Tag: ice cream

Kilwins, Celebration, FL

I’ve been meaning to visit Kilwins for years, but this was my first visit to the national chain. To be perfectly honest, I’d resisted visiting this location in the past because every time I went, the store was astonishingly crowded and felt overwhelming.

But last fall I found myself in the right mindset, so I made it inside. I limited myself to one flavor only because the crowds were quite extreme (and there were some really rude people too). They specialize in candy and fudge (made on site) and I wouldn’t be surprised if the ice cream itself is made elsewhere.

Here’s what I tried:

Cappucchino Chocolate Chip – It’s very creamy. Surprisingly, I found it a lot less sweet than I anticipated, but the chocolate pieces are excellent, melt in your mouth and plenty sweet, like a semi-sweet chocolate. It’s the kind of cappucchino or coffee flavor that I really enjoy, though a bit sweeter and a bit more of a coffee punch would have been great.

I got one scoop, which is quite pricey at $5.36. The portion is very plentiful, but it still feels overpriced.

The flavors on the board here are quite traditional, with perhaps 6 more unusual ones in the mix, and they all are in the sweeter realm.

Photo courtesy of Kilwins.com

This location is gorgeous – downtown Celebration is fabulous, with tons of water to walk around or sit and look out on, and they have several tables and chairs outside to sit at and benches nearby.

Overall I’d say if you need some ice cream while you’re in Celebration, go for it, particularly if you can tolerate crowds and aren’t on a budget.

Thanks, Kilwins!

I’ve got one more hot tip for you too – Wonderland Cookie Dough is also in downtown Celebration. They’ve got a sampler and a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough, and I highly recommend a visit if the idea of edible cookie dough is intriguing.

Have you tried Kilwins? Where, and what did you think?

Thanks for reading, and happy eating!

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Golden Cow Creamery, Charlotte, NC

While passing through Charlotte (on the way from visiting a cousin to return to visiting my sister-in-law and her husband), it was essential to escape the rush hour traffic, so we took a break to check out Golden Cow Creamery. I’m so glad we did!

They were extremely patient with me as I tried different flavors. I was pleased to see they don’t use anything artificial in their ice cream – ice cream isn’t health food, but we all can use less chemicals and artificial flavors in our lives.

They bill themselves as Charlotte’s best homemade ice cream, and though I can’t say that for certain, it’s certainly worth a stop to find out for yourself.

Here’s what I tried:

Mint Chocolate – This had excellent chocolate chips, but the mint unfortunately was fairly medicinal to me, like toothpaste. (Regular readers know I’m more picky about this flavor than any other.)

Toasted Coconut – Yum! This is super creamy and light, except for the toasted coconut bits. This is a really excellent ice cream if you like coconut (like I do). It would also cut well with other flavors.

Chocolate – This is super creamy and tasty, reminding me of hot chocolate, with almost a grainy quality to it. This is in my top five for a lighter chocolate ice cream. Wow! Delicious, like a high-quality fudgsicle.

Pumpkin Spice – This is a super pumpkin base, tasting very much like the real thing, with spices – like pumpkin pie filling. It so tasty, one of the best and most natural I’ve had. It isn’t too sweet, and it’s very smooth. To be honest, it isn’t my favorite spice combination, but it’s really interesting, and I enjoyed it more with each bite. It paired well with Mexican hot chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate – Fun, with a coconut cream base.

Dunkaroos – This is almost like a more vanilla flavor of birthday cake, with sprinkles and Dunkaroos and a sweet frosting-flavored base. So yummy! My husband got it and said it’s “Saturday morning ice cream”.

What great ice cream! Overall Golden Cow Creamery’s ice cream is excellent, with smooth and consistent bases. It’s quite small, so it makes sense that they’re currently offering takeout and outdoor seating only.

The prices here are reasonable, and you can do two flavors in either a single or a double. I went with a good size flight of four flavors for $6.50.

Photos from Golden Cow Creamery’s website.

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Vida Dulce, Cary, NC

This isn’t the typical ice cream place I review! Here you’ll find everything from traditional ice cream flavors to popsicles and Mexican snacks (which my husband was thrilled to enjoy while I had my ice cream).

