HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >

Discussion

MSP: IZZY'S ICE CREAM

We went to Izzy's on Marshall last night. This was our first trip to Izzy's. We tried their coconut, salty caramel, pumpkin, mascopone flavors. The texture of their ice cream is good. The coconut had no flavor at all. The mascopone had no flavor at all. The pumpkin was good. It had a spicy pumpkin taste, The salty caramel was okay. Their ice cream is in no way worth the ridiculous prices they charge. Nelson's in Stillwater has far better flavor in their ice cream and Nelson's prices are by far a better value. We paid $9.72 for two single scoops at Izzy's. One in a cone, one in a cup. It is Nelson's for ice cream in the Twin cities for us.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Oh, heavens no! First a post about Punch (albeit positive) and now a negative salvo at the beloved Izzy's!?! You might have just opened the gates of hell.

    Intriguing stuff -- first, the obvious need for me to return to Stillwater some day and try Nelson's. Frankly, I haven't been through there since before the enforcement of the noise ordinance. I just had enough of having nice, relaxing summer days destroyed by the endless, uninterrupted rage of motorcycle exhaust noise. Great ice cream is more than reason enough to head back.

    The other intriguing aspect, to me, is wondering if this is another subtle hint that Izzy's may be in a decline. I posted last fall about their trend towards inattention to variety of flavors offered -- you would go in and there would be all kinds of nearly identical wacky flavors and nothing chocolate based and/or none of their most popular flavors, including the previous winners of their annual contest. On top of that, I've also had a couple scoops that just weren't up to their previous quality. Hmmm....

    That said, aside from the above, they're still my favorite ice cream place in town, of those that I've tried. The day I went in there and they were having their solar panel dedication event and the Bobby Flay "Throwdown", the dish of ice cream I had was the single best I've had anywhere, ever. Back when I lived nearby and they were just a single, retail joint, I never had anything that was less than delicious.

    I'll be curious to see how things pan out this summer. Sorry you didn't have a great experience there Mike.

    9 Replies
    1. re: MSPD

      I do think the flavor assortment at Izzy's is a bit strange. I don't quite see why they need to have no less than 3 (sometimes 5) different coffee ice cream flavors on hand at once.

      I had a chance to try the salted caramel recently, and I like it. I don't think it's quite the transcendent experience that some make it out to be. I was hoping for more of a dulce de leche experience, with a caramel ribbon or nuggets or similar pleasures, but the flavor is good for what it is.

      1. re: Jordan

        The flavor assortment at Izzy's goes up and down with the seasons - it's winter now, and their hours are limited, so there aren't as many flavor selections. I, too, question the need for so many coffee flavors, but people must like them all, because Izzy's seems to focus on the popular flavors.

        By the way, Izzy's makes a dulce de leche ice cream, too. That's what I came home with when they were out of salted caramel the other week. It's very good, with hints - just tiny hints - of caramel blobs. But me, I prefer the salted caramel, as I am a salt fiend.

        Anne

        1. re: Jordan

          We also had the salted caramel for the first time at Masa on Saturday. They have a 3 scoop trio of a cinnamon orange that's made specifically for them, berries and cream, and salted caramel.

          While all the flavors were good, the salted caramel was the best. However, I agree that I was hoping more for a vanilla-ish base with caramel ribbon through it, maybe with bits of salt for texture (if they wouldn't dissolve into the ice cream I guess). We enjoyed the dessert as a whole very much, but I don't think I'd run over to Izzy's for any of them.

        2. re: MSPD

          No, Izzy's isn't in a decline.

          MIKELOCK34 clearly prefers the commercial style of ice cream at Nelson's. It's great, but it's a very different type of ice cream. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Nelson's is summer only; you eat your cone outside, then rinse off with a hose when you're done. How can you beat the charm of that? And the portions are enormous.

          To each his own. Me, I prefer the lower-sugar, obscenely-high-in-butterfat, premium style of Izzy's. But isn't it wonderful that the area has both Nelson's and Izzy's?

