From the category archives:

Best of: 5 Overall Review

Ice Cream along the North Shore: Sydney’s in Grand Marais, MN

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on September 12, 2012

If you’ve ever been to the North Shore – that is along Lake Superior in Minnesota – you know that ice cream is a must. Unfortunately, the ice cream production is found to be a little lacking. Duluth has no homemade ice cream shops. (I’m not sure what brand the Portland Malt Shop uses in Duluth, but at $6.50 a malt it should be more gourmet than it is.)

Thankfully, on a recent trip up north I discovered Sydney’s Custard in Grand Marais. All I can say is that I had more ice cream than I should have in a 2 day period. All of their custard combinations are fantastic.

I tried the Almond Joy, Rachel’s (heath and raspberry), Turtle sundae, and regular dutch chocolate. (Don’t worry, I didn’t eat all of these by myself.)

If you happen to be in Grand Marais do yourself a favor and spend some time at Sydney’s. They also have excellent wood fire pizzas (Margarita and the Apple Gorgonzola were both terrific.)

Needless to say, I declare Sydney’s to be the best ice cream in northern Minnesota. It will definitely be included in all my future travel itineraries.

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Amazon Valley Chocolate by Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on May 24, 2007

Well, I finally found it: Outstanding plain chocolate ice cream. Haagen Dazs’ new “reserve” line has produced at least one amazing flavor: Amazon Valley Chocolate. This ice cream is very very chocolatey. (It’s more of a dark chocolate than a milk chocolate.) It’s smooth and it’s rich. It’s so rich that it’s actually difficult to eat a lot in one sitting (which is probably good since it’s not the healthiest ice cream.) One of the scoops I had before finishing the pint I drizzled with melted peanut butter– I would highly recommend this. But, this ice cream doesn’t need the peanut butter to taste good. It is wonderful on it’s own. Go out and buy some before they discontinue it, trust me. (Hopefully they won’t discontinue it, but if it’s truly good amazon cocoa bean they use, then it could run out.)

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4.5
  • Texture: 5
  • Originality: 3
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: $3 on sale at Safeway

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Top 5 Ice Cream Flavors

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on May 8, 2007

Recently I’ve been asked by a number of people what my favorite ice cream is. I can never seem to list an absolute favorite, but here are my 5 favorite ice creams.

  1. Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. I can’t think of an ice cream that I enjoy more than Cherry Garcia. There’s just something about it that I absolutely love.
  2. Oreo at Sebastian Joe’s in Minneapolis, MN. This ice cream is hands down the best Oreo ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I doubt if I will ever find an Oreo ice cream that’s more flavorful and rich than this one is. If you get a chance to visit Minneapolis (especially during the summer) head over to Sebastian Joe’s get a scoop of Oreo and walk around the lakes.
  3. Homemade Easy Cocoa chocolate ice cream. I adore chocolate, yet somehow most chocolate ice creams don’t live up to my expectations. This ice cream recipe is incredibly easy to make and buying the incredibly is cheaper than buying a carton.
  4. Brown Bread Ice Cream at Murphy’s Ice Cream in Dingle, Ireland. Brown Bread ice cream is extremely unique and wonderful. Plus, I have fond memories of wondering the streets of Dingle, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
  5. Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean. Everyone needs a favorite vanilla; Breyer’s “all natural” vanilla was mine for a long time, until they started adding Tara Gum. Now, I choose the more fattening, but actually all natural, Haagen Dazs vanilla bean.

This post was published in conjunction with Problogger’s “Top 5″ group writing project. Check it out for other list’s of top 5′s.

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The Best and Worst Ice Creams of 2006

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on February 5, 2007

While it’s now February and 2006 seems like long ago, I don’t think it’s too late for this post. After reviewing my 100+ ice cream reviews from 2006 I have compiled the following “Best of” list:

The Best:

Best Vanilla: Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean
Best Chocolate: Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Best Homemade: Homemade Easy Cocoa Ice Cream
Best Fruity: Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia
Best ice cream for an emotional eating binge: Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie
Most Unique: Coconut Avocado (Homemade)
Best Local Ice Cream (outside of DC): Oreo Cookie at Sebastian Joes (Minneapolis, MN)
Best Local Ice Cream (in DC Metro Area): Oatmeal Cookie at Dairy Godmother (Alexandria, VA)
Best International Ice Cream: Brown Bread at Murphy’s (Dingle, Ireland)
Best Deal: $2.08 for World Class Chocolate at Baskin Robbins

And the Worst:Worst “Improvement”: Tara Gum in Breyer’s Natural Vanilla (Check out the comments here, here, and here)
Worst Low Fat Flavor: Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Frozen Yogurt
Worst High-Fat Flavor: Haagen Dazs Peaches and Cream
Worst Fruity Flavor: Breyers Very Cherry Chocolate
Worst Flavor Idea: Ciao Bella Green Tea with White Chocolate

I’d love to hear other flavors that made (or broke) your 2006!

