The worst part about the fall in New England is watching all of the summer businesses go dormant. While Nashua is certainly no coastal community in Maine that becomes a ghost town, this shack at the end of Daniel Webster Highway was getting ready to close its doors for 2010 when my dad and I stopped in for cones. He went for the Apple Pie, I opted for a Chocolate Covered Strawberry.
Hayward’s has been a part of the New Hampshire landscape since 1940, providing homemade ice cream from this location and a sister site in Milford. On this day, signs of the transition were most apparent by the fact that all of the other people in the parking lot were perusing the farm stand carts perched at the roadside that were overflowing with tomatoes and apples and other produce (there was even a sign that said they had their own butter and sour cream available.
Since this location is not surrounded by the strip malls that define most of this town, it takes a concerted effort to get yourself here. Once at Hayward’s they do make things accommodating with a large parking lot and tree-covered area with benches that extends out either side behind the building. The delivery trucks behind the building all seemed as though they had seen their last action of the season as well.
The greatest peril of ice cream stands at the end of the line is the limited options available. The menu board was whited out by magnets that went over the names of flavors that were not replenished, and a few of my preliminary choices were thus eliminated. Once I pointed out the seasonal flavors to my dad he quickly went for the apple pie, and I realized that there were too many different concepts for what chocolate covered strawberry could be so I had to give it a chance.
The small cone was teeteringly high, but without much sideways overflow didn’t cause too much dripping. Not that the 70 degree weather was going to be as punishing as July heat. My dad liked the apple pie, but once i asked about the pie crust and he commented on the lack of any, we got into a discussion of why they don’t call this just apple or apple spice or some such thing. My cone was not what I expected, but instead was a strawberry ice cream with a rich fudgy swirl running through it. The ice cream had a light consistency, but more of an artificial strawberry flavor and there were no chunks of fruit inside. While actual chocolate covered strawberries suspended in this mix would have made it heavenly, the results were pretty unique and quite stellar on their own.
We’d headed up to Nashua in a quest for new sneakers. Searching for size 16s is an exercise in futility, my brother had a friend of his special order a new pair of Nike’s for me, so we made a visit to Runner’s Alley up that way. After demolishing my last pair of kicks from softball and general overuse, it was nice to slip into cushy shoes whose air pockets still held air.
Cone – kiddie $2.95 small $3.40 large $4.20
Sundae – small $4.85 large $5.65
Frappe $4.65 extra thick $5.65
Open April-Columbus Day