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Kimballs Carlisle - pretty bad ice cream

I took my 9 year old son and his friend to Kimballs in Carlisle for ice cream. Both kids threw their ice cream out w/out even eating half of it.

Now when two, hot, hungry boys pitch their ice cream, you know it's gotta be bad. A cup of choc chip cookie dough and one of m&m vanilla at $3 each, in the trash.

I did the same. I had gotten a child's size of strawb/blueberry/cheesecake and I think I picked out one strawb and two blueberries. There was no cheesecake flavor and the vanilla (?) base ice cream wasn't very good.

Last year, the ice cream was fine. Guess we'll have to trek over to Bedford Farms from now on.

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  1. I love kimballs in westford. Much better ice cream then bedford farms, which doesnt even make their own ice cream anyways.

    I never get any of the flavors you did though.

    Maybe they threw out 1/2 their ice creams because they were so big? Or maybe just not good flavor choices? I dunno..

    My favorites there.
    Chocolate peanut butter
    Gingersnap molassas (seasonal)
    Peanutbutter cup
    Coffee oreo

    All those usually have practically too much candy, cookies and stuff in them as opposed to not enough like your saying.

    1. Must have been an off night there. I've been there well over 100 times in my life and I've never had anything remotely bad there. I'd give it another shot.

      What night did you go? We were there on Wednesday evening and had some great ice cream that night (chocolate raspberry swirl and mocha almond).

      2 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        I took the boys this afternoon. On a visit earlier this month, my son was dissatisfied with his cookies 'n cream -- not many cookies, unlike last year when there were lots of oreo pieces. This day, he got cookie dough and there were two small pieces of dough in a children's size serving. His friend got m&m and there weren't many candies in it. Even a child's size is pretty large, here, and there's no excuse for the lack of goodies in the ice cream.

        We've gone to K's for over 12 years and this is the worst it's ever been. I've had much better ice cream at Bedford Farms, this season.


        1. re: three of us

          I took my son there on Friday, and he barely touched his ice cream. It was mint chocolate chip with maybe four or five chips. Very minty, though -- but more chocolate would have been nice.

      2. I have only been to the Westford location. I must say that when I lived in the immediate area, I didn't necessarily appreciate the ice cream. I was a Herrell's, Toscanini's, super-premium consumer all the way. A couple of years later, I had Kimball's chocolate chip, and it was filled with chips, nice and creamy, and had a flavorful vanilla-flavored base. Many just have a sweet cream, bland base. Also, I can eat a little bit more of this ice cream than the super-premium that I still love. I have a new appreciation for a cone from Kimball's, almost a different animal than a Herrell's chocolate pudding. Both are worthy, but serve different ends.

        A little over a week ago, I had a decent, reasonably-priced lobster roll from the Westford Kimball's, and then had a chocolate chip cone for dessert. The ice cream was filled with chocolate chips. It was all good, and the biggest problem that I faced was wishing that the kiddy cone was even smaller!

        Maybe there is a quality-control issue between Westford and Carlisle.

        I really haven't loved the Bedford Farms ice cream. It tastes pre-fab to me, with flavors that are found in lots of pre-fab places. Not bad. but not worth the calories. I guess each to his/her own.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bear

          I think BF serves richardsons icecream, Im not a fan either.

          Sounds like Carlisle is different then Westford. For some reason i thought all the ice cream was made in westford and distributed among the 3 locations, guess i was wrong.

          I had mint choc chip a few weeks ago in westford and certaintly was more then 4-5 chips. Couldnt take a bite without a couple.

          Like bear said, usually i find they are too big and too many chips/candies. The peanut butter cup icecream must have a whole bag of peanut butter cups just in a small. Whole ones!

          1. re: hargau

            Bedford Farms serves a mix of Richardson's and their own, I believe. The Mocha Chip and Vanilla are their own, and very good.

            1. re: raddoc

              Nope, nothing there is their own - they sell Richardsons, Bliss Brothers, and maybe one other, but they don't make their own.

        2. I'v grown so very tired of the Kimballs and Richardson's monopoly on ice cream in this neck of the woods. Every little stand that I come across says "homemade" ice cream and the lowdown is that its Richardsons. Blech... icey, freeezer burn, fake flavors.

          In Lowell (2 locations is Gary's Ice Cream) He's been around for 25 or so years and makes his own hot fudge. This is the holy grail for me .... Its rich, dark, and not the typical "smucker's style" found everywhere else. His Ice cream is truly made in-house. Lovely creamy textures and flavors.