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Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream at Maggie Moo’s

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on January 2, 2007

Wow.  That’s about all there is to say about pumpkin spice ice cream at Maggie Moos.  Generally, I’m not a huge fan of Maggie Moos.  They’re hit or miss and very overpriced.  But, Pumpkin Spice was amazing.  It was intensely spiced and the pumpkin flavor was present but not overwhelming.  And Graham crackers mixed in proved to be a great combination.  This is a seasonal flavor so go out and get some before it’s gone.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 5
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 4
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: $5.05

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Scoop 105: Homemade Molten Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on September 10, 2006

Today’s review is possibly more about the dessert I made tonight than the ice cream I served with it.  Molten lava cake with vanilla ice cream was possibly the most amazing thing I’ve eaten in a long time.  We had some friends over for dinner and made Gorgonzola and spinach risotto and chocolate molten cake for dessert.  I have had cakes like this in restaurants and made one once a number of years ago.  The idea recently came back to me and I decided to give it a shot. Only a few ingredients comprise this cake; you severely under cook it and serve it up a few scoops of ice cream and viola– absolutely amazing.  The vanilla ice cream I used (Breyers Natural Vanilla) complemented it well.  The chocolate and melted ice cream swirl together to cream perfectly balanced creamy, vanilla and chocolaty, hot and cold bites.  The ice cream melts almost entirely because of the temperature of the cake and only a few solid chunks of ice cream remain.  This is a must for any dinner party, especially since it can be made ahead of time and cooked while coffee is being made and dishes being cleared.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 3.5
  • Overall: 5
  • Ease to make: 2.5

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Scoop 104: Baskin Robbins World Class Chocolate Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on September 7, 2006

This week a new Baskin Robins/ Dunkin Donuts opened right near my house.  I’ve been for mini donuts once and tonight I went for ice cream.  When I was younger there was a Baskin Robbins that we used to go to after soccer games.  They had a camera and put up pictures on the wall and it was always a big deal if you or your soccer team were in one of the pictures.  Also, the Baskin Robbins was in walking distance from school.  About once a year during gum class we would all walk to the Baskin Robbins to get ice cream.  It was always an event to look forward to.

One of my favorite Baskin Robins ice cream flavors used to be World Class Chocolate.  I haven’t been to a Baskin Robbins for years so I didn’t know if they still carried it.  Good news: they do.  Better news: it’s still amazing.  The ice cream is probably the best textured ice cream I’ve ever had.  The flavors are white chocolate and chocolate mousse, so the texture is silky and mousse-like.  But, it’s not whipped or extremely light the way mousse it.  And the flavors are just wonderful.  I highly recommend trying World Class Chocolate at Baskin Robbins.

P.S. $2.08 for a single scoop is a tough price to beat!

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 5
  • Originality: 3.5
  • Cone: 4.5
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: $2.08

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Scoop 90: Oreo Ice Cream at Sebastian Joe’s Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on August 24, 2006

Ice cream just doesn’t get any better than this.  I think Sebastian Joe’s Oreo Ice Cream may be the best ice cream I’ve ever had.  Just a few weeks ago I was comparing the Oreo ice cream at Sundae School (on Cape Cod) to Sebastian Joe’s.  But, now that I’ve had Sebastian Joe’s again, I really should go back and change my review.  Nothing can be compared to this ice cream.  It’s is so intensely Oreo with an amazingly smooth, but at the same time almost chewy texture.  I don’t know what else to say in this ice cream review.  If you are ever in Minnesota you must go to Sebastian Joe’s, get a scoop of Oreo ice cream, and walk around Lake Harriet.  There’s nothing more enjoyable in the world.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 5
  • Texture: 5
  • Originality: 3.5
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: around $4.50 for a pint; $2.35 for a scoop

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Scoop 88: Sebastian Joe’s Key Lime Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on August 22, 2006