          Anne

          1. re: AnneInMpls

            Not sure how you know our personal preferences in ice cream, however we much prefer high quality premium ice cream over the commercial stuff offered in most grocery stores and most retail ice cream shops. Izzy's simply isn't that great of an ice cream product. As stated above, two of their "flavors" were completely tasteless. That has nothing to do with any personal preference. The texture of their ice cream is nice, but we have had much better at places that have great texture and great taste together while traveling in other places. Again, Izzy's prices are not justified by the quality of their product.

            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Before I read your post, I was thinking about why I like some ice creams more than others. And for me, some ice creams are just too sugary sweet. Some people like it that way, some like ice creams with less sugar. Maybe these differences in taste are at the root of things.

              1. re: karykat

                My favorite ice creams so far are those served with tasting menus at various restaurants in NYC. All of the "best" ice creams I have had came from those. The best that I have ever tried was served with course twenty-one with a tasting menu at Le Bernardin in NYC. That course was a platter consisting of seven fresh passionfruit based desserts. Four of the desserts included freshly made passionfruit ice cream. That ice cream was unbelievably incredible. I was only served that one time there though. The other tasting menus that I have had there always had other desserts. Hopefully they will do that ice cream again sometime when I am there.

                1. re: MIKELOCK34

                  The situation or circumstances could not have contributed to your preference either? I mean an ice cream cone on a cold Feb/March day would be pretty near freezing in temperature muting any taste you are able to perceive. Try again on a hot day or don't.

                  1. re: bigchow

                    We ate the ice cream inside. We will not be back.

          2. This isn't about Izzy's but I figured I'd bump up the latest ice cream post to report that Pumphouse Creamery is now selling a sea salt, caramel and praline ice cream. My husband had a taste and said it was absolutely delicious and he thought it had sea salt crystals still in it. I didn't have anything since just last night I had a crazy indulgent carrot cake with goat cheese frosting at Blackbird, but next time I've been without dessert for more than 24 hours I'll head over to Pumphouse to try it. I'd love to see how it compares to Izzy's similar flavor.

            6 Replies
              1. re: steakhound

                Here is a Places link:

                -----
                Pumphouse Creamery
                4754 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              2. re: katebauer

                I was just at Pumphouse Creamery and had the sea-salt-caramel-praline-pecan ice cream, and it is fantastic. I am regretting every pint of Haagen-Dazs I've bought in the last several months -- I should have been going to Pumphouse instead. Organic, local, AND delicious.

                1. re: fendel

                  I'm so so much with the delicious part. Chowspouse and I had some there last summer and came away the the impression of the old grocery store ice milk in terms of texture - watery and grainy; not at all smooth or creamy. We did like that they weren't sickly sweet, but it's definitely not worth going out of our way for.

                2. re: katebauer

                  Do you think the sea salt, caramel, and praline ice cream is a limited edition, or will it be around for a little while? I won't be in MSP until August, but I"d love to try it!

                  1. re: prasantrin

                    I think that's one of her better sellers, so it's usually there. I am on the fence as far as her flavors go-- sometimes I just seem to want a bit more of a... flavor punch, I guess. But I go for the full flavored foods generally, not as much for subtlety.

                3. Thanks for your frank review, Mike. I, too, think Izzy's is over-rated and very overpriced. They do have some nice flavors, but don't, IMO, warrant their reputation. I like some of Sonny's ice creams better, but they have a bit of the same issue.

                  1. My sis and I have been going between Izzy's and Grand Ole Creamery for 2 years now, and both of us still like Grand Ole Creamery, even though I live within walking distance of Izzy's. We haven't nailed down the details, but it's a consensus and agreement between the two of us and we don't reach that point on any single item we talk about very often in life so...for what it's worth, Grand Ole Creamery is where we head (est. 1984), AND bigger than that...they have the popular flavours available all the time, where as Izzy's plays "hard to get" with favorites like salted caramel, etc.

