May 13, 2018
Carvel, Nepperhan Avene, Yonkers, New York
Today is Mother’s Day, and to celebrate we made to trek to Yonkers to take my mother-in-law for an outing, which included ice cream (of course). Carvel ice cream shops are not uncommon in New York State, but they do vary tremendously. We found this Carvel on Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers to be on the lower end of the Carvel spectrum.
Entering the Youkers Carvel, we observed floors in desperate need of sweeping and three uninterested people “working” behind the counter . One was serving ice cream, two were doing nothing. We waited in line as the one working employee was dealing with a customer whose order was wrong. When the customer finally got her order corrected, I inquired about sugar free ice cream for my mother-in-law, which they did not have (she is not so passionate about ice cream, so she did not care). I ordered a Banana Foster Sundae, which was actually quite good (every cloud has a siilver lining). The shop had both hard and soft ice cream including seasonal flavors such as Kit Kit (hard ice cream) which I sampled, and many different delicious-looking cakes and sundaes. I would say I would have to come back to try them, but I think I will try a different Carvel location.
April 21, 2018
Ghirardelli Ice Cream, Quincy Market, Boston, Massachusettes
Recently I read that the most over rated tourist attraction in Massachusetts is Quincy Market , so naturally I had to visit it. I wanted to see an over- rated tourist attraction and I was not disappointed! It was just an overpriced shopping mall. While I was there I had to stop for ice cream – and Ghirardelli Ice Cream seemed like a good choice.
The shop was very attractive with walls of beautiful looking chocolates and candy. The ice cream menu had numerous attractive pictures enticing me to to want every sundae on it! The only problem was the calories and the price – $12.00 for 1200 calories – a penny per calorie. Maybe the milkshates were a better deal $8,95 for 2000 calories. I do not like when calories are listed for any food I eat – “ignorance is bliss”. This was the most exensive sundae that I have purchased to date, but what did I expect from Quincy Market?
I ordered a Mint Bliss Sundae made with Mint Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Ice Cream chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Both the chocolate sauce and the whipped cream were made in house and were wonderful, The choclate sauce was best I have ever tasted. Likewise the ice cream was exceptional with an amazing rich flavor and perfect texture – I guess I got what I paid for.
We were in Boston to visit our daughter. We took a harbor cruise, and it was the most lack-luster guide I have ever seen. She read from a script with limited information, she seemed to know nothing and cared little about Boston. I guess here we did not get what we paid for.
April 22, 2018
Zingarella Pizzaria and Ice cream Cafe, Southington, Connecticut
Today we discovered two great new places -The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (discussed below) and Zingarella Pizzaria and Ice Cream Cafe. The cafe was conveniently located along the Heritage Trail – what more could anyone want than to find a wonderful ice cream shop along a wonderful rail trail?
Entering Zingerella Pizzaria and Ice Cream Cafe surptised us – it was an upscale pizzaria – nice tables, dimmed lighting, liquor license – it looked more like a place for a nice dinner date or family outing than a “pizzaria”. But we were here for ice cream. There was an outdoor walk-up ice cream window but that was not open today – probably too early in the morinng or too early in the season. In addition to ice cream they had beverages including “Connecticut’s Own Avery Soda” with flavors like “Toxic Slime”, “Bug Barf” and “Orange” (is there nothing gross that is orange?).
They sold Gifford’s of Maine Ice Cream, which I have had before, so I wanted to choose flavors that I have not had before – I ordered Cake Batter (choclate frosting and shortcake cubes in a cake batter ice cream) and Maine Deer Tracks (expresso ice cream with toffee and chocolate fudge) ice cream. The ice cream was good, but not as chocked full of flavor as I prefer – could have used more toffee, chocolate fudge etc. Zingarellia’s made nice sundaes and was a friendly place to visit. And what could be better than a nice ice cream cafe with romantic indoor seating and attractive outdoor seating? a place not to be missed along the Farmington Heritage Trail!
The Farmingron Canal Heritage Trail started out as the tow path for the Farmington Canal, later it became the site of a railroad, and today it is a scenic rail trail. It is evident that this trail is loved by many people, not only because of the number of
people using it, but because of all the adornments along it ranging from interesting painted murals on buildings to creative seating options (butterfly-shaped benches, bike-style benches, wooden benches), to historical placards giving a history of the trail. The patrons were all friendly and everyone seemed to be enjoying the beautiful day, some walking, some running, some roller blading and some, like us, biking.
April 7, 2018
Thee Ice Cream Parlor, Flemington, New Jersey
Welcome to a decade gone by – Thee Ice Cream Parlor is a 1950s style ice ceram shop with the red seating booths, high top tables and an old fashioned ice cream counter. The walls were outfitted with 1950’s music- themed decor including records, posters and plaques – all beautifully displayed. We had our picture taken in front of the ‘record wall’ that they were rightfully very proud of.
As we looked at the ice cream selection. I asked if they made it there and was told no – this lead to a funny intersection with the boss teaching the employee the proper answer is ‘it is made for us by a family in Pennsylvania’. There was a wide variety of featured fun sundaes, so naturally I had to choose one from the list. I got a choco cherry sundae with peanut butter Chocolate covered Pretzel Ice Cream and Salted Caramel ice cream. Don got a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sundae. We sat at a high topped table next to the record wall while we ate. We actually knew most of the atrists featured on the albums – not sure if that means we are old, young, or somewhere in the middle.
