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It's Ice Cream time!

Keithel Apr 10, 2007 06:03 PM

Well, this is the month that the Ice Cream stands open up in at least Massachusetts...

I can verify that Kimball Farms in both their Westford, MA and Carlisle, MA locations have been open since at least last Thursday, April 5th. I stopped in to get a Chocolate frappe - mmMM so good!

Is Rota Farm in Sterling, MA open yet? They've always had good ice cream too, and the view of their farmland with the wandering cows is nice.

So, am I the only crazy person having ice cream now?

What other places are open now?
Which of them have good ice cream?

:) :)

  1. n
    newenglander Jul 18, 2007 06:08 PM

    Any great ice cream places near Lake Sebago or in Portland? And re: Grays in Tiverton...the pumpkin is the best (seasonal), but I loathe that they only have one size, and that it is so expensive. I need a home equity loan every time I take my two kids there.

    1. Keithel Jul 11, 2007 01:13 PM

      A new ice cream shop - "JJ's Ice Cream Shoppe" just opened up right near the Upton/Hopedale town line on Rt 140 -- I stopped there with my girlfriend last Saturday.
      I was afraid they were going to have non-homemade icecream (like Hersheys or something), but I was pleasantly suprised! They're very good!

      I tried the "Death by Chocolate" which was really great -- dark chocolate base with brownie pieces and chunks of chocolate.. yum! the brownie pieces really made it work good.

      They've also got hotdogs, and they make their own chili and baked beans (I thought a bit strange on a hotdog) for the hotdogs.. Not sure, but I suppose you probably can get the chili and beans standalone without a dog... I haven't tried their dogs yet, but I may next time I go..

      4 Replies
      1. re: Keithel
        jackattack Jul 11, 2007 05:09 PM

        Where the heck is Upton? Where the heck is Hopedale? Heck, where is Route 140???

        1. re: jackattack
          steve999 Jul 12, 2007 07:45 AM

          Central Massachusetts, southwest of the Mass Pike-495 junction.


          1. re: steve999
            Keithel Jul 16, 2007 10:33 PM

            Ahh and I'm usually the rules-monger that complains a bit when people aren't clear enough!
            I'm ashamed of myself for not including the state.. it's in err South-Central-Eastern MA... Just follow Steve's link.. :)

            1. re: Keithel
              newenglander Jul 18, 2007 06:03 PM

              Any great ice cream places near Lake Sebago or in Portland? And re: Grays in Tiverton...the pumpkin is the best (seasonal), but I loathe that they only have one size, and that it is so expensive. I need a home equity loan every time I take my two kids there.

      2. othervoice May 24, 2007 06:18 PM

        Have to add this. I'm an hour and a half from Kimball's and three minutes from Bagma's if I need an icecream I gas up the van and drive. The potions at Bagma's are so bad. I feel totally ripped off. Stick with a good thing, pay a little more but get your money's worth.

        1 Reply
        1. re: othervoice
          jackattack Jun 23, 2007 11:39 AM

          CRAVINGS in downtown Wakefield! Amazing Coconut Choc Chip , but don't order it unless you like TONS of chips!

        2. happybellynh Apr 23, 2007 02:04 PM

          If you're between Keene and Concord NH, the Central Square Ice Cream Shoppe in Hillsborough is fantastic, and makes all of thier ice cream on the premises- then serves it at an old-fashioned counter with long spoons. The maple walnut is served with a light drizzle of local maple syrup, and the raisins in the rum raisin are rum-soaked for three days before they go in the cream. I'm also partial to the pumpkin, ginger, and coconut flavors. Say hi to Paris, the owner, but don't let him chat your ear off.

          And if you're there, you can't miss out on the fantastic bread at German John's next door- in addition to excellent pretzels, hearty ryes and sourdoughs, you can often get authentic German soups and wursts.

          Maybe they can get together and make some wurst-cream...?

