Knowing I was heading to Maine, I asked my friend Joel if there were any good ice cream parlors along the shore that were worth a stop. Having grown up in the area, he was quick to point me toward this simple barn right along Route 1 in Wells. Here at the end of July, it seemed right to pretend it was October, and I went for a Pumpkin cone.
I approached this place from the front and it seemed like a simple classic roadside ice cream stand. The only food they offer are hot dogs and the gravel lot seemed like it could house all of the vacationers on these beaches. I think it was the size of the lot that first gave me pause. There were a lot more cars here already then there were people mulling about.
That’s when I walked around the side and realized there was also indoor seating and windows inside to order from. The character of Big Daddy’s came out inside here. There were plenty of benches around with people seated at, and a line that was twice as long as the one outside. It was the adornments on the walls where things came into focus. The ancient saws and hand tools that were mounted on the wall made you think this barn used to be a real old barn. The deer head mounted above where I sat seemed to confirm that.
Pumpkin as an ice cream flavor is usually a seasonal thing that never starts showing up until September. Here it seems like a regular part of the menu. With the cooler Maine air, it works as a glimpse into where things will be when the fall does come.
The flavor is more subtle than the pie that you’ll get at Thanksgiving. In July, that’s a very good thing as the spices that help carry the pumpkin flavor don’t land quite so heavy in your stomach. The ice cream is rich but light and the fear I had of it all sinking to the pit of my stomach like a brick proves wholly unfounded. This is a great ice cream stand, and I only wish that I had gone right from here to the beach.
From here, it’s a quick turn down Route 9 to get to Kennebunk. After eating this cone, I half expected to see a fleet of Secret Service cars shuttle the first Bush in for a banana split. Instead there were just a few families that knew the right place to go. All I had to do was heed the advice of a Death Vessel.
Cone – kids $1.70 small $2.85 medium $4 doubledip $4.90
Sundae – kids $2.45 small $3.80 large $5.85
Frappe $4.60 banana frappe $4.80
Open year round