Ice Cream in Estes Park – Part 2

Munchin House was my second stop in Estes Park, and it’s a narrow but fun sweet shop whether you’re craving ice cream or other treats. (If you missed it, be sure to read last week’s blog for Part 1 of Estes Park ice cream.)

The narrowness of the store, like some others nearby, makes the forming of a line challenging, but customers were very nice so I wasn’t bothered by it. Munchin House, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Prices were reasonable at $3.89 for a scoop, and the staff was friendly and helpful, agreeing that I could get two flavors in one scoop. They also didn’t rush me as I tried several flavors, despite the long line behind me.

Here’s what I tried:Munchin House, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Slam Dunk – This is a red raspberry base with fudge and chocolate chips. It’s very busy, with fun chocolate chunks, but it felt kind of cheap and wasn’t my fave.

Mint Chocolate Chip – Yum! These were very tasty chips. They’re dark and have a touch of bitter. I enjoyed the pretty classic mint flavor here. It’s very smooth and consistent.

Chocolate – I was surprised that this is a pretty light chocolate flavor . I found it similar to a typical chocolate soft serve in flavor. This was creamy and smooth. It’s not a heavy flavor. It’s almost like a really mild, milky coffee. In terms of texture, this was slightly more of a fudge-like texture than the mint chip, which was a little smoother and creamier.Munchin House, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a Scoop

I definitely enjoyed my ice cream here. Of the flavors I tried, the mint chocolate chip was the most traditional, but I enjoyed the chocolate as well.

I can’t believe all of the great homemade ice cream options available in Estes Park! I look forward to returning and trying more of them in the future. Wherever you go, have a scoop for me!

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

Ice Cream in Estes Park – Part 1

I recently visited Estes Park, CO as part of my visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. I presumed I knew what Estes Park would be, and while it is indeed touristy, I really enjoyed it, because it still had a lot of character and reminded me of New England tourist and ski towns.Laura’s Fine Candies, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a Scoop

The biggest surprise? Estes Park is FULL of ice cream shops – and many of them carry homemade ice cream! After a visit to urgent care, I felt I had earned some ice cream, so I got online and started researching. Hayley’s looked great, so off I went. I was surprised to see several other stores with homemade ice cream (according to their signage) on the walk to Hayley’s, but I stuck with the plan.Laura’s Fine Candies, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Hayley’s had really friendly staff. They let me do up to three flavors in one scoop! The store was relatively small, but the street is lined with benches perfect for enjoying a cup or cone.Laura’s Fine Candies, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a Scoop

They had several distinct flavors, and it was those flavors that clued me in, when I visited Laura’s Fine Candies, that it is Laura’s who makes Hayley’s homemade ice cream! Laura’s is a gorgeous candy store, with fantastic popcorn, lots of homemade treats and a beautiful section in back for their forty flavors of homemade ice cream.Laura’s Fine Candies, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a ScoopLaura’s Fine Candies, Estes Park, CO | In Search of a Scoop

I loved the phrase “Spoiling Dinner Since 1970” on their window.

So here’s what I got at Hayley’s, but could have also gotten at Laura’s, which is the more beautiful and impressive store on the opposite side of the street.

Huckleberry – This was super creamy. I think it tastes similar to blueberry, as a fruit. I’ve only had it occasionally. The ice cream has a nice balance, living somewhere between creamy and fruity. It manages to be pretty smooth, taste super creamy, have really great flavor and a nice texture. Honestly, I could eat this every day. It’s probably in my top ten favorite fruit ice creams right now!

Sea Salt Caramel – This was a more subtle flavor. There’s no cheap caramel aftertaste here, and the Black Sea salt crystals are a nice touch. I found a couple of ice crystals, but it was otherwise creamy, so the crystals surprised me and kind of didn’t bother me.

Mexican Chocolate – This is about a medium chocolate base, with cinnamon and some heat that comes after the rest is completely gone. It’s a really surprising kick and I enjoyed it a lot. I got a big ice crystal though.

Overall, Laura’s is a truly solid ice cream company. Even if the ice crystals aren’t their fault (perhaps it was how they were stored), I wouldn’t rate any of these ice creams as a top five selection. But I would enjoy eating Laura’s any day of the week, and I’m especially fond of that Huckleberry. Yum!

I enjoyed a second homemade ice cream in Estes Park as well. Stay tuned for next week’s entry for the full scoop!

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

A Cafe Treat from Noosa

Noosa may be known for their delicious (and sweet!) yogurt, but when I learned their plant was near Fort Collins, CO, I made visiting their local cafe, on site at their plant, a priority.

Howling Cow Cafe, Bellevue, CO | In Search of a Scoop

The cafe specializes in coffee and tea drinks and offers a lot of options to customize a sandwich or bagel, plus they offer a few other specials. They carry some fun non-dairy milks, including oat milk. You can also purchase their own yogurt, milk (including root beer milk), eggs and a few other items that seem chosen for their own staff. They also offer several sweet options and carry gluten-free goodies too.

Howling Cow Cafe, Bellevue, CO | In Search of a Scoop

On a quiet day, I headed to the cafe to try their own soft-serve ice cream, at the recommendation of a friend.

I was surprised to see that they don’t list the prices for sandwiches, bagels and most baked goods. I’m sure I could have asked, but I always prefer to be able to find that information for myself.

