Cows and Cones – Ledyard CT

20 07 2011

Heading to a family vacation on Long Island, I’m not really in any rush to get there at any specific time. All that’s ahead is time on the beach , so it seems silly to get worried and rush to go relax. So instead of crossing the Thames and getting to the ferry as quick as I could I turned North and found a fantastic Lemon Pie cone.

Cows and Cones takes up the space of one building in the midst of Alice Acres Farm in Gales Ferry. This spot is easy to find as it’s on the Military Highway that leads to the north entrance to the submarine base. Any military thoughts stop at the address, as when you tun off the road you’re in a perfectly rural setting  with a chicken coop, and cows hiding from the sun in the intense heat.

The farm market and greenhouse provide a fantastic setting, but the building itself is made for ice cream. There’s a significant overhang on all sides of the building that keeps out the rain and provides shade, and enough room for a batch of tables behind the building. There’s a pavilion just a few more steps up the hill and it has another ten picnic tables beneath it. Heck, even the overflowing flower beds that you have to walk through to approach the window are just the cherry on top.

Alice Acres opened back in 1995 , but Cows and Cones didn’t open until the summer of 2007;  it seems like they took that time to refine their recipes before opening. The tastes that I had were all a treat but the actual prospect of pieces of pie in the Lemon Pie ice cream was was far too alluring when the lemon flavor was as bold as it was. I went with a sugar cone.

There wasn’t any meringue in this, but to be honest, I kept imagining it with each bite that I took. The pie crust was buttery and sweet, so much so that I kept expecting to find out that the crust had chips of meringue embedded with it. The lemon was tart and sweet with the tart driving the taste toward key lime while remaining very much lemon. This was worth however long a side trek it took, the sort of ice cream place that you are more than willing to drive to as a destination in itself.

A quick jog back south puts me on 95 and over the bridge into New London, and just as quick to the ferry across the sound. The only issues on this trip are that I’ve found all of the ice cream on the North Fork. Or maybe there’s something to find…

Cone -li’l $2.50 1 scoop $3.50 2 scoops $4.99 3 scoops $5.99

Sundae soft $5.50 hard $6.50

Shake regular $4.50 large $4.99 malted +$.50

Cows and Cones

39 Military Highway, Ledyard, CT 06335

860 464-2663 ‎

Open April-October

Hours noon-9p


Savin Scoop – Dorchester MA

17 07 2011

National Ice Cream Day is a time for particular celebration, and my pre-breakfast pint of Hagen-Daas’ Blueberry Crumble seemed like the right way to kick off the day. After a long day’s work and a softball game under the blazing sun, it was time to refuel, so we head to Savin Hill where I had a Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip cone.

Savin Scoop is the epitome of a neighborhood scoop shop. Nestled in the midst of the Savin Hill neighborhood of Dorchester, this ice cream place opened in November in the one non-residential block around the train stop. With its flag hanging out above the sidewalk, you see a true cross section of the local populace -old folks, hipsters, families – when we walk into the air-conditioned space.

Aside from a bar along the front window, the tables inside are a bit cluttered, but such proximity is bound to increase inadvertent eavesdropping. That is part of the official slogan for this place: “Local Ice Cream. Local Gossip.” With early morning hours, I’m sure they sell more coffee than ice cream and the open spaces are filled with lots of different candies (though they do lean too hard on the M&M/Hershey side of the world where I think they’d be a perfect spot for penny candy.

Looking at the menu board, I quickly realize that the ‘Local’ part of the ice cream equation is not local enough to be homemade – instead the menu board reveals that what we’ve got is Bliss Dairy stock. My brother relishes the graham central station impressed by the graham flavored ice cream as opposed mere pieces of cracker, and out teammate Jon selects his regular, chocolate chip. After having had Bliss a few times in recent weeks, I go for the black raspberry chocolate chip, which actually claims to be a frozen yogurt.

Bliss’ frozen yogurt is more ice milk than yogurt, with low fat milk used in place of cream and no real active cultures in this mix. Semantics aside, this is a nice smooth black raspberry that is markedly less heavy than the ice cream, plus you get the bonus of loads of chocolate chips. While this is not homemade, it’s tough to issue many complaints on a day devoted to ice cream.

Trying to get out of Savin Hill reminds me of why it took so log to get here – the road winds around and spits us out pointing the wrong direction with no chance to turn around for almost a mile. Maybe I just don’t know my way around down here, but this neighborhood seems like the far side of the world from Harvard Square. However, if it is your neighborhood, it’s a great place to get a cone.

Cone – kids $2.50 regular $3.50 large $4.50

Sundae $5.25

Shake/Frappe $4.95

Savin Scoop

107 Savin Hill Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125


Open year round

Hours 7a-10p

What Are You Doing To Participate?

