April 24, 2017
J & M’s Sweet Cravings , Blakeslee, Pennsylvania
J & Ms Sweet Cravings Ice Cream is a walk up ordering window shop that has both munchies and almost any type of ice cream you could want – hard ice cream (Turkey Hill and others), soft ice cream, ice cream floats, sundaes, milkshakes, novelties – and several different types of cones to put it in. I got A Mocha Mud Sundae (soft Mocha Ice Cream, Oreos, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry). Don got a peanut butter and Jelly Sundae. The ice cream was good, as were the combination of flavors in the sundaes – we both totally enjoyed eating them at the picnic tables outside. (The one interesting aspect here is the restroom which is located in the back of the fireworks store next door (yes, this is indeed Pennsylvania!) – check out the decorations.) J & M’s Sweet Cravings is a great place to visit for a quick ice cream cone or sundae!
In the area (but not really): We were on our way home from the Lower Trail in Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania. We biked 32 miles (round trip) on the mostly flat, scenic trail with a crushed cinder and asphalt surface that follows the pretty Juanita River. Plaques are placed periodically that give information about local wildlife or history of the Juanita Canal. Very interesting!
July 3, 2017
Yuengling’s, Skylands Stadium, Augusta, New Jersey
Nearly every ball stadium has an ice cream stand, and at Skyland’s its Yuengling’s – Pennsylvania’s Finest Ice Cream – (not sure why we could not have New Jersey’s finest ice cream here). Since I usually associate Yuengling’s with beer, I had to try their Black and Tan Ice Cream.(chocolate with caramel) I also had strawberry at the barista’s suggestion. Is it true that brewing equipment is similar to ice cream-making equipment so many new ice cream places popped up during prohibition? Maybe Yuelingling was a natural in the ice cream world!
In the area – we were visiting Skyland’s Stadium to watch the Sussex County Miners play baseball. It was sort of a Bad News Bears type of team (the pathetic team at the beginning of the movie). The score was 10 to 3 (Miner’s losing) when we left in the 7th inning. Even so, live baseball is captivating so I will be for more games and Yuengling ice cream
July 2, 2017
Scoop House , Boonton, New Jersey
open all year
Walking down Main Street in Boonton, The Scoop House was recognizable as a happy place by the banner over the shop and the blue cafe tables outside. Stepping inside completed the image – large ice cream display cases, window booths, a couch with comfortable chairs and cafe tables with polka dotted seats. We stepped up to the counter to examine the varied choices of Gifford’s Ice Cream – so many choices After sampling a couple, I chose Maine Wild Blueberry and Peanut Butter Pie. My first question – does Gifford’s send people into the woods to get their “wild” blueberries? Or is there a variety of farmed blueberries called “wild”? Either way the blueberry ice cream was loaded with blueberry swirls. The Peanut Butter Pie Ice Cream was likewise loaded with peanut butter cups (seems like it should have been named Peanut Butter Cup instead of Peanut Butter Pie) in a peanut butter ice cream – yummy! I The portion sizes were generous. We sat down in a window booth and discovered a shelf of games to play while we ate. I challenged Don to a game of Connect Four. We tied at one game each – probably the best – Don hates to lose.
In the area: Boonton, New Jersey is a delightful town to mosey through with boutiques, restaurants and bakeries. We particularly enjoyed our trip today because the Boonton Arts Council was presenting “The Dogs of Summer and Some Cool Cats”. Creative dog and cat sculptures were located throughout the town. While we totally enjoyed them all, my favorite was Sundae Fundae by Kasey Tataruj which was located right outside the Scoop House!
June 17, 2017
Freggo, London, United Kingdom
Freggo is located on an open mall in an upscale shopping area. In response to the hot dry day, Cafe tables were set up outside and the front of the shop was open. The sun was so strong, the shop felt refreshingly cool and dark. We stepped up the the counter to order – the service was quick and friendly. Their specialties included coffee, ice cream and pastry/cakes. The ice cream selection included several versions of chocolate, fruit flavors and dulces de leche. I had Temptation (double caramel) and Irish Cream, The texture was smooth, but the consistency was too soft for a cone – mine had to be placed in a dish. But the flavor was excellent so I actually found it very enjoyable. We sat outside, but inside tables were also available.
