Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick

My brother Robbie has recently moved to Brunswick, Maine, and my husband Ross and I were excited to spend a couple of days with him and his girlfriend, Ria. I have some challenging dietary restrictions, but Robbie and Ria insisted on cooking a delicious meal for us before following it up with some delicious dessert at Gelato Fiasco. He clearly knows the way to my heart!

Gelato Fiasco seemed reasonably priced for a city, and perhaps most importantly, they encouraged us to try as many flavors as we wanted – and we could combine as many flavors as we wanted in a cup! I think Ross and I got mediums (and a Robbie and Ria got smalls). Since there were four of us on hand, we were able to sample a lot of selections. Here’s what we thought!

Sweet Resurgam: This flavor includes sweet almond, burnt sugar, chocolate and caramel. It reminded me strongly of a Ferraro Rocher candy, which I loved. Extremely creamy. Absolutely outstanding. Ross found it peanut buttery. The chocolate is perfect and the flavors melt and blend in the mouth perfectly.

Cardamom: This is subtle, with a nice spice throughout. It’s a perfectly fall flavor. Not nearly as creamy as the sweet resurgam – much more typical of gelato, which doesn’t have a very high fat content.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt: A darker chocolate base with the perfect amount of salt. It’s excellent. It’s almost as if hot fudge were gelato, although not as sweet. Deliciously creamy.

Caramel and Cider Donuts: Robbie thought there might be too much donut here! Each part was delicious, but he felt the ratio was off. Ross didn’t get many chunks in his, and he felt the gelato had no distinct flavor. Cinnamon, caramel or something would have been nice. Tastes perhaps like a generic vanilla.

Netflix and Chill: This flavor has peanut butter cups, brownies, chocolate chips and a caramel base. Ross really liked the overload of sweet treats here.

Fall in Bourbon County: This tastes like pumpkin and isn’t too sweet. They add bourbon and it had a little caramel to it. Ross said the pecans elevate it – the clusters are caramelized or glazed. Robbie added that this one doesn’t taste like every other fall thing. Ria enjoyed the bit of warmth and punch from the alcohol.

Ross sampled all of my flavors as well as his own, and he felt that the dark chocolate sea salt and sweet resurgam were much creamier than the other flavors we had. Perhaps their fall flavors are less polished and they’re still balancing? Or maybe I just lucked out.

Gelato Fiasco was founded in Brunswick, but they also have a Portland location. Their website is pretty fantastic, and I enjoyed reading about their Red Spoon Society.

It’s an adorable place that also carries coffee and gets very busy in the evenings. Stop by and report back on how you liked it!

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Affordable Ice Cream in Gainesville

On a quick trip through what seems to be the awesome university town of Gainesville, FL, I was delighted to find Sweet Dreams in a small strip mall. It’s an unpretentious location focused on cozy seats to enjoy some cheap homemade ice cream.

This isn’t gourmet, and it’s not going to be your best ice cream ever (unless all you know is Edy’s and Baskin Robbins), but it’s a great place for a treat.

The flavors I tried:

Tamarind – Wow. This had a delightful tartness.

Chocolate Ginger – Unfortunately this wasn’t memorable – definitely nothing exceptional here.

House Chocolate – This is a dark chocolate with fruity undertones. It wasn’t my favorite, but I give them credit for uniqueness!

Chocolate Jack, Jimmy, Johnny – This has a wonderful chocolate flavor, boozy and with dried fruits and nuts. It’s actually a flaky texture, and it’s really tasty. I’ve never seen anything like it, minus the one time I made ice cream by throwing all sorts of chocolate together.

Mint Chip – Tastes like Christmas! This is light and delightful.

The brown sugar toffee also looks worth a try!

With tax, a double dipper was only $3.67, making this a very affordable indulgence. They will also let you mix flavors if you order a pint!

Do be aware there aren’t a lot of “normal” flavors like chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. This place is best for adventurers. I also missed the case with fun sorbets and dog treats on my first visit.

