J.P. Licks – Jamaica Plain MA

21 07 2008

The elements didn’t stop this National Ice Cream Day quest. Between flooded streets and other traffic impairments, and getting home to a power outage, they certainly tried. I made it over to the Milky Way where my band was playing, thankfully they had power. Joe and I walked down Centre Street until I found the last cone of the day. He had two scoops – one Vanilla, the other Chocolate – I went for Myer’s Rum Raisin.

J.P. Licks is a Boston area institution. No matter which shop of theirs you go to, there are lines. There are eight stores around town from West Roxbury to Davis Square, and a brand new shop in Harvard Square. But the J.P. is for Jamaica Plain, and the store here is the center of it all and where they make all of the ice cream.

An out-sized cow head mounted to the side of a renovated fire station makes this location a difficult one to miss. The store has been here since 1981 and has made its imprint on the city by making consistently great ice cream. Even if it isn’t a T friendly location.

After a long day of ice cream eating, it seemed as though there was a proper way to end the evening. There aren’t really any flavors that are particularly Massachusettsian unless someone is making a corn ice cream (I’m sure there actually is and shouldn’t talk too loud since there was fresh cucumber ice cream on the menu). Joe offered up black raspberry as a suggestion – that’s the sort that is typically worth heeding, but instead I found something that fit the nocturnal mood: Myer’s rum raisin.

The raisins in here outnumbered the chocolate chips that I have found in some more chincy cones, and all of them were moist without being overly plump. The ice cream that they were in was an interesting take on rum. They use Myer’s and actually want some of that in there, and this ice cream has the alcoholic aftertaste of the rum, but what it lacks is the flavor really embedded in the ice cream. It acts grown up, but then forgets the simple pleasure of the ice cream in exchange for the tease that there is enough liquor to effect any change.

The line here was ridiculous. Had it not taken Joe and I so long to get here on foot, we may have given up and turned around without a cone. Thankfully we stuck it out since it was worth it all. I think all of this ice cream fueled our great show that night. I was certainly in the right mood. It didn’t start raining again until it was time for us to load out.

Return Engagement: October 24, 2008

Cone – kiddie $2.99 small $3.70 regular $4.39 large $4.89

Sundae – small $5.45 medium $6.09 large $6.59

Frappe $5.35 xtra thick $5.65 (add malt $.59)

J.P. Licks

659 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain MA 02130

617 524-6740

Open year round

Daily 6a – midnight





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