They offer soft serve chocolate, vanilla and a twist option. Watch carefully for your order because they may not announce when it’s ready.

I thought the prices were kind of cheap! I went with a twist. They charge $2 for a cone or $2.50-$3.50 for a cup.

Howling Cow Cafe, Bellevue, CO | In Search of a ScoopThe ice cream was very smooth. It tastes very fresh, and I imagine it doesn’t use a lot of preservatives. It wasn’t super rich, but it’s very pleasant. If you love soft serve, I’d rate it an 8/10. However, they also make shakes (which are also cheap), so those are probably worth a try too.

I do recommend eating inside (there is no outdoor seating) to avoid the smell of cow dung.

Howling Cow Cafe, Bellevue, CO | In Search of a Scoop

This cafe is out of the way, and you may lose cell service entirely, but if you are looking for a fun escape for a treat near Fort Collins, definitely visit Howling Cow Cafe!

For another cafe at a dairy, you can read about Hopkins Farm Creamery in Delaware. Thanks for reading, and have a scoop this week!

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

God Save the Cream in Denver, CO

On a recent visit to the Denver Zoo, trusted friends informed me that we should be sure to visit the BBQ food truck for a meal and for their delicious, artisan ice cream. Being no fools, we did exactly that, and got to sample God Save the Cream, a Denver company bringing their small batch ice cream to the area.God Save the Cream, Denver, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Unlike a more traditional ice cream shop, there were limited flavors, and we didn’t want to monopolize the counter by trying all of them. We were impressed that in addition to the five listed flavors, they had an additional three seasonal flavors, and all of them sounded amazing. Between the two of us, my husband and I got to taste some great flavors. I went with a double scoop and he went for a single, and at $5.49 and $4.29, the prices felt very reasonable for a scoop or two in a bigger city.

Here’s what we thought of God Save the Cream.God Save the Cream, Denver, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Berry Cobbler – According to Ross, this has a base similar to cheesecake, with very tasty cherries and a crumble that resembles a good graham cracker crust. The focus is on the base and the cherries (it’s very good), with the crumble complimenting those flavors without overpowering them. Ross found the base almost cake-like, and tangy.

God Save the Cream, Denver, CO | In Search of a ScoopHoney Smoked Vanilla – This wasn’t the creamiest base, but it’s very nice and pleasant, and I found it creamy enough. Honey and a smoky flavor makes for a fun accent with the vanilla.

Chocolate – The color looks light, but this is actually deep and dark, packing a punch like BBQ! This was a wow experience for sure. It’s super smooth and creamy, and it’s in the running for the best chocolate I’ve ever had! It’s seriously epic. So glad I tried this one.

It’s definitely worth visiting their website to find a scoop of God Save the Cream near you. Have some chocolate ice cream for me!

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

Return to Sweet Cow

I don’t often give a second review to a place, but there’s an exception to every rule, right? Honestly, I’m not revoking my original review by any means. But my husband and I were in Boulder, Colorado and he wanted to return to Sweet Cow (rather than Glacier, which was our overall favorite in Boulder), and since I’d already returned to Glacier, I was happy for an excuse to visit Sweet Cow. Sweet Cow, Boulder, CO | In Search of a Scoop

We went to a different location than last time (not quite as large but with the same awesome merchandise), and we tried several new to us flavors. Here’s what we sampled: Sweet Cow, Boulder, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Hammonds Peppermint Bark – This was delicious and would be an awesome winter flavor. Peppermint was on pointe here, and the giant chunks of chocolate and white chocolate are high quality and very tasty. I’m not sure it all came together as one, particularly, but if you like peppermint and chocolate, there’s nothing to complain about here. It’s very tasty.

Bourbon Corn Flake – Obviously this has gluten in it, so only Ross tried it. He really enjoyed it. The bourbon flavor is subtle, but he found the cornflake texture to be somewhere in between soggy and crispy, and thought that was just right. Sweet Cow, Boulder, CO | In Search of a Scoop

Comida Horchata – Based on the drink, popular in Spain and Latin-American countries, this is rice-based with almonds and cinnamon and it was truly delightful. Ice cream texture was super creamy, basically perfect, and both Ross and I loved it and got a scoop. It was also surprisingly refreshing for summer – I would have imagined it would be heavier somehow.

Pica’s Watermelon Sorbet – I don’t know who Pica is, and I didn’t think to ask. But Boulder has a Mexican restaurant and if it’s the same Pica, I need to go there. This sorbet is so good! Keep in mind that I love watermelon, but Ross only likes artificial watermelon flavor (he thinks the fruit is too bland), and he actually loved this too. I found it to be a heightened, real watermelon taste. It’s so great! It’s a truly excellent texture for a sorbet, and it’s ridiculously refreshing. I got a scoop, which almost never happens when I’ve got real ice cream flavors to choose from!

Boulder is so lucky to have several great ice cream options. Homemade ice cream is the best, and you will do very well at Sweet Cow. This go around, the consistency was better than last time, so it does seem to vary somewhat from flavor to flavor.

Have you tried Sweet Cow? If you missed my first review, it’s here. And you may also enjoy reading about Glacier or Heifer and the Hen in Boulder.

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!