J.P. Licks – Cambridge MA

3 09 2008

It’s scary to realize that these September days are when many ice cream shops around start putting up a countdown for how many more days they are open. Some will be boarded up before the baseball season ends, while others hold out until the snow starts to accumulate. Some will be here all year round. Seasonal flavors everywhere make things fun, and I had an Apple Crisp cone.

This location has hosted a slew of other coffee shop / ice cream shoppes, but this Summer, J.P. Licks decided to have a presence in Harvard Square. If the reason other businesses hadn’t pulled out of the space was more than just where it is, here’s hoping these guys stick.

This is the eighth store in the J.P. Licks universe. Their home base is in Jamaica Plain, and they have scoop shops in Brookline, Newton, West Roxbury, Davis Square, Newbury Street, and Mission Hill. This shop is small, but there are some tables on the sidewalk in front as well. Not that it matters, you’re in Harvard Square, there’s bound to be something to see if you walk around with your cone for a few minutes.

The cow motif and hand drawn blackboards keep the regular J.P. Licks aesthetic consistent within their stores. There’s not much different from store to store, but what changes are the flavors, at least the seasonal ones. While the sample i tried was of their chocolate sorbet, I went with the apple crisp since it seemed the only flavor that really is most redolent of September to me.

While I enjoyed the apple cinnamon flavor of the ice cream itself, I was really hoping that the crisp might actually be crispy. Instead the oatmeal mash that made up the crisp seemed more like mush that was just chewy in the ice cream. The thing that most surprised me was the lack of any actual pieces of apple within the ice cream. This by no means a bad ice cream, but probably not something I’ll be back for before it’s off the menu in October.

This was the worst example of the glue that holds those paper wrappers on my sugar cone being stuck to the cone itself. I think it was actually the first time I sent the tip of the cone into the trash can rather than trying to eat around it. I’ve been trying to figure out an alternative. I’m looking at developing an organic edible sugar-based glue… I just need to get myself into a laboratory.

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

1312 Mass Ave, Cambridge 02139

617 492-1001

Open year round

Daily 6a – midnight





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