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Jun 1, 2008 12:04 PM

Toscanini's vs. Christina's

Pros? Cons? Your favorite?

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  1. Used to be Toscanini's for their grapenut but now it is Christina's for their sweet cream.
    I feel that since T's branched out [selling to local stores etc] their quality diminished. Also, to me but this is purely conjecture- they seem more sweet and cloying than they had before.

    Part of it too is attitude amongst servers...
    Christinia's is pretty steady- very businessy. People doing their job, Professionally.
    But heck- it is an ice cream shoppe! They are nice but a little more heart would be lovely to see. After all- kids so look forward to a cone there!

    Toscanini's can vary depending on depth of young person hired. Sometimes very cool, sometimes too cool.

    As far as the real deal, bottom line-
    To my not expert ice cream palate- Christinia's uses more authentic flavors, their ice cream is creamier & there seems to be more pure ingredients. I think their flavors are more unique and interesting.

    This of course, is just my taste buds talking and I am not an ice cream pro. My daughter is however, and she votes for Christinia's.

    The neighborhood is nicer too, to hang out while eating your ice cream. Too bad for all the construction in front of Toscanini's because it is off putting.

    Both are pretty quality. Maybe it should come down to- do they offer the flavor you like best?

    1 Reply
    1. re: miiki

      I agree--they are both top quality and to a large extent it depends what flavor you want (and how you like each one's interpretation of your favorites). That said, I'm in the Toscanini's camp. Partly because of the service--I find the employees at T's to be a trip, really sweet for the most part--and at Christina's it's ALL business and to my mind quite grim. Get in-get the hell out (and don't let your curiosity get the best of you--there's an official two-tastes-per-customer policy. I mean a <I>policy</I>!).
      Make no mistake: they are the two best ice cream purveyors around (my physically distant next favorite is the Juice Bar on Nantucket) by a wide, wide margin.
      Christina's had a fantastic Turkish Delight for years. Been gone for a while now.
      T's has a bourbon-black pepper flavor lately that is ridiculously good.

    2. Christina's. Tosci's lost my business when they started serving chronically icy ice cream, and then had that whole tax debacle. The seating/atmosphere at Tosci's is better, of course. The ice cream (and the free water) is better at Christina's.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I frankly doubted that this debate would have any traction, as it's been hashed about much before. But if we're talking about it, I'd have to say that Tosci's is a clear favorite. I'm not wild about the service, but the ice cream is better, has clearer flavors, and a much better mouthfeel. Also, their hot fudge is state-of-the-art, and they whip their own cream. A sundae at Tosci's is as good as it gets.

          1 Reply
          1. re: winedude

            I wasn't able to try the other places on my recent trip, but I can vouch for the hot fudge and whipped cream at Toscanini's. I love love love places that make their own whipped cream. Though I have to say that the guy put less whipped cream on mine than another server put on my friend's sundae, and when I pouted about it he didn't fix it!
            I mean I was joking, but only halfway.

          2. Oh yeah, as a second choice to Toscanini's, I'd take Herrell's over Christina, BTW.

            11 Replies
            1. re: winedude

              Emack and Bolio's
              JP Licks
              in that order for me. Like them all, really.

              1. re: hungryone

                Geez, I always wince when I hear Emack & Bolio up there -- I just never thought their base mix made the cut. And yet hounds with otherwise discriminating ice cream palates often include them. I would honestly like to hear a little patter about specific appeals of E&B...?

                I mean, ice cream, I like 'em all. Herrell's is my top though. Also enjoying Richardsons over at the Davis Square theatre.

                1. re: Avid Rita

                  hungryone's list includes JP Licks. This is a strongly discrediting factor.

                  1. re: Luther

                    You would take the word of someone that likes Richardson's Ice Cream sitting at a movie theatre for who knows how long over JP Licks? It was on my list but not near the top. It has some good flavors. I think it is over rated in general. I think Christina's is way over rated but it's in Cambridge and seems to give it a leg up for reasons unknown.

                    1. re: hungryone

                      There is some virulent hating on this board towards JP Licks and I've never understood why. I can see not liking them as much as some others, tastes vary and all, but I truly don't get the violence of opinion about JP Licks.

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        Me either. Save your hate for Coldstone, man.

                        1. re: BostonCookieMonster

                          i second that. regardless of one's favorite being Emack, Jp licks, Toscanini's etc., be thankful we have such a range of choices and aren't dependent on coldstone...which seems to be trying ever so hard to invade all of boston ala starbucks.

                        2. re: Allstonian

                          Well, there are a lot of them, and they're only OK.

                          In JP we have them and Emack's (kind of) and I am not crazy about either of them. Usually we just get Toscanini's from the Co-op.

                          1. re: Allstonian

                            It makes me sad when I eat it. This is not the desired effect of ice cream.

                              1. re: Allstonian

                                It is very sweet and goopy, but not very fatty. It's like ice cream that's trying to be sorbet or something. I like when ice cream makes me feel fortified with dairy fat, not laden down with sugar.