SLC Ice Cream Rec: Nielsen's Frozen Custard
I have lived in Salt Lake City for a year and a half now and I credit chowhound for introducing me to most of my favorite inexpensive places in town: Red Iguana, Mazza, Thai Garden, Settebello, etc. I even found a mention of Pace's Dairy Ann (I hear the locally-made popsicles are not as special as they used to be, but where else can you buy anything to eat for 32 cents?). However, I am suprised that noone seems to have yet mentioned Nielsen's Frozen Custard.
Real frozen custard is a rare and unique treat for an ice cream lover and summer evenings at either location is a true Utah scene. Sometimes the lines are so long, it can take over 30 minutes to get to the counter. Nielsen's is to other ice cream shops as Settebello is to other Utah pizza places.
The two closest locations (3900 S & Highland in Holladay or 2600 S & Main in Bountiful) certainly do not lack for business and it seems like many natives know about these places, but I still think chowhounders should mention this place for the benefit of people relatively new to Salt Lake. The Bountiful location is nice in a Johnny Rockets kind of way. The Holladay store really could not be uglier but there is an air of authenticity to its horrible layout and shabbiness. There are also stores in Layton & St. George, apparently. The summer lines are worth it. They are even part of the experience. I don't think there is a more delicious, more authentically-Utah place to get ice cream in the state.
I am from New York and my grandparents live in Bountiful and I have always had to stop there before we leave. I love everything there, agreed its loud inside and also expensive but worth it. Chocolate malt was delicious.
"If god were to get ice cream it would be here." -New York Times
Good call. I tried the Highland Ave location for the first time the other day. My chocolate concrete was not cheap ($5 for a milkshake), but damn. It was rich and velvety and chocorockinlicious. Agreed about the shabbiness, and the kids that work there will have hearing problems later in life given the noise level of the machinery, but they dish up a fine product.
Great! I'm glad someone agrees with me. The prices are not ridiculously cheap, but I feel they are affordable (about the same or a little better than Cold Stone Creamery) and the unique quality of the ice cream makes it a good value. Concretes are definitely pushed as THE thing to order there. If you want to get one, you should come with an appetite or someone to share with, because it's like eating a pint of ice cream. It really isn't any more fluid than the regular ice cream, even though it is sometimes described as a milkshake. There is a frozen custard place in St Louis called Ted Drewes that also serves "concretes" - if you get them in their drive-thru, the server passes them to you upside-down. No drips. These are the same. While the concretes are certainly good if you're up for them (they come in about 50 different flavors and they are delicious), the really special thing about this place is the frozen custard itself. A (usually generously-scooped) single cone will suffice as an excellent introduction to the stuff. And a cone is less than $2, I think.
I'm a Bountiful native and this is one of the places that I have to stop by when I'm visiting home. The caramel brownie concrete is one of the best things I've ever eaten and I don't normally even enjoy ice cream much. If you're headed out to the Bountiful location, try to time it so you can get baked goods at Parson's Bakery while you're at it!