A Boulder Brief

Well, it’s been a very, very busy week for ice cream here in Colorado. To celebrate our wedding anniversary, my husband and I spent a night in Boulder. Being our silly selves, I did some research and found three homemade ice cream places worth a scoop, so in about twenty seven hours, we managed to visit three parlors – plus a bakery for a gluten-free cupcake!

I will have my full report on each place in the coming weeks. Suffice to say that I’m full and Boulder is a great place for ice cream!

Ice cream in Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureIce cream in Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureIce cream in Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureIce cream in Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureIce cream in Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

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Erin McKenna’s Bakery, Orlando

This week, I’m mostly straying from the pattern by covering Erin McKenna’s Bakery in Orlando, Florida! This is absolutely the place to go for people with food allergies and sensitivities and if Mark Bittman says they have the best donuts in the world, who am I to argue?

Erin McKenna’s can also be found in N.Y.C. and L.A., and it prides itself on being gluten-free, nut-free (besides coconut), dairy-free, soy-free and egg-free. It’s all vegan and it’s all delicious!

Eliza’s Bakery, Orlando, FL | In Search of a Scoop

Honestly, the soft serve is my least favorite of their offerings. When I bought this, it cost $7 for a large, though it did come with toppings – I got caramel and brownie. The toppings make it really fun, but as someone who can tolerate dairy, coconut milk soft serve just tastes like a decent soft serve yogurt.

Eliza’s Bakery, Orlando, FL | In Search of a ScoopEliza’s Bakery, Orlando, FL | In Search of a Scoop

The bakery, which is located at Disney Springs, the shopping destination at Disney World, is tiny, with only two small tables outside and none inside. But there’s beautiful outdoor seating on the water just a few feet away, and trust me – it’s all about the food here.

Be warned that these doughnuts don’t keep well; your best bet is to eat them quickly or refrigerate them.

They also offer cookies, cupcakes and cupcake tops, teabreads and much more.

Eliza’s Bakery, Orlando, FL | In Search of a Scoop

Oh. And they also have bagels! My only wish is that they’d carry smoked salmon or smoked salmon cream cheese. The bagels and the fake cream cheese are delightful!

So if I didn’t make it clear, the next time you’re at Disney World, you should visit Eliza’s. And if you have food allergies, this is your new favorite place. You’re welcome!

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

An Unexpected Fort Collins Ice Cream Option

Today I visited Emporium Kitchen and Marketplace at the Elizabeth Motel in Fort Collins. It’s a beautiful space, with popup shops for coffee and ice cream as well as a restaurant area to sit down for a meal or drinks. I’m told they also offer live music sometimes.

I’ve already covered Walrus Ice Cream, the local spot for homemade ice cream, as well as the delicious location for gelato, Amore. If you’re downtown, you’ve also got a Ben and Jerry’s as well as other chains nearby.

But my visit brought me to Emporium, and I’m glad it did. Though it’s on the pricier side, it’s a lovely environment for a treat. Thanks for the suggestion and the company, Megan!

What I tried:

Double Chocolate – It surprised me to realize it wasn’t super creamy. It was more milky, like gelato. But it was nice. It wouldn’t be my top pick.

Mint Chocolate Chip: This was great! It’s creamy and smooth, with nice chunks of chocolate and a good mint flavor.

I’d definitely order the latter again, and I’d like to try some of their other flavors, including Mocha Almond Fudge and Peanut Butter and Jelly. They had a nice looking coconut-based vegan flavor too.

The ice cream is made by Longview Creamery. They’re based in Colorado. I will definitely try them again when I see them.

I’m planning some fun projects for In Search of a Scoop in the upcoming year. If you’ve got ideas for blog posts or other suggestions, please let me know. And thanks for reading!

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

Ice Cream Roundup

I periodically have ice cream (or other treats) at places that don’t meet my typical requirements for a full review. I’ve decided to point out some recent highlights and thoughts from some less conventional ice cream destinations. Here’s an ice cream roundup from the past year or so.

Patron’s Hall, Alamogordo, NM

Patrons Hall, Alamogordo, NM | In Search Of A Scoop

This is an absolutely adorable cafe that seems to have been thoughtfully built when they renovated the downtown theater space. They host open mics and performances and we will most definitely return to play and grab a drink.

In the ice cream department, I was underwhelmed. They carry Shamrock Farms, which I hadn’t had before. Overall the flavors I tried were creamy but weak, including Peppermint Stick, Black Cherry Chunk, Mint Chocolate Chip (both pleasant) and Coffee, which I could barely taste a flavor of at all.

This past weekend I tried their vanilla and chocolate and found them both to be quite high-quality when compared to a Hershey’s or similar cheap, “premium” ice cream. Since Patron’s Hall offers fun powers for shakes and frappes and a variety of other drinks, there are plenty of reasons to return…and the ice cream was also dirt cheap, so it’s a low risk if you’re curious. Free samples too, of course.

Caliche’s Frozen Custard, Alamogordo and Las Cruces

Caliche’s, NM | In Search Of A ScoopCaliche’s, Las Cruces, NM | In Search Of A ScoopCaliche’s, Las Cruces, NM | In Search Of A Scoop

We’ve visited Caliche’s in both Las Cruces and Alamogordo, and though I didn’t grow up eating custard, I feel confident in saying that their custard is delicious. I have not tried the chocolate yet, but the vanilla is fabulous. I had a “caliche” which is custard with mixins – I went for raspberries and key lime sauce. On my second visit, I went for a sundae with hot fudge and strawberries. If you’re going frozen fruit, I prefer a caliche – so the fruit isn’t so frosty – but this stuff is delicious however you slice it. They also have a drive through and offer dog cones (at least in Las Cruces). Their “real” food was tasty if typical fast food quality. Future must-do is a green chile sundae. We will return, Caliche’s!