15 07 2011

ALERT! This Sunday, July 17 is National Ice Cream Day. Due to Ronald Reagan’s scraggly signature, the third Sunday within Ice Cream Month (July) is to be specifically designated as National Ice Cream Day. Hopefully all of my readers and their friends and loved ones will fill their civic duties and engage themselves with a cone or a sundae or at least a frappe. Please leave comments in regards to where you went and what you ate to celebrate.


Cafe Arpeggio – South Boston MA

10 07 2011

It seems most every softball game that I’ve played so far this year has been on Daly Field where Brighton meets Newton on the Charles, and that spot is too near my apartment to drive past much of anything. With today’s doubleheader scheduled for Evans Field near Castle Island, I plotted my route there to stop here for ice cream. I got a sandwich and a Reese’s Bits & Pieces cone.

This South Boston cafe is the second in a line of four family run businesses that started in 1989 in Mansfield. This shop opened in 1997 and they’ve since expanded to Fall River and New Bedford. It’s at the New Bedford store where ice cream is made every Wednesday during the year, and that stock is distributed to the other locations.

This shop is a nice little cafe with an overcrowded menu board and two freezer cases at the back. There are  a bunch of small tables littered around the front part of the store , with a couple tables and chairs even making their way to the sidewalk on this sunny day. It’s not really the sort of place you can sit and try samples, and I’d already ordered a sandwich to go. I figured I could have a Reese’s bits & pieces and be pretty safe.

What I got was a marvelous sweet cream scoop filled with ‘bits’ of smashed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and whole Reese’s Pieces. It was remarkably unassuming to hold, but each bite seemed richer than the one before it. By not overwhelming things with vanilla, a natural nuttiness emanates from the peanut butter. None of that is quite right, but there was something compelling that had me done with my cone before my sandwich was made.

The softball games, well, they were a challenge as we were left with only 7 people on our team after a few folks failed to show. Unfortunately, noble efforts don’t do much to fill the hole left by the lack of a second baseman. If you can swing a bat, we’ve got an extra glove for you, get in touch…

Cone – regular $2.99 medium $3.99 large $4.99

Sundae – small $3.99 medium $5.29 large $6.99

Frappe $4.99

Cafe Arpeggio

398 West Broadway, Boston, MA 02127-2287

617 269-8822

Open year round

Weekdays 6a-10p, weekends 7a-10p

Abbott’s – Brighton MA

7 07 2011

Somehow I’ve been wholly oblivious about Abbott’s finally sneaking into Boston for four months despite the fact that the store is located at the intersection of Washington St and Market/Chestnut Hill Ave. It wasn’t until I was heading to Jamaica Plain in the morning that the sun shone the right way off this sign and announced itself. Today I found a parking spot and a Chocolate Almond cone.

Abbott’s has been around since 1902, but unless you’ve found yourself around Rochester NY you’ve probably never heard of it. A first Massachusetts store opened a few years ago in Needham Center, and the first time I went there I was overwhelmed by that Western New York accent (apparently it was a special day where repatriated New Yorkers were all gathering for frozen custard.

Mary Pat Dauria has brought the frozen custard that she loved growing up in Rochester to the heart of Brighton, marking the first frozen custard shop within Boston city limits. Inside are full windows with vistas of the cityscape and a few tables with wood tones and whites keeping things looking clean and nice. Outdoors you have the option of wandering the sidewalk or potentially hanging out and licking your cone on the handicap ramp if it were raining.

The pitch here is the fact that this is a frozen custard, so if eggs are a problem for you, then Abbott’s should go on your skip list. They don’t have an unending list of flavors, instead you can expect about eight options with a couple of those being dedicated to yogurt or sherbet or some frozen alternative. If you want crazy, they can mix in the toppings, but I went simple – chocolate almond.

If I hadn’t been watching, I would have been certain that these almonds were mixed into chocolate custard right before it was handed to me, they were just that fresh. The chocolate was creamy and soft and rich, just the way a custard should be… though given the flavor, I wouldn’t mind them trying a dark chocolate and sending this way over the top in decadence.

Since I was heading to meet up with a friend, I added a black raspberry wheel to my bill. Rushing to the car, I cranked the air conditioning and hid it under my cap to keep it out of the sun. With limited melting, this made for a truly classic update on the Carvel Flying Saucer.

Cone – kiddie $2.50 single $3.75 double $4.50

Sundae – classic $5.50 favorite $6

Milk shake $4.25

Abbott’s Frozen Custard

358 Washington St, Boston, MA 02135

617 562-8600

Open year round

Sunday-Thursday noon-10p, Friday & Saturday noon-11p