Just in time for the start of Summer the food blogger review crew is putting themselves through the drudgery [wink] of taste testing out ice cream and gelato shops across the city. As you’ll see for many of them it was as much about the ice cream as it was the nostalgia for summertime childhood memories of the local ice cream stand.
Appetite Portland – MDI Ice Cream
To a scoop, MDI ice cream’s best feature is that it’s not overly saccharine. Sweet yes, but not sugary. The company creates new flavors often – I hear tell of a Danish Blue Cheese Blackberry about to hit town – and avoids the “throw in the kitchen sink” fadiness of that mass-marketed chain from Vermont… read the full review
Chubby Werewolf – Gorgeous Gelato
The strawberry was easily my favorite. Of the four flavors, it was the most fragrant and intensely flavored gelato. When I say “intensely flavored,” I mean it in all of the best ways. In other words, distinctly strawberry but not overwhelmingly sweet or sugary. Save for the occasional, tiny seed, it was perfectly smooth with a sorbet-like consistency… read the full review
Edible Obsessions – Beal’s
While I thought my plan to order simple was fool proof, it turned out not to be. ‘Maybe I needed to give myself over to one of their dozens of mixed-up flavors for a better assessment of their ice cream?’ I wondered, knowing that it wasn’t true. It was another case of feeling that maybe I just didn’t see what others loved so much about a place. But, let’s be honest, their simple vanilla was…too simple. The next time a pang for Vietnamese hits and I find myself strolling over to their shop next to Veranda Noodle bar I think I’ll stick with my old stand by: Mint Chocolate Chip… read the full review
From Away – Red’s Dairy Freeze
The classic frozen treats being passed out the window at Red’s every single night are only the first part of the story, however. Sure, it’s good soft serve. But it’s the people, in this case, that make the place: Customers who have been visiting Red’s their whole lives, whose parents have been visiting for their whole lives. A staff of kids who know everyone in the neighborhood, and who grew up just down the street, saving money for their first cars and chatting quickly with the occasional friends that appear in their line each night. Owners who have been in the soft-serve business from the beginning, who have seen their business falter when disaster struck, but who rebuilt better and stronger than before. It’s the people surrounding Red’s Dairy Freeze that make it so special: a rock-solid community, as well as a neighborhood ice cream stand… read the full review
The Blueberry Files – Bard/Gelato Fiasco
You can see the sea salt caramel on the left in the above photo, next to Grape Nuts (bleh, that flavor is lost on me).
But the salted caramel affogato was awesome. Caramel (salted or not) can be a little cloying, but the bitter espresso flavor balanced out all the sugar. Every now and then a little salt came through after satisfyingly crunching a grain… read the full review
Vrai-lean-uh – Smiling Hill
The thing is, though, the ice cream wasn’t super awesome. I got the coffee flavor, because I deeply dislike too-sweet ice cream (you did not think that was a thing, but it is, and I don’t like it) and some of the flavors seemed like they’d veer into too-sweet territory. The ice cream texture was a little icy, and there was a slightly gummy/chemical aftertaste.
But you know, it was sunny out and there were grassy pastures and even really mediocre ice cream is still, ultimately, ice cream. So I was happy enough… read the full review
Where is Jenner’s Mind – Willard Scoops
my favorite flavor of ice cream is coffee. at willard scoop their rendition is ‘dark roasted coffee’ and it was delicious! i got it on a sugar cone, which was the freshest cone i have ever eaten (i didn’t ask if they make them there but they do make their waffle cones) and it didn’t have any paper wrapped around it so you don’t have to worry you are eating glue with your ice cream. the ice cream was dense and creamy and very coffee-y! pretty much a perfect cone of ice cream in my book.… read the full review