They seem to do everything on their extensive menu really, really well. My husband got fried pasta! They were super accommodating too. The woman serving me offered to jam four flavors into two scoops for me!

Vida Dulce is affordable, and when I say they offer a lot of food, I mean everything from lunch specials to popsicles to cheesecake burritos. There’s plenty of seating, and there’s bilingual signage.

I visited pre-COVID-19, so give them a call if you have questions about the current setup. And give their “About Us” a read – it is such an inspiring story!

Here’s what I tried:

White Chocolate – This is a white chocolate base with chocolate chips in it. It’s SO delicious! It’s a prominent and forward flavor, with semi-sweet chips. Yum!! It’s super smooth in texture, almost like marshmallow topping. This is a favorite of mine, at least in my top three for white chocolate if not the top.

Caramel – This is very nice and creamy, not too sweet, a Mexican-style caramel. Yum.

Strawberry Butter – I’d say this is more of a strawberry syrup than strawberry flavor. The butter in it is really fun! Yes, you’ll taste it. This was great for me – I honestly like it more than I like traditional American strawberry ice cream. It was smooth and creamy, with almost a cheesecake-like consistency.

Pine Nut – This was a super creamy, almost fruity base with a light sweetness…there might be coconut in here too. It’s probably the best pine nut ice cream I’ve had! It’s really delicious.

For my future self, tamarind and white chocolate go well together.

This place has everything but more importantly, they do it so, so well. Please visit, have some white chocolate or pine nut or whatever strikes your fancy, and I can’t wait to go back!

Photo courtesy of Vida Dulce’s website.

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Pints Ice Cream and Beer, Fuquay-Varina, NC

Pints is one of the most unique spots we’ve been to, because they don’t just make amazing homemade ice cream – they have a full-service bar! They specialize in their own ice cream and craft beer, and they do it really, really well. The only odd thing, during our visit, was the realization that they are both kid-friendly and adult-friendly…so, don’t be shocked if a little tyke is at the next table if you come for an early happy hour!

I visited last fall, when the world looked very different than it does today. If you go today, they aren’t allowed to serve alcohol on their patio, because they’re considered a “bar”. But that won’t stop you from enjoying some ice cream!

They carry a smaller list of flavors, but it’s always got some really unique offerings. If you’re gluten-free like me, you’ll have a much smaller menu to choose from, but they do a great job making it clear which flavors are gluten-free. Next time we go, there will definitely be a milkshake on the menu.

I went with a “beer and ice cream flight”. That meant my husband and I could get a bit of drinking on and some ice cream on. The owners are incredibly friendly and helpful. They use local and from scratch ingredients where possible, and have reasonable prices (especially given the quality of ingredients and the unique flavors). They keep it simple at $2, $4, $6 depending on the scoops you want. Coffee is also on the menu for an affogato.

Here’s what we tried:

Brown Sugar Vanilla – You’ll taste the cream, with some sugar (not a ton)…it’s nice, a little chunky in texture. My husband loved it, and I enjoyed it. It isn’t super sweet, and all the flavors cut through well.

Eggnog – This is an excellent take on eggnog flavor, and the consistency of the ice cream was quite good.

Just Chocolate – This is an excellent, creamy, fresh, lighter take on chocolate. This makes at least my top five for lighter chocolate ice creams! Really great.

Mixed Berry Sorbet – This was excellent! It’s tart and full of fruity sweetness. It tastes like a sorbet (you won’t be fooled into thinking there’s dairy here) but WOW is it delicious, and perfect to pair with a drink.

Tea and Biscuits – Wow, this was fabulous! This is some of the best earl grey tea flavor my husband has ever had in ice cream. He got great consistency in the bite he had, with the biscuits at the perfect consistency (soft and flavorful). They didn’t take away from the base, but they added texture, almost like cookies and cream ice cream. (Not gluten-free, of course.)

Sugar Cookie – My husband tried this one too – the cookies were very prominent, he enjoyed it.

Bailey’s Irish Cream – This is 21+ of course. It’s delightful! Creamy and sweet, perfect if you like the taste of Bailey’s. I found it super smooth and consistent, which is especially astonishing given how difficult it is to make a consistent ice cream when there’s alcohol involved! It’s very possibly the best alcoholic ice cream I’ve ever had. So appropriate given the setting! Note that this ice cream costs an extra $1.

