Five Places For Amazing Chocolate Ice Cream

I love unique ice cream flavors, as you may know, but when it comes to classic ice cream flavors, chocolate is hard to beat. I will often try chocolate ice cream at a new place and use it as my quality reference: if they can’t do chocolate, they probably can’t do anything else either.

Here are some of my favorite places for delicious chocolate ice cream!

Pumphouse Creamery, Minneapolis, MN

If you’re looking for a great cup or pint in Minneapolis, you should run, not walk, to Pumphouse Creamery. Not only is this stuff the creamiest and most flavorful around, but it’s actually their dairy-free, coconut milk-based chocolate ice cream that completely blew my mind! Super smooth, kind of a Dutch chocolate, and you’d never know this was dairy-free. While you’re there, eat every other flavor you can get your hands on, especially their cinnamon trio.

Pumphouse Creamery, Minneapolis, MN | In Search of a Scoop

Pumphouse Creamery, Minneapolis, MN

Jeni’s, Charleston, SC

You can of course visit Jeni’s in a variety of locations across the country. And you should. But I can personally attest that the Darkest Chocolate flavor at Jeni’s is rich and well worth a scoop. Their other chocolate options were tasty, but this one is truly memorable.

Emack & Bolio’s, Albany, NY

Emack also has other locations across the country (and the world) but it was in their Albany location that their Chocolate Moose ice cream blew my mind. I highly recommend this, their Pumpkin, and everything else you can fit in the bowl.

Gelato Fiasco, Brunswick, ME

Okay, it isn’t technically ice cream, but their Dark Chocolate Sea Salt is one of the best chocolates I’ve tasted. They also have several other locations, including a new one in Florida. This is dark, rich and the sea salt makes it pop. Honorable mention goes to Gelato & aMore in Fort Collins, CO for their own chocolate gelato.

Gelato Fiasco, Brunswick, ME | In Search of a Scoop

So many flavors from Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick, ME, including their Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.

L’Artisan des Glaces, Epcot (France Pavilion), Kissimmee, FL

This chocolate is perfect and perfectly delightful, especially when you pair it with their (best I’ve ever had) mint chocolate ice cream. Only catch? If you include the cost of admission into Epcot, it’s the most expensive one on this list. But if you’re visiting Disney World, do yourself a favor and go here. Honorable mention goes to Ample Hills (which has a location on the Boardwalk and therefore doesn’t require park admission) for their Dark Chocolate flavor.

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The Taste of Sweet Action in Denver, CO

On a recent trip to Denver, I knew I needed to get some delicious homemade ice cream, but I had an unusual dilemma; there were too many choices! I had to weave through about a dozen different options to discern which one might be both delicious and relatively near my route. I left many options for next time, but I’m so glad I went with Sweet Action for my first ice cream in Denver.Sweet Action, Denver, CO | In Search of a Scoop

It was a charming location in very walkable part of downtown. There’s a giant window that opens to the outside, sort of like a garage door, and that offers window seating with some shade and an inviting display for passing pedestrians.

I tried tons of flavors, as usual, and the super-nice staff member assisting me assured me that I could try every single flavor if I wanted to! Here’s what I tried:Sweet Action, Denver, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Brown Butter Sage – This hits you first with the flavor or brown butter, creamy and subtle. Afterward, the sage comes in, and it’s fabulous. I apparently love sage! I knew I enjoyed it, but this definitely made me happy. Must love sage to enjoy this one!

Green Apple Peanut Butter Swirl – I thought this sounded bizarre, but I’m sure glad I went for it! It’s kind of a classic green apple candy flavor rather than necessarily the real thing (or maybe the real thing does taste like that when it’s concentrated), but this is super bright and fun. The peanut butter is just as you’d expect and hope for too. When you think about it, who doesn’t love apples and peanut butter as a snack? The creamy green apple base is refreshing and it tastes indulgent with the rich peanut butter. The staff person working with me said this was her favorite gluten-free flavor, currently.

