It was sort of amazing that after a year of trolling around New England looking for ice cream places that I hadn’t been anywhere in Boston’s most collegiate of neighborhoods. I even caught hell for it from a blog that focuses on goings on in Allston. I met up with my friends Jordyn and Farhad and sat down to enjoy a Mud Slide cone.
The thing of it is, this place had been part of Herrell’s until a few weeks ago. Obviously stores are different from location to location, but I had been to the Harvard Square location and always found myself heading toward somewhere more unknown rather than brave this neighborhood and its parking challenges. Then I read a story about how the punk rock attitudes of this location had forced them to cede from the Herrell’s empire and set off on their own.
Now the awnings are covered with a plastic facade that does away with the Herrell’s part of the name and proclaims this location as merely Allston Cafe. And the ice cream that they serve is no longer supplied by Herrell’s, but now instead comes from Coop’s. Coop’s had been the microcreamery for Herrell’s that was located in Watertown and provided ice cream for their stores and other area restaurants. Apparently, they have broken free as well.
Other than the sign above the door and the small Coop’s sticker on the ice cream menu board, there aren’t many ways to tell that anything is different than it had been before. There are still a full complement of tables and the requisite free wi-fi that any business in this area needs to survive. The most significant difference is that when you look to the flavor list, there are only about ten options. For Jordyn this meant there were no sorbets so she tried a chocolate soy yogurt – the rainbow sprinkles helped provide some constancy.
With a limited palate, I tried the strawberry and mud pie and then opted for the latter. The mud pie may have turned out to be the messiest cone that I have eaten. An Espresso ice cream with a fudge swirl and Oreo, the first bite was decadent. Unfortunately the fudge was so viscous as to still seem hot and the entire cone seemed to be melting as though it were in a Dali painting. As a result I had to consume this pretty fast and the flavors lost some of their magic. The espresso didn’t have the bite that a potent coffee often does, and the Oreo was saturated to the point of becoming cake-like – had I not taken a picture of the description, I probably would have remembered this as brownie instead. I just need to try this with a colder freezer to really get a chance to let all of the elements work.
The only part of this store that really holds its claimed punkness is the bathroom. I had to go in to clean off my hands and beard after I made a mess of myself, and the walls were layers deep with graffiti. A coat of paint could clean it up, but the fact that this place has its own attitude is a perfect fit in this neighborhood. As long as the ice cream is good, attitude is irrelevant.
Cone – small $2.57 medium $3.43 large $4.10
Sundae –mini $3.14 regular $4.76 large $6.10
Open year round
Monday-Friday 7a-10p, Saturday & Sunday 8a-10p