Tag: travel

Kellerhaus in Laconia, NH

Kellerhaus offers homemade chocolate, ice cream, candy and gifts. Most of the “chocolate, ice cream, candy, gifts” places I’ve traveled to haven’t put enough emphasis on crafting great ice cream. Many of them don’t even make it themselves. So I was delighted to see that Kellerhaus is the real deal.

Kellerhaus is 100% worth a visit if you’re in the area just to browse the unique gifts. While it clearly caters to tourists, it’s got a diverse range of items and is just a really fun experience. (They’re currently open and require masks when you aren’t eating, with seating inside and out.) It’s got a really neat layout for wandering, super cute with a player piano that’s very fun to watch.

A few other logistics to note would be that they close early – outside of the main summer season – they closed at 6 p.m. the day I visited last fall. Check the website to confirm their hours. They offer cups, cones and a sundae bar, which is extensive, but I haven’t confirmed if that’s open during COVID-19 or not. Their scoops are quite large, but be aware that you can’t combine flavors in a scoop. So I got a regular with 2 scoops/2 flavors, and my husband went with 1.

The sundae bar includes hot fudge, butterscotch, tons of fruit toppings, chocolate sauce, marshmallow, whipped cream, candies, nuts…it was really yummy. The only thing I missed was a cherry – and I imagine experience showed them not to put those out!

Here’s what I tried: 

Chocolate – This has depth, and surprisingly darker notes, but overall it’s a medium ice cream.

Cherry Chocolate Chip – This is a classic fluffy ice cream, a tasty cherry flavor with nice chocolate chips. It’s great!

Pistachio – This bright flavor was really nice.

Maple Walnut – This has a great classic maple flavor, which I liked a lot. Not winning awards but very tasty.

Lemon Custard – This is a nice recreation of a lemon meringue pie type of flavor. It’s nice, but I felt like it needed a little more oomph somehow.

These flavors have a nice fluffy consistency overall. Expect classic flavors, and the sundae bar is a really fun touch.

The ice cream itself is really great here! It’s not too sweet a base, and it’s fluffy and yummy, quite consistent. And the prices were reasonable too, at $5.10 for 1 scoop and the sundae bar and $5.75 for 2 with the sundae bar.

Kellerhaus was a pleasant surprise, and I’m so glad I stopped by! It’s definitely worth adding your list when you’re in New Hampshire.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for next week, when we’ll have a guest blogger!

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Big Dipper Ice Cream, Missoula, MT

Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula, Montana is an extremely popular ice cream spot. It helps that it’s in a college town, has a great location on the edge of downtown and it’s delicious.

I spent a summer working for Missoula Children’s Theatre when I graduated from college, so from 2005-2006 I had gotten lots of opportunities to sample their delicious ice cream (and sometimes, to eat it for dinner). I was delighted to return in August of 2019 and give my husband a brief walking tour of my old haunts in Missoula.

Though they’re currently offering contact-free pickup, I visited late on a Tuesday night last year and found a gargantuan line around 9 p.m., which tells you how popular this place really is. Please note that there isn’t a restroom, though at least pre-COVID they had tons of outdoor seating.

You can combine two flavors in a single (yay!) for $3.50, or you can go for a double (a very generous portion) which is super reasonable at $5. They serve the ice cream with a wooden spoon, which is a great environmental move I imagine but which does affect the taste a bit, if that bothers you.

Here’s what I tried: 

Elephant Chai – This is special! It’s a fun flavor, but my sample was very icy.

Chuckleberry – This is chocolate ice cream with huckleberry (the latter a regional delicacy if you haven’t had it!). I found this to be a pretty fun and smooth combination, and it was quite creamy.

Chocolate – This is super smooth, a classic lighter chocolate flavor. I found it kind of like a fudgsicle! This might make my top ten for lighter chocolate ice creams, and it isn’t dissimilar to a soft serve texture if that appeals to you (as it does me).

Cardamom – My first bite of this was ice, honestly. Otherwise, the cardamom spice is quite fun, and this was a super creamy texture. It’s a sweet enough base and the creamy aspect pairs well with the spice. I thought it was excellent, minus that first ice bite.

Big Dipper offers mainly traditional flavors, though it gives them a creative spin (like the chocolate plus huckleberry combination). With the giant line, I didn’t feel comfortable asking for additional samples. It seems like this location at least has some struggles with ice in their ice cream. I imagine this is more of a storage issue than a product issue – the ice cream is also sold in some stores, so they distribute it on a wide scale and I’m guessing they’ve got a very consistent product.

