Three years ago, I had a marvelous visit to New York City, and when I returned there this year I was eager to explore more ice cream hot spots. But I also wanted to return to my favorite from my last visit: Van Leeuwens.
You can find them at several locations across the city. And I highly recommend you do.
I’ve gone to Memories in Exeter, NH several times in my life. In my younger days, they struck me as overpriced, and I recall a very odd scoop system where you could order quarter scoops, half scoops etc. but unless you ordered two gargantuan scoops, you couldn’t get two flavors.
But with age comes wisdom and a ridiculous amount of ice cream eating, so when I missed my favorite place for frozen yogurt closing by mere hours (until next year, Wright Place!), I returned to Memories for a visit and a review.
I was honestly delighted by my visit! To be fair, it was a rainy October afternoon, so there wasn’t a line and I could take my time sampling, but I felt very comfortable trying flavors, was impressed to see a sampler option on the menu and was especially excited that they had an ingredient binder on hand for those of us with food allergies! Their fall menu was really fun, and their farm setting with a big farmer’s porch is picturesque.
Here’s what I thought of Memories:
Sweet Potato – This is a sweet potato base with toffee pieces. If you love sweet potato, this is worth a try! I enjoyed the toffee and there seemed to be some sort of caramel or similar running through it lightly. A fun new fall flavor for me.
Chocolate Marshmallow – This was kind of a medium, Belgian chocolate type base. And you can’t go wrong with marshmallows. I really, really loved this base.
Bananas Foster – Oh my word. If you like bananas, this is sweet and creamy and an absolute 10/10. I could have eaten this one forever. So, so good!!!
Overall, their ice cream is pretty perfect. Creamy and consistent, easy to eat and never icy. They’re not too sweet and you truly taste the flavors. Their chocolate marshmallow should make my top five chocolates (hard to do!) and their bananas foster was truly a thing of beauty.
They may have closed for the season, but you can pre-order some ice cream and pick it up once a month on a chosen day. Follow them on Facebook, because they seem to like to open up and scoop if it’s nice outside.
Thanks for an incredible treat, Memories! And putting my three flavors in a dish was genius. Also, you’re very reasonably priced for high end ice cream. $6 for three large scoops makes sense. And thanks for getting rid of your old, odd scoop scale!
If you enjoyed this review, you might enjoy reading about God Save The Cream in Denver. Happy ice cream!
Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill, New Hampshire is wonderful. I knew it to be wonderful, because in the past I’d occasionally had a dish (before the blog) if I was in an area carrying their ice cream, and it always was absolutely delicious. But their ice cream stand/dairy in North Haverhill really isn’t the kind of place you get to by accident.
So when fate brought me to North Haverhill to teach a series of classes recently, I was really excited to see their ice cream was still available for scooping. Particularly because the sign said that they have maple soft serve, and I truly love maple soft serve.
When I got there, I was pretty awed by the place. First off, their prices are reasonable verging on cheap. Second, they offer samplers and tiny portions for those craving as little as a half scoop of hard ice cream. Third, they have some really fun flavors and gluten-free cones! But when I got to the window, I was wowed.
I said that I was having a hard time deciding between soft serve and hard serve maple ice cream. The woman behind the counter cheerfully said “why not have both?” and I said “I can do that?” and she said “Of course!”. Now, I’m all for combining flavors in the name of variety. I will ask if I can get multiple flavors in a scoop. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be allowed to combine hard and soft serve ice cream in one dish!
All thoughts of trying multiple flavors went out the window. All thoughts of anything but that combination were gone. “Sounds great!” I said. So I got a scoop of each.
It’s $3 for a scoop of each. This ice cream almost has me speechless, folks.
Maple Soft Serve – So, the soft serve really balances creaminess with a strong maple taste. Definitely the best maple soft serve I’ve had, although others have been in the ballpark. It’s delicious.
Maple Hard Serve – Wow! This is the best maple ice cream I’ve ever had. The hard ice cream has a deeper complexity of flavor than the soft…and yet it’s still quite soft and creamy. Ross said this tastes like maple candy.
I was so in love with this stuff that I got it two days in a row. When they had extended their hours to be open one more day when I was in town, Ross couldn’t resist getting his own. The third time they were out of maple soft serve, but we both savored our hard ice cream.
Go to Hatchland Farm. Or eat their ice cream, if you’re local and they carry it nearby. I can’t speak to anything but their maple with specificity, but I’ve never gone wrong there. And if there’s maple on the menu, you know what to do.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!