Gary’s – Chelmsford, MA

27 03 2011

My brother and I have been spending some time each of the past few weekends playing catch regularly. We started early, as the first week I was in boots and running across six inches of snow pack chasing after errant throws. With the snow off the ground, we decided to link athletic endeavors with frozen treats, and headed up 3A. Tim’s a vegetarian, but there was no way I was passing up a chance at a Maple Bacon cone.

Gary’s is a tiny shack on the side of the road that appears moments after you enter Chelmsford as you drive up 3A. While the building occupies about 600 square feet, it’s a place that makes homemade ice cream and keeps a steady flow of ice cream moving out their windows, even when the outdoor temperatures aren’t too much warmer than the ones inside their freezers.

Gary Frascarelli has been operating this unique ice cream stand since 1973, and the simplicity of of it all is what makes this location so impressive. The parking lot that surrounds the building can fit a hot summer’s night worth of cars, and there’s a large grassy area behind it all that you can walk back to tables that surround a fake well. Heck, there’s even a footbridge over what’s either the tiniest stream or a drainage ditch.

While most of the flavors run the gamut of what you would expect, the fact that Gary’s makes their own means that special flavors can appear at any time, and they usually do a good job of keeping those updated on their website. I’d been here last year around the same time of year and what I tried then was what I was hoping for now. Indeed, maple bacon was on the menu and there was no reason to look any further.

The cone was a heaping of scoops of a rich maple ice cream, but instead of walnuts as most places are apt to mix into such a base, there are chunks of bacon all throughout the cone. Amazingly the sweetness of the maple nearly overpowers the bacon’s salty attributes. While this is a real treat, I almost wished there were a salted caramel vein in the middle of it all to give the cone a fulcrum for balance. The only real drawback however was he fact that Tim’s small cone seemed to have more ice cream than my medium.

Despite landing a great cone, our trip wasn’t a total success. It wasn’t until after our snack that we went looking for a field to play catch on, and once we did we ran across a very different problem. Tim left his new glove at home.

Cone – small $3.50 medium $4.50 large $5.50

Sundae – small $5.25 large $6.25

Frappe $5.50

Gary’s Ice Cream

131 Gorham Street, Chelmsford, MA

978 458-0100

Open Valentine’s Day til mid-fall

Daily noon-9p


Rota Springs Eternal – Open for the Season

25 03 2011

If you’ve been following along, there is a favorite ice cream joint of mine. You’ve got to head out to the wilds of Sterling to find it, but Rota Spring Farm is the place that I compare all others to. It opening for the season is one of the first great signs of Spring, and when I learned I was weeks late, I made a trip home and headed out with my parents after dinner.

This is one of the few places I like going with a double scoop and mixing flavors. On the top is the new flavor Almond Almond. The repetition is due to the fact that the ice cream is both flavored and filled with almonds like the most decadent marzipan delight. On the bottom, my traditional favorite, the Indian Pudding which is back on the menu full-time after an attempt to make it seasonal, the demand (and I like to think this blog) helped them return it to it’s permanent position.

For more info look at our earlier trips here:

Red’s Returns! to South Portland ME

5 03 2011

After a fire last May, many thought it spelled the end for Red’s Dairy Freeze, but after 10 months of work, the barn has been rebuilt and is now serving cones again… watch this

WGME 13 Top Stories – Popular ice cream stand Red’s re-opens 10 months after devastating fire.