Best Ice Cream in Napa?
So we finally got out dinner plans down for our 4 nights in Napa (Mustards, Wine train because of my husbands love of trains & 4th of July extravaganza, Ad Hoc and last night is kept open at this point depending on our plans. We have a friend in SF that we're trying to hook up with - and if not - might just go into SF anyway since our flight is the red eye and there are several places we'd like to try there).
It occured to me that during the daytime as we're driving around, surely we're going to need something sweet and creamy! Most especially my husband. So, knowing in advance where the best ice cream stands are would be very helpful to us. Nothing too fancy - just good plain old ice cream cones!
It won't be long - but not soon enough for you - until Three Twins opens their shop in the Oxbow Market in Napa, which is slated to open in the Fall.
Up in St. Helena, there is the Big Dipper at 1336 Oak Ave (1 block west of Main St., next to the old Carnegie Library). I also second the motion to stop for a milkshake at Taylors. I'm partial to the espresso bean milkshake.
Another suggestion would be to stop by Genoa Deli in Napa, which carries Ciao Bella gelato, but only vanilla or chocolate. I seem to vaguely recollect seeing unusual ice creams in the freezer section of one of the local upscale grocery stores (Brown's Valley, Vallerga's, Sunshine or Dean & DeLuca), but I can't remember which. Hey, if you're raiding a grocery store, you should get an It's It, which is a Bay Area ice cream treat.
Buttercream in Napa has chocolate or vanilla shakes or root beer floats in their diner, but I don't think they have an ice cream case. I've never managed to make it to Beautiful Ice Cream, but the insanely cheerful look of the place makes me laugh.
Other than that, it's mostly the chains (Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone, Ben & Jerry's, all in Napa). You must absolutely avoid the Napa Valley Creamery on Jefferson at Pueblo. We went there a few months back because my husband thought they made their own ice cream. Not so. It was dirty, the young staff and their loitering friends could barely give us acknowledge us in an otherwise customer-less store and the supposed Dreyer's ice cream was stale and freezer burned, with a nice thick crust of ice. Eeew.
It's weird, but I didn't notice any ice cream parlors on our recent trip to Napa. Model Bakery in St. Helena had a small ice cream case w/ about 8-10 flavors. For some reason, I don't think they make it there but source it from a big name brand. I would think that an old-fashioned candy or drug store might carry some basic stuff, but I don't know where exactly. If you are into milkshakes, then I would check out Taylor's Refresher although I didn't personally sample.
re: Carb Lover
I'm going to make a point to try Taylor's - everyone's been raving about it and we can't resist a good burger and shake (make it a malted for me!). I actually think a cheeseburger may well be the ultimate, perfect, comfort food - for me anyway.
I'd be surprised if there wasn't someplace around. Even in my small NJ town, we have a fabulous home-made gelato store. Seems in an area like Napa, with all the amazing wealth of fresh ingredient available, there has to be a few tucked in somewhere. Hopefully, we'll find them :-)