Return Engagement: Annabelle’s – Portsmouth NH

15 09 2009

Apparently SoundScan really does police their records. I had to wait until midnight before the guys working would turn over the Big Star box set to me. After wasting a bunch of time in there finding 10 other records to use my credit on, I wandered around downtown Portsmouth for a couple hours and stumbled into a Pumpkin Pie cone.

annabelle's ice cream portsmouth new hampshire nh

Appearances are proving that newspaper reports are true that Ceres Street here on the waterfront in Portsmouth is in for a major reconstruction. Eliminating a couple aluminum sided buildings and providing an unimpeded view of the waterfront could really do wonders here. As it is, this is an alley with an old world charm, and the giant ice cream cone mounted on the side of the largest brick facade is always a welcome sight.

I turned the corner and saw it still lit, unlike most of the rest of the town on this Monday night. I figured maybe it was just a switch unflipped, but then the waving of the ‘open’ flag was a tractor beam to my soul. A sign for Fall flavors brought some extra lift to my step and I had a pretty good idea that I was going to find something special. I started with a taste of the pumpkin pie and stopped there

After I ordered the cone I actually commented that I was surprised they were open extra late on a Monday night. The guy working looked down a bit when he told me that he just hadn’t shut off the lights yet. The store was empty and the busy nest of tables and chairs crowded into this small wood-floored space had all been cleaned off for the night. So I stepped outside and wandered toward the Strawberry Banke waterfront park.

As pumpkin, this was a magnificently spiced cone that mixed the pumpkin flavors with a mashup of spices ruled by cinnamon and nutmeg. The ice cream wasn’t overly milky or creamy, instead falling in that more ideal middle ground, and it was fresh and new as though only a few scoops had been dredged from the container. The only gripe here is one I always have about naming your flavor pumpkin Pie and then making no acknowledgement of the crust. A great pumpkin ice cream, but if you want to call this pumpkin pie, I need something more in here.

pumpkin pie ice cream annabelle's portsmouth nh new hampshire

The fact that this was still open was even more amazing considering I had made a first sidetrack over to Gilley’s. It seems they’ve got a new menu board, but it has all of the same great favorites on it. The one addition to the menu is poutine. For those who’ve never been to Montreal, think french fries covered in cheese curd covered in gravy. I recommend a fork. Leaving here without a cheeseburger is also a felony (grilled cheese is acceptable for vegetarians).

Original review :

Cone – regular $3.20 large $3.95

Sundae – regular $5.25 super $6.25

Frappe $4.95 extra thick $5.50

Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream

49 Ceres Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

603 436-3400

Open year round

Daily 11a-10p




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