          1. l
            lexpatti Apr 22, 2007 08:35 AM

            We just stopped for excellent homemade ice cream at Mac's Dairy Farm on Rt. 38 in Tewksbury. Wow, never been before and loved it. Very creamy and had my favorite which many don't have, Butter Crunch. I usually settle for butter pecan but Butter Crunch, mmmmmmm. And this one had loads of crunch and creamy caramel, very good. Lots of creative flavors too. Place was busy too.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lexpatti
              Keithel Apr 23, 2007 04:02 PM

              how far down on 38 is this?

              1. re: Keithel
                lexpatti Apr 23, 2007 07:01 PM

                It's across from Home Goods shopping Center just past Picadilli Pub (almost Shawsheen St intersection).

              2. re: lexpatti
                jackattack May 23, 2007 01:46 PM

                Didn't the sign say that they serve RICHARDSON'S ice cream???

              3. Lilibet Apr 17, 2007 09:04 AM

                Rota Springs has been open since the end of March... thank goodness! We have already been several times. Cold and bad weather has never been a deterrant! (so, you are not crazy!)
                Sterling Ice Cream bar in Sterling is also open... ice cream is good, but not as good as Rota's.
                Erickson's on the Stow/Maynard line is now open also too. They have delicious ginger ice cream.

                Why does everyone wet their pants over Kimballs?

                It's so honky tonk. The place looses something in the translation of what an old fashioned ice cream place should be, and then there are the lines...
                I'd rather be enjoying my cone/ice cream and be back to the car in less than 10 minutes.

                9 Replies
                1. re: Lilibet
                  Keithel Apr 17, 2007 09:17 PM

                  I agree that the atmosphere leaves something to be desired, but they still make some damn good ice cream (and they're less than 5 miles away :)

                  For atmosphere, I'd choose Rota over Kimballs any day of the week.

                  The thing that really urks me about Kimball's is their prices for Mini Golf (and I suppose Bumper Boats too, but I haven't checked those) -- $10 per game!

                  1. re: Keithel
                    Lilibet Apr 18, 2007 09:17 AM

                    Rota - less than 3 miles for us, a fact we appreciate.

                    10 bucks! bad if you have lots of kids. That could turn into an expensive outing.

                    Watching the cows munch is free!

                    1. re: Lilibet
                      RIChowderhead May 23, 2007 07:00 AM

                      Where is Rota Springs?

                      1. re: RIChowderhead
                        Lilibet May 23, 2007 07:35 AM

                        RIChowderhead -
                        It's in Sterling, MA, just over the Lancaster line. Take 495 to the Berlin/Hudson exit (#26) onto route 62, go left, following 62 through Berlin to Clinton, past the Clinton Dam (it becomes route 70 and route 62 at that point). Take that road through the center of Clinton, where THEN becomes 62, 70 and 110. Route 62 reverts back to just route 62 at the lights right before the Hannaford supermarket. Take that left and follow 62, you'll pass the Clinton/Lancaster town line. Follow it about a mile. Take a left at South Meadow Road (just before Deershorn Farm Stand). It will become Chase Hill Road in Sterling. It's on the left, with a long paved driveway (finally!) up to the stand.
                        Long directions, hope it helps.

                        1. re: Lilibet
                          hargau May 23, 2007 01:30 PM

                          Chase Hill Rd is a left directly off of rt 62, not sure what South Meadow Rd is but its not part of that route.

                          1. re: Lilibet
                            RIChowderhead May 23, 2007 03:10 PM

                            Thanks Lilibet.

                            And I believe Hargau is correct. South Meadow Rd. is a left turn just before Chace Hill Rd.

                          2. re: RIChowderhead
                            Keithel May 24, 2007 03:39 PM

                            If Chowhound will let me insert a link, a new site I came across not long ago will help find Rota -- I just marked it up last week..


                        2. re: Keithel
                          Joshua B Apr 18, 2007 02:47 PM

                          I can't fault Kimballs for their prices because they have a lot of attractions that they had to build and that they have to maintain. You've got to admit, playing mini golf at Kimballs is a completely different experience than playing at Hago Harrington's in Stoneham. :-) (And I love Hago Harrington's!)

