun when a shoppe makes their own ice cream and has a bunch of flavor creations that don’t show up anywhere else. We dove into the options trying samples. I started with the almond sweet cream and moved on to the caramel avalanche. My dad sampled a few as well, and when he ordered first went with a cone that was split between the black raspberry and the lime coconut. Since he was taking two scoops, I decided it wasn’t worth choosing between my options either.

The almond sweet cream was a thick ice cream that seemed harder than the rest. It reminded me of Wheeler’s vegan options as the almond was so pervasive that I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that they used an almond milk as the base instead of any dairy. While it needed a true appreciation of almonds to enjoy, the caramel avalanche was a dream that could sway the most ornery curmudgeon. Salted caramel flavors are all the rage at shops like this around the country, and this was one of the finest with light chocolate chips and just enough sea salt to keep the sweetness in check, but not some much as to leave you dry-mouthed (as the Hagen Daas version is apt to). Both were real treats, and the lime coconut may have been the tangiest marriage of key lime and pina colada that the White Mountain state (if not all New England) has ever seen.

almond sweet cream Jake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sweet Shoppe‎ nh new hampshire

The only detraction here was the cone itself. By the end of August, I usually expect that the teens scooping ice cream know how to make a good cone. I watched my cone crack as the girl tried to put the almond on top, and despite two scoops, there wasn’t a drop of ice cream inside the cone. All that was in my hand was a precarious holder that gave way after a few bites and forced me to rely on an auxilliary bowl and spoon. A disappointment that was almost entirely overshadowed by some great ice cream, but this was enough of a direct assault on a pet peeve that it needed to be addressed.

Cone – kiddie $2.80 small $3.65 large $4.50

Sundae – small $4.45 large $5.35

Frappe – small $3.95 large $4.95

Jake’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sweet Shoppe‎

135 Route 101A, Amherst, NH 03031

603 594-2424

Open year round

Monday-Thursday 11a-9p, Friday-Saturday 11a-10p, Sunday noon-9p

http://www.jakesoldfashionedicecream.com/





Izzy’s – Portsmouth NH

1 08 2009

Most of the places that I have stopped for ice cream in New Hampshire for a cone have been intermediary stops on the way to Maine. Today, I spend the most time in town waiting for a drawbridge to raise. With most of my Portsmouth friends having moved to the West Coast, this visit is no exception. Except that I didn’t get a cone, instead I had a Turtle Dizzy Izzy.

izzy's premium frozen yogurt and ice cream portsmouth nh

Despite the fact that many people seem to see Izzy’s as a poor man’s version of Annabelle’s, this year marks the 20th season that this shoppe has been open. Perched at the top of the street that you need to walk down to get to Annabelle’s, Izzy’s has a knack for filtering out a lot of the tourist traffic that doesn’t venture anywhere beyond those harbor-side boats that double as restaurants. With yogurt preceding ice cream in their name, Izzy’s does aim for a different niche of the frozen dessert dollar.

Beth Gilbert has been running Izzy’s over the course of its twenty years. In celebration of the anniversary last month, she organized a community cleaning project. People gathered and cleaned some city spaces, including the area around the public library, and after that people who helped congregated at the shoppe for free cones. Izzy’s tries to incorporate itself into it’s surroundings with projects like this rather than any sort of gala celebration.

On this evening, downtown was truly bustling with half-inebriated folks stumbling from every downtown door. Amazingly there was a parking spot waiting for me on the block. The couple fo tables inside were empty as the weather was ideal for strolling by the water. The menu board was covered with a bunch of “Out” notes taped onto all of the interesting flavors that I was in the mood for. It sort of limited my options, but since I was heading out on the road quickly, I diverted my attention from the cones to the other options that were available.

After eliminating a bunch of thoughts from the realm of possibility, I was drawn to the Dizzy Izzy selections. These are a milkshake-styled concoction that incorporates a few other elements depending on the combination that you’re looking for, but they don’t blend it to oblivion like some concretes do. The turtle used soft-serve chocolate ice cream with fresh whole pecans, caramel, and hot fudge. When all of the elements are going in fresh like this, there’s no reason to expect anything less than a taste delight, and that’s what I got. The only dilemma I had was that it was still too thick to eat while driving so I walked around and ate it with a spoon.

turtle dizzy izzy izzy's ice cream soft serve frappe portsmouth nh

Somehow I stopped in Portsmouth without making a side trip to Gilley’s. These are the best cheeseburgers in the world. I have made trips especially here just for burgers. I have made trips here to eat these burgers before I go on other trips so I can compare and contrast. I really should have since nothing else was open anywhere north of here. I think I need to stop at Gilley’s on my way back home.

Cone – junior $1.45 small $2.85 medium $3.35 large $3.85

Sundae – one scoop $3.95 two scoops $4.70 hot brownie $4.75

Dizzy Izzy $4.95

Izzy’s Premium Frozen Yogurt & Zoe’s Ice Cream

33 Bow St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

603 431-1053

Open April-October

Sunday-Wednesday 11a-10p, Thursday-Saturday 11a-11p

Izzy’s online








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