Have you tried Sweet Dreams? What did you think?

The Worst Ice Cream in North Carolina? 

I try not to be a negative Nellie on this blog. I love ice cream and I appreciate how relatively easy it is to come by, even homemade, in most places, and I don’t want to dissuade those who make it or sell it with negative reviews. 

That being said, ice cream isn’t always good. Sometimes, it’s awful. And I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t report it to you. 

After visiting two delightful ice cream locations on the Outer Banks named Scoops this summer, I was hoping Mocksville, NC, which proved to have a cute little downtown, would also hold a delicious ice cream option with the name Scoops

They carry Mooresville premium ice cream, according to the signage, which was labeled as either “Deluxe” or “Front Porch” depending on the flavor. Even though they don’t make the ice cream in house, I was happy to review a North Carolina-made ice cream. 

The signs didn’t bode well for this place. They had some signage that I found offensive, and they didn’t have a list of flavors anywhere – you had to walk the gigantic counter the length of the long store to see all of the offerings. That meant walking within a few feet of each table, where I felt people staring us down as I tried to make my decision. 

The prices are really cheap. Crazily so. I paid $3 with tax for one scoop, which would have easily been two anywhere else. 

They didn’t offer any samples, although I didn’t ask, so I settled on Peppermint Moose Tracks, which sounded like the perfect “me” flavor. Peppermint ice cream with white chocolate chunks and that amazing fudge swirl you find in moose tracks. 

I wish I’d tried other flavors so I would know if they all tasted like this one. I’m sorry for that. And if it turns out Mooresville is usually really good, let me know and I will try it again somewhere else! 

Unfortunately, this was disgusting. It has a weird base note that reminds me of sour milk. The chalk was very chalky. And the peppermint just doesn’t work here – it was barely recognizable as peppermint. It wasn’t well-blended in the base. I couldn’t eat more than 5 or 6 bites, and left to myself, I would have thrown the rest away. It was that awful. I’ve only done that once in my life, I believe. (Coldstone mint chocolate chip. Still not my favorite, but the first batch I ever had was just disgusting.)

Ross, my husband, said this wasn’t very good. It was like ice cream that had sat open in a freezer for a year and then was put in the counter for forty five minutes before serving. He did like the white chocolate chunks though, for texture. He called this the flat soda of peppermint ice cream. 

Despite how gross it was, Ross was happy to finish eating it. I, on the other hand, visited the closest gas station for Breyer’s vanilla, which I topped with chocolate chips. Anything to wash the weird taste and disappointment out of my mouth. 

Don’t ever go to Scoops in Mocksville. It was wrong on so many levels. But if you’ve had Mooresville ice cream, did you like it? Did we just get last year’s batch or something? The flavor isn’t even on their website. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something delicious today! 

Hopkins Farm Creamery in Delaware

On a recent trip through Delaware, I wanted to experience what the local dairies had to offer for ice cream. Hopkins Farm Creamery has won local awards and offered a gluten-free menu, so they seemed like a great place to visit. 

Their ice cream stand placement and design is interesting – you begin by ordering from one section, and then you’re assigned a letter where your number will be called in another section. I’m sure it’s designed to streamline crowds, but it felt a little bit impersonal. We were also surprised to see how close the dairy cows were kept to each other. But we came for ice cream, and I was thrilled with the long list of flavors, including some with local fruit (reminding me of Cows Creamery). 

Visitor’s should note that they only allow one flavor per scoop. Keep that in mind as you make your decisions. 

Here’s what we decided on!

Chocolate – This is super smooth, almost a fudge-like Dutch chocolate. Yum. 

Cow Pie – Same chocolate base as above, with peanut butter cups and a peanut butter swirl. Very tasty. I wouldn’t have minded more peanut butter though. And having homemade peanut butter cups (or at least higher quality ones) would have enhanced this further. 

Cappuccino Delight – It’s like coffee ice cream, but stronger, and with heath bars. Excellent – strong and smooth with great chips. This cappuccino delight is delightful!

The portions here are pricy for what you get, unfortunately, so be prepared. The evening we were there, the crowds seemed to have an attitude, and so did all of the employees but one, who did seem happy as she took our money. 

Be prepared for a strong manure smell. It’s pretty overpowering, worse than any dairy I have been to. 

Their seasonal flavor looked delicious – Delaware Fruit has local peaches and blueberries in it. 

Hopkins Farm Creamery has very tasty ice cream. The overall experience wasn’t our favorite, but we will be happy to give it another try when we are in town. It’s very good!

Jeni’s

I have always heard amazing things about Jeni’s ice cream, including that they use a unique process to make their delicious ice cream (they describe it as having a buttercream body). I had never had the opportunity to try it for myself. Until Charleston. 

My husband and I stopped our RV in Charleston for a few hours to explore, and in my wanderings, I stumbled upon some ice cream. The reviews said it was overpriced, but a quick google search told me there were other ice cream shops nearby too – including Jeni’s! My decision made, I headed to Jeni’s. Although the line layout wasn’t super-clear, the service was excellent. I noted that the prices were on the higher side, but they were typical for a city like Charleston…and of course you pay more for quality.The scoops were small but satisfying. If you’re hungry, I’d suggest getting the trio for $6. The ice cream is delicious and clearly uses very high-quality ingredients. 

Milky chocolate: A rather simple but delicious flavor. 

Salty caramel: Prominent salt, with cream and caramel…a very fun flavor

Darkest chocolate: She told me this is 99% cacao butter! It’s amazing, like an intense dark brownie batter but with plenty of sweet too. This is the perfect balance for chocolate connoisseurs. In the running for the best I’ve had, for sure! 

Two small scoops ran me $6 total. They throw a waffle crisp thing on top which was outrageously full of flavor. 

I highly recommend Jeni’s, particularly their Charleston location. They also ship nationwide! 

How Much Ice Cream Can You Fit Into a Week?

Do you ever ask yourself this question? Do you struggle with the desire to stay healthy while eating lots of ice cream? I certainly do. 

This past week I flew back to New Hampshire. The combined stress of travel, mild family drama and life combined with my ice cream-craving brain in a major way. Suffice to say that I ate too much dairy, sugar and fat. And when I thought about how to write about it, I realized just how intense it was. It’s like I scheduled it out with a desire to eat as much as possible. 

So be shocked, or use this as a guide for yourself on how to eat too much ice cream and sweet treats. 

Wednesday – A small hazelnut soft serve frozen yogurt with raspberries at Pinkberry at the Baltimore airport. A kiddie size Wild NH Black Bear – vanilla with red raspberry swirl and chocolate raspberry truffles – from Lang’s, who serve Blake’s ice cream. 

Thursday – A large with cotton candy, coconut cream and Wild Maine Black Bear, a red raspberry ice cream with dark chocolate truffles, for lunch at Jordan’s Creamery. 

Friday – A dish of Coconut Bliss‘ Cherry Amaretto (coconut-based, dairy-free) with fun toppings at a pre-wedding dinner. 

Saturday – A dish of Round Top’s Salted Caramel ice cream with hot fudge at a wedding dinner.  

Sunday – A small Wild NH Black Bear with hot fudge at Lang’s after dinner. 

Monday – A scoop of ice cream with two flavors, Moose Tracks (vanilla, amazing fudge ripple, peanut butter truffles) and Peppermint Stick, at Merrivale Ice Cream next to The Pizza Man

Tuesday – A small dish of Milk ( low-fat frozen yogurt) at Pinkberry with lunch. A small hot fudge shake at Sonic with dinner. 

Have you ever eaten this much sweetness in a week? What does your dream ice cream week look like? Tell me about it!