                          Kimballs' ice cream portions are large too.

                          1. re: Joshua B
                            dfrostnh Apr 21, 2007 04:32 AM

                            Tried to stop at Kimball's/Westford yesterday (Friday afternoon 3:30) - I was told it would be packed at that time of day. Wow!!! 6 windows open and at least 10-15 people in each line. After about 4 minutes and not seeing much movement I decided not to wait. The people with ice cream looked very happy. I didn't have time to spend waiting in line so I headed to Nashua for shopping and Vietnamese noodle soup. After soup I walked next door to Swan's and had gelato for dessert (an a fine chocolate sampe). Only raspberry, peanut butter and coconut to choose from although more flavors in the freezer. Had half raspberry and half coconut. Very tasty. It's been years since I've been in downtown Nashua. Nice stop and much better than a McD's drive thru.

                      2. othervoice Apr 16, 2007 04:04 PM

                        We were at Kimball's two weeks ago....the best Almond Joy & Pistachio

                        Bagma's which is right down the road opens on the 21st. They serve Richardson's and is not bad. Purple Cow low fat is the best.

                        So, don't feel alone, we're in search of the creamiest!

                        1. Rabbit Apr 11, 2007 06:18 PM

                          I looovve Glenn's Kreme and Kone in Salem, NH.

                          I believe this shop is actually under new management and has changed its name, but it retains it's charm (it's a little bright-and-shine-y-er under the new ownership - in a good and happy way).

                          The ice cream is quite good, although not completely special like some of the total old-school dairies some of you are citing. Still, in a town like Salem, which is mostly big box stores and chain restaurants, this place is completely enchanting (no soccer cleats in summer!!)... and they seem to do a booming breakfast too (although I haven't actually tried it out).

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: Rabbit
                            anikahangel Apr 11, 2007 06:23 PM

                            Wow.. i had never realized that Pinecroft was open year round! I love that place.

                            My question though, is this - Is Newport Creamery still around? I have been in Florida for about 12 years now, and I know that the NC in Worcester closed a few years back to make way for a Boston Market. I love Boston Market, but miss Newport Creamery more...

                            1. re: anikahangel
                              yeoyeo Apr 12, 2007 08:17 AM

                              Newport Creamery! They're still here in Newport and Middletown, RI. In fact the original is still standing and going strong in Middletown.

                              1. re: anikahangel
                                RIChowderhead Apr 13, 2007 12:24 PM

                                A number of Newport Creamery's locations are still open, but unfortunately, not the one in Worcester. I believe the company went through a reorganization a few years ago.

                                The one I used to ride my bike to (and get cones at for 10 cents) is still open on Warwick Ave.

                                1. re: RIChowderhead
                                  rkstrat Apr 14, 2007 06:39 AM

                                  My favorite is Gray's at four corners in Tiverton, RI. Homemade right there

                                  1. re: rkstrat
                                    02903 Apr 15, 2007 10:14 AM

                                    i second gray's. Also, sunshine creamery in east providence (also made right there) is suprisingly good for being located on a busy thoroughfare.

                                    1. re: 02903
                                      gato Apr 15, 2007 01:45 PM

                                      Gray's does have wonderful ginger ice cream with chunks of ginger. That's usually our first warm weather "outing"...which, today,sadly feels like it might not be for a long time. Good rum raisin too....if near Aquidnick I. give Cool Scoops a try. Raspberry choc.chip is quite outstanding

                                      1. re: 02903
                                        Amygirl Apr 16, 2007 09:13 PM

                                        And I second Sunshine Creamery! You're right, it's suprisingly good!

                                        Also the Ice Cream Machine in Cumberland...super creamy and wonderful!

                                2. re: Rabbit
                                  ebburtis Jul 17, 2007 12:01 PM

                                  I've never been to Glenn's. My usual Salem ice cream is Findeisens which I get as a treat after a trip into Barnes & Noble. Best ice cream in the area, as far as I am concerned is Moo's on Crystal Ave in Derry. Great quality, great flavors. The Almond Joy is heavenly!

