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Fresh strawberry ice cream @ Red's, S. Portland

It's officially summer -- Red's Dairy Freeze is serving their limited-time-only strawberry soft serve. They send employees to the PYO fields at Maxwell's Farm in Cape Elizabeth and make fantastic ice cream. It's usually available for just a week to 10 days, so enjoy it while you can. (Since it's only for a short time, I rationalize getting it every day...)

My favorites are the strawberry shake, which has chunks of fresh strawberry, and a strawberry Nor'easter (like a blizzard, but better) with Oreos.

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  1. thank you so much for giving us this info.
    I will surely check this out.

    1. Thanks so much for posting! I was glad to hear that Maxwell's wasn't quite as "closed" as I thought. I had a cone of the strawberry yesterday and loved it. I didn't have as intense a strawberry flavor as I expected, but it was great and miles better than electric pink "strawberry" ice cream elsewhere. I think I'll have to use your rationalization and go back today, too! Thanks again.

      2 Replies
      1. re: laurmb

        Does anyone know if the fresh strawberry ice cream special is still running through this weekend?

        1. re: pbergen

          The woman working there that I talked to this week said they sell it until they run out, and she didn't have a guess as to when that would be. They had "plenty" yesterday, so it's possible. The more I have it, btw, the better it tastes...:)

      2. It's almost that time of year again - strawberry season in Maine.

        Last year, I tried the limited-time-only fresh strawberry soft serve ice cream shakes at Red's, which were incredibly delicious. I don't live in Maine so I was only able to make it up there once, but I've been dreaming about this dessert ever since.

        Anyone have a clue when this dessert will be available this year? From what I understand, strawberries are usually in season from late June through the first week of July. Is that the case again this year?

        Thanks a lot.

        15 Replies
        1. re: pbergen

          I've been buying fresh, local strawberries at my local farmers' market in the Midcoast for about a week or so now.

          1. re: pbergen

            I haven't seen it yet, but it should be any day now. We did PYO berries at a local farm yesterday... so good! They really don't compare to those little red chunks that show up at the grocery store all year round.

            I'll post an update as soon as Red's starts the strawberry ice cream this year.

            1. re: sopobungalow

              Thanks guys. Please do post that update as soon as you know.

              1. re: sopobungalow

                I'm dying to know - what farm has PYO berries? I'll pick them and add them to the ice cream myself!

                Btw - Red's has a web site (!) and "email club" (!!). Who would have guessed? We get coupons for 10% off every so often via email. Sign up is here: http://www.redsdairyfreeze.com/contac....

                1. re: laurmb

                  Lots of farms have PYO. You can search on the Maine Dept. of Ag's web site:



                  1. re: Mainegal

                    Thanks, everyone! I meant to ask, though, who has them right NOW because I am impatient and having dreams of fresh berries since January. We usually pick at Jordan's when the time is right...

                    1. re: laurmb

                      Just found out Maxwell's in Cape Elizabeth is open for PYO strawberries as of Monday. I think (could be wrong) this is where Red's gets theirs, so the ice cream shouldn't be far behind.

                  2. re: laurmb

                    Another link for pick-your-own strawberries:


                    The one place on that list that we tried was Fairwinds Farm in Bowdoinham, which we liked a lot. We went there because we were in the Brunswick area anyway and it was the closest one that was open.

                    1. re: pbergen

                      Fairwinds Farm PYO anticipates it will open on Tues (6/24).

                2. re: pbergen

                  I just heard that, sadly, Red (well, the very amiable older gentleman who has owned Red's for years), died last week. That explains why Red's had a sign up saying it was closed last Thurs and Fri as we drove by late Fri returning from Cape Cod.

                  1. re: Shooley

                    You're speaking of a different Red's (wiscasset) than this thread.

                      1. re: Shooley

                        Red's in Wiscasset is supposed to remain open for business going forward, though. They were probably closed on those days due to the owner's funeral.

                        R.I.P., Red. You'll be missed. And your lobster rolls are still the best.

                        As for the Red's of this thread (Red's Dairy Freeze of South Portland), does anyone know if the strawberry soft serve ice cream and shakes are available yet? Probably starting this week, I would imagine?

                        1. re: pbergen

                          Still no strawberry; I'm thinking in the next day or two, though. And I had no idea about the email club! I need more excuses to go there like I need a hole in the head... ;)

                          1. re: pbergen

                            Yeah, I presumed that's why the Wiscasset Red's was closed. Anyway, I thought that that Red's also had homemade strawberry icecream, no? Or did I dream this?

                  2. I called them today, but no luck; just got an answering machine message saying that the strawberry ice cream will be available soon. Who knows, that could be right now. I can't check in person because I don't live anywhere near Maine, but wanted to find out in advance so that I could time my trip to the area with the availability of this dessert.

                    If strawberry season in Maine this year started at the same time as last year, then I assume the special dessert is available right now.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pbergen

                      Still nothing as of about 3 pm today. Should be any day now... Maxwell's, the farm where they get their berries, opened for PYO on Monday. So I'm not sure what the holdup is.

                      1. re: sopobungalow

                        I don't want to seem like a Red's stalker but... I was there today and asked. They said it should be out next week.

                    2. Just got an email from Reds saying the strawberry ice cream is available. Enjoy!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: laurmb

                        Great news, thanks for the update!

                      2. Is this year's strawberry soft serve available yet? It's right about that time of year...

                        Thanks in advance.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: freshfigs

                          Great timing - I just got the email about 20 minutes ago! So, yes, it's available. Given the absolutely lousy weather, though, I'd expect that it's gonna go even faster than usual this year. (All the rain means the berries are getting moldy and rotting very quickly.)

                          1. re: sopobungalow

                            Excellent news - thanks for the update!

                            1. re: sopobungalow

                              Thank you. I was heading to Portland on June 30 and managed to get to Red's the very next day. Very tasty, fresh strawberry flavor. A bit subtle perhaps for my taste but so much better than what passes for "strawberry" elsewhere. Thanks so much for helping me to find this place!

                              1. re: jhberkley

                                I'm heading up to Portalnd this weekend - will the amazing strawberry soft serve be gone by then?

                                1. re: Christie

                                  Take a drive out to Toot's Farm in Yarmouth for some delicious strawberry ice cream. Len Libby's on route 1 in Scarborough is pretty good, too.

                          2. Does anyone know if the strawberry soft serve is available right now (June 2012) at Red's Dairy Freeze? It's usually offered around this time of year, but unfortunately I have not been able to get in touch with the folks at Red's via phone (answering machine every time) or email (no response).

                            I checked the Facebook page for Maxwell's Farm, and it seems that their PYO strawberries are available as of yesterday:


                            Since Red's gets its strawberries from Maxwell's, you'd have to think that the strawberry soft serve should be ready any day now. But it seems that there's sometimes a bit of a lag between the initial availability of the strawberries at Maxwell's vs. when the strawberry soft serve is actually offered at Red's.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: freshfigs

                              Strawberry soft serve is available at Red's today! I had one an hour ago--

                              1. re: sultanaboudreau

                                Great, thanks for the update! Appreciate it.

                                1. re: freshfigs

                                  Btw, I just noticed that the Facebook page for Red's Dairy Freeze was updated earlier today with a photo of fresh strawberries, which confirms sultanaboudreau's report of the strawberry soft serve being available: