Tag: texas

The Baked Bear in El Paso, TX

The Baked Bear is a high-end ice cream experience catering to the younger set interested in a bit of nostalgia. Their menu is limited and focused, with about a dozen flavors of ice cream, a variety of cookies, including a gluten-free option, and several ways to combine the two or add other treats to your ice cream. The experience is kind of an assembly line in the Subway or Chipotle model, where you choose your cookies, ice cream, toppings and such.

Most of their flavors contain gluten, but I came in specifically to try a gluten/free ice cream sandwich, which is made by sandwiching a scoop of ice cream between two (warmed if desired) cookies.

Toppings are an additional $.50, and the cookies can be purchased separately if you aren’t an ice cream person – in which case you probably aren’t reading this!

What I tried:

I tried a few flavors of their homemade ice cream, both of which were okay, but not great. I settled on getting a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich with dark chocolate ice cream, topped with caramel. The Baked Bear, El Paso, TX | In Search of a Scoop

Luckily, I found the cookies to be delicious, so that and the caramel helped take the experience over the top despite the adequate but not memorable dark chocolate ice cream. The Baked Bear, El Paso, TX | In Search of a Scoop

While there are better places for a dish of ice cream or gelato in town, if you’re in for a super sugary treat, I can highly recommend an ice cream sandwich! My husband and I shared one, but heck, have it for dinner if you don’t feel like sharing.

The prices were on the higher side but nothing wild for a fancy dessert treat in the city – $5.95 before my topping, tax and tip. The Baked Bear, El Paso, TX | In Search of a Scoop

If you go, let me know what flavor combo you go for! They had some really beautiful cookie options.

Thanks, and happy eating!

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Cactus Flats, El Paso, TX

Mainly a pizza place, Cactus Flats is the kind of comfy place you’d envision when you think of a hometown pizza spot. But unlike most pizza places, they don’t carry ice cream bars or the cheapest ice cream around. They make their own!

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Stumbling Upon Gelato in Fort Worth, TX

People often ask me how I choose which ice cream (or gelato, or frozen yogurt) places to visit. Although I aspire to visit EVERY homemade ice cream place out there, my time and budget certainly don’t allow that. So I tend to do some research, read reviews and narrow my search down based on where will be convenient for me, their menu offerings and what I’m betting will be best based on reviews. 

But that isn’t the whole story. Sometimes I will be exploring a town or a city and I will literally pass an ice cream place that I hadn’t realized I’d be seeing. At that point, I do a little research, consider how hungry I am and how much money I’ve got for a treat. I’m certainly more likely to visit if it’s right in front of me. 

So although gelato isn’t my favorite treat, when I saw Paciugo calling to me as we explored the Christmas lights in Fort Worth last year, I decided to give it a look. (I was also craving ice cream but there wasn’t a homemade place nearby.) It turns out they’re a chain with locations in about ten states, and their gelato is made on site. They also have a nice coffee menu, and if coffee plus gelato sounds like a fun combination to you, you’ll enjoy it even more. I decided to check out a couple of flavors. My husband Ross stuck to a hot black coffee, which he was pleased with. The prices were on the higher side for smaller portions but we were in a fancy part of Fort Worth so it felt kind of normal. Here’s what I went with. Wild Berries: The true fruity taste of this is lovely. It’s actually dairy-free too. Delightful and not overly sweet with an awesome fruit tang. A nice mouth feel too.

Milk Chocolate: This gelato has a very nice feel, with a rich milk chocolate flavor. It reminded me of an excellent drinking chocolate. 

Ross enjoyed both flavors a lot too, and I also recommend the combination. Although this is so far the only location I’ve visited, I would definitely recommend Paciugo when you’re craving a tasty dessert. Do you have a favorite place to get gelato?

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