December 10, 2016
Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale, Westbrook, Connecticut
Open all year
Originally I planned to make my 100th ice cream place a highly acclaimed ice cream parlor, maybe even take a Facebook poll for recommendations. But it came down to timing and being with the right people. Every year The Colonial Musketeers Senior Ancient Fife and Drum Corps ventures to Old Saybrook for their annual Christmas Parade. It has become a tradition that we stop at Lenny and Joe’s for a fun lunch – our Christmas present to ourselves. In their menu they advertised their great ice cream (which more than one member pointed out to me) This was my chance to get 16 fantastic comrades into my blog – amazing musicians (myself excepted), fun people, great friends. I am glad I write the rules for this blog! Carl said if he were to do 100 of anything, it would be coffee shops. Don suggested I recover from all my ice cream and rate 100 fruit stands – but I will just continue on with ice cream shops – nothing can match ice cream!
Lenny and Joe’s is a really a seafood restaurant – we all enjoyed fish and chips, shrimp and scallop casseroles, clams etc. – except Jack who had hot dogs (Jack is one of the oldest in our group, so I will excuse him). But even more importantly they have Buck’s Ice Cream for dessert – which is marketed almost exclusively in Connecticut. I got their feature flavor – peppermint candy. While most people would be too full for ice cream after a fantastic meal, I always have room for ice cream – I think I have a hollow leg. Anyway, this ice cream was creamy and pepperminty. Dianne ordered peppermint candy and Karen ordered chocolate so they could mix them together and get chocolate peppermint ice cream- they always were resourceful people. The ice cream was a great ending for a great meal with a great group of friends – what more could I want out of life?
December 5, 2016
Flavors Homemade Ice Cream, Fairfield, New Jersey
Open all year
You never know what you will find in New Jersey’s large shopping malls – tonight we went shopping in Willowbrook Mall – and it was bring your pet to see Santa night. The first time I ever time I got to see a huge dump of dog crap in a mall – even more disturbing was the footprint in it – some poor soul did not know to avoid landmines in the mall tonight. But before we stepped foot in the mall, the Scoops Gang went to check out a new ice cream parlor in town, – just down the street from the mall. Notice our cool new shirts designed by my niece Katie (available on Teerepublic.com)!
Flavors Homemade Ice Cream in Fairfield, New Jersey is a fairly new entry into the ice cream arena – the shop opened earlier this year – score one for the Garden State. The shop is attractive with lots of frozen treats – gelato, Italian ice and a wide variety of beautiful-looking ice creams. I took the recommendation of the barista and had a scoop of Cookie Monster (Chips Ahoy and Oreo cookies in a vanilla ice cream) and a scoop of Cake Batter. The flavor and texture of the ice cream was just right – I loved it. Pat got Coffee Cake Ice Cream which she said tasted just like the crumbs on coffee cake – the part that you eat before you throw the cake out. I do not know what Mary Lou had. Seating was outside for days warmer than today and inside at a bar with bar-type chairs that went up and down – fun for kids like us. This place is worth a visit!
Ice Cream Bakery, Bloomingdale, New Jersey
Seasonal (closed December an part of January)
Bloomingdale New Jersey is an old town with lots of hills. We stopped by Sloan Park, which was tastefully decorated for the holiday season. I especially liked the Christmas lights adorning the cannons.
Across from Sloan Park is the Ice Cream Bakery. The shop had a nice selection of ice cream cakes, novelties and lots of flavors of Welsh Farms and Ken’s ice creams. I had a scoop of Mango and a scoop of Peach – I went with the fruit theme. The shop closes soon for the month of December – I figure the owners are probably heading some place warm – I wonder if I can get in on that deal! .
December 3, 2016
van Leeuven Ice Cream, Manhattan, New York
open all year
I love “going into the city” any time – but it is especially fun (and crowded) around Christmas. Today we went to see the tourist sites – St. Patrick’s Cathedral (where I lit a candle for my mother), Rockafeller Center (I love the tree and angel displays), Macy’s (great Christmas window displays, and old wooden escalators), a branch of the NYC Public Library that used to be a women’s prison (I need to go back to get the official tour) and an ice cream shop I had never been to before (the real reason I went to NYC).
Oxymoron of the day – vegan ice cream – this may be farther from real ice cream than gelato (Italians obviously do not understand ice cream). However if vegan ice cream is what you are looking for, van Leeuven Ice Cream in lower Manhattan is a good place to visit. It is also a good place to visit for us ice cream purists – those of us who like our ice cream with real cream, real sugar and all the fat and calories. The ice cream here was very flavorful and with a great texture. I had Honeycomb and Mint Chip – both homemade, with a delightful favor and texture. Seating was available in the shop at four small tables by the window, all of which were initially occupied (this is indeed NYC), but cleared quickly – it was sort of cold to eat outside. It was a “great day in the neighborhood”. I just need to figure out how to get some of this vegan ice cream home for my vegan son-in-law to try.
November 20, 2016
Mapleview Cafe, Poughkeepsie, New York
open all year
Today we spent a second day working on our tobaggans at the Hudson River Museum. None of the toboggans got done – we have to come back if we want to finish them. It was fun anyway and we learned a lot about wood working. On the way home we took a detour for my favorite treat.
We stopped at the Mapleview Cafe in Poughkeepsie, New York on a dark, chilly night. The ground was covered from the maiden snow fall of the season and we were in an unfamiliar area – it felt like the middle of nowhere – but it was a gem in the middle of nowhere. We were initially the only customers there, so we had a nice chat with the owners. They were both culinary school graduates, she from the French cooking school in NYC and he from a school in California. The Cafe menu included a nice selection of soups, salads and sandwiches (of which we partook) and a full array of homemade ice creams (the reason we came). The chefs made everything – even the waffles for the waffle sundaes. The ice cream flavors were varied, interesting and changed regularly. I had a scoop of Pumpkin Spice and a scoop of Cranberry Orange – topped with raspberry sauce. I sampled both their Mulled Apple Cider ice cream and their Bailey’s Cream with Toffee Bits. All the ice cream was great. The cafe served everything in disposable containers containers – sort of a “to go” style (“Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives” candidate?). There was a small outdoor playground and casual seating both inside and outside – outside was not looking to inviting tonight! The Mapleview Cafe was recently featured in Hudson Valley Magazine. This place is worth a visit.