Drinks:

Irish Stout – My husband enjoyed the stout on tap in our flight.

Prosecco – This was also in our flight. It’s good with that mixed berry sorbet!

Cider – They had one cider as well, and that was great too.

Overall the flavors were extremely consistent, generally very creamy and smooth, and boy was that Bailey’s ice cream incredible! The Bailey’s and the Just Chocolate also make a perfect pairing, so I’d highly recommend that.

Thanks so much, Pints! Hopefully you’ll get to fully reopen soon (with a bar), but in the meantime, you’ve got some incredible ice cream for everyone to enjoy!

My photos are missing, but I borrowed this cute picture from their Facebook page.

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Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream, Cary, NC

Andia’s has a few locations in North Carolina, and it’s well-worth a visit when you’re in town. They offer a variety of flavors with decent portions and a sampler available too. It’s a cute shop.

I visited last fall, but they now offer some of their items (pre-packed pints, ice cream sandwiches and cakes) via online ordering for pickup. The rest of their menu must be ordered in the store itself.

Here’s what I tried:

Carrot Cake – This is very interesting. You can taste the very freshly grated carrot. The spices are interesting…they honestly reminded me of a satchel in a dresser drawer!

Peppermint – This is a little creamier than I usually see, with a higher cream to peppermint ratio…it was really nice!

Eggnog – This is a subtler flavor, super creamy and very delicious (not at all artificial-tasting as is sometimes the case).

Rose Pistachio – It’s got chunks of pistachio that are fresh and awesome! The rose is subtler, but still present. It’s really delicious.

Butter Pecan – This is honestly sweeter than I prefer. It’s harder to taste what’s going on here. It’s pleasant, but not as memorable unfortunately.

Double Dark Chocolate – This is smooth, creamy and dark. And perhaps a touch of graininess? It’s very nice (though not the best I’ve seen).

Dark Indulgence – This is super delicious! It’s so fudgy…nice dark chocolate with chocolate chips. A big winner!

Mint Chip – The real mint flavor here is pleasant, though be warned that my husband found it tasted like toothpaste! This is definitely freshly sourced. not my favorite, but a solid flavor.

Peanut Butter Fudge – This is peanut butter, Reese’s pieces, and a fudge ribbon. It’s a classic flavor for lovers of chocolate and peanut butter.

As you might have guessed, I went with a sampler! The sampler gives you seven mini-scoops and waffle pieces for $6.50 They also offer a single for $3.50, a double for $4.99 (you can get two flavors) and a triple for $6.47.

Overall I found the ice cream at Andia’s to be really consistent, super creamy and tasty! A few of the flavors had a bit of an odd spice or flavor profile. I really liked the chocolate and peanut butter ones, and the rose pistachio and eggnog were nice too.

I’m a HUGE fan of the labels they use – V for vegan, G for gluten, N for nuts – to help those of us with dietary restrictions. And the location was adorable, with flexible seating.

I look forward to visiting Andia’s again when I’m back in town. Have you tried Andia’s? If yes, what did you try, and if not, what flavor would be first on your list?

Photo courtesy of Andia’s website.

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Annabelle’s Ice Cream, Portsmouth, NH

Annabelle’s Ice Cream has long been a staple in Portsmouth, NH (they opened in 1982), which means that as a child and young adult I had several positive experiences enjoying their ice cream long before I was an aficionado. Their super premium, kosher ice cream is full of natural ingredients, and they’re an easy walk to the waterfront.

You can find other Annabelle’s locations in other parts of New England and in specialty stores, restaurants and other ice cream shops too. Last fall while catching a musical with my friend Tom. Here’s my (long overdue) reviews of Annabelle’s.

I was impressed by their variety of fun flavors, and their staff was fun and accommodating. With tax, $4.50 gets you a regular, a very reasonable price for a very reasonable portion, and for $5.50 a large is a very big and generous portion.

Here’s what I tried:

Mint Summer Night’s Dream – Wow, this is so delicious! It’s a dutch chocolate base with mint and big chocolate chunks. It’s luscious. I’d eat it again in a heartbeat.

