Last year I celebrated National Ice Cream Day with a grand three state tour that took me from Maine to JP. This year my band had another show, but instead I spent the afternoon with one of my friends back in town for his upcoming nuptials. We made the quick trip to the only ice cream joint in Charlestown where I had a cone with Chocolate and Graham Crackers.
These days, it seems like Cold Stone Creameries are littered all across the landscape. With their recent shared expansion with Tim Horton’s their shoppes have been popping up everywhere. Back in 1988 however, this was a brand new store opening up in Tempe, Arizona hoping to make it as a local entity. The marketing behemoth that has expanded internationally didn’t open it’s first store out of the state until 1997.
Charlestown amazed me when I discovered that the town had only this location for ice cream. With the naval yard and Bunker Hill, it seems like the blend of tourist and residential economy would be perfect to support a mom and pop operation, but the only thing that resembles that is an ice cream truck that is regularly found near the square, but I’ve only read about and never actually seen.
Ramsey and I pointed this way from his Lechmere hotel since it seemed like a better option than aimlessly driving around the North End on a futile parking quest. Here we were able to park right across the street from the store without even needing to plug a meter. Inside there were lots of tables, but we wandered around outside nearby and found a spot with a view of both the Zakim Bridge and the Logan control tower.
While he got one of the pre-made concoctions that had caramel and peanut butter, I sampled both the chocolate and sweet cream ice creams. The sweet cream was more sweet than creamy, so I went with the chocolate and picked graham crackers from the vast array of available mix-ins. The only problem here was that the two elements had no time to combine at all, and the graham does better to absorb some of the moisture from the ice cream, but with most of the other options this isn’t really a factor at all (though I wasn’t even contemplating throwing gummi bears in there instead). The ice cream itself was smooth and fresh but it had no clear chocolate identity, it was like eating any random milk chocolate (which made a tough contrast from the 88% chocolate bar I’d been nibbling through at home over the past few days).
I had thought about chasing a second cone when we got to the club to play an afternoon set, but the Fenway landscape has lost all local business personality. When Ramsey saw the gentrified Hotel Commonwealth complex and the new Green Line bus stop, he was aghast. I decided I really didn’t need to head to a Dunkin’ Donuts to get one of 31 flavors. Plus I have tomorrow off so I can make a little road trip on my own.
Cone – kids $1.99 like it $3.50 love it $4 gotta have it $4.50
Milkshake – like it $4.69 love it $5.19 gotta have it $5.69
Cold Stone Creamery
Open year round