Finding Gelato and More in Fort Collins

When you pass an adorable gelato place, you should stop in. Especially if reviewers say it’s a homemade gelato place. And when you’ve recently had a less than stellar homemade ice cream experience, and you’re in a new city for a while, it’s probably time to cleanse your palate of that underwhelming taste in your mouth with some delightful, homemade gelato.Gelato & aMore, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

We are currently within walking distance of Gelato & aMore, a fabulous Italian restaurant with homemade gelato and desserts plus a variety of pastas, sandwiches and pizza. (They also offer spaghetti squash as a pasta option!)

Ross did try a slice of pizza and enjoyed it, but we focused our visit on all of the gelato. All of it.

Gelato choices at Gelato & aMore, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a ScoopThe staff was very patient with us, letting us try whatever we wanted and having a great conversation too. Here’s what we sampled:

Pistachio – This is very good, creamy and a forward flavor. Very tasty.

Amarena Cherry – I haven’t had these cherries before! It’s a very distinct, darker cherry that pairs well with the super creamy base. I enjoyed pairing it with chocolate and butter pecanTwo scoops, Gelato & aMore, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Passion Fruit – So delicious! It’s vegan, though I confess I’m not sure if it was. sorbet or made with a vegan milk option. In any case, the tart and creamy combo is delicious, a definite winner, and the passion fruit sauce on top is fabulous.

Butter Pecan – Wow! This is the brightest butter pecan we’ve had. It’s so strong and fun…and the pecans are toasty and delicious!

Three scoops, Gelato & aMore, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a ScoopChocolate – This is so rich and creamy. I think it’s the best chocolate gelato I’ve had. It reminded me of the inside of a Lindt chocolate truffle, although the texture is a bit different of course. (Not that fudgy.)

The prices were very reasonable. We got a two scoop and a three scoop for less than ten dollars with tax.

There’s only one table inside, but that was enough for us. 🙂

Other tips: If you can handle gluten, there are some very creative ice cream sandwich type options, perhaps to share with a friend. (Churro gelato? Spumoni ice cream sandwich? Yes, please.) Also, pistachio and chocolate pair extremely well together.Three scoops, Gelato & aMore, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

This stuff is great. It’s super creamy, which is rare for gelato.

It’s all great. Highly recommend. We will be back for more Italian goodness…soon!

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

Walrus Ice Cream in Fort Collins

My latest ice cream adventure was in Fort Collins, and it’s an adorable location worth visiting. Not only is there a local ice cream options in Fort Collins, but there is gelato and frozen custard as well, and with Boulder and Denver nearby, I have lots of local ice cream options to try within an hour or two of here. I’m glad I’ve got all summer to check it all out.
Outside View of Walrus Ice Cream, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Outside View of Walrus Ice Cream. Love the bright colors and the Gluten-Free sign!

Walrus Ice Cream proudly offers a gluten-free menu and has options for vegans too. I love seeing all of that. Ice cream for everyone, I say! On my recent visit, there was a long line to order, but it moved very, very quickly, and our server was both extremely efficient and also extremely attentive. He let me try whatever I wanted too.
Menu at Walrus Ice Cream, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Menu at Walrus Ice Cream

The sizing at Walrus is the first of its kind I have seen. Although you order a single, double or pint, that seems like a guideline rather than a hard size. For instance, I ordered two flavors, and they were willing to combine them into a single dish if I wanted. The trickiest part, for the purchaser, is that you ultimately pay by the ounce, so the price of your ice cream will vary not only by the size you order, but by the number of flavors and how clever/conservative your server is. In any case, the price of the ice cream came to about $12 for the two of us with tax, which felt like a decent price for a single and a double in a bigger city. A little bit pricey, perhaps, but I wasn’t expecting cheap and I wasn’t shocked.
They also offer a few frozen yogurts, which I look forward to trying. Cotton candy yogurt sounds delicious!
Overall, I found the ice cream here to be consistent and pleasant, a touch harder than my preference, but it was reasonably creamy and not too icy. Here’s the breakdown of what I found by flavor.
Two scoops from Walrus Ice Cream, Fort Collins, Co | In Search of a Scoop

Ross enjoyed a scoop of Jack Chip and a scoop of Caramel Sea Salt.