Vegan Blueberry – Their vegan ice creams (they have several) mix coconut and soy for the base. It’s pretty creamy, but you can definitely taste the coconut in there. I enjoyed it for a nice summer flavor.

Sweet Action, Denver, CO | In Search of a ScoopHorchata – This is a frozen version of the Mexican drink, which includes almond milk as its base. It’s just as tasty as the real stuff! Fun idea.

Salted Butterscotch – The butterscotch is strong here. I wonder if it could have had a touch more salt, or maybe something else? It’s tasty, but it felt a bit one note to me.

Lavender Goat Cheese – I don’t think this ice cream is quite as creamy as the Green Apple Peanut Butter Swirl, but that’s okay; it reminded me of the texture of actual goat cheese! The lavender is a bit subtle, and I found it got lost here. The goat cheese is fabulous. It goes well with the other flavors, I just think you’ll be bummed if you’re a huge lavender fan that it gets lost. Maybe don’t combine this one with other flavors like I did.

Strawberry Balsamic – This is a gorgeous flavor, beautifully mixing savory and sweet, genuine strawberry flavor, perhaps from jam or some sort of similar reduction. It’s almost like strawberry ice cream with chocolate sauce! It’s so good and deliciously satisfying. It’s like a sundae in itself! If I can recommend anything for when you visit, I’d recommend you get this if it’s in stock.

Portions here felt decently generous. Maybe my large would be more like a medium elsewhere, but this triple scoop felt affordable given the crazy flavors – plus, in a bit city, I’d always expect a bit of a mark up for higher rents and such. Overall, this ice cream is very creamy and the flavors are creative and fun. I had an absolute blast trying the combinations, and the ice cream itself was very satisfying, probably the most well-executed “weird” flavors I’ve had in Colorado so far.

I definitely recommend Sweet Action! I’m also looking forward to returning to Denver to try some additional flavors. I also just learned that Little Man ice cream (of Denver) is opening a new location in Fort Collins this fall! I really, really hope they’ll be open before we leave the state, but either way, I hope it’s a big success and Fort Collins will have a new, delicious homemade ice cream option when I return. Fingers crossed!

If you enjoyed this article about ice cream in Denver, you might enjoy reading about my epic adventures in Tampa, including goat cheese habenero ice cream at Revolution, or you might want the scoop on the middle-of-nowhere Sandwich Creamery in New Hampshire.

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

Striving for Scrumptious in Longmont, CO

As I’ve been documenting, there’s a lack of great homemade ice cream in Fort Collins, CO and the surrounding area. In search of some, I eagerly drove to Longmont (one of our favorite towns currently) to try Scrumptious, a local ice cream place that also carries ice cream in the Denver area.

I went in full of hope, and the place itself is really cute. My favorite thing was all of the spectacular artwork hanging on the walls – and yes, it’s for sale.

Unfortunately the service was really subpar during our visit. One of the employees was visibly showing her annoyance as we decided what we wanted and asked for a few samples. A second employee also contributed to the feeling that they would rather not be serving us. Because of the service, we felt rushed and unwanted, honestly. The sign also said that you can only try two flavors. Seriously? I usually try at least four or five before choosing. It made me order less than I would have otherwise – who wants to just name a third flavor and hope it’s okay? I did ultimately choose one blind though.

Here’s what we thought, flavor by flavor. I’m sorry we couldn’t try more of them. Scrumptious, Longmont, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Mint Chip – This tastes like toothpaste with chocolate chips. Surprisingly, it’s not the worst mint chip I’ve had. But skip this.

Blackberry Ginger – I found this kind of subtle and a really nice combination of flavors. It’s very creamy. It had a stronger flavor than Walrus in Fort Collins, but I still think I’d enjoy it more if it was a bit stronger or brighter. Perhaps it wasn’t really enough of either flavor? Maybe having one more prominent would have made it better?

