Something Sweet in Saratoga Springs

When you’re traveling in an RV, impromptu trips for ice cream can be challenging, to say the least. Finding a parking spot for all 25′ of us isn’t always easy.

Prices listed for the Dairy Haus, Saratoga Springs | In Search of a Scoop

Prices listed for the Dairy Haus, Saratoga Springs

But by arriving right when they opened, we had all the space we could ask for when we pulled into the Dairy Haus parking lot in Saratoga Springs.

Without realizing it, I ordered a kiddie with two flavors – the portion was very generous for a kiddie, at only $2.45! Perfect since it was a little too early for lunch when they opened at 11 a.m.!

Here’s what we thought – we didn’t try too much because we literally watched them open up for the day and felt bad!

Coffee & Sweet Cream ice cream at Dairy Haus, Saratoga Springs | In Search of a Scoop

Coffee & Sweet Cream ice cream at Dairy Haus, Saratoga Springs

Coffee Oreo – According to Ross, this one was excellent, just what you’d like a coffee Oreo to be.

Coffee – The coffee ice cream is classic. My standard for coffee ice cream is always Brigham’s, and this one really didn’t disappoint!

Sweet Cream – This flavor was absolutely delightful!

All of the ice creams here were delicious. They were very smooth, though not winning any records for smoothness. Truly delightful. I also found the location pretty charming, even on a cloudy day!

Charming seating at the Dairy Haus, Saratoga Springs | In Search of a Scoop

Charming seating at the Dairy Haus, Saratoga Springs

Next time you’re passing through Saratoga Springs, be sure to have a scoop or two for me!

p.s. Thanks for supporting my blog by doing your usual online shopping via my Amazon affiliate link!

Homemade Ice Cream in Orlando!

You might have been able to detect a bit of excitement from the title of this blog. If you did, you’re incorrect. There was actually a ton of excitement behind that blog title.

You may be thinking, why is Orlando so special? You’ve had homemade ice cream all over the country!

Well, you’d be forgiven for thinking that. The unfortunate reality is that the Orlando area suffers from a severe lack of homemade ice cream options.

You’ve got your soft-serve yogurt places. You’ve got soft-serve ice cream places. And you’ve occasionally got places that serve the hard stuff too – mostly Baskin Robbins and the like, but occasionally it’s a local shop carrying some ice cream they purchased from a distributor. And if you’re seeking gelato, you’ll find occasional options too, although I’m most excited to hear that Gelato Fiasco is opening an Orlando location soon.

But if you want homemade ice cream, made by the shop you’re purchasing it in, I wish you luck. Seriously. I’ve been in Davenport for more than three and a half months now, and finding anything less than a forty-five minute drive just wasn’t happening.

But yesterday was my day. We were in Orlando playing a concert, so we decided to adventure in the area while we were there. In searching for a botanical garden, I stumbled onto Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream. Ross and I decided we were obligated to stop. And wow – I’m sure glad that we did!

The outside is rather unassuming, with a light pink font amidst a very humble strip mall. But when you enter, you’ll be charmed by its light pink walls and sunny demeanor.

Affordable prices at Kelly'sPrices are extremely reasonable for a city, at $3.50 for a decent-sized small, $4.50 for well-portioned regular and $5.50 for a large. And if you are struggling to decide, you can get a couple of flavors in a regular (as well as a small, I believe) or three flavors in a large…or you can get an ice cream flight!

Ice cream flights are one of my favorite things. You typically pay a little more for the pleasure of a wide selection of flavors. In this case, I actually think it’s a very good deal. For $8.50 (plus tax), you’ll get four mini-waffle bowls, each with a scoop and change of a different flavor. For $10.50, they’ll be sundaes, with a topping and whipped cream and a cherry on each of them. They’ve got shakes and and shaved ice and other awesomeness too, and they have a lot of “signature” flavors, classics plus a rotating selection of seasonal scoops to try.

As usual, we tried lots of flavors, and unsurprisingly, I got an ice cream flight. It seemed like a fair price even without the waffle bowls (which I can’t eat due to gluten) but my husband Ross enjoyed snacking on them, so all wasn’t lost. Ross got a regular with two flavors.

Four cupcake holder filled with ice cream scoopsHere’s our report!

Lavendar Vanilla – This is the strongest lavender I’ve had! It’s really prominent and bright, but you taste the vanilla too; it’s a great complement. It does melt rather quickly, but not horribly. I think this flavor is best in smaller doses because it’s intense, and it almost gains in tensity as you eat more of it! It’s not quite as creamy as I’d prefer, but it’s still got plenty of creaminess.

Valen-thyme Honey – A great seasonal option. First you taste the sweet, natural honey; then you taste the thyme; and the vanilla base is subtle but nice. I love the sweetness with a bit of bite combination. It’s excellent, refreshing flavor with a bit of pop. Like the lavendar vanilla, I could use a touch more creaminess if I had my choice, but it’s still plenty.

Key Lime – Wow. This is creamy and bright and the perfect taste of key lime juice. It’s almost like cheesecake filling, without any crust/graham cracker/mixins. This is probably the creamiest flavor here. I could eat this every day. Refreshing and creamy…this is the best key lime I’ve ever had.

Maple Bourbon Bacon – It’s a maple base, with a hint of bourbon lending it a bit of wood or nuttiness, and the bacon is perfectly crispy. The bacon is also perfectly distributed so that we both found we had a little bit in every bite, although maple is the showcase here. The maple is outstanding, prominent with a deepness to it and that wonderful maple sweetness.