Walrus Ice Cream, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Jamie went with Swiss Dark Chocolate and Sweet Cream Butterfinger.

Swiss Dark Chocolate – Swiss dark chocolate is an interesting description. It’s not all that dark, in the scheme of things, but it’s really pleasant and does have a darker profile than milk chocolate. I found it to be almost like chocolate milk. I got a scoop of this.
Chocolate Mint – This has more chocolate at the front end, more mint at the back end. It’s a great combo and they’re both pretty prominent. This flavor was slightly creamier than the others I tried.
Caramel Sea Salt – This is a fairly subtle flavor. It is pleasant. Ross got this one (without trying it first), and it’s a bit creamier than most of their flavors that we tried. This is one of their top two flavors.
Sweet Cream Butterfinger – I found the “sweet cream” base to be pretty vague. Again, it’s pleasant…I just could have used more flavor here. But you can’t go wrong with butterfinger, so the butterifnger made this. I got a scoop of this one too.
Jack Chip – This is fun, but it’s a lot more subtle than I expected. The chocolate is very nice (it’s the Swiss Dark Chocolate), and then they add chocolate chips and Jack Daniels to that base. This is one of their top two flavors. Ross got a scoop of this one.
Overall, I found the ice cream pleasant but not exciting. With the possible exception of Chocolate Mint, I wanted more flavor in all of the bases. Everything was pretty nice, but just more bland than I prefer. I don’t need my ice cream to be sweet, but it needs to have a strong presence, and I just wasn’t feeling that here.
From my research, Walrus seems to be the only homemade ice cream place in Fort Collins. There is also homemade gelato, which I will review soon i am sure. Because this is the only ice cream made here, I will definitely return at least once in hopes of finding some other flavors to get excited about.
Have you tried Walrus Ice Cream? What’s your favorite order?
p.s. Thanks for supporting my blog by doing your usual online shopping via my Amazon affiliate link!

The Ice Cream Vice, or Vice Is Nice

As you probably know, I focus my blogging on local, homemade ice cream places, but when I was offered the opportunity to sample Vice Ice Cream, I couldn’t resist. Vice Ice Cream markets themselves as “the unapologetically indulgent ice cream brand that has gained a cult-following for its decadent, playful flavors such as Breakfast in BedToffee Wife and Afternoon Delight”.

They reached out to me, offering to send a few pints of ice cream to sample. Who says no to ice cream? Not this kid. Most of their flavors are full of glutenous deliciousness (cookies, brownies and the like are common), but they have two flavors without any added gluten. (If you’re celiac or highly sensitive to cross-contamination, you’ll want to skip them all.) I requested the two flavors I could eat, and I recommended a third flavor for Ross, my husband, to sample.

It turned out that the “few” pints promised were actually six! Two of each of the three flavors. Rather than enjoy all the alcoholic ice cream solo, I decided to have an ice cream tasting with our friends. (This same group had shared a whiskey and a wine tasting with us in the past, so it felt especially appropriate.)

As a result, I have feedback to share from three additional friends – Gypsy, Scott and Beth – as well as Ross and myself. Thank you to Vice for the samples and to my friends for sharing their feedback! (I wasn’t compensated or even asked to blog about these, but the ice cream was provided by them, so buyer beware. These pints can be purchased in your local supermarket if you’re curious.)

L'Orange, Vice Ice Cream | In Search of a Scoop

Orange and chocolate combine in this flavor from Vice Ice Cream.

Flavor #1: L’Orange a Trois: Vanilla ice cream with orange ripple, dark chocolate chunks, white chocolate chunks and milk chocolate chunks.

We liked this one. One person said, “This is what you need to make a creamsicle drink”, and people liked the orange and chocolate pairing. Ross’ father would love this.

