Randolph Dairy Barn – Randolph MA

15 06 2010

No matter how you try, there just isn’t an easy path between Weston and Mattapan. After getting stuck in traffic beneath the city, swooping around 128 seemed a better option. Plotting ice cream just off that path led Jah Jah and I to Randolph and I ate a Creamsicle soft serve cone.

The Dairy Barn is a longtime Randolph institution. Located in an old strip mall, this has the feel of a classic 50’s style ice cream shack as reenvisioned in the early ’70s. Given the tiling on the building and the general state of things in this plaza, it’s easy to understand why many people’s expectations are low.

With only window service, the seating here is limited to some benches on the side of the complex. The walls over there are decorated with odd bovine graffiti. The benefits of graffiti are probably negated by the number of people who’ll drive past just because of it.

If you’re looking for frozen treats, there’s no reason to think that this place is in anywhere inferior. They serve everything from Richardson’s hard pack ice cream, to soft serve and slush and every option in between. Knowing what I’d get with Richardson’s, I figured this was a good time to look out for some soft serve and went with a creamsicle cone.

This is the right way to swirl a soft serve cone. Equal parts orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream, the flavors balance the right way in a aesthetically appealing fashion. After eating so much ice cream that needs to be scooped, it’s easy to forget how good simple soft serve can be as long as it isn’t inundated with chemicals that overtake the flavors. Sure I can tell this isn’t an all natural concoction, but this works just right.

Jah Jah worked his way through a small sundae while we sat at the picnic table nearby. In one of the most gratuitous moves, he made sure to call his friends who were still on the bus and brag about what he was doing. When I was his age, that would have been the perfect recipe for a morning wedgie.

Cone – small $2.25 medium $2.75 large $3.25

Sundae – small $3.55 medium $3.95 large $4.25

Frappe – small $3.95 large $4.45

Randolph Dairy Barn

892 North Main Street Randolph, MA 02368

781 986-4456

Open year round

Hours #a-#p

Dairy Barn on Yelp

Dari-Land – Riverhead NY

5 06 2010

It was a quiet day at the track for the Belmont Stakes, and due to the fact you can’t make an exacta pick for the horses that come in second and third, I didn’t win once on the day. I was most lucky to find Dari-Land lit and a Cherry Vanilla cone waiting for me on  my ride back to the North Fork.

Here since 1953, this store really marks the start of the North Fork, at this point you are east of Riverhead’s core and all that’s ahead are vineyards and strawberry farms. Located near where Rt. 25 merges with Main Street, the glowing sign promises frozen treats, though the implication is that their focus is on soft ice cream and Italian ices rather than hard-pack ice cream.

Inside the store there is no seating, only the benches in front of the shop and the parking lot moat to wade in while eating a cone. There are two coolers with ice cream inside, the first is stocked with the Hershey flavors that dominate the North Fork, and the second has a few batches that are made here.

From that selection I chose a very pink cherry vanilla. The ice cream seemed almost a wine color in the case , though the photo below is blown out by the florescent lights and seems much whiter than the reality. While cherries seemed to supply ample color for the ice cream, the flavor was didn’t present a bold vanilla anywhere in the mix and it seemed like a tinted sweet cream with great chunks of fresh cherries carried along with it. It actually was what I hoped for from the color of the ice cream, I just think this should be dubbed Cherry or Cherry Jubilee or something and take the vanilla wholly out of the equation.

Since I walked in late, the fun flavor machine had already been cleaned, so had I wanted a soft ice cream I would have been stuck with a simple vanilla chocolate swirl. Reports from my uncle are that this place does soft right, and judging by the queue of teenagers waiting for Italian ice, that’s not bad either.

I didn’t drive past a Friendly’s on my way in to the Stakes, so I missed out on the free cones there. After the races I stopped at Eddie’s in New Hyde Park for the second best pizza in the world (it’s my mom’s favorite and it was her birthday so even though she was in Massachusetts I indulged for her).

Cone – small $3 large $4.25 (soft $2.60/$3.25)

Sundae – kids $4 regular $5 jumbo $5.75

Milkshake – small $4 large $4.75 jumbo $6

Dari-Land Ice Cream

51 Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901

631 727-0220

Open year round

Sun-Thurs 11:30a-10p, Fri & Sat 11:30a-10:30p

Dari-Land on Facebook

Free Cones From Friendly’s

4 06 2010

While I’ll be out of town watching horses run around the track at Belmont Park, all of the rest of you should do your part in helping Friendly’s to scoop 750,000 free scoops this Saturday in honor of their 75th anniversary.

All Friendly’s locations will be giving away free ice cream between noon and 5p. What a simple concept. Maybe I’ll try to get to the track a little bit late so I can indulge as well.