Garside’s – Saco ME

22 08 2010

I drove up to Portland to catch the Phantom Buffalo CD release show the night before this, and was assaulted by the ugliest sign in the ice cream business when I tried to go to Harbor Licks – “Closed For The Season.” On my way home I stopped to visit my friends Eddie & Sarah and their son Wesley. They steered me to Saco where I made it to Garside’s for a Black Forest cone.

Garside’s has been a regular stop for vacationers returning from Old Orchard Beach since the 50s. Gordon Pendleton bought the shop from Arthur Garside in 1981, and the shop has remained in the family since then, maintaining their high standards of ice cream.

As locations go, this one is truly hidden. It’s far enough east of downtown Saco that you’re certain you’ve made a wrong turn, and it’s in a such residential area that you’d never expect to find any commerce. The lot however is a nice plot of unlined pavement for parking which is ringed by trees with benches under each of them so there is always ample space in the shade.

Stumbling around a bit sleepily after a long weekend, I really wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. I tried their Peaches and Cream ice cream and it glowed this luminous orange that frightened me a bit. In truth, it was probably the flourescents that gave it this appearance. After looking over the menu board, I finally decided on black forest ice cream to fill my cone (though for some reason my brain was crosswiring the definition of it and German Chocolate)

The ice cream that I got was spectacular – a rich chocolate cone with chocolate chunks and huge fresh cherries. While it lacked a swirl of whipped cream that would most easily identify this as Black Forest, that’s easy enough to pass off and leave for those that use this ice cream as the base for a sundae. The only flaw with this cone was that because the ice cream batch was fresh that the cherries themselves were laden with ice crystals, but when the crystallization is only inside fresh fruit, that’s usually a good sign.

On my way from Eddie’s to Garside’s, I passed a couple of other ice cream joints that were open. I kept fretting that I was driving past somewhere great and this place wasn’t going to be open, but the exasperated girl at the counter admitted that they were open until 10 every night during the summer. Now I know that I’ll be able to take Wesley out for an ice cream mess sometime soon.

Cone – small $2.75 medium $3.25 large $3.75

Sundae – small $3.20 medium $3.75 large $4.55

Frappe $3.55 extra-thick $4.25

Garside’s Ice Cream

320 Ferry Road, Saco, ME 04072

207 283-0045

Open May-October

Daily Noon-10p

Garside’s on Facebook




3 responses

28 08 2010
Ice Cream Machine

As much as I like black forest, this black forest flavored ice cream doesn’t look to yummy coz at first glance it made me think it was… well… u know… something gone wrong through planet uranus :))

17 03 2011
Adam Gleason

Your blog is awesome! It’s early spring, but I’m already in the mood for some of those ice cream cones you pictured so beautifully! By the way, homemade ice cream is easy and fun to make, and you can have little or no equipment, or splurge and treat yourself and your family to a really super ice cream machine! Thanks again for all the ice cream shop reviews.

9 08 2016
Joe from the Big Apple

Best ice cream I have ever had when I go up there in summer, last week I got steered to Fielder’s Choice in Old Orchard Beach, it was the weirdest, stickiest ice cream I have ever had, not so at Garsides -GREAT ICE CREAM!!

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