Frozen Custard on the Outer Banks 

Uncle Eddy’s Frozen Custard and Mini-golf isn’t glamorous. In fact, from the outside, you could reasonably presume it’s a small-town mini-golf place, perhaps with some cheap chain’s ice cream on offer for after your game. 

But in reality, this place is an absolute must stop in Buxton, NC. You’ll find six flavors of tasty hard frozen custard (next to some flavors they don’t make themselves) with memorable names like Elvis and Spongebob. You’ll also find two delicious flavors of fruity sorbet. But the reason that Uncle Eddy’s is a must for anyone visiting the Outer Banks is their soft serve custard in chocolate, vanilla and twist. 

I’ve had excellent soft serve, but it’s kind of an ephemeral thing. Most places serving soft serve in NH, where I am from, are more focused on it being healthy or low/no fat than it tasting delightfully indulgent. Custard is delightfully rich and creamy, and this stuff is the real deal. I know I should broaden my custard horizons, but to date, this stuff stands as the best I’ve had.

If you’re a Dairy Queen fan, you probably love a Blizzard. I used to as well, but they’re really overpriced and the ice cream isn’t exciting. For a nearly comparable price, have a “Hurricane Eddy” with the outrageously smooth and creamy custard you’ll find here. You can get chocolate, vanilla or a twist (my favorite) with two mix-ins. I have enjoyed chocolate syrup and banana, strawberries and chocolate syrup, peppermint patties and chocolate syrup and my absolute favorite, peppermint patties and hot fudge – not a normal option but they offered when they ran out of syrup! This stuff sells for $5.99/16 ounces which is a huge portion. For another buck you can get 20 ounces. 

I will review for you some of their hard flavors as well. But remember, while their hard custard is one of the best such options on the Outer Banks (next to Scoops in Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills), it’s not necessarily going to excite a city slicker ice cream connoisseur. So have some soft custard. Today, preferably. But if you can make a few visits, here’s your hard custard guide. 

Hard Custard Flavors:

Black Sand – tasty chocolate base with butterfinger. Yum! Almost a German chocolate base. 

English Toffee – The toffee addition really makes this one special. 

Raspberry Margarita – This combines their raspberry and lemon sorbets with vanilla custard and margarita mix. It’s fun and fruity, and like an adult beverage. Kind of sweet and odd, but it’s fun and better and richer than I imagined.  

Golden Toffee – This one combines vanilla, caramel and Heath bar. It’s seriously excellent and was the best ice cream I had had in a while. The flavors meld perfectly. 

Lemon Raspberry Cream – This light and refreshing one combines vanilla, lemon and raspberry. 

Yellow Brick Road – This is a fabulous combination of vanilla, cashews, white chocolate chips and caramel – even if you aren’t fond of cashews! The vanilla is perfect. 

Hatteras Sunrise – This is vanilla with cherry, pineapple and coconut. It’s so fun and fruity, very candy-like but lovely and bright. Coconut makes me think of a snowball…the finely chopped fruit is well mixed so you get some in every bite. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Krisp – This has a chocolate base with peanut butter and rice krispie treats. I’d prefer bigger chunks but it’s fun and tasty. 

Rice Krispie Treat – A nice vanilla base with treats and caramel. 

Elvis – This is a chocolate peanut butter ice cream with banana – it’s fun with tasty if cold banana chunks. 

Golden Toffee – A lovely warm vanilla with delicious chocolate Toffee pieces. Really nice. 

Be sure to check out their fun beach gift shop. And while I haven’t tried it yet, their shades mini-gold course is very pretty and a bargain at $8/as many games as you want. 

Bring cash – there’s an extra $1/order charge if it’s under $10 and you use a card. And this stuff is priced well. I first enjoyed a small, 5 ounce serving for only $3.18, and they’re happy to combine flavors for you. 

If you go, tell them Jamie from Camp Hatteras sent you! They’re wonderful people and I hope they stick around for a long time. Thanks for reading and happy eating!