Jake’s – Amherst NH

20 08 2009

My friend invited me out for ice cream. However, since she lives in Atlanta, the place she wanted to take me has no shoppes anywhere near Boston. What she did find was a similarly named ice cream joint in the wilds of New Hampshire for me to go to while she went to the one there. My dad was looking to take a trip this way so we hopped in his air-conditioned car and aimed toward an Almond Sweet Cream / Caramel Avalanche and Lime Coconut / Black Raspberry cone.

Jake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sweet Shoppe‎ amherst nh new hampshire

Jake’s owner Roni Vetter was an award winning pastry chef with the Ritz Carlton before she put her efforts into this location instead. The first thing you see inside the doors are counters full of pastries and baked goods as well as a few lunch items for those who are on the go. In the main room the focus shifts to dessert with open space and a ring of freezer cases creating a grand ice cream counter. There’s a make your own sundae bar on one wall and another has a case full of confections.

Open since 1988, this location makes about thirty flavors of ice cream that they also supply to an array of area restaurants. This comfortable location also has a bunch of tables outside with umbrellas and chairs. With temperatures around 90 degrees in the middle of the afternoon, all of the activity is inside where people can sit and enjoy their ice cream without battling the melting that comes with this heat. The front of the store has a separate sunroom sort of feel making it so people can all create their own space.

It’s always fun when a shoppe makes their own ice cream and has a bunch of flavor creations that don’t show up anywhere else. We dove into the options trying samples. I started with the almond sweet cream and moved on to the caramel avalanche. My dad sampled a few as well, and when he ordered first went with a cone that was split between the black raspberry and the lime coconut. Since he was taking two scoops, I decided it wasn’t worth choosing between my options either.

The almond sweet cream was a thick ice cream that seemed harder than the rest. It reminded me of Wheeler’s vegan options as the almond was so pervasive that I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that they used an almond milk as the base instead of any dairy. While it needed a true appreciation of almonds to enjoy, the caramel avalanche was a dream that could sway the most ornery curmudgeon. Salted caramel flavors are all the rage at shops like this around the country, and this was one of the finest with light chocolate chips and just enough sea salt to keep the sweetness in check, but not some much as to leave you dry-mouthed (as the Hagen Daas version is apt to). Both were real treats, and the lime coconut may have been the tangiest marriage of key lime and pina colada that the White Mountain state (if not all New England) has ever seen.

almond sweet cream Jake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sweet Shoppe‎ nh new hampshire

The only detraction here was the cone itself. By the end of August, I usually expect that the teens scooping ice cream know how to make a good cone. I watched my cone crack as the girl tried to put the almond on top, and despite two scoops, there wasn’t a drop of ice cream inside the cone. All that was in my hand was a precarious holder that gave way after a few bites and forced me to rely on an auxilliary bowl and spoon. A disappointment that was almost entirely overshadowed by some great ice cream, but this was enough of a direct assault on a pet peeve that it needed to be addressed.

Cone – kiddie $2.80 small $3.65 large $4.50

Sundae – small $4.45 large $5.35

Frappe – small $3.95 large $4.95

Jake’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Sweet Shoppe‎

135 Route 101A, Amherst, NH 03031

603 594-2424

Open year round

Monday-Thursday 11a-9p, Friday-Saturday 11a-10p, Sunday noon-9p





One response

20 01 2010

Excellent article. We went in the fall and I had the pumpkin ice cream. Unbelievable!
My wife loves the Caramel Assault and Coconutty. The lunch was really a surprise. The haddock chowder was the best I’ve had anywhere.
Thanks for steering us to a great shop.

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