That being said, be prepared to get a bit of ice, but if you’re willing to forgive it, you’re likely to experience some truly delicious and very good to excellent ice cream. Enjoy, and say hi to Missoula for me!

Photo courtesy of Big Dipper Ice Cream. 

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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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Molly Moon’s in Seattle, WA

My visit to Molly Moon’s in Seattle was on a very busy evening, with a big crowd outside. Despite the crowds, they were patient while I tried several flavors. It’s a cute spot (they have several locations) and they are “tip free” here, because the wage in Seattle is $15/hour. (Yay for a living wage!)

They suggested hot fudge in a waffle cone, which sounds amazing, but this gluten-free girl stuck to ice cream. Their prices are typical for a city and reflect the fancier ingredients and sourcing they do. They did let me get a single with two flavors (they charge $4.99 for that) so that’s the option I ultimately went with.

Here’s what I tried:

Melted Chocolate – This is more bitter than I expected. The texture is almost like a marshmallow! It’s very satisfying, and might make my top ten…it’s really unique among other chocolate flavors out there.

Yeti – This is granola, caramel and chocolate chunk, and it’s always fun to have a chunky texture, especially if you’re gluten-free like me. The base seemed to be vanilla or a similar creamy flavor, very smooth and satisfying. The caramel swirl is thin and drippy and sweet and delightfully satisfying. The granola and chocolate chunks are very tasty and give a nice texture contrast. It’s a nice sweeter flavor, and everything cuts through well.

Lemon and Blueberry Custard – This was a great flavor, but mine was a little bit icy.

Salted Caramel – I found this to be very bitter, but super creamy and with tasty caramel. It’s a solid caramel base, with no chunks. It’s unusual to have that bitterness – very fun.

They offer some really fun toppings here, but they’re very pricey, probably because they’re organic and such.

Molly Moon’s continued my pattern of finding excellent ice cream in Seattle. I wasn’t wowed by the prices particularly, and any time my ice cream is icy is a bummer, but I really enjoyed their flavors overall. In my experience here, I’d say it’s definitely a must-try if you like the more bitter side of ice cream flavors. If you like your ice cream sweet, you’ll have to shop around to find the flavors that suit you, but they’ll be very good.

This is my cousin’s favorite spot in Seattle, and since she knows her ice cream and is local, I definitely value her opinion! Thanks for the tasty treats, Molly Moon’s!

Supporting My Blog

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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Kurt Farm Shop, Seattle, WA

I’ll begin by saying that when I visited this shop in August, the owner was already looking for a buyer, and I’m happy for them but sad for the rest of us to report that Kurt Farm Shop sold its tiny and adorable location to Sweet Alchemy and instead is focusing on their cheese and farm.

I’m thrilled that we got to visit while we were in Seattle. It was such a quirky location, a tiny storefront you really had to work to find, and they were known for their interesting flavors, in particularly their Flora’s Cheese.

Here’s what I tried:

Flora’s Cheese – This is a very fun base – I think it’s a kind of a milky or sweet cream base, and it has chunks of cheese in it. It’s a milder flavor, and very fun. This is the one everyone raved about and it’s definitely unique! It was my husband’s favorite – I enjoyed it a lot too.

Lemon Verbana – Wow! This was super bright and had a complex pop to it. It reminded me of an antiques store! So fun, very creamy, and honestly reminded me a little bit of Fruit Loops milk!

Chocolate – Their dark chocolate is amazing! They also have a milk chocolate. The dark chocolate is rich and dark like a brownie batter. It makes my top five…it wasn’t as creamy as the ones I usually gravitate towards, but it was amazing, textured like a brownie and I think it’s even better than the chocolate I’m so fond of at Epcot. (Probably a top 3 or 4!)

Strawberry – This tart strawberry is sweet, but not too sweet, very creamy and good. (Dedicated readers will know I’m not a big fan of strawberry ice cream, but I enjoyed this a lot.)

This was the best ice cream that our group found during our visit to Seattle. For me personally, I preferred Frankie and Jo’s because I’m gluten-free and kind of wacky, but for traditional ice cream, this beat everything else we had time to try.

We are very sad to hear of Kurt’s closing…it’s probably for the best since COVID would likely have closed them anyway. Wishing them and the new folks all the best. So glad we got to enjoy while we were in town.

Be well, and happy eating!