I found the chocolate to be pretty high quality. The orange ripple was a pretty fake but fun taste, like you’d get in a chocolate orange. The ice cream was quite creamy, like a Breyers. It’s definitely like a creamsicle. One person said it’s like the consistency of the ice cream in a creamsicle….not super creamy, but it’s very nice and melts in the mouth well.

L’orange was refreshing, like a spring blossom, according to one taster. Beth really doesn’t like orange normally, but it reminded her of chocolate oranges. (It also makes sense that it wasn’t my favorite thing because I’m not a huge chocolate orange person).

Breakfast in Bed from Vice Ice Cream | In Search of a Scoop

Breakfast in Bed from Vice Ice Cream

Flavor #2: Breakfast in Bed: Maple ice cream with chunks of sticky bun dough, pecan praline and a touch of cream cheese.

This is the one that I couldn’t eat, because of the gluten in the sticky bun dough. There isn’t a lot of maple flavor, although you can taste it. The pecans were prevalent, which is great if you like them, and the cinnamon bun is really good, although there isn’t a lot of it. This was also a very smooth ice cream. There’s a buttery hint to it – one person said it was almost like a buttercream chardonnay!

Ross thought it was fun, but wished the flavor was more consistent overall. Perhaps if the cinnamon had been more consistent? Only the maple and nuts were consistent.

Most of us couldn’t taste the cream cheese, but a few people thought they got a subtle hint of it. It’s an ambitious ice cream that didn’t really hit the mark.

Flavor #3: Bourbon Mash: Vanilla ice cream with whisky bourbon-caramel swirl and chocolate chunk mix-ins.

This was the favorite, by far! The bourbon ripple is delicious and the aftertaste is really satisfying. The caramel has a bit of saltiness, which is awesome. We all enjoyed how high the number of mixins was. It’s not overwhelming, though – it’s a perfect balance.

I didn’t think the chocolate was brilliant, but it’s satisfying and doesn’t take away from the bourbon showcase.

Scott described the combo as almost a bit of citrus at the end – it’s actually a bit reminiscent of the first in that way.

Bourbon drizzle sitting on top of the container is so good!

Bourbon Mash ripple, Vice Ice Cream | In Search of a Scoop

The bourbon ripple is delicious!

Bourbon Mash from Vice Ice Cream | In Search of a Scoop

Bourbon Mash from Vice Ice Cream

Bourbon Mash, Vice Ice Cream | In Search of a Scoop

Bourbon Mash is the first one out of the cooler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much to Vice for the chance to try your products. We highly recommend Bourbon Mash and would encourage you to have your own tasting session when you’re in the mood for some crazy, no holds barred ice cream.

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

An Epic Ice Cream Adventure Through Tampa, FL – Part 3

It’s hard to imagine a day better spent than one visiting three different homemade ice cream places, eating booza (an Arabic style of ice cream), Thai-style hand-rolled ice cream and a spicy goat cheese based ice cream in Tampa, amongst many others. Here’s part three, the conclusion, of my thrilling ice cream adventure in the Tampa, Florida area. (Missed part 1 and 2? You can start it here.)

After a large portion of ice cream at Handcraft followed by a smaller portion at Dough, I didn’t have too much of an appetite left. But I knew this would be the last visit of the day – Tampa has lots of traffic, and we still had more than an hour’s drive home ahead of us, so my aspirations of visiting a fourth or fifth place wouldn’t be met today.

My priority for our last stop was a visit to The Revolution. Their flavor combinations are pretty off the wall, with tons of mix-ins, and they reminded me a little bit of Ben & Jerry’s in their style. Being gluten-free, I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of flavor options to choose from, but I thought it would still be worth the effort to see what such a creative place’s ice cream was like.

The Revolution, Tampa, FL | In Search of a Scoop

Inside shot of The Revolution Ice Cream Co. courtesy of In Search of a Scoop

#3 The Revolution Ice Cream Co., Tampa, FL

As soon as we showed up, I had a great feeling about this place. We were pleasantly surprised to find designated parking at this and all of the ice cream places we visited (yay Tampa!) and although it was nighttime, the cuteness was clear. It seemed like a fun college hangout, casual but with great ice cream.