                                3. g
                                  gato Apr 11, 2007 04:44 PM

                                  Funny you should post about ice cream. I just drove back from Middletown R.I. (East Main Rd.) and noticed that Cool Scoops doesn't have their usual "opening day" banner on display. Cool Scoops has some very fine gelato and sorbet....their pink grapefruit ice cream is quite spectacular as is the coconut, the rum raisin....mmmmm tasty. Too bad it's going to snow tomorrow!!!

                                  1. r
                                    RIChowderhead Apr 11, 2007 09:56 AM

                                    Pinecroft Restaurant/Dairy is open year round (539 Prospect Street, West Boylston).

                                    Crazy? Come on! This is New England. Why else would you go out in a blizzard?

                                    1. l
                                      lexpatti Apr 11, 2007 06:28 AM

                                      Homemade ice cream at Shaw's Farm in Dracut (might be Lowell but pretty sure Dracut Ma.). Loads of different, funky kinds, creamy and awesome (50 flavors). They have their own milk, pies, etc. they even have home delivery like in the old days.


                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: lexpatti
                                        winedude Apr 11, 2007 08:20 AM

                                        South of the City, Crescent Ridge in Sharon is open, and Hilliard's in Easton (the best around, by far, IMHO) opens this Saturday.

                                        1. re: lexpatti
                                          Joanie Apr 17, 2007 12:51 PM

                                          I see Shaw's is on what's basically Rt. 38. Any thoughts on what would make a good road trip from Boston taking 38 up and possibly a different, non-highway route back? I know there must be good breakfast or burger places on the way or in Dracut but don't know the areas well. Do have some Lowell info so if there are other thoughts, that'd be best. Thanks.

                                          1. re: Joanie
                                            lexpatti Apr 18, 2007 06:34 AM

                                            Awesome Awesome breakfast in Dracut (lakeview ave) - Cindi Ann's House of Ham. Phenominal eggs bennidict (ham is outstanding) and the best corn muffin I've even had - EVER!!!!! This isn't very far from the road that Shaws is on, too. On the right in a small strip mall.

                                            1. re: Joanie
                                              lexpatti Apr 18, 2007 06:40 AM

                                              You can always take Rt. 3a back, through billerica, burlington - it switches to Rt. 3 or cambridge street through Winchester, through to Arlington. It sort of parralels Rt. 38 but a lil west.

                                          2. Angel Food Apr 11, 2007 04:00 AM

                                            Erikson's on 117 in Maynard opened the weekend before last. Haven't made a stop yet, but I'm due. They usually have some good seasonal flavors that I like to keep tabs on.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Angel Food
                                              Angel Food Apr 17, 2007 02:21 PM

                                              I made it to Erikson's this weekend. Saw a couple of my favorite flavors from last year that I forgot about! They have a Coffee Raspberry Truffle that is coffee ice cream studded with little chocolates that are filled with raspberry sauce, like cordials. So good! I have to go back and get the Cake Batter next, which is hard to describe. The ice cream tastes like yellow cake and it's loaded with layers of chocolate.I am so happy to live only a couple miles away. :)

                                              1. re: Angel Food
                                                abs294 Apr 17, 2007 06:20 PM

                                                I was so happy to see Erikson's open a couple weeks ago that I stopped even though it was 45 degrees out. The mint chip was delicious as usual.

                                            2. d
                                              dfrostnh Apr 11, 2007 03:19 AM

                                              Cremeland in Manchester NH is open. We tried it for the first time. Since we had just eaten we ordered smalls which is a good thing because small was a huge scoop almost falling off the cone. I think Arnie's in Concord NH is open now. They have a better selection of flavors that Cremeland but my favorite because I love their frozen pudding is Merrivales on Rt 3A in Hooksett. All three places make their own ice cream. Not homemade but a very popular place that requires a country drive is Beech Hill Farm near Concord NH. They sell plants in the spring, have some farm animals, a big sand pile for kids to play on, etc. You can make your own sundaes. My favorite ice cream cone is two scooops so I can get two different flavors.

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