Supporting My Blog

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:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
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  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
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Salt and Straw, Seattle, WA

My first experience with Salt and Straw was in LA, and I’ve also enjoyed their soft serve in Portland. Other than their soft serve, which I found pretty fantastic, I’ve found that their flavors are very hit or miss. I’d fallen hard for their Freckles woodblock chocolate, enjoyed their almond brittle with salted ganache, and their honey lavendar was sweet and strong. And of course there was the black olive brittle and goat cheese, which left me declaring that if I could eat that flavor every single day, I could give up other ice cream forever!

Yup. I said that. Me. 

But then they’ve got other flavors that I wasn’t so fond of, and the pricing is on the higher side, and in general, they prefer their ice cream significantly less sweet than I enjoy.

So with a lot of caveats, I told my cousin Michelle we should give it a shot – but I would completely understand if she and her husband didn’t enjoy it at all or want to get anything. Better to undersell these things, right? Especially with someone with a stated preference for New England ice cream.

When we arrived at 8 p.m. on a Monday, there was an amazingly long line outside. They’re great about letting you try flavors, but it was very crowded and you’ll need to advocate for whatever you want over the din. But the service is great when you finally get there.

Here’s what I tried: 

Carrot Cake Batter w/ Candied Pralines – The major spice on the pralines was an aftertaste, almost too much, but really nice. This was really fun, probably my favorite of the night, and I really appreciated that they made it gluten-free. (Yay for gluten-free cake batter!)

Green Fennel and Maple – This was surprisingly sweet and creamy, a very forward flavor. I really like the levels of both the fennel and maple here. Unfortunately it had a lot of ice crystals.

Beecher’s Cheese – The cheese was fine, but the peppercorn toffee inside was super peppery and sticks around for a while…it kind of made me cough. It was too much for me.

Cloudforest Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies and Cream – This isn’t creamy – the Nutella was actually kind of chunky. I had high hopes, but this one was just so-so.

Rachel’s Raspberry Ginger Beer – This is a sorbet, and I found it pretty refreshing and fun as someone who loves ginger beer. I did find a few ice crystals in this flavor.

So, in sum, Salt & Straw again provides some gourmet flavors, but there shouldn’t be ice crystals in them, so that was a real bummer. Overall I had two very good flavors (sans ice crystals), two duds and one very pleasant summer experience (sans ice crystals). Definitely worth a try, but the experience confirmed for me that there’s still a lot of room for improvement here. I’m not sure if they just serve too many people or what, and I wish the flavors were consistently great.

Have you visited Salt & Straw? Or ordered their ice cream online? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Supporting My Blog

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:

  • Become a patron of my work!
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  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
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Frankie and Jo’s, Seattle, WA

Frankie & Jo’s holds the rare distinction of being a place that I had on my bucket list for several years before I got to Seattle! Because a friend of mine (thank you, Dan!) has been raving about it for years, I knew it was an absolute must visit when I made it to the city.

I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. I visited both locations (one right on the water!), and it was a major highlight of my trip to Seattle. Before I review it, you should know that the entire menu is both plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. Ice creams use a base of cashew milk and/or coconut milk, and they keep the ingredients simple, avoiding preservatives and using a wide variety of innovative ingredients and flavors.

Here’s what I got:

Captain Whidbey Caramel Cookie Crunch- This was super fun. I loved the balance of the alcohol’s punch with the rest of the flavors. They described it as “A rich and decadent caramel ice cream base with chewy, salty, chocolatey, crunchy potato chip cookie bites and a gooey caramel swirl.” Seems pretty accurate to me!

Berries and Fermented Cream – “Berries & Fermented Cream: A one part vegan creme fraiche ice cream made from our own fermented cashew milk plus one part triple organic Washington berry coconut milk ice cream swirled with our house-made berry jam & almond flour lemon cake pieces.”  This is really enjoyable! I’m definitely a fan. Any time someone makes gluten-free cake and throws it into an ice cream, I’m going to be on board with it.

Chocolate Tahini Supercookie – Oh my goodness! The base is an amazing chocolate, one of the best that I’ve had, so rich, creamy and indulgent. It might make my top three, and definitely top four, for a best chocolate ice cream!

Gingered Golden Milk – While my husband found the coconut to be a bit too much, for it added the perfectly balanced flavor against the ginger and the major turmeric kick at the end.

Mint Cookie – This is delicious chocolate chewy cookies in a minty base. It’s so yummy, and everything I’d hoped for!

California Cabin – These cookies are amazing and have a big kick when combined with the smoked vanilla and pine flavors. It’s a thick base. It’s super fun and comforting like Christmas or cookie doughh.

After trying just about everything (!) I had my choices in a maple vanilla gluten-free cone that tasted like a cookie, so tasty and with great spices, and perfectly cooked.

