A Tour of Torico

Torico in Jersey City, New Jersey does an incredible job of meeting its customers in the middle, combining classics with cutting edge and unique flavors, all with smooth bases, affordable prices and an adorable shop.

I managed to visit twice during my stay in Hoboken, and I highly recommend it!

Here’s what I tried:

Ube – This is a Japanese sweet potato. I found it pretty subtle, but it was fun to try!

Black Sesame – This ice cream is perfect. So tasty with a richness to it I am completely in love with. Get this in large quantities or small but get it and enjoy!

Peppermint – Between the smooth and creamy texture and the absolute perfect peppermint flavor, this has now overtaken my previous attempts as my absolute favorite place for peppermint ice cream! It out Brigham’s Brigham’s ice creams, which is impressive. It even beat out my childhood associations.

Chocolate Marshmallow -The chocolate base was very good, and you can’t go wrong with chocolate marshmallow.

Chocolate Hazelnut – Quite tasty. As mentioned above, the chocolate base is very good.

Both black sesame and peppermint will be on my “if it’s available, you must order” list from now on here. Torico has really affordable prices and a very friendly and helpful staff acquainted with food allergies.

Thanks for the wonderful treats, Torico! And if you enjoyed, this you might also reading about my recent experience returning to Van Leeuwens.

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

Robin’s Nest in House of Windsor, CO

Do you ever have a day where, despite every attempt, you’re just off? Things don’t go as expected, you can’t stay calm and happy despite a wonderful and fun day….this Wednesday I had one of those days. My husband and I had set out to explore a nearby town in Colorado, and as part of our adventuring, he had done his due diligence to find us a place to get ice cream during the visit.

When he told me about it (it sounded like a very cute diner), I was sorry to inform him that I’d already researched it and the ice cream wasn’t homemade. But, I’d heard good reviews, and I was happy to stop in anyway.

When we arrived, my awkward headspace combined with the lackluster ice cream offerings (but great other offerings) and my husband, seeing my disappointment, said hey, would you rather go somewhere else? Let’s go somewhere else. I apologized and we left.

Thank goodness that when I plugged in ice cream for a stop on the way home, I ran into Robin’s Nest at House of Windsor in Windsor, Colorado. Although my research told me they get their ice cream elsewhere too (in this case, Longview Creamery), I was delighted to walk in and see a truly charming space that combines the feel of a cafe with the feel of a diner. The staff was friendly and flexible, and although I had to have my banana split without the banana (yup – they ran out), I still enjoyed my treat, as did my husband. Here’s what we got:Brickle-ish shake, Robin's Nest, Windsor, CO | In search of a scoop

Brickleish – This is really tasty. It’s their version of butter beer, basically, with hints of butterscotch. I think it would make a neat alternative to a coffee ice cream. Ross had his in a sundae, and I had mine as part of my sundae.

Sirius Chocolate – This is a classic light chocolate ice cream. There’s almost a grainy or malt feel to it, but I’m embarrassed to say that because the ice cream is super smooth and consistent…so I’m not sure how else to describe it, but trust me that it’s very good! It would make an excellent milkshake base. I had a scoop in a sundae.

Bing Cherry – This was my least favorite, but if you dig cherry maybe you’d like it more? I think the cherries must be preserved, and I wasn’t as fond as I’d hoped of the almost candied flavor…but the texture of the cherries was perfectly preserved and the base was delicious. It’s perfect to pair with hot fudge.

I skipped the nuts and, of course, the banana, on my banana split. They carried 11 flavors while I was there, and past experience tells me that mint chocolate chip is also a great choice from Longview Creamery.No banana split, Robin’s nest, Windsor, CO | In Search of a Scoops

The diner serves real food as well, with a bakery case with at least one gluten-free treat generally in stock. It was a great place to visit, and we’ll happily return when we’re back in town.

Thanks for saving the day, Robin’s Nest at House of Windsor!

p.s. Thanks for supporting my 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

The Taste of a Liebster Award

Well, I don’t actually know what a Liebster Award tastes like…but I imagine it is sweet, though not too sweet. Perhaps like a hazelnut dark chocolate ice cream, or something brighter like a peach frozen yogurt.

Why, you might reasonably inquire, would I be imagining the taste of a Liebster Award?

Well, that would be because I was nominated for one, of course! For this very same blog. liebster-award

Beth from Portable Heart nominated me (be sure to check out her blog, I love her style of travel & blogging and I’m looking forward to more), and I’m so grateful for this lovely gesture as I’m in the early stages of In Search of a Scoop. 

