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Loard's Ice Cream, El Cerrito

adrienne156 Jan 26, 2009 08:42 PM

Growing up in Lafayette, every day after volleyball practice I could look forward to one of two things: either a small sugar cone of Loard's mint chocolate chip, rich mint ice cream riddled with tiny rich shards of dark chocolate, or a velvety scoop of rocky road full of actual pieces of walnut and recognizable hunks of marshmallow. It could just be nostalgia, but man was that good ice cream.

I thought a subsequent job at Baskin Robbins and the popularity of Cold Stone had effectively killed my love of ice cream, but I can't believe how excited I am that Loard's might be making a come back. In the EC Plaza in the old Cold Stone venue next to Starbucks. I just pray that they at least make it through next Christmas because their peppermint ice cream is a beautiful thing.

  1. k
    kc72 Jan 26, 2009 08:45 PM

    Thanks.. any idea when ColdStone closed? Looks like there will be a Loard's in Pinole Spring 09 also.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kc72
      adrienne156 Jan 26, 2009 08:53 PM

      One near home and one near work? Oh, no.

      Don't know when they closed... Very recently. I just noticed the new sign in EC this morning.

      1. re: adrienne156
        rworange Jan 28, 2009 05:20 PM

        Loard's is opened. I stopped by today.

        They also serve crepes and waffles. There were a few browines, some uninspiring looking cookies and a box of their chocolates.

        But it is mainly ice cream.

        I finally chose the burgandy cherry which wasn't bad. Better than Baskin Robbins or Dreyers though that is not saying myc. Not sure how it compares to Bud's. or Mitchell's.

        Tried the avocado which is horrid ... skip it. You know something is bad when you want to toss your tiny sample. Didn't get a good enough feel from the small sample of the pumpkin to know if I'd like a whole scoop. It seemed to have nice spices.

        Very nice owner or manager (I assume).

        Much better than the Coldstone creamery it replaced.

        Sun-Thu 11 am - 10 pm
        Fri-Sat 11 am - 11 pm

        Loard's Ice Cream
        3080 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito, CA 94530

        1. re: rworange
          adrienne156 Jan 29, 2009 10:12 AM

          Ten plus years ago, I remember liking the rocky road, peppermint (only found during the holidays), the mango which had nice chunks of actual fruit in it, and the mint with chocolate sprinkles (don't remember the exact name, but they weren't chips). Will try to go today.

          1. re: adrienne156
            adrienne156 Jan 30, 2009 10:05 AM

            Ok, so I stopped by late last night with a friend and ended up trying the mango, avocado (had to), burgandy cherry, ube, and halo halo before settling on the rocky road and mango. Not the best combo together, but that's what I wanted. The avocado absolutely was terrible (slightly nutty aftertaste, tasted mostly like freezer) and I didn't like the burgandy cherry, either. It had that odd cherry cough syrup aftertaste to it. The rocky road wasn't as creamy as I would have liked, but as I remembered there were mini marshmallows and pieces of walnut. The mango was very creamy with a nice ripe mango aftertaste and little pieces of mango throughout. I would have liked a stronger mango flavor, but oh well. The highlight by far was the ube. Although I tend to shy away from food that is brightly colored (if you go, you'll see what I mean), friend asked for a taste, rolled her eyes after trying it, and shoved the spoon in my mouth. Fantastic. I had never heard of ube before so the owner explained that it was a type of yam that is popular in Asia and mixed with sugar and made into desserts. To me, it tasted like a mixture of coconut milk and toasted coconut. For $4, I got two HUGE scoops and was only able to finish half. Next time I go, I'm ordering a kid scoop of the ube, one of the mango, and some kind of citrusy sorbet and splitting it with a friend.

            About the other locations, the very nice owner said they were working on the "Pinole location" which is actually to go in the Raley's Shopping Center on San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante and not 100% for sure. A Walnut Creek location will be going up before then.

    2. rworange Jan 26, 2009 09:37 PM

      It looks like Loard's is expanding its empire big-time

      1. PegS Jan 27, 2009 09:04 AM

        I have such fond memories of Loard's from childhood. In my case it was the Fremont/Union City border branch. It would be lovely if they opened up one in EC and if it retained any of the charm of the old stores. In looking at their Web site, I had no idea there were still so many around.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PegS
          Agent 510 Jan 27, 2009 01:46 PM

          I keep seeing Loard's locations all over the Bay Area, and if they're coming to EC, I may finally have to give them a try. It looks like this will be their first location in the East Bay north of Alameda.

          There used to be a Loard's in Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek (replacing the Ghirardelli store), but that's closed.

          1. re: Agent 510
            kc72 Jan 27, 2009 02:47 PM

            I think there used to be a place in Kensington that either was a Loard's or sold Loard's back in the 90s(?).

        2. Foodrat Jan 30, 2009 10:53 AM

          My favorite flavors at Loard's are butter brickle, butterscotch marble and the pineapple coconut. YUM! I've been going to the one in Alameda since childhood...

          