On my second visit, here’s what I tried:

Brown Sugar Vanilla – The coconut flavor of the base goes well here, but it’s very prominent, so don’t get it unless you love coconut.

Chocolate Date – This is a really strong chocolate flavor, and the date is almost more of an aftertaste, on the second beat. Its super creamy and yummy.

Tomato Melon Mint – I enjoyed the first bite, but after that it was just too much for me. Honestly, the idea of cold tomato almost made me ill. Just not my thing, but others in my party liked it.

This time, I got a waffle cone with chocolate tahini super cookie and mint cookie – so delightful!

The prices here are reasonable for a city. I did three flavors in a waffle cone and then two flavors in a waffle cone and thought the portions were good.

Frankie & Jo’s is a must-do if a) you’re vegan, b) you’re gluten-free or c) you love interesting flavors of ice cream. If you like plain vanilla and chocolate from cow’s milk, this probably isn’t your shop. But for me it was an absolute winner.

And the best news? Even though COVID-19 means you’ll have to watch their website for local availability, you can also pay for shipping to have it sent across the country! I just might have to do that. 🙂

Thank you SO much, Frankie and Jo’s! I will absolutely be back and I’m so, so thankful that you do what you do.

Supporting My Blog

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:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using my affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh or Capital One 360 is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support me, and I also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money. This link will take you to my other travel page with my husband – we’ll have one here soon!
  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to this as well as my other travel blog, RossAndJamieAdventure, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from me and my husband, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Macadons in Seattle, WA

Departing from my visit to Full Tilt, my cousin and I were immediately distracted by signs for both macarons and ice cream at Macadons. Despite the fact that I’d already eaten, I knew I’d need to carve out a little bit of extra space for an ice cream-filled macaron sandwich.

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Full Tilt in Seattle, WA

My cousin Michelle’s husband, Roscoe, recommended Full Tilt as his favorite local ice cream place during a visit to Seattle last August. I knew the ice cream couldn’t be as good as Michelle’s own brown butter ice cream, but I was happy to give it a shot.

Full Tilt, Seattle, WA I In Search of a Scoop

Full Tilt’s employees were willing to put two flavors into a single for me, and at $4.25 plus tax, the ice cream is very reasonable or even cheap for a big city.

The staff was nice and professional, though to be honest they weren’t thrilled to let me try more than a few flavors. (I don’t think they’re used to people pondering and savoring and debating flavors. Oops.) Luckily my family got a variety between us.

Full Tilt, Seattle, WA I In Search of a Scoop

The atmosphere is kind of like your favorite dingy college basement hangout, with informal signage and not a fancy setup. They have a few pinball and arcade machines to play too, and they gave us a sticker – always a bonus! – which my husband promptly put onto his guitar case. Their website also mentions they offer live music. There are several beers and ciders on tap to enjoy, and they’ve got a punch card. We also learned they’re a franchise, so the atmosphere may be 100% different in one of their other Seattle locations.

Here’s what I got:

Full Tilt, Seattle, WA I In Search of a Scoop

Ube – This sweet potato flavor was sweeter than anticipated. It’s very creamy and really nice, though perhaps a little one note? It would be delightful topped with marshmallow topping or pecans.

Rose Rhubarb – The rose is really prominent here, and the rhubarb brings a nice sweetness. It was unexpected and fun!

Salted Caramel – The salt is very forward here. Very tasty!

Raspberry Truffle – This is kind of a medium chocolate with a raspberry flavoring. It’s very smooth, like an ice cream version of a truffle.

Strawberry Limeade Sorbet – This is very fun, with both flavors prominent and combining really well. It’s both tart and sweet!

Watermelon Marshmallow – You’ll definitely get both flavors here! It’s a bit artificial, and the marshmallows are very fun…it’s a kind of unusual combination!

Full Tilt also offers many vegan flavors (coconut milk or sorbet), fun toppings like toasted marshmallow and cider sorbet floats!

It’s is a fun spin on ice cream, with lots of interesting flavors. They’ve got takeout available now if you need a fix. Have you tried it?

P.S. It isn’t too late to grab your essential work-from-home bundle and support your favorite ice cream blogger! Your support is greatly appreciated. Use my code to save big.

Supporting My Blog

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:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using my affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh or Capital One 360 is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support me, and I also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money. This link will take you to my other travel page with my husband – we’ll have one here soon!
  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to this as well as my other travel blog, RossAndJamieAdventure, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from me and my husband, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Winegar’s Coffee & Creamery, Ellensburg, WA

This past summer, I had plans to travel across the state of Washington and back, so finding homemade ice cream to break up the trip was essential. Winegar’s Coffee & Creamery is an unassuming cafe – a pleasant, intimate joint catering to college students in Ellensburg, Washington. It’s cute, serves a great cup of coffee and borders a little specialty grocery store with some fun products. They’ve been serving super premium ice cream since 1956!

