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Ice cream questions

Since it's summer and to me that means ice cream becomes a daily staple, I've been wondering about some ice cream places around town. I love the yogurt at Truly Yogurts in Wellesley and I recently tried the ice cream. It was delicious- very creamy and flavorful. Someone recently told me that they get their ice cream from Richardsons. I was surprised to hear this because I've also heard that Cabot's in Newton gets their ice cream from Richardson's as well. I have avoided Cabot's for the past few years since their ice cream seemed tasteless to me last time I was there. Can anyone clear this up for me? How can two places serving the same ice cream be so different? Did Cabot's just start getting ice cream from Richardsons?

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  1. I've always heard that Cabot's made their own ice cream, so if they're getting it from Richardson's it must be something new.
    Have you tried any other ice cream places lately? Anything great?

    3 Replies
    1. re: jillso

      I've been on a mission to find amazing ice cream in Boston but I haven't found it yet. I grew up around here but went to college in Ohio where I had some of the best ice cream of my life. Nothing I have found in Boston can compare. I tried Christina's but exotic flavors don't matter to me if the ice cream isn't creamy and delicious. I like Richardson's but it's still not as good as Ohio ice cream. I've had to turn to soft serve. As for the waffle cones, I think Emack and Bolio's make their own cones.

      1. re: Queen Frostine

        I've had Graeter's ice cream, the best parlor style ice cream Cincinnati has to offer, on several occasions -- it's really rich, full flavored, and creamy, and would be among Boston's best if they were located here. But excellent as it is, Graeter's isn't better than Toscanini's, Herrell's, or Emack and Bolio's, which I think are the best in the Boston area.

        1. re: bachslunch

          I still have to try Toscanini's and Herrells. I do love Emack's. But if anyone has had Mitchell's ice cream from Cleveland, they'll know what I'm talking about. It's even better than Graeter's.

    2. I am looking for a place that serves fresh waffle cones at their ice cream parlour: fresh warm cones with full flavour and give to it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kopenhavn

        I won't say that you can't find what you want. It might be out there. But I have lived in the Boston area for (gulp!) more than 35 years and can't remember getting ice cream anywhere that made cones to go with it. Here the emphasis is on the ice cream itself.

        At the old Steve's (near Davis Square and long gone), it was all about the ice cream, churned (at least some of it was) in an old machine displayed in the store window. And there were the smooosh-ins too.

        At Toscanini's, it is all about the flavors... the endlessly creative flavors.

        Same thing at Rancatore's. It's the ice cream and the flavors. It's near where I live and where I most frequently indulge. (I get my scoops in a cup.)

        I've never been to Christina's, so I can't speak to what makes that ice cream so good.

        However much I like Ranc's, and Toscanini's, and fondly remember Steve's, maybe the most special ice cream experiences (for me anyway) are found on a summer day out at a traditional ice cream stand located at the dairy... or at least where the dairy used to be. Kimball Farm in Carlisle comes to mind. There's something about the ice cream melting onto your hand, the picnic tables, the kids running around... It is innocent, it is summer, it is pure New England.

        1. re: kopenhavn

          White Mountain Creamery in Wellesley (and other locations, I believe) serves fresh waffle cones.

          1. re: kopenhavn

            Ben & Jerry's in the Garage in Harvard Square makes its own waffle cones. I've watched them being made there. I don't know about the other B&J locations.

            1. re: Velda Mae

              This is interesting. Obviously I do not go out for ice cream enough! (But I do make it from scratch at home...) OTOH, so far the places that make their own cones are chains. That's not to say that the ice cream is not good; it's just not the make-a-special-trip-to-the-one-location kind!

          2. Cabot's has gotten their ice cream from Richardson's for at least the last 5 years and maybe a lot longer than that.

            1. You have to go to Lil 'N Chicks in Saugus off the Fellsway. The owner makes everything right there - fresh and very different flavors of ice cream, gelato, and sorbet. it is a darling little place. You won't be disappointed, let me tell you.

              1. Benson's on Rt 133 in West Boxford (very close to North Andover line) makes ice cream from fresh local fruit - I imagine that right now, it's peaches and blueberries. A small place, but very worth the drive. On 3A in Tyngsboro (by the bridge) is Sullivan's, which also makes their own and has more variety than Benson's, but little in the way of fruit flavors. I no longer go for cones, since most everywhere, even the kiddie size is an obscenely large portion. The cup allows you to take most of it home, if you come prepared with a cooler.