Salted Caramel Chip – This was a super soft and awesome caramel punch in the base – smooth and fluffy. It’s Halloween in a bite!

Dutch Chocolate – While it was the most boring of my flavors, it was very nice! They use a very high-quality chocolate and make the base a super smooth consistency. It’s got a lovely level of richness and chocolate. This is excellent ice cream.

I was so impressed. Annabelle’s is excellent ice cream and though my memory thought they were expensive, I now realize it’s SUPER reasonably priced for the portions and the city real estate. I’ll have to return and find out what a “walking sundae” is next time.

Thanks, Annabelle’s! I will definitely be back!

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Holy Cow Ice Cream Cafe, Gloucester, MA

Last fall, I visited Gloucester, and after an awesome visit to White Farms on the Causeway I had to check out the ice cream at Holy Cow Ice Cream Cafe!

They pride themselves on their super premium ice cream and vegan offerings (4 flavors during my visit), and they have a trendy cafe with a fun vibe. They play around with macarons, s’mores, ice cream sandwiches and lots more. There were tons of seasonal flavors, and also tons of flavors with gluten in them, so I had to choose my bites strategically.

One of the coolest things was that they let you get multiple flavors in ALL sizes – that’s a major selling point for me!! Their portions are large too – I went with the $3.99 kiddie, and it is LOTS of ice cream. So don’t be alarmed that the prices look a little bit high – you’ll get plenty of ice cream even with the smallest sizes.

They make their waffle cones fresh to order. My husband got one, and found it warm and very tasty thin and crispy.

My only complaint, if I can call it that, is that the staff acted pretty bored with life during my visit. But they did whatever we asked without complaint, so I can’t really slight them for that. 🙂

Here’s what I tried: 

Pumpkin Spice Latte – I really dug this one! It almost has a bit of heat from the spices used. The coffee base is really yummy, very smooth and tasty. It’s such a fun combination of flavors. It was so good it motivated my husband to get a cup too!

Cranberry Walnut Chip – The cranberry spice is nice. It’s a more subtle flavor, without a particularly prominent cranberry flavor. The chunks in it were great. Personally, I’d prefer to have a more consistent cranberry base (like a gelato), but this is a nice fall flavor and appropriate. It has chunks of cranberry, walnut and chocolate.

Note: they don’t have a public restroom. But they do have very cute indoor seating. So just be aware.

They’ve got a walk-up window and are still sampling in the time of COVID, so you’ve got a handy outdoor option as well.

Thanks to Holy Cow for a tasty visit! Have you had any great ice cream lately?

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I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

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White Farms on the Causeway, Gloucester, MA

Last fall was my first visit to Gloucester, MA, and for a lot of reasons, I truly hope it won’t be my last! It’s a gorgeous area and I had some delicious food during my visit. One of the highlights was a visit to White Farms on the Causeway.

It’s an outdoor ice cream stand, with the ocean salt in the air and some fun cows for decoration. Portions here are VERY large, with a kids one giant scoop for $4.50, small two giant scoops for $5 and a large for $6. With tax, my two giant scoops “small” was $5.25. It’s really a great deal because of the gargantuan portions.

During my visit, the kids in line were being pretty crazy, which was stress-inducing, but the person behind the counter was very sweet and patient despite the chaos happening outside.

Here’s what I tried: 

Pumpkin – This was actually almost like a cheesecake! It has the sourness of a cheesecake, and isn’t too sweet. There are no chunks and it’s nicly spiced. It wasn’t super soft in consistently, but it was definitely soft enough and consistent.

Chocolate – This is a super deep cocoa flavor, like a rich hot chocolate. And it’s smooth. So yummy! It makes my top ten and is maybe even a top five contender, though probably not because I just had ANOTHER one that knocked things out of the running. One of these days I will publish my actual top five for all of you!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was absolutely thrilled by the ice cream at White Farms Ice Cream on the Causeway. If you go, be sure to try both the pumpkin (in the fall) and the chocolate – I highly recommend!

In light of COVID-19, this is a great place to visit, as it’s all outside and they mark six feet with milk crates to help with social distancing.

Thanks for reading, and happy eating!

Photo from White Farms Ice Cream on the Causeway’s Facebook Page

ice cream 2

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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

IceCream3

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I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

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