Cake Batter ‘n Sprinkles – Although this isn’t earth-shattering, it’s a really great cake batter base. High quality for sure, can’t really ask for more, and the sprinkles are a fun texture throughout. It’s a creamy base, but it has a firmness to it too, almost like a brownie or something else harder than ice cream…fudgy perhaps. I’m a huge fan of Blake’s cake batter ice cream (it has cake and frosting in it!) but I have to assume that this base would kick that base’s butt. Very well done.

Mexican Chocolate – This is a more subtle heat than I expected. Cinnamon is prominent here. It’s very nice, but definitely not my favorite for this type of thing.

The staff here was friendly and patient and accommodated my request to have a bowl-less ice cream flight very well. Although we preferred the creaminess of the Maple Bourbon Bacon and the Key Lime, all of them were delicious. I’m so glad we found Kelly’s and I look forward to returning whenever we’re in the area. Definitely a gem!

p.s. Thanks for supporting my blog by doing your usual online shopping via my Amazon affiliate link!

Stumbling into Savannah Candy Kitchen

I’ve been to many candy stores or confectionaries that also sell ice cream, but very few of them make their own. So when I saw signs for ice cream and gelato at Savannah Candy Kitchen, I prepped myself for disappointment. Lucky for me, when I asked a nearby employee, I found out they make BOTH their ice cream and their gelato themselves!

Savannah has a really fun, walkable downtown, and it had another great spot for homemade ice cream too, which we’d taken advantage of on our last visit.

img_7742-1But if you’re stopping in for some praline candies and you’re hungry, you won’t want to miss their ice cream or gelato.

Our review:

Praline and Cream Gelato – Wow. This is subtle deliciousness. The base is really subtle, and the chunks of praline candies are amazing. This is their candy specialty so it’s only logical the gelato would be great! I got one giant candy piece when I tried it – it’s so good!

Pumpkin Gelato – I was surprised to see this wasn’t super smooth. It had good flavor though, and there were a few candy corns in mine! It’s not especially sweet, so you can really taste the pumpkin flavor.

img_7743-1Key Lime Gelato – This was brilliant and creamy – but it has graham cracker in it, so stay away if you’re gluten-free like me.

Chocolate Ice Cream – This is smooth and has a lighter, creamy texture, almost like soft serve. It’s not my favorite chocolate, but it was really fun, and the texture was awesome.

img_7744-1The prices are reasonable here, for a downtown location. Normally $3.75 for a single or $4.75 for a double would strike me as a little high, but in a city that is fairly typical (or even pretty good). And it’s nice that you can have gelato, ice cream or both in the same location.

I can happily recommend the homemade gelato and ice creams at Savannah Candy Kitchen. And be sure to pick up some candies pralines for the road!

p.s. Thanks for supporting the blog by doing your usual online shopping via my Amazon affiliate link!

Everyone’s Leapin’ for Leopold’s

Two scoops of Leopold's ice creamWhen you’re walking down the street and you see that everyone is in line for the same thing, that should peak your curiosity. And if you’re walking through downtown Savannah, there’s an excellent chance that the long line is for Leopold’s homemade ice cream.

This place is an institution. They’ll be celebrating their 100th anniversary next year! They carry everything from traditional ice cream flavors to flavors they’ve made since 1919 like lemon custard, to flavors made with local ingredients (like ginger from Verdant Kitchen in Savannah) to more unusual, seasonal flavors like Japanese cherry blossom and lavender. This stuff is super premium, and they offer nice sorbets too, alongside a menu with fancy coffee drinks, sandwiches and soups. (For those of you in New Hampshire, it reminded me of Blake’s a bit in terms of their offerings.)

They’re a little bit pricey compared to what I’m used to – $4 for a single scoop, $5.50 for a double scoop, plus tax – and you can only get one flavor per scoop. But the pricing seems fair for “city” ice cream, and they will happily let you try whatever you like. Of course for the benefit of all of you, I had to try a lot of flavors. Here’s how I did:

The menu board at Leopold'sCaramel Swirl – This is a caramel base with homemade caramel swirl in it. Basically, this is a perfect ice cream. It’s an amazing blend of creamy texture and caramel flavor.

Lemon Custard – Wow. What a great choice. This is rich and creamy and full of lemon flavor, and it isn’t too sweet. It’s perfect for a hot, humid day in Savannah. My only critique? It is a little one-note, so I’m glad I got multiple flavors to avoid flavor fatigue. (I just invented that. Pretty good, right?)

Japanese Cherry Blossom – This is super smooth, without any chunks and with a very gentle flavor. I found it pleasant, but not exciting.

Ginger – The chunk of local ginger in this bite was amazing. So tasty if you need a kick in your ice cream!

The portions are ample here. I had to wait at least 20 minutes to reach the counter, but they brought out menus and water for waiting patrons and had plenty of seating once I got inside.

The ice cream isn’t the creamiest I’ve had,  but the texture is very, very good. It could use a touch more creaminess – it occasionally felt like a little too much work to take a bite. But the caramel and cherry were the perfect consistency, so it seems to vary a bit by flavor.

If your interest is really peaked, they are willing to ship this around the world for you! Have you tried Leopold’s? Stay tuned for my next blog, where I share another ice cream option in downtown Savannah!

p.s. Thanks for supporting the blog by doing your usual online shopping via my Amazon affiliate link!

Great flavors at Leopold's