                2 Replies
                1. re: greygarious

                  Benson's is great, heard a downhill-alert about them last season but haven't been yet since then. Hope to get there soon, you're right it's worth the trip. Nearby just outside of Haverhill, Carter's is excellent, and the New England Microcreamery in Haverhill serves up good fresh stuff, too. Richardson's is a hop-skip-and a jump from these places so it's a deadly area to be roaming around in if you're watching your waist.

                  Anyone else think that Richardson's Ice Cream tastes a lot better at their shop than at any of the locations that they sell it to? Freshness or something?

                  1. re: jillso

                    Benson's was fantastic when I went there a few years ago -- I hope the quality hasn't changed!

                    I'm glad you reminded me of the place-- this is definitely the right time to visit them-- their peach and blueberry ice cream is fabulous (and I don't generally like fruit flavors)

                2. I'll toss my vote in for Peaceful Meadows in Whitman, Middleboro, and Plymouth. The Whitman location is the best. You can walk through their dairy barn to see the cows being milked and usually play with the new calves. That location also has a nice big grassy area to lay out a blanket and eat your ice cream on.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scorp508

                    I'm a big fan of this place as well.

                    Extra Thick Coffee Frappe, Please!

                  2. Well, Queen Frostine (or anyone else)....did you try anything extraordinary this summer? Time to stock up for winter!

                    1. I must say that the ice cream in Boston was just fair given the honor to Boston's association of ice cream. I read some where on my promenades around town that Boston was America's ice cream city.

                      Well, I tried Ron's, Richardson's, Toscanini's, Christina's and even E & B. They were all just fine, but not noteworthy. Moreover, I do not believe that putting best in the world outside Toscanini says much to me, but points mockingly at the owner's notion of what it truly is to be number one. Mind you, they are exciting like Christina's with flavors, but what makes ice-cream truly wonderful may be at the sight of the eye of the beholder or the taste of the tongue of the beholder may I say.

                      You have all got to try the variety of regional Italian, French and Indian sub-continental ice-cream. It will tell you how ice-cream ought to be.

                      11 Replies
                        1. re: kopenhavn

                          Next time I am on the sub-continents I will definitely give it a try!
                          Do you know any good Delhis? ;-)

                          1. re: kopenhavn

                            I've had Berthillon's ice cream in Paris. It's wonderful, but not monstrously better than that in Boston's best spots.

                            And in case you missed it, we do have gelato places in Boston, with Gelateria in the North End being a particularly worthy example.

                            kopenhavn, on another thread, didn't you say you were in Boston only a couple days? If so, I'm seriously wondering how you got to all these ice cream places, in addition to the "cheap" spots on that other thread, in so short a time. Richardson's is in Middleton (an outer suburb) and Ron's is in Hyde Park and a bit of a chore to find. Is that the aroma of vintage trolling I smell?

                            1. re: bachslunch

                              I was in Boston from Aug 27th to Sep 4th. I ate all that ice cream that I mentioned and Napoli Pastry's gelato on Salem St and Gigi gelateria on Hanover as well. I liked Napoli the best.

                              What is your favorite ice cream in Boston, Cambridge and anywhere else in the world. Please give me your top 10 ice creams in the world. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but what do you think might count in your top 10.

                              1. re: kopenhavn

                                All time favorite- lavender and honey ice cream from a little shop in Mill Valley, CA whose name I can't remember. Anyone seen any lavender ice cream around here?

                                Around here, I really like JP Lick's cake batter with oreo cookies mixed in.

                                1. re: Parsnipity

                                  That sounds great...Christina's has flower flavors from time to time, usually in the summer. I had rose a few weeks ago - I think lavender was still on the board at that point.

                                  1. re: Parsnipity

                                    Will they mix toppings into the ice cream?

                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                        Oh, I meant, for JP Licks' cake batter/oreo. I'm a total purist, too, otherwise. :)

                                  2. re: kopenhavn

                                    kopenhavn, thanks for the clarification -- much appreciated.

                                    Fair enough. Any list of the best ice creams I've personally had would have to include Berthillon (Paris), Vivoli (Florence), Tre Scalini (Rome, specifically their tartufo ice cream ball), Graeter's (Cincinnati), and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (Brooklyn) as well as Toscanini's (Cambridge) and Herrell's (Boston). That's seven I can think of off hand.

                                    Locally, I also like Emack & Bolio's, Ron's, Richardson's, and Gelateria, and am not very taken with another board fave, Christina's. Swenson's in San Francisco, and the Philadelphia trio of Bassett's, Capogiro, and Franklin Fountain were good, but a notch down for me.

                                    As they say, your mileage may vary.