UNH Dairy Bar – Durham NH

12 09 2008

Google got me lost again. I should have paid more attention, but they inconveniently swapped out a “Ln” for a “Rd” and I wound up miles from where I wanted to be. Thankfully I knew that this spot was on the UNH campus and at the train station, so finding it was easy. The balloons helped lead me to a Mint Explosion cone.

The balloons up on Main St because today was the Grand Opening of the UNH Dairy Bar. While it was actually more of a re-opening, this wasn’t merely a factor of the new semester, the building had just completed a nearly million dollar renovation. It’s still the same old train station that was moved from Lynn more than eighty years before.

The new facility is clean and modern and still serves as both a campus dining spot, Amtrak depot, and an ice cream parlor. There are seats and booths inside and a bar that runs parallel to the tracks and has floor to ceiling windows. There’s also extensive seating outside under an awning right by the tracks (most of those waiting had no cones), and for those interested in something more active, you can watch field hockey practice on an adjacent field.

With a new menu that proclaims itself as “Local. Sustainable. Fresh.,” it’s more than a bit odd that the source of ice cream at this place is not UNH’s own dairy. Instead of offering their own ice cream and having this be the primary outlet, the ice cream instead comes from Blake’s, a local New Hampshire company. I guess UNH has no ice cream sciences degree as I was hoping this spot would be more like UConn, Mizzou, Penn State, or Cornell, but alas.

I tasted the graham central station, but it paled in comparison to the place in Scranton, so I dove in to test out the mint explosion. The ice cream was a strong mint with a light green hue. It probably could have been a bit sweeter, but instead the mint was highlighted more. The candies inside the ice cream were chocolate covered mint, and even the chocolate swirl seemed to have minty overtones. Being the first day in operation, the cone was fresh and free from any elements of refreeze that September is so prone to bring out. If you want a mint to kick you in the pants, this should fit the bill.

For what would be the end of the season at most places, it’s always strange when you get served a cone with as precarious a sense of balance as this – there was almost no ice cream inside the cone and what was there kept trying to fall out of its own accord. It seemed like they overdelegate responsibilities as one person took my order, another took my money, and a third served me my cone. I guess this spot is run by the school’s restaurant management department. The full menu available looked both good and affordable, and it accepts UNH’s meal plan money as well. If I were a student, I can’t imagine needing to make it into a cafeteria except for the mornings when I want to binge on cereal and French toast.

Cone – regular $2.59 large $3.29

Sundae – regular $3.99 large $4.99

Frappe $3.59

UNH Dairy Bar

4 Depot Rd, Durham NH 03824

603 862-1006

Open year round

Monday-Friday 6:30a-8p Saturday & Sunday 11a-8p

http://www.unh.edu/dairy-bar/

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