I only had a few flavors to choose from, being gluten-free, so I tried the two I was eyeing and then put in my order. Ross was too full for ice cream, but when he tried mine, he had to grab some too! Here’s what we got – and if you go here, please tell me how Callie’s Hotcakes are. Buttered pancake with maple syrup sounds out of this world!

Two flavors from The Revolution, Tampa, FL | In Search of a ScoopThe Seaward – Salted caramel, coffee, cinnamon and cardamom – This is sweet and almost spicy with its flavor combination. It’s really fun! The bit of spice meant that I didn’t get bored of it – it’s a little bit like chai. I really enjoyed it. I think one scoop was probably plenty for me, but if you enjoy a more subtle and refreshing scoop, get a couple!

The One That Started It All – Goat cheese habanero ice cream with raspberry ribbon – Oh my word. This tastes like cheesecake, and then goat cheese, and then the amazing habanero heat. It’s absolutely an outstanding combination of flavors. It’s not extraordinarily creamy (still plenty good enough though, and not icy at all in its texture) but the flavor is what makes this a total winner. This was the highlight of my night! It’s not for the faint of heart, and you might want some milk or water (or a plainer flavor like The Seaward to alternate with it) for when the heat gets intense. I will be dreaming about this flavor for years. It’s that good. I’d totally drive to Tampa just for this.

Prices are very reasonable here. I went with two scoops for $5, and it was an excellent portion. You can also get one scoop for 3.25 (like my husband did) or a kids scoop for 2.25, and 3 scoops is a great deal for only $6. They’ve also got some crazy sundaes, milkshakes, a sampler and a really intense Anarchy Challenge I wish I could try. (They say you’ve got 30 minutes to eat 6 pounds of awesomeness.)

I highly recommend joining The Revolution.

If you’re looking for other Florida ice cream reviews, you might enjoy my recommendations in GainesvilleAmple Hills at the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World (no park ticket required), Kelly’s in Orlando and a write up of all my Disney ice cream adventures including my favorite place for mint chocolate chip,  L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot. (Fuller article on the latter to come!)

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

An Epic Ice Cream Adventure Through Tampa, FL – Part 2

It’s hard to imagine a day better spent than one visiting three different homemade ice cream places, eating booza (an Arabic style of ice cream), Thai-style hand-rolled ice cream and a spicy goat cheese based ice cream in Tampa, amongst many others. Here’s part two of my thrilling ice cream adventure in the Tampa, Florida area. (Missed part 1? You can find it here.)

After enjoying booza bakdash and rolled ice cream for the first time, we headed to our next destination.

Inside view of Dough, Tampa, FL | In Search of a Scoop

View of part of the interior of Dough, Tampa, FL

#2 Dough, Tampa, FL

Dough came recommended to us by an acquaintance (a local), and their website definitely had me intrigued. I was a little bit nervous to visit though, because they are mostly a bakery and coffee shop, and as a gluten-sensitive person, I knew it would be sad to skip over all of the pastries.

But the nice part of ice cream touring with my husband, Ross (besides the chauffeur part) is that he can enjoy the things I can’t.

Maple bacon donut, Dough, Tampa, FL | In Search of a Scoop

Maple bacon donut – oh my!

So Ross ordered a coffee and a maple bacon doughnut. I can attest that the maple topping and the bacon are delicious. The bacon is really smoky, and Ross said they’re on a thick, doughy base that is very well made and tasty even at day’s end. It has a filling inside like a Boston cream doughnut!

For ice cream, I tasted a few flavors. They have a fairly small selection, but they make them all in house.

Mint Chip – Surprisingly, this was pretty medicinal to me. It’s not your average mint, and though on first bite, I thought I might like that, the aftertaste made me realize it’s not something I’d gravitate towards. It’s a super smooth texture though.

IMG_0328Galaxy – Galaxy is vanilla with activated charcoal and sprinkles. That makes it a very pretty scoop. However, I know that activated charcoal isn’t just good for turning your mouth black…it’s also good for cleaning your system out, including any medications etc….so I stuck to just one bite, which was quite tasty and very smooth and fun.

