Friendly advice is always a good thing to get. I asked my friend Dylan for a scoop when I was driving to Maine only to find that he’s on an island off the coast and not in his Newburyport home. He did recommend that the place to stop was at Hodgie’s. I opted for a Bumbleberry cone.
I had stopped at the gas station after I had cleared the snafu that is 110 between 95 and 495. When I first looked for an address for Hodgie’s I didn’t have a street number, so I couldn’t even fathom a guess as to how long a trip this could be. I feared it might be all the way to the Haverhill line. The ladies working the counter said it was only about three minutes up the road, and were all mad that I was going, they each wanted me to bring them back something.
When the locals get animated about ice cream, you know it’s the good sort. Hodgie’s seems like it has been an institution here since the 1950s. With roof shingles that make out a crude stars and stripes, there is something classically American about this spot. A rollover image on their web page seems to imply that this was once a clam shack, and there is still a window for ordering items from the grill.
What makes Hodgie’s is very obviously the ice cream. I was told to get a 1/4 kiddie, which I sort of scoffed at when I was told. Somehow, Hodgie’s has 5 sizes and this was second on the scale. It was enormous to the degree that I am frightened just how much ice cream I might get if I were to order a kiddie, nevermind a large. I already needed to knock a scoop off of my cone and drop it into a cup to have after since there was such a massive volume to deal with and the noontime sun was on the verge of winning the battle.
The bumbleberry was an impressive cone, and not merely due to it’s actual mass. It purported to be a combination of raspberry and strawberry and loganberry and Maine blueberry. The prospect was tantalizing, but the results weren’t quite perfect. Instead of getting tastes of each of the berries individually, it tasted like a berry punch, a generic swirl of berry flavor. There was no batch of seeds from the raspberry and strawberry so it was likely that it was a filtered juice that was used rather than all fresh berries. Despite all the berry, this was still dominated by the creamy texture and taste. A great strong classic ice cream. I just need to find the right flavor.
In addition to seeming like an old-style car hop, there are a fleet of picnic benches strewn through the trees behind Hodgie’s. There’s enough privacy that a family can sit at one and be in their own universe. At the same time enough space to be a local gathering place. I even watched a man say grace above his lunch while sitting at one of the picnic tables. I don’t know about the food, but the ice cream was worth that sort of blessing.
Cone – 1scoop $2.75 1/4kiddie $3.50 kiddie $4.25 small $5 large $5.75
Sundae – kiddie $5.25 small $6 large $6.75
Frappe $4.50 thick frappe $5
Hodgie’s Ice Cream