I woke up this morning way too early because I was supposed to cover for a radio show and the DJ before me called in sick. After figuring my way in and doing the show, I still had a few hours to kill before I had to go to work. I couldn’t figure out what to eat until I found myself at the beach with a fresh tub of Pistachio ice cream in front of me.
From the outside, it’s tough to determine much of anything about this art deco building that houses Twist & Shake. The traditional 50s malt shop vibe is thrown before you even go inside due to the fact that the menu seems to have been tagged on the outside of the building by an overly helpful graffiti artist. Inside it does bring you back to a classic beachside ice cream stand with a few tables for those afraid of getting the sand blown into their cone.
Sheryl and Mark Queen own this store and its sister in Winthrop. Here on the beach, they close the doors for the year in October, but their second shoppe in Winthrop stays open year round. While the two of them proudly proclaim that they have completed Penn State’s Ice Cream Short Course, they make most use of that in scooping techniques and mixing in soft serve flavors, because the ice cream they serve here comes from Richardson’s.
On the first day of Fall, the beach has only a few stragglers trying to catch rays despite the day’s humidity. Hopefully the weekends still keep things a bit active here, but it seems as though other nearby ice cream joints are already boarded up for the season. The lack of competition helps keep things from being silent, but as soon as the leaves start landing on the sidewalks, even this might seem like a boom.
I started with a sample of the apple crisp, but found again that the crisp part of the equation was missing. Instead I opted for pistachio to fill my sugar cone. The nut flavor was nice within the light green ice cream, but the nuts had already begun to soften within the mixture. The ice cream itself had the consistent quality that Richardson’s is known for, with a smooth and easy ice cream presenting itself quite simply. While this isn’t worth the trip alone, if you’re on the beach this is going to fill any craving just fine.
One of my favorite things about shoppes like this is the glass front on the case with the tubs of ice cream. Looking in can give you a good idea as to what is fresh or what is riddled with ice crystals already. When something is down to its last scoop, you really need to want that flavor badly. My decision today for the pistachio was made almost entirely because the scoop had been pulled across the top of this flavor only once, most of the top was still in pristine untouched condition.
Cone – kiddie $2.50 small $3.50 large $4.25
Sundae –kiddie $3.50 small $4.50 large $5.50
Twist & Shake
Open April-October 15; Winthrop store open year round