                    1. Well in honor of Spring I set out to Izzie's today (in my neighborhood, so I thought it was time) I tried a bite of hot brown sugar ( I think that's what it was, I don't remember)I ran into my teacher friend and her husband, and she said I should get it. It tasted like creme brulee on steroids-it had cayenne pepper in it, which worked. She ordered two pints and said it was her favorite. I am not a huge fan of spicy mixed with sweet, but I ordered my kiddie cone of it, and was happy. My thirteen year old neice got the cake batter, which tasted like cake batter (which I don't even lick off the spoon-raw dough has never excited me) She loved it, but I wasn't impressed. I had an "izzie" of coconut which was OK-to be honest, everytime I'm at Izzie's I wish I was eating a sweet cream cone at the Grand Old Creamery...the little scoop on top is what gets me in the door every time...

                      1. I agree that Izzy's seems a bit overrated, but I've never had an awful experience there. The last time I went (maybe two or three weeks ago), I specifically made the trip to get some non-dairy ice cream. But all they had were the sorbets, which I'm not terribly fond of. I got the raspberry, which tasted rather bland, with a grapefruit Izzy, which was painfully bitter (but I'm not a big grapefruit fan in the first place). In general, I was annoyed that a place that advertises soy ice creams didn't have any to choose from. And while I appreciate their adventurous flavors, I do not appreciate their prices.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: ShinyCake

                          I just have to say, I AM a big grapefruit fan and the words “painfully bitter” are enough to make my mouth water and my heart go thump- thump- thump with anticipation. I’m going to try to get over there tomorrow and get me some.

                          Uncle Ira

                          1. re: Uncle Ira

                            I agree with you on the grapefruit sorbet. It's very bitter, very adult, and extremely tasty. I might just see you there...

                            Anne

                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              My husband will be excited to know they have the grapefruit sorbet in stock. He had it for dessert many years ago at 128 Cafe and STILL tells people that it was one of the best flavors he's ever had- - that tasted just like the real thing!

                              1. re: liesel

                                Even though I am veering toward being vegan these days for my health, I'm happy to see some people liking Pumphouse- I think it's much superior to Izzy's. HOWEVER, I have noticed that some stores are now carrying Pumphouse pints, such as the Wedge, and I bought 2 different flavors and they both had major texture problems such as graininess and a very waxy mouth aftertaste. I think there may be some problems with storage or bad batches of cream or something, don't know what. I've never experienced anything but creamy and delicious product when I've been at the Pumphouse store.

                                1. re: faith

                                  Did one of the flavors have Newman's Os in it? I got a waxy ice cream cone there last summer and someone on here helped me diagnose it as the cookies in it.

                                  Twice lately I've had the chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Pumphouse. Totally wonderful.

                                  1. re: katebauer

                                    no katebauer, neither flavor had Newman's cookies in it- I think
                                    one was coconut almond and the other may have been mocha..
                                    but really, they shouldn't be selling anything intentionally with
                                    such a weird mouth feel. Actually I'm thinking it's possibly the
                                    cream they are using- I've noticed some of those fancy local
                                    heavy creams behave strangely when you try to, for example, to
                                    make whipped cream from them in a blender- almost instant
                                    butter! Maybe this is why agribusiness has flourished! yikes...

                                    1. re: katebauer

                                      Would that be chocolate ice cream with a peanut butter ribbon? I'm always looking for a good chocolate peanut butter.

                                      1. re: Uisge

                                        No, no peanut butter ribbon, it's all mixed throughout but the peanut butter flavor is distinct and not muted by the chocolate.

                          2. A couple of notes, as these threads get revived.

                            First, Izzy's raised their prices this Spring. It was either in March or April -- I go there every fourth week when I get a haircut nearby and it was one of my last two visits. I really couldn't tell you how much -- it's kind of like gas, I'm not changing my habits and probably wouldn't notice if nobody talked about it -- but what tipped me off was the two counter girls talking about "these must be the new prices...wow" and whatnot. I think a double scoop (cup) is $5.75ish. No idea what it was before.

                            Also, on another thread the Birchwood Key Lime pie flavor (at Izzy's) was mentioned. Spec-tac-u-lar! I think I truly prefer it to eating an actual key lime pie. Perfectly executed in my estimation. Unfortunately, aside from that, I was victim to another visit without any of my favorite flavors.

                            On a third note, after a few visits here and there, am I the only one that thinks it's not even an apples to apples comparison between Izzy's and Pumphouse any more? They seem like they're trying to do two completely different things. Maybe it's just me.