          In Wakefield, Meletharb's again is excellent homemade, creamy quality with a terrific selection of flavors. Lately, these are the only two I hit up. Even Rancatore's in Lexington has served up a scoop of icey, freezer flavors. Been so disappointed with Rancatores that I've written them off. Check Gary's or Meletharb's. Pretty Decent.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Buddernut

            Where is Gary's? Never run across it, but I'd like to try it!
            What do you think of Sullivan's, in Tyngsborough?

            1. re: raddoc

              I was just at Gary's tonight and had a Hot Fudge Sundae with my elderly mother. THere's fudge all over my car... well worth it. Gary's has a website with direction links. I go the the E. Chelmsford one on Gorham St. . I just follow Rte. 3A through Billerica, bearing right at the Harley Dealer and Gary's is a mile or two up the road. I always thought this location was Lowell, but I guess is E.Chelmsford. Its really on the Lowell Line. Go to www.garysicecream.com. I love the Grapenut Custard ice cream. But I did Vanilla softserve with my fudge tonight..... ahhhh, D-Q style !!

          2. I've never been to Kimball's, but have been to Bedford Farms many times and have never considered their ice cream to be particularly good. Good enough to eat (I've never found ice cream that isn't!), but not worth going out of my way for.

            1. Al right, I know I had said good things about Kimball's last week, but over the past few days I have had better ice cream at two places--Bubbling Brook in Westwood (black raspberry w/ chocolate chips) and Gray's in Tiverton, RI (ginger).

              I still like Kimball's a lot, but perhaps it is no longer on my list of favorites....

              1. Well we went to Westford Kimballs last night, great as usual.
                I have choc. peanut butter, tons of peanut butter in it. GF had swiss almond which she said had plenty of choc coated almonds in it.

                The minature golf course is looking better then ever, the landscaping is amazing and has grown in a lot. I think its the nicest mini golf i have ever seen and i have been to lots of fancy ones on the jersey shore, florida, etc..

                1. I was at Kimball's last night and got a small (read: pint) cone, half grapenut, half malted moo fudge. The grapenut was fantastic: rich, creamy, extra-good vanilla base. There were plenty of grapenuts, but they weren't too evenly dispersed. The malted moo fudge was fine, but I wished I'd gotten all grapenut. There was barely a taste of malt, and, again, there were two huge globs of fudge in it (like 2 tbsp. each), but it wasn't swirled throughout.

                  So maybe the problem is that they're really uneven with the mix-ins; some folks get a bag of candy with some ice cream mixed in and others get lots of ice cream with a few meager morsels.

                  Earlier in the week I had a cone at Toscanini's, half coffee, half malted vanilla. The flavors were great, fresh and authentic, but the texture was a bit grainy in spots in both flavors. Again, it seemed to be a homogeneity issue. I'd never had anything but stellar ice cream at Toscanini's, but even the best have bad days. Of the four flavors, the Kimball's grapenut was the standout. Despite the imperfections, I'll be going back to both. Often.

                  1. Finally made it to Kimball's in Carlisle for the first time this season, and my standard order (kiddie cup of peppermint stick with jimmies) was as good as ever, packed with red and green peppermint sticks.

                    1. I can sympathize with your dissatisfaction with Kimball's (i.e. Bates Farm) in Carlisle. I was there recently for an ice cream cone and thought it had minimal flavor. My favorite spot for ice cream on the north shore is Meadowlands on the Tewksbury/S. Lowell/N. Billerica line. Home-made, rich, and delicious. I've been going there for 20 years and have not found a better tasting ice cream in Massachusetts. Pretty setting, too.

                      1. I took my son to Kimball's in Westford with the agreement he write a paragraph comparing Carlisle and Westford locations. His comments follow:

                        The Kimballs in Westford has great ice cream but it was light on the oreos and I found a hair in it. But I still recommend it strongly. It is my second favorite place after the coffee oreo at Bedford Farms. I don't like going to Kimballs in Carlisle because there are not enough oreos in the ice cream.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: three of us

                          Oh my Goodness! An essay requirement for ice cream.... brilliant! From the mouths of babes. Almost makes me wish my kids were still young.

                          Thank your son for his honest and useful review from all of us.

                          1. re: three of us

                            Yes, please convey appreciation for his incisive review. You have obviously raised a very forgiving and open-minded son, who would strongly recommend food (even ice cream) with hair in it!

                            By the way, a friend and I had another great round of ice cream at Kimball's in Carlisle this weekend. Grapenut and Pistachio.