Peanut Butter Cup – This one was my choice. It’s super smooth, with a vanilla base that’s pleasant. The peanut butter cup is finely cut and it’s very nice. The ice cream is well whipped, so it’s light and almost fluffy. The peanut butter cup itself was very salty. I ordered a kiddie, which felt like a very good deal at $2.55 plus tax.

This place is a super adorable coffee house. It’s cozy, quirky and feels really upscale as a place for coffee or a treat. I wasn’t wowed by the flavors of ice cream here, but everything they had was well done – and as I mentioned, ice cream really isn’t the focus of what they do here. There is a doughnut cone available which would be fun. The ice cream is lighter and fluffier than my most favorite ice creams, but the smooth and creamy quality is great and the distribution of candy is pretty perfect.

One bummer? The website mentioned that toppings are free – but when I was ordering, they never mentioned that to me, and I forgot about it. So maybe ask about it when you visit. 🙂

If you’re looking for other Florida ice cream reviews, you might enjoy my recommendations in GainesvilleAmple Hills at the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World (no park ticket required), Kelly’s in Orlando and a write up of all my Disney ice cream adventures including my favorite place for mint chocolate chip,  L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot. (Fuller article on the latter to come!)

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

An Epic Ice Cream Adventure Through Tampa, FL

It’s hard to imagine a day better spent than one visiting three different homemade ice cream places, eating booza (an Arabic style of ice cream), Thai-style hand-rolled ice cream and a spicy goat cheese based ice cream in Tampa, amongst many others. It’s time for a thrilling ice cream adventure in the Tampa, Florida area.

First off, my apologies for not blogging last week. I spent a week back in New Hampshire, and although it was great to be back (and to enjoy some Arnie’s ice cream in Concord), it definitely messed up my blogging game.

On to the epic ice cream recount.

My brother, Robbie, and his girlfriend Ria came up with the perfect Christmas present for me – an ice cream adventure! But when Robbie started researching the best places to get ice cream in Florida, he realized he really had no clue what he was doing. Who, he wondered, would know where to get the best ice cream in Florida?

Let the adventure begin! | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Let the adventure begin!

That’s when he realized it was me. So he just gave me some money and said go have an adventure! With a $45 budget and most of an afternoon and evening to explore, I set my sights on Tampa, Florida, which was a city we hadn’t ventured to yet (although I had a bit as a child) and which seemed to make all of the “best of” lists for ice cream.

With a goal of visiting at least three ice cream places in a day, I knew we’d want to keep the portions small and keep the destinations in relative proximity to one another. When I started researching ice cream in Tampa, I realized I had about a dozen great options to choose from! Hand-rolled ice cream is definitely popular, but you can find traditional American-style ice cream, soft serve yogurt and all sorts of other options in the Tampa area.

#1 Handcraft Ice Cream, Tampa, FL

Handcraft carries two types of ice cream, and since they both interested me and they were offering a buy one, get one half off promotion, I decided Ross (my husband) and I could share both of them. It’s a cute setup, with a little sound system in the corner, almost a retro-style parlor and some fun artwork on the walls.

The store is owned by a Syrian family, from what I’ve read, and I was a little disappointed that there was a language barrier when I put my order in. I would have loved to ask them more questions about the ice cream and their store.

But ice cream is the universal language, right?

IMG_0285.jpgFirst we ordered Booza Bakdash, a style of Middle Eastern ice cream that I hadn’t heard about before. (Handcraft says they’re the only place making it in the U.S.!) It was really fun, light and not super creamy or sweet, and according to Google it’s made with a paddle. The ice cream gets rolled in pistachios and if desired, you can top it with honey, like I did. It’s really great, almost savory. They gave me a generous, satisfying portion of this light, milky food. It would be a nice summer treat, and at $7 it felt like a reasonable price.

