April 21, 2017
Penn State Creamery, State College, Pennsylvania
Open all year
Today is Don’s birthday – me referring to him as an “old man” always results in a reminder that I will always be older – oh well. Visiting the Creamery at Penn State was interesting. I spent a summer there many years ago doing research on the enzyme that makes adrenaline (s-adensylmethonine n- methyl transferase if I remember correctly). I was not able to figure out where on the campus I was today – it has been too long, but the campus is still huge and still beautiful.
The Penn State Berkey Creamery boasts “three days from cow to cone” – I guess that makes it really fresh. We passed the cows on the way in, along with silos, barns and the like. At the Creamery we could see the mini ice cream factory and view the ice cream production- if any was going on. There was a video playing that showed how the ice cream was made – quite interesting. At the creamery shop we ordered our ice cream – I had monkey business (banana ice cream. peanut butter swirl, chocolate chips) and Don celebrated his birthday with peanut butter swirl. There were plenty of tables to sit at, ant the ice cream was really tasty. We thanked the cows on the way out.
April 1, 2017
The Ice Cream Station, Pompton Lakes, New Jersey
If I were an ice cream shop, how would I decorate for April Fool’s Day? Maybe make a silly special, maybe just screw up everybody’s order? I do not know – anyone have any ideas? I actually was not thinking of April Fools’s Day when we set out this morning for Norvin Green State Park for some hiking, followed by ice cream (always a necessity after hiking!) . Pompton Lakes, which has a scenic downtown which has a bagpipe store – the only music shop that I would find more impressive would be a fife and drum store.
The Ice Cream Station in Pompton Lakes, is a compact shop with hard and soft ice cream, creative ice cream cakes, Italian ice and a full deli – something for everyone. They served Gifford’s hard ice cream and homemade Italian ice. I went with a “Mr. Cloud” – squishie blue raspberry Italian ice with a generous helping of soft vanilla ice cream. This was both a thirst quencher and an ice cream treat in one cup. Seating was in booths inside. It looked like there would be plenty of nice outdoor seating when the weather got warmer. Fun stop for a sunny afternoon!
March 25, 2017
Sweet Pea, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
open all year
Ice cream is not just for dinner anymore!
We came to Doylestown Pennsylvania today to visit Fonthill and the associated tile factory and museum. It was as fascinating day – a castle built by an amateur who inherited a LOT of money from a rich aunt (do we all wish for that recently dead rich aunt?). He then built a tile factory and museum with the rest of the money. We did not figure out if he ever actually made money with his tile company, but when you have that much money, it doesn’t matter, I wonder how his aunt got that rich. Anyway, this is an ice cream blog so …according to Facebook (the authority on important things), people who eat ice cream for breakfast are smarter than people who do not. I must be very smart. We wanted to improve our brain power before starting our castle-ing, so we were quite happy when we found an ice cream shop opened early. Doylestown is my kind of place!
Any ice cream shop that opens at 9:00 AM cannot be bad – score one for Sweet Pea. Sweet Pea is a duel function shop – ice cream and pretzels – We of course jumped right up and ordered our ice cream, – given the choice, pretzels would never win with me, but I enjoyed listening to the the customer after us explaining to her kids that it was to early to eat ice cream – the kids seemed a bit confused watching us eatingour ice cream. oh well, moms will be moms. Sweet Pea had a variety of homemade ice cream flavors, I got Espresso Crunch and Bottom of the Cookie Jar (recommended by the barista). Excellent choices – creamy texture and great flavor. The shop was attractive and friendly. We sat at a table inside to eat, but Doylestown is the kind of town that would be fun to mosey while eating delicious ice cream.
February 24, 2017
Flint’s Twistee Treat, Orlando, Florida
Open all year
The great thing about Florida is that ice cream is always in season! And we needed to chill after our flight from Newark (which was a smooth ride, on time, with no turbulence or problems). As we drove along the Florida Turnpike, we could not help but to reflect on the sound barriers bordering the highway – The Florida sound barriers are etched with palm trees and birds, a refreshing change from the sperm-etched sound barriers along New Jersey highways. I guess that says something about each state, but I am not sure what.