In the area: This was my first time in London – a city that conjured up images of Tower bridge, breath-taking cathedrals and men in black hats and red suits guarding the queen (all wonderful to see). England also conjures images of tea and crumpets (which I did not experience), fish and chips ( which I totally enjoyed) and ice cream ( at least to me). Ice cream stands touting “Traditional Ice Cream” were present in many of the parks – embarrassingly I did not sample these (too full from from fish and chips). Freggo was not far from the famous Piccadilly Circus – a large shopping/theater area. Being four nerds, we actually were in the area to visit the Michael Faraday Museum, which unfortunately was closed today.
June 24, 2017
Milford Dairy Bar, Milford, PA
Okay, Milford Dairy Bar is a first for me – and ice cream shop with live music played in their outdoor music pavilion- sort of like a coffee house but much better. A schedule of the acts is posted on the shop.
The service, via a walk up window, was friendly and quick. There were so many flavors of homemade ice cream I had a difficult time deciding – I knew that I had to try Neon Mint Chip, but I let the server choose my second flavor, and she suggested Strawberry. The Neon Mint Chip was “neon” colored Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream – bright pink today -creating and interesting contrast with the paler pink of the strawberry. We enjoyed our ice cream relaxing at a picnic table listening to a band – life is good!
Milford PA was filled with live music today, creating a true party atmosphere. It was a special treat to see my friend Diane playing her Irish flute in the Tara Minstrels (she looks better playing the fife). But the what actually brought us to Milford today was hiking in the Delaware Water Gap National Park – one of the most visited national parks in the United States. We hiked the Hackers Trail with a nice waterfall and the Cliff Trail with wonderful views. These trails were wide, easy to follow and scenic. I love the Delaware Water Gap.
June 10, 2017
City Green Strawberry Festival, Clifton, New Jersey
This festival is one day a year – sort of like Brigadoon
I love strawberries! So do a lot of other people based on the turn out for the City Green Strawberry Festival this weekend! City Green is an urban farm in Clifton, NJ with a mission to teach others how to design and implement urban farms for nutrition and fun. Throughout the year City Green has numerous special events to accomplish their mission including the Strawberry Festival in June – which includes goat petting, chicken watching, activities for children, tours of their organic farm and a farm stand selling the crops grown there – I bought savory (which I never tried before), mixed greens and onions. The farm stand workers even gave me instructions on how to use the savory (I sauteed it), The day was wonderfully organized, the workers, interns and volunteers enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and the weather perfect -all this made for a great day.
And what would a strawberry festival be without strawberry ice cream? City Green supplied Sip and Swirl in Little Falls (a place I need to try) with the strawberries, and Sip and Swirl turned them into smooth, very strawberry ice cream – (definitely the best tasting way to get our “five-a-day” fruits and veggies!). We sat on benches enjoying live music while we ate it. Now I have to wait another year to get that great strawberry ice cream again.
April 22, 2017
Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company at Market Street Grocery, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Open all year
This is the first time I have been in Pittsburgh – and it is an interesting city. Three Rivers Park has great walking paths right along the rivers, with numerous sculptures (including one dedicated to
Mr. Rodgers). I am not sure how far the paths go, but we saw serious looking bikers on them, so I assume they go pretty far. The University of Pittsburgh has classrooms decorated for different nationalities in their Cathedral of Learning (worth the trip!). Downtown Pittsburgh has some really interesting architecture, such as the PPG Industries glass buildings (I guess they should not throw stones), a street fair and a Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company counter located in Market Street Grocery.
Market Street Grocery is a small, compact shop with a lot of good-looking food, groceries, baked goods, a coffee bar, a wine bar and an ice cream counter, We skipped the coffee, baked goods and groceries, but enjoyed both the wine and the ice cream. The wine bar is located in a comfortable room in the back of the shop – we happily sampled various wines here. But the best feature of the shop was the Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company counter! We were told the ice cream was made downstairs, which I assume they meant literally. Their website says their ice cream is “fun and funky” which is an accurate description. I had Peanut Butter and Jelly and Strawberry Peach Sangria. The sangria ice cream had a sweet flavor and a texture that was almost a mix of a Italian ice and ice cream, it was very enjoyable. I assume the sangria came from the wine room in the back of the shop. The Peanut Butter and Jelly ice cream was a more traditional ice cream flavor and excellent – to me there can never be too much peanut butter in peanut butter ice cream! This was some of the best tasting ice cream I have had! We ate outside in the market square where we could enjoy live music and people watch. There is a small amount of inside seating and as well.