Part of the scoop with a Liebster Award, though, is that you return the favor and nominate someone else for a Liebster Award. And I confess that as much as I’ve been geeking out over blogs for the last year or so, including many by my friends in real life, I don’t know of any blogging newbies that I should be nominating. So if you’re out there, reader, and you’re new to this, please comment, with your blog address, and I’ll check it out! I’d love to pass along a nomination or two & send you questions to answer.

In the meantime, part of the requirement of the nomination is to answer questions that your fellow blogger asks you, so I’ll do that now. Thanks again Beth!

  1. What’s the single best meal you ever ate?

What a delightful question. I do love to eat. A few favorite meals come to mind – I’m not sure that I can choose one above the others….Z Food & Drink, before they closed in Manchester, NH, had my favorite ever dessert (they called it a brownie sundae, I believe, but it was a deconstructed delightful take on it) so I had a few fantastic meals there. My husband and I also ate well at Disney a few weeks back, and our meal at Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (long name!) was a phenomenal experience. And on our honeymoon we had some delightful food as well, particularly seafood. But if I had to say the best ever, my instinct is to choose the first time I ever ate a Mexican restaurant at age 6. I shared chili & other spicy things with my dad and while the rest of the Girl Scouts at my table were taking the kids’ options, I went for the good stuff. And you could say I never went back. So I’ve definitely been an adventurous eater since at least age 6!

2. Did you ever lose something important while on the road?

Well, I lost a tank top I loved a lot while I was traveling with Missoula Children’s Theatre, but it wasn’t important… I suppose you could say I lost some of my dignity while traveling via Greyhound from Fargo, ND to Charlotte, NC!

3. When was the last time you used an actual paper map?

At Disney, we did it a lot. Prior to that it was our honeymoon – since we were in Canada, the GPS wasn’t an option!

4. What’s one eye-opening experience you’ve had while traveling?

Seeing poverty is always eye-opening. In particular, seeing the devastation in Nebraska after a tornado, and seeing the state of things on one of the American Indian reservations that I stayed at (both while working for MCT) were life-changing.

5. Have you ever done something while traveling that people who know you would be surprised to hear about?

Yup. But I probably shouldn’t post it publicly. 🙂 Honestly, I think people might be surprised to hear that I drove into San Francisco for a day by myself – in a pickup truck!

6. Did you ever visit a place that was nothing like how you thought it would be?

Yes. I visited a beautiful town in the mountains of northern California once – it seemed like a quiet, dying town, but when I got to know it, I discovered the residents were lively and lovely, at all ages. I fell in love with it and if they weren’t 10 hours from an airport, I would want to retire there.

7. What’s your favorite blog that you discovered in 2015?

I’m discovering a lot of new favorite blogs, but one that comes to mind is Liz Horan’s blog, Our Journey, on her family and her health challenges. She’s an incredible writer and has really inspired me as I’ve been learning to be my own health advocate and deal with chronic illness.

8. Have you ever felt lonely when you were traveling?

Yes. Particularly when I was solo and single. The hardest part for me is that I need a lot of physical touch. If I’m not around people that I feel comfortable hugging, I’ve found that I start to get depressed. It was particularly bad when I first did summer stock in Wisconsin – thankfully by halfway in we were all friendly enough that I could pin a friend down and say I needed a hug. But it was a really eye-opening thing for me as I hadn’t realized how important that was to me.

9. How do you envision your blog 6 months from now?

I envision it being a great resource for ice cream in New England and beyond, and I envision my readers continuing to inspire me to visit new places & discover more.

10. What’s something you struggle with when it comes to blogging?

I know that having the discipline to post won’t be difficult for me, but I’m still getting into the habit of it, so that will take a little bit of time for it to become routine. The one thing I struggle with in all my writing is that I don’t like revising! I’d rather one-off an article and let it go. But I know it’s important.

11. What’s your favorite travel souvenir?

That’s a very fun question! My husband and I got a lot of artwork when we were on our honeymoon – four prints, I believe, plus cards that we like to hang as art – and getting artwork when we travel is marvelous. Also, it’s too early to declare it my favorite, but I just got a gorgeous masquerade mask in Disney that I’m particularly excited about.

Have a new-ish blog I should check out? Leave a comment below! And thanks again for the nomination, Beth!