Tag Archives: icecream

Concerning The 99 Flake

Every once in a while, instead of the standard restaurant review, it’s nice to take a few steps back and discuss broader food topics, or those sorts of things that don’t really lend themselves to a review, per se. With this being my first visit to Britiain since 2008 during "summer" (in this case, the trailing edge of it), I was able to finally try one of those British traditions of summer, the "99 Flake". Okay, at this point, my UK readers are probably saying to themselves, “Great, now he’s rambling on about 99 Flakes. What’s next, the finer points of Jaffa Cakes?” While my US and other readers are probably asking themselves, “WTF is a 99 Flake?” Well, the 99 Flake is a standard British dairy treat. At it’s most basic, it’s basically what us Yanks call as soft serve cone, with a large dollop of soft serve ice cream served on one of those wafer cones. And, to top it off, the very pièce de résistance is the insertion of a half-length Cadbury Flake into the ice cream.

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Anderson’s Custard (Buffalo, NY)

Duff’s wasn’t our only visit in Buffalo, however. After a good round of wings, you find yourself with some fire in the belly (and, if not careful, on ones lips and fingers as well), and I always find it’s good to follow up with some ice cream. Well, Allie’s family is of the same general belief, so when we finished up at Duff’s, they suggested heading a few miles west on Sheridan to check out Anderson’s Custard. Anderson’s is one of the more prominent Buffalo-area custard chains, with about a dozen locations scattered through the Buffalo area. And they aren’t just a custard joint, they’ve got a full food menu as well, with various sandwiches, fries, and the Buffalo-obligatory beef-on-weck.

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Izzy’s Ice Cream (St Paul, MN)

A few years ago I did a review of Toscanini’s Ice Cream in Cambridge, MA, in which I mentioned that their burnt caramel ice cream is my second favorite ice cream ever, losing out to my favorite ice cream, the salted caramel from Izzy’s in St Paul, MN. However, I recently went to go point someone to my review of Izzy’s, and I realized that I’ve never actually written them up. Well, last week’s trip to the Twin Cities gave me another opportunity to visit Izzy’s, and this time I figured I should actually write them up.

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Lee’s Cream Liqueur (Scottsdale, AZ)

Wandering about Scottsdale, we noticed a little shop on Stetson Drive called “Lee’s Cream Liqueurs” which featured a variety of ice cream flavors, many of which were made with real liqueurs. While all sorts of little ice cream stores seem to be popping up everywhere, and some of them (like Humphrey Slocombe in San Francisco, whose cornflake and bourbon ice cream I reviewed last May) have the occasional liqueur-infused flavor on the menu, most places don’t feature it outright. There’s actually a good reason for that, in that the much lower melting point of alcohol makes it hard to make a good ice cream without sacrificing a little bit of firmness. That said, Lee of Lee’s Cream Liqueur seems to have figured it out, since about half of her flavors are either outright liqueur-flavored, or have liqueur-flavored swirls in them. But Lee’s Cream Liqueur looked to be relatively popular, and the ice cream looked enticing, so we decided to give it a try…

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Morano Gelato (Hanover, NH)

I’ve always been a great fan of gelato. The Italian cousin to ice cream, gelato is a more subtler variation on the same idea. milk, cream, sugar, and flavoring. But just like the idea that while hash browns and french fries are both the same thing (fried potatoes), it’s the difference in execution that makes gelato such a great product. More milk than in ice cream, less air, gentle churning, and a warming serving temperature always make for a pleasant bowl of rich, creamy gelato. Unfortunately, while ice cream shops are plentiful (indeed, soft serve places are a dime a dozen around here in the summer months), good gelato places are fairly rare in the US. And, until 2010, nonexistent around here. Until Morano Gelato opened up shop.

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Bi-Rite Creamery (San Francisco, CA)

While my trip to Humphrey Slocombe left me a little bit disappointed, that wasn’t the last of my San Francisco ice cream forays. While doing the March, our route took us through the north end of the Mission, we headed over to Dolores Park and Bi-Rite Creamery for another snack. This was my first trip to Bi-Rite Creamery, but I’d been to their parent store (Bi-Rite Market, just down the street) several times to indulge in various delicacies, like a few slices of some good Iberian jamon. And I’d always known that Bi-Rite’s ice cream stand was well-regarded, but both times I had previously thought of stopping there, the lines were long and scared me away…

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Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream (San Francisco, CA)

When Emily took me to visit Dynamo Donuts, on the way back passed by Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream. I’ve heard of Humphrey Slocombe several times (it’s one of the most yelp-ed places on the planet, and has gotten exposure on several TV shows), and it’s been a place I’ve been wanting to try. However, they don’t open until noon, so I had to make it a point to come back later. But after visiting Mission Cheese earlier in the day, I decided that a good walk was in order, and went on a pleasant little hike up to Bernal Heights Park, through “downtown” Bernal Heights, and then coming back to the Mission by ealking around the park. This route very nicely passed me by Humphrey Slocombe again, so I decided to stop in and give them a try…

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Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck (Various NYC Locations)

After stopping for a break and some pizza in Greenwich Village, the Death March then proceeded east to Greene Street to work our way south to Church St and the WTC site (and then on to Battery Park, finishing the nearly 20 mile hike). This wasn’t completely planned (early routes had us traveling down Broadway), but this ended up working out quite well, since we happened across a Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Truck on Greene between Spring and Prince. This wasn’t the first Van Leeuwen truck we spotted, there had been another over by the High Line, but this time everyone was in the mood for a short ice cream break. Van Leeuwen serves a number of premium ice cream flavors, with a nice thick, creamy ice cream base. Flavors run from the standard chocolate/vanilla/strawberry (although all are naturally flavored), with several nut- and spice-based flavors as well, including pistachio, hazelnut, and ginger.

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Toscanini’s Ice Cream (Cambridge, MA)

You can’t miss it, it’s written right on the window, “The World’s Best Ice Cream,” according to the New York Times. That should impress me, but it really doesn’t. It’s hyperbole, and the NYTimes does it a lot in their food reviews. Many Boston-area friends also have told me it’s “the best in the world”, but Boston folks have a horrible pattern of saying “the world” when they really mean “Boston”. More importantly, however, my friend Eddy (who has impeccable taste when it comes to desserts) also claims it’s best in the world, so, while I’ve had (and enjoyed) Tosci’s ice cream before, I felt obligated to come and review it again…

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