Winegar's, Ellensburg, WA I In Search of a Scoop

They have two locations in town, and I visited one. They make it easy to have allergies here – the top allergens are clearly labeled by each flavor.

Here’s what we tried over two visits:

Winegar's, Ellensburg, WA I In Search of a Scoop

Rocky Rodeo – This is a light chocolate, with almost a soft serve consistency, marshmallows and a marshmallows swirl and little almond pieces. It’s super tasty and satisfying, with a not too sweet base so the mixins pop! Great if you like marshmallows!

Kevinlicious – This is an amaretto base with cherry and chocolate chip chunks. Bright and fun!

Riegel Royal – This is a very light and smooth chocolate base with a peanut butter swirl. The latter is what steals the show. Tasty, but I’d prefer more of a chocolate flavor here.

Taneum Meadows Blueberry Cheesecake – Thank goodness this flavor doesn’t add gluten! It’s quite creamy and the cheesiest of the cheesecake ice creams I have had. So satisfying!!! I believe I had some in Roswell that was even creamier, but this is an absolute must try, especially if you’re gluten-free.

Winegar's, Ellensburg, WA I In Search of a Scoop

Ryland’s Pina Colada – Start with a smooth, rich and creamy pineapple base and add pineapple and coconut. Yum! It’s fruity and perfect for summer.

Gary Dough – Wait for it – this is a maple base with cookie dough chunks. It’s so creamy that it’s like a cream cheese texture. It’s really tasty, and less sweet than I would have anticipated. Really pleasant and almost savory! But with those sweet chunks of cookie dough. Wow.

This ice cream place is amazing! They keep the bases super creamy like cream cheese and not really smart. The chunks add the sweetness. It’s awesome! They’re super friendly and let me try it all, for real.

Portions are great, with $5.49 for two large scoops and $2.99 for a scoop. They’ve also got tempting sundae treats, shakes and coffee drinks.

I don’t think I can recommend then more highly! It’s a perfect example of bases done well, or the strength in avoiding over-sweetening your ice cream, it satisfies cheesecake cravings and the staff couldn’t be nicer. It’s definitely in my top ten of spots across the U.S. If it doesn’t make top five, it’s at least a contender!

It’s an easy jaunt off the highway in your travels. Don’t miss Winegar’s next time you’re nearby – heck, I’d even travel just for a visit. (And yes, they’re open right now!)

Take care, and happy eating!

P.S. If you haven’t grabbed your essential work from home bundle yet, it isn’t too late! Your support is greatly appreciated. Use my code to save big.

Supporting My Blog

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:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using my affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh or Capital One 360 is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support me, and I also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money. This link will take you to my other travel page with my husband – we’ll have one here soon!
  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to this as well as my other travel blog, RossAndJamieAdventure, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from me and my husband, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Ruby Jewel in Portland, OR

When I visited Ruby Jewel, the main purpose of my visit was to connect with a friend. Because I didn’t want her to think me the oddest of people, I didn’t take my usual 10-15 minutes to sample flavors and debate options.

Ruby Jewel, Portland, OR I In Search of a Scoop

Nevertheless, I got a nice glimpse of her favorite Portland-area ice cream spot. They have several locations to try, and their atmosphere is lovely, upscale but comfy and casual.

Here’s what I tried:

Nineteen27 Toasted Marshmallow – This was very tasty, but in the bit I tried, it was a little bit icy. A local company makes the marshmallows, and then they’re toasted and added to sweet cream ice cream. Definitely a fun concept!

Ruby Jewel, Portland, OR I In Search of a Scoop

Caramel with Salted Chocolate – I had this on two gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Honestly, how could it be bad? It was super satisfying.

So, I really liked Ruby Jewel! I’ll have to go back to give them a more fair review. I did notice their gluten-free flavors were limited, but they still had some really nice options. I look forward to a future trip!

Hope you’re staying well and have some ice cream in your future, friends. (Visit Ruby Jewel’s website for tips on getting your fix while their stores are closed.) If any of you are struggling with working from home/staying put, I’m featured in a new course bundle. Mine is called “Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home”. The link above will give you a huge discount on the course. Stay well, and take care!

Ruby Jewel, Portland, OR I In Search of a Scoop

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