I don’t remember the last time I had the blissful experience of eating Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream (I went to their location on Upton Ave).  Honestly,  I don’t think this place has a bad ice cream flavor.   Today I picked up a couple of pints of old favorites to keep in the freezer and try this week, but I also tried a flavor I hadn’t seen there before: Key Lime.  This stuff was amazingly sour.  I should preface my review by saying that I love sweet and sour flavor combinations. I know not all people do, but I adore them.  Sebastian Joe’s Key Lime was a little more sour than I’m used to in a sour ice cream, but it was oh so good.  I couldn’t believe how creamy it was.  It’s hard to imagine an ice cream that’s rich and creamy and sour, but it exists.  This was better than the recipe I made last month.  This is defiantly the best key lime ice cream and possibly citrus ice cream I’ve ever had.  I also ordered a homemade cone.  I was very impressed with it.  Other homemade cones I’ve had are usually a little chewy or not sweet enough, but this one was crunchy and just the prefect sweetness.  The only thing that I wasn’t used to is that it’s thicker than a normal cone.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4.5
  • Texture: 5
  • Originality: 4
  • Cone: 4.5
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: $2.85

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Scoop 75: Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on August 9, 2006

As we just got back from a week long vacation in Cape Cod, I’m not completely caught up on my previous posts; but I promise to get them up in the next day or two.

Today’s ice cream is another Ben and Jerry’s flavor.  I feel the need to buy it when it’s on sale (which it almost always is these days).  Also, I feel less guilty about throwing away half a pint than I do about tossing a half a gallon of ice cream into the trash.  There’s just something inherently wrong with throwing away that much ice cream.  But, I don’t have much choice.  I can’t eat it all and my freezer is so filled with ice cream that I don’t have room for anything else.  Why don’t they make smaller sizes of Edy’s and Breyer’s and other brands that only come in half gallon sizes?  I wonder if those companies have small sample sizes that I can convince them to send me…   I’ll have to look into that.

Back to today’s flavor: Oatmeal Cookie Chunk by Ben and Jerry’s.  It says on the carton that it’s “by popular demand”.  I’m not sure if they mean “back by popular demand” or what they mean.  I know they carry it in their shops, but I haven’t seen it in a carton before.  It’s really good.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this.  The ice cream in cinnamon (which I have had a lot of lately at Circle Bistro and The Dairy Godmother).  There are chocolate chunks and pieces of oatmeal cookie in the ice cream.  (I probably didn’t need to mention the chocolate chunks, since as I have previously commented on Ben and Jerry’s obscene overuse use of chocolate chunks.)  The chunks of Oatmeal Cookie are soft and gooey.  And they are amazing.  When I recently had Oatmeal Cookie at The Dairy Godmother, their cookies were crispy, something Ben and Jerry’s probably couldn’t pull off since the ice cream has to be stored so long.  I really enjoy the gooeyness of the cookies.  This ice cream was an excellent surprise and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an interesting, but tasty flavor.  As usual, I have a gripe with Safeway and the ice cream; the texture was terrible!  When will Safeway properly store their ice cream so it doesn’t melt and refreeze into an icy mess?!

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 2 (not to be blamed on the ice cream itself)
  • Originality: 4
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: $3.00 on special at Safeway

Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk

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Scoop 72: Oreo Crunch at Sundae School in East Orleans, MA (Cape Cod)

August 6, 2006

I recently purchased a book called “East Coast Scoops.”   It lists all of the “best” ice cream shops on the East Coast and one of the places listed is Sundae School.  Because of the book’s outstanding recommendation I made a point to find this shop.  And it was well worth the visit. I chose Oreo [...]

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Scoop 70: White Russian at Lewis Brothers in Provincetown, MA (Cape Cod)

August 4, 2006

Last night when I was looking for ice cream I passed up Lewis Brothers because we were trying to meet up with some people and the Lewis Brothers’ line was way too long.  Tonight the line was just as long, but I had time to wait.  I ordered White Russian.  It has a strong Kahlua [...]

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Scoop 69: Almond Joy at Twisted Sisters in Provincetown, MA (Cape Cod)

August 3, 2006

Twisted Sisters serves a variety of food including pretzels and pizza.  I was too full from dinner to try anything but ice cream, although it all looked wonderful.  Feeling indecisive about which ice cream to try I asked the server what she recommended.  Without pause she said “Almond Joy.”  So I went with her advice.  [...]

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Scoop 62: Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookie at The Dairy Godmother in Alexandria

July 27, 2006

I’m a huge fan of frozen custard.  It is so much creamier and richer than regular ice cream; and it’s better for you too.  Growing up in Minnesota, we were lucky to be neighbors with the frozen custard capitol of the world (aka Wisconsin).  So, I was pleased to discover that there are a number [...]

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Scoop 51: Homemade Truly Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

July 16, 2006

There is nothing like being home from a trip and being able to make ice cream again. Unfortunately the hot weather followed me back to DC. So it sounded like Key lime would hit the spot. This recipe sounds a little odd, takes some work, and has few strange ingredients; but trust me, it tastes [...]

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