Le Macaron French Pastries, Winter Park, FL

Le Macaron, Winter Park, FL | In Search Of A ScoopLe Macaron, Winter Park, FL | In Search Of A ScoopMacarons are generally gluten-free, as they are here, and sometimes you’ll even get lucky and see a macaron ice cream (or gelato) sandwich!

We were told the gelato company featured here is French. The macaron ice cream sandwich with violet was delicious, with a nice chewy and crunchy outside layer. The vanilla gelato was quite creamy for gelato, with a nice vanilla bean presence and almost a tiny bit of a bite to it. The violet gelato reminded me of raspberry, with a really nice bitterness. It’s very subtle. Ross felt it was almost like “What’s the point?”, but I disagree. It’s just understated. It paired with vanilla nicely, but it will be easily lost next to other flavors. Worth a visit for macarons or gelato if you’re in the area…unfortunately there is no homemade ice cream or gelato in downtown Winter Park. (For the homemade stuff, head to Kelly’s.)

Sanaa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, FL

Sanaa, Disney World, FL | In Search Of A ScoopSanaa, Disney World, FL | In Search Of A ScoopMeals here are amazing (and the setting, with wild animals, is spectacular) but there often isn’t much in the way of gluten-free desserts. But we lucked out at Christmas this past year. They were serving a homemade cherry ice cream in a chocolate-covered cherry entremet.

It wasn’t a perfect or particularly creamy ice cream, but it had beautiful rich chocolates covering the cool ice cream with great flavor and a perfect crumble and mousse. The milky ice cream complemented the bitterness of the chocolate well. And that cherry Kurt was tart and amazing.

The portion was also huge – easy to share. And those who had their macarons described them as a “cloud with frosting in the middle”. So if you can get dessert at Sanaa, go for it…especially the special!

San Angel Inn, Mexico, Epcot, FL

San Angel Inn, Disney World, FL | In Search Of A ScoopThis restaurant was also a fantastic experience. It’s gorgeous, perpetual twilight, inside the Mexico pavilion. I had lots of delicious gluten-free options, and I decided to try ice cream for dessert.

This style of ice cream seems airy compared to what I’m used to…less creamy and almost icy when you swallow it. It had caramel on it, and I could detect cinnamon and nutmeg. It almost tastes like a different product entirely…maybe it’s a condensed milk base? It’s almost rustic. And somehow, though it wasn’t housemade, it didn’t taste like there were preservatives. Very tasty, thanks Disney!

That’s it for today’s roundup. Have you gone out for ice cream lately?

Some past blogs for inspiration:

Jordan’s Creamery, Belmont, NH

Eddy’s Frozen Custard, Buxton, NC

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

Victory at Vicki’s in Silver City, NM

Silver City, New Mexico is an incredible town, and like every good town or city, it has delicious homemade ice cream. Be sure to stop at Vicki’s Eatery for lunch or ice cream (or ideally, both) while you’re in the area.Vicki’s Eatery, Silver City, New Mexico | In Search of a Scoop

Silver City only has about ten thousand residents, so when I stayed there, I wasn’t expecting to find homemade ice cream. But in addition to a downtown ice cream and antiques store (currently selling Dreyer’s, but planning to do homemade soon), I discovered Vicki’s Eatery.

Vicki’s is an artsy, historic part of Silver City, and they offer a nice lunch menu as well as dinner a couple of nights a week and breakfast on the weekends.

The only way to get their ice cream is to order a scoop for $3.99. It’s presented beautifully, with a touch of whipped cream. You can also try a to-go order, but there’s an automatic 20% gratuity.

Point being, this ice cream is pricey. Extraordinarily so compared to the average. But it was great, and since it’s a small town, I was delighted to pay $3.99 for each of my two scoops. (My husband went with a sandwich instead…which he loved.) Here’s what I thought of it:

Coffee ice cream, Vicki’s Eatery, Silver City, New Mexico | In Search of a ScoopCoffee – This is a beautiful coffee flavor, and it was even richer than I expected. It might be the best coffee flavor I’ve ever had! It’s really awesome. The texture is very nice although not quite a melt in your mouth situation…there’s a touch of graininess. This is the exact, ideal coffee flavor I search for after growing up with Brigham’s ice cream…it’s just a higher intensity. This is a must try if you enjoy coffee.

New Mexico Chocolate ice cream, Vicki’s Eatery, Silver City, New Mexico | In Search of a ScoopNew Mexico Chocolate – This was much more complex than I anticipated. It has tons of fun spices! It’s actually much better, in my opinion, than Arnie’s in Concord, NH, where I first had a Mexican chocolate ice cream. (And I loved that one before going gluten-free.) This is really delicious…it doesn’t have heat so much as spice. Like the coffee, it has a bit of graininess…these spices remind me of an old antique shop. Homemade and rustic.

The portions were satisfying to end a meal. At $7.98 my two scoops with whipped cream were pricey, but I will never complain. Vicky’s makes everything from scratch and it really shows.Vicki’s Eatery, Silver City, New Mexico | In Search of a ScoopThanks for a delicious visit, Vicki! We are eager to return this winter.

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

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!

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!