Chocolate – This is extraordinarily smooth. It’s like a classic chocolate pudding in texture and definitely in flavor. I found it refreshing and different. Ross found it weird. Scrumptious, Longmont, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Whisky – This is very creamy and tastes like whiskey, but it’s very subtle. I’d enjoy caramel or toffee with it, but they don’t do toppings here. I enjoy it, and it has a great texture, but it could use stronger flavors. When the bottom gets melts, it tastes like a Bailey’s liquor…it was Ross’ favorite part. It would make an amazing shake. It would be great with chocolate sauce too.

This place is trying very hard to be different. And maybe a little snooty. I realized during this visit that the attitude of the employees had an overly large role in determining my feeling about the ice cream, much as I try to taste impartially.

The portions here are very large. You have to get a medium if you want two scoops, and it’s really pretty huge, though it goes down easily.

In addition to wishing they didn’t act so impatient, I could have used more flavor and less subtlety.

And toppings would be nice.

One other fun thing? They have a mystery flavor with whatever they throw in that week. Not for those of us with food sensitivities, of course! They do offer shakes, a giant ice cream sandwich and ice cream sliders. All of which sound fun.

Nothing we’ve had in Colorado has beaten out Glacier so far. And I just visited Walrus a third time, confirming it’s less than exciting to me. But the employee are nice!

Have you had any great ice cream lately? And what did you think of my recent three part series on Boulder ice cream?

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

Heifer and the Hen

As you may recall, when I visited Boulder in June, I visited three different homemade ice cream spots. After enjoying a scoop at Glacier and Sweet Cow, my final stop was Heifer and the Hen, an organic creamery, and one with only one location, rather than multiple like both Glacier and Sweet Cow.

Heifer and the Hen, Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureI really enjoyed my visit to Heifer and the Hen. It’s a beautiful and modest location with indoor and outdoor seating, and it reminds me a bit of the local restaurant Fresh Thyme in terms of their bravery with flavor combinations. They make bold choices with fresh ingredients and clearly don’t worry about catering to the average ice cream fan. They’re super creative, and I’d truly be thrilled to try all of their seasonal flavors.

On the other hand, the ice cream here isn’t perfect. They’re still figuring them out. I found that the ice cream fell apart quickly. But the flavors themselves were ridiculously delicious, and though this was the priciest of the three Boulder spots, I felt my one scoop (with two flavors) had a decent portion.

Here are the flavors that I tried, and what I thought of them:

Heifer and the Hen, Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureHeifer and the Hen, Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Golden Milk – This one is fun, subtle and sweet with a warmth to it.

Burnt Honey – This has a super strong honey flavor. I will never tire of the sweetness. So tasty.

Mint, Basil and Chocolate – This is a basil and mint base with chocolate chunks that have a little sweetness to them. It’s a really fun combo. It’s a refreshing take on mint for sure, though the mint does get lost a bit with the other flavors. It’s creative, if it didn’t wow me.

Cajeta – This is goat’s milk caramel. It was subtler then I expected. I found it super pleasant and tasty to pair with the blackberry tart.

Blackberry Tart – The blackberry flavor is really pure and natural, a touch sweet. I really dig it. There’s no gluten here; it gets the name because the blackberries are tart, not because of a crust or anything like that.

Spicy Cherry Chocolate – This has a bright, forward cherry flavor; it’s almost artificial-tasting, to me. The spice came later, and it’s very strong. The chocolate was fairly subtle against the cherry. I think I liked the idea of this a bit more than the actual execution.

I really enjoyed my combination of cajeta and blackberry tart, and I definitely recommend this location for ambitious foodies looking for something more original than chocolate or cookies and cream. Although they’re still working out the kinks, the less than perfect consistency isn’t enough to stop me from returning to see what else they’ve cooked up. Keep it up, Heifer and the Hen! And thank you.

(If you missed my prior posts, be sure to read up on Sweet Cow and Glacier, my favorite of the Boulder ice cream spots.)

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