Tag: concord

Granite State Candy Shoppe, Concord, NH

Way, way back, when I was just starting this blog, I tried to visit Granite State Candy Shoppe. (I’d visited once or twice to browse the candy, but I’d never gotten ice cream there.) The first time, I was looking for a sweet treat while in downtown Concord. So I headed over…only to see that they were closed already for the evening. (Guess I should have looked up their hours first!)

The next time was several weeks later (definitely into the fall at this point), and when I went inside, they informed me that they only scooped ice cream during the summer – but I could buy a pint! Since I was there as a part of an outing with my husband, and since we’d never tried their ice cream, I wasn’t interested in just grabbing a pint to go, alas.

So it had been years – very probably three or four years – since I’d tried to go back. I’d thought about it a couple of times when I was in New Hampshire, and whether it was the parking or the knowledge that they might not be scooping yet, I skipped it.

But thankfully, in early September of last year, I was finally free to visit!

Here’s what I tried: 

Ultra Chocolate – This is their version of chocolate. It’s pleasant, but I found it to be an icier and lighter ice cream rather than a creamy texture.

Peppermint Stick – This is super smooth, melt in your mouth creamy, without any chunks. It would be perfect with hot fudge. It tastes like Christmas! It’s also a bit flaky on the spoon, but NOT when it hits your mouth, so never fear!

NH Maple Pecan – This is a robust maple flavor, with crunchy pecans. It’s base is about midway between icy and creamy. I really like the pecan texture here.

Black Raspberry Chip – The texture is a bit flaky, but this is a super delicious real raspberry flavor, with excellent darker chocolate chips.

I ordered a small for $4.50, which honestly looked like a medium, and they let me get two flavors. These were big portions that felt fair given the prices. I got my ice cream in a white chocolate bowl!

I loved the variety of flavors that they had, though all three flavors of cheesecake have crust so none for me. They’ve got tons of sundaes, make your own sundaes, maple syrup and other add-ons, and the prices include tax.

During my visit, they had one scooper and one cashier. That meant that the line grew quickly as I was trying flavors. Perhaps that’s why it’s seasonal? It must be hard for the employees to regulate. They were nice, it just gets congested quickly.

They are offering curbside pickup right now from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (call for their Sunday hours, it’s unclear on the website), and they’ve got an extensive collection of homemade candies (quite cheap/reasonable depending on the type) and fudge in addition to their ice cream. You can also order their fudge and candies online.

I’m so glad I finally made the visit. These are excellent flavors with quality ingredients, even if some of the textures are a bit more flaky than I’d prefer. It’s definitely worth a try, and I’d add on maple syrup or try a chocolate bowl if I were you.

Which of these flavors would be first on your list to try?

Photo credit: Granite State Candy Shoppe website


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Too Close for Comfort in Concord

I had a little incident the other night. Last weekend, to be precise. On Saturday, I had plans to see my husband’s band perform at True Brew Barista in Concord, which is not only a great place for coffee or tea but also a place to hear live, original music (and there’s a bar, too). I had some errands to run before the show, and I knew that since I had been good and packed my dinner, I wanted to reward my frugality with ice cream. Because that’s how we treat ourselves here in the world of Jamie…

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Catching Carnies at Arnie’s

The best place to catch carnies (that’s a slang term for carnival workers) is probably at a carnival, but NH isn’t known for its winter carnivals. So instead, I headed to Arnie’s Place.IMG_9528

Actually, I didn’t really need a carnie, although it would have made for a good story. I just wanted a clever rhyme in my title today. But I DID visit Arnie’s Place in Concord, NH for their opening weekend, and I am happy to report that it was as awesome as I remembered.

I have to confess that for someone who grew up in NH, I am very late to the Arnie’s bandwagon. I had heard good things about them previously, but last season was my first time visiting. It’s a place that lives up to the local hype. Delicious homemade ice cream, including hard ice cream, frozen yogurt and soft serve in chocolate, vanilla and maple. And that doesn’t even get into their BBQ and other real food, which I have enjoyed although I am definitely not an expert on their other foods. I visited twice last year, enjoying their delicious maple soft serve (probably in the same ballpark as the creemee I enjoyed last week) as well as some hard ice cream and yogurt.

When I heard that Arnie’s was opening for the season (in February, no less!) I knew I should visit and contribute a few dollars toward the homemade ice cream in February cause. So Ross, my husband, and I stopped by on Sunday.

Ross reminded me that the worst thing about Arnie’s is definitely the location. It’s on Loudon Rd. a busy commercial street that isn’t particularly clean or welcoming. But its adorable exterior would be perfectly suited to a small town location or a beach setting. So when I visit, I like to imagine it’s in a nicer spot. Mind over matter, I guess? At least the parking is plentiful!

Arnie’s has both indoor and outdoor ordering and seating, at least in season, and they keep a fridge stocked with ice cream cakes and treats in a corner. I will of course focus my attention on their ice cream-related products since that’s what this blog is about.

IMG_9540Their menu is extensive, and in addition to a regular list of flavors, sundaes and other treats (including an extensive list of shakes), they have a flurry of the week. Their flurry this week sounded fantastic to me- but I am really not a fan of nuts in ice cream, so I decided to skip the awesomeness: maple soft serve with pecans, shortbread cookies and a chocolate dip!

Thanks to a recent blog by my friend Theresa, I was reminded that chocolate chili chunk is one of their signature flavors…and since I had never had that flavor, that seemed like an obvious choice. Ross got a kiddie – one good size scoop. I was afraid that the chili kick might get too intense over time, so I used it as an excuse to get two flavors – I settled on peppermint stick after trying the white chocolate, which was a little too subtle for my taste and purpose.


Ross and I were really impressed with the chocolate chili chunk. The chocolate base is super smooth and a classic chocolate flavor, with good size bites of chocolate chunks. But after you get the rich creamy chocolate flavor, the aftertaste is a large dose of chili. It’s awesome! Sweet and smooth followed by the chili kick. It’s amazing to me that it happens with every bite too. The chocolate base clears the chili, and then the chili is back with a vengeance. So good.

And if you aren’t convinced, I can confirm that peppermint stick is a PERFECT compliment to the chocolate chili chunk. This is an excellent peppermint base – it’s the most real peppermint flavor I have ever tasted! Minty coolness alternating with the chili is awesome, and we all know that chocolate and peppermint is a good combo. One of the best choices I made this month. 🙂

So, even if you won’t find any carnies at Arnie’s, I highly recommend a visit, whether you’re in the mood for maple soft serve, hard ice cream, a flurry or something else entirely. If you’re local, it’s probably worth buying a t-shirt too – you get 1/2 off a cone or dish whenever you wear it there, and with the way I eat ice cream, that would pay for itself easily in a summer! Support this delicious homemade ice cream place and the fact that they open so early in the season.

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