March 24, 2018
Nonna’s Italian Coffee Parlor, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Walking into Nonna’s Italian Coffee Parlor in downtown Doylestown, PA we first eyed a showcase of nice looking baked goods. Then came the gelato showcase and lastly the ice cream. (the “Italian Coffee” did not interest me). As we stepped up to the counter we were quickly offered an opportunity to try any of the ice cream flavors – an opportunity I would never pass up! I was informed that the ice cream was made by Delaware Valley College students (a school my daughter almost went to for food science). I started with the Death by Mint, which was their version of mint chocolate chip – and it was wonderful, very minty (I have not tasted many mint ice creams that I did not like!). I then tried creamsicle – a blast from my childhood – this was creamy and tasty. I then got a scoop of Peanut Butter cup (good texture and taste, but the peanut butter cup pieces should have been smaller) a scoop of Tiramisu (an ice cream variation one of my favorite desserts- They caught all the essence of tiramisu, including just the right amount of rum flavoing – not over powering, but also not a “subtle nuance” – in a creamy, tasty, fozen form). I loved this ice cream!
There were plenty of tables both inside and outside and the day was just warm enough to be comfortable outside. I do not know who Nonno is (I assume someone’s sweet Italian grandfather, but he has a very nice little shop.
In the area: First let me say that we love Doylestown, PA. It has a very nice down town – lots of nice shops that are fun to wander through and scenic houses throughout the town. We came here once again to visit Fonthill. We were scheduled to go on a “Behind the Scenes” tour that let us see many of the 44 rooms that we did not see in the original tour. I loved the narrow spiral staircases and I was intrigued by the whole experience, but most amazing part though was the tour guide’s description of the builder (Henry Mercer). Was Mercer actually a successful hard working professor and tile entrepreneur or a spoiled rich kid the earlier tour guide presented him as? I guess there are really three sides to every story.
On the way out here we stopped at Peddler’s Village, a place I have heard of, but never stopped at before. It was a great experience. There were plenty of interesting shops and eateries. We got peanut flavored popcorn, had fun examining every kitchen item we could think of at a kitchen store, saw a lot of nice and reasonable priced clothing. We ate at the Buttonwood Grill (worth a visit). We visited a store that made plaques with Coats of Arms and family name histories, and learned that our last name must be very rare – it was not in the book of the million last names to chose from. Does that make our family better than one in a million?
March 10, 2018
Baskin Robbins, Florham Park, New Jersey
Open all year
I assume initially Baskin Robbins ice cream was sold at Dunkin’ Donut Shops because stereotypically people purchase donuts in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon – they could customers all day. I like the avaiability of ice cream for any meal of the day. I also happen to enjoy their ice cream – a nice variety of creative flavors, great taste and textre, available anytime, open all year!
The Florham Park Baskin Robbins has colorful indoor seating, convenient outdoor seating, great lighting and is attracrively decorated. After we purchased our ice cream – I had Jamoca Almond Fudge and Don had Chocolate Chip – we sat down to eat it at the only available table wiich was semi-attached to a table with four women sitting at it. We heard more petty gossip than I have been treated to for quite a while. “Audry” (the name was changed to protect the innocent or guilty, whichever is the case) obviously has done lots to get these women pissed off – she did not play nice at the PTA functions, her kids did not play nice with their kids. But do not worry, one of these women was friends with Audry, so she was assigned to be the official spy – I want to meet Audry.
Why we were here: Two comments about our experience today: (1) The day started with the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Morristown, NJ – Awesome parade as always – great crowd watching, great organization by the folks who run it, great group of people who I march with (Colonial Musketeers – I love youe all!). (2) After the parade, we travelled south for lunch. I could not believe the amount of damage that a recent snow storm (with lots of wind) did to this area. We got a lot more snow than these people (makes me happy – I am one of those weird people that loves snow!) but a lot less damaging winds. Here trees were down everywhere, many roads were still closed and some people were still without power. Amazing how powerful wind can be!
February 20, 2018
Angel’s Recipe Ice Cream and Crepes (inside Gogi Grill), Hoboken. New Jersey
open all year
We found Angel’s Recipe Ice Cream and Crepes by chance while wandering around Hoboken, looking for a place to eat dinner. We saw the sign – two places in one. We ate a dinner at Gogi Grill (Korean food – excellent) and followed it up with ice cream. I initially assumed that “Angel” referred to the guy who made the flavors or opened the place, but they are indicating a more divine source (heaven sent).
Angel’s Recipe makes Thai style ice cream rolls while you watch with your choice of ingredients, I assume Thai style ice cream means the roll up process. I ordered a “Mr. Peanut” with coffee ice cream. They took liquid coffee ice cream, and placed it on a frozen board, with mix-ins that they chopped on the board (Resses Peanut Butter Cup and peanuts). Using spatulas they swirled the mixture on a frozen pan – as it was swirled, it froze, and the spatulas were used to form several rolls which were placed into a cup, additional toppings were added and it was served. There were several creative combinaitons to order from, or you could create your own, Renee ordered S’mores with toasted marshmallow. The man rolling the ice cream seemed to be having a lot of fun I know we had fun watchimg him and then eating his creations. Next time you are in Hoboken, add this place to your itenary!
My reflections for the day: Well I have had an on-again, off-again relationship with Hoboken. In the 1980s I started my Master’s degree at Stevens Institute of Technology, but I took a break from school when I became a mom. Fast forward time, and my second daughter decided to attend Stevens Institute – I became reaquainted with Hoboken. A few years after she finished her degree, I found myself in Hoboken once more to finish my Master’s degree – took 30 years, but I finally finished it! I thought this would be the end of my association with Hoboken, until my oldest daughter moved there. Once again I found myself visiting Hoboken often. Tonight she is moving to Boston for a new job. This time I feel fairly certain that my association with Hoboken is over, except for possibly an occassional Path train. I have seen tremendous changes in this city over the last 35 years. It has grown into a beautiful, sophisticated city, one that I might like to live in, but I am not a city girl. I need my walks in the woods a couple of days a week. But I will miss visiting Hoboken!