Next up was my first time having rolled ice cream. Also known as Thai-style ice cream, it was very fun to watch the ice cream as it was made in front of us. As is common at a lot of these places, you start by choosing your base, and then you can choose mix-ins and/or toppings to go with it.

IMG_0283.jpgI went with coffee ice cream, with banana, chocolate topping and Nutella. The base wasn’t super sweet, and it was a subtle coffee flavor. I found this to be the perfect flavor combination if you like banana. The ice cream itself wasn’t super creamy, but it’s a fun texture. It’s milky, so it’s lighter, and it can be a little bit crumbly – almost flaky. Again, this was an excellent portion.

I think hand-rolled ice cream is a fun experience, especially if you like mixing in toppings or sundaes, but you’re definitely paying for the experience more than for quality ice cream. The ice cream texture itself isn’t something I’d choose over more traditional methods. Here it’s $6 normally, and that felt appropriate for the work involved. (When I was there, they had a coupon online and in the store for buy 1, get 1 half off, so do take advantage if that’s an option.)

My only disappointment with the ice cream was that they were out of chocolate chips and marshmallows…maybe they’re going through growing pains and aren’t keeping as many ingredients in stock right now.

Conclusion: Booza bakdash is delicious and rolled ice cream is fun too! Definitely stop by here if you’re in the area.

Next stop: I try ice cream with charcoal for the first time, and Ross has a maple bacon donut! I’ll chronicle it all here next week.

Can’t wait to read the next part of the epic?

If you’re looking for other Florida ice cream reviews, you might enjoy my recommendations in Gainesville, Ample Hills at the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World (no park ticket required), Kelly’s in Orlando and a write up of all my Disney ice cream adventures including my favorite place for mint chocolate chip,  L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot. (Fuller article on the latter to come!)

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

Ice Cream & Music at Emack & Bolio’s

Ross Malcolm Boyd onstage at Emack & Bolio's, Albany, NY | In Search of a Scoop

Ross Malcolm Boyd onstage at Emack & Bolio’s, Albany, NY

Last September, on our way through upstate New York, my husband Ross was eager to play an open mic. He found one in Albany, and though it took some doing to find a safe and free place to leave the RV for a while, we did just that before heading into the city to perform.

Well, as it turns out, Ross had chosen an open mic at an ice cream place. And it wasn’t just any ice cream place – it was one I’d read about before!

Emack & Bolio’s is full of personality, with super-premium

Books and gifts at Emack & Bolio's, Albany, New York | In Search of a Scoop

Books and gifts at Emack & Bolio’s, Albany, New York

ice cream at locations in five states and in many Asian countries too! It has an artsy, indie vibe, at least in Albany, New York, and they also sell coffee and pastries there. This location hosts live music every week, including an open mic, and they also have a fireplace, a garden patio and a neat selection of books and gifts.

I was so excited that after we played our three songs (and were asked to be the featured artists whenever we return to the area!) we got to get ice cream.

Extra ice cream at Emack & Bolio's, Albany, NY | In Search of a Scoop

Extra ice cream at Emack & Bolio’s, Albany, NY

Plus, when they misunderstood my initial order, I ended up with some extra ice cream…so yes, I had two bowls of ice cream here! The flavor report:

Pumpkin – It’s delicious, smooth and tastes like real pumpkin, as it should. You’ll need to love pumpkin to enjoy this. It’s subtle and lovely.

Chocolate Moose – This is a smooth chocolate – they have a few different chocolate flavors. It’s an outstanding, rich flavor! Maybe top 3 or 4 chocolates I’ve had so far?

Vanilla Bean Speck – This is a very “real” tasting vanilla. I love when you can study the vanilla bean. Yum.

Bananas Foster – This is cinnamon, with chunks of roasted banana. Really delicious!

I found the texture to be fabulous, with high marks across the board here. It absolutely lived up to the hype. There’s tons of indoor seating as well as a great outdoor stage with tables, and the live music is definitely a draw.

Pricing was on the higher side, but appropriate for a city like Albany and the clearly higher-quality ingredients they’re using. This is a must-stop if you’re in the area!

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