Flint’s Twistee Treat in Orlando Florida is a classic ice cream stand with a roof that looks like a giant ice cream cone. They serve “six flavors” of soft ice cream. To me it was actually three flavors – chocolate, vanilla, strawberry – and twist combinations. The music played through speakers located at the ordering window, so we had to put our head through the window to order. I felt a little like Droofus the Dragon. I got a strawberry-vanilla twist and Don got chocolate-vanilla twist. The serving size was quite generous and the ice cream was quite good with creamy, soft texture. Seating was outside at tables with benches.
February 18, 2017
Sugar Shack, Middletown, New York
open all year
Some towns have beautiful, bustling downtowns, some look more like ghost towns. Middletown, New York is somewhere in the middle, especially in the winter. We figured that a year-round ice cream shop here was either very good or very new (political correctness is not my forte). We were quite pleased to find the Sugar Shack was the former – very good.
The Sugar Shack is reminiscent of a classic ice cream parlor with tables and booths, colorfully painted and nicely decorated with a few candy canisters on the counter top and freezer display cases showcasing the ice cream choices. One wall had art work from a local school that was changed every month. The picture seen on the wall behind us is a ‘sugar scull’ whatever that means. The Sugar Shack presently serves soups, salads and sandwiches, and plans to have a full kitchen open next month. For pre-ice cream appetizers I had soup and Don had chili – both homemade and amazingly good. Their ice cream was Hershey’s or Perry’s and their were lots of flavors to choose from (even vanilla). I had a butterscotch sundae with Peppermint Bark Moose Tracks and Brownie Sundae ice cream. Maybe a weird combination, but I enjoyed it! There were lots of other toppings to choose from. We had a nice chat with the owner who was very friendly and passionate about her business. This place is worth s visit.
January 29, 2017
Benny’s Luncheonette, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Open all year
For Christmas we received a gift certificate for a 45 minute halo session in Fair lawn, NJ. This was not a place for angel’s to get new head gear, – it was a room with nebulized salt air to sit in while soft music plays and lights on the walls turn different colors. It is supposed to heal sick lungs. But we were not sick – Oh well, it was a new experience that I could have checked off if it was on my bucket list – but it was not. The great thing was that our friends Roger and Wendy, who live in the area, met us for ice cream!
Benny’s Luncheonette was a cute little place, obviously successful because of all the regulars. It is a traditional style luncheonette with all the charm- booths around the outside and small tables in the center, waitresses running around, plates piled high with great looking by food – you know the scene. It was friendly, and the walls were decorated with record album jackets from the Beatles. We got sandwiches first, and followed it up with ice cream. To order the ice cream I had to go two doors down in the strip mall to where they had a bakery/ice cream shop with a really fun barista. At her recommendation I got a hot fudge sundae with Nutella Oreo and Cannoli ice cream. I sort of stepped out of my comfort zone here – isn’t Nutella for kids? Am I a kid? I ordered Espresso Bean ice cream for Don, Wendy got a Bennasant – a donut cut in half with cream in the middle – a signature item at Benny’s. The homemade ice cream was great, and Wendy totally enjoyed her Bennasant. It was a great place to visit and great people to visit it with! I could become a regular it I lived closer!
January 8, 2017
Cupoccino Cafe, Cold Spring, New York
Open all year
Cold Spring, New York is on the Hudson River. It has a classy downtown with nice shops and plenty of quaint eateries. We chose a small cafe because it served ice cream – even on bitterly cold days such as this one. Note: the patron after us also ordered ice cream – we are not crazy.
Upon entering the Cupoccino Cafe, my attention was immediately caught by the scenic mural on the wall, an obvious depiction of the Hudson River. The server was able to explain the mural to us, and it was quite interesting – ask about it when you visit. My attention then turned to survey the joint – they served sandwiches, baked goods, fancy coffee stuff (which I am ignorant about – I have no idea of what the difference is between a latte and a frappe), and ice cream (which I am not so ignorant about). They served Jane’s Ice Cream which is homemade in Kingston – I had Cappuccino Calypso- which had a delightfully strong coffee flavor and a great texture. Seating was at comfortable small tables – this is a cafe after all. Cupoccino Cafe was a great place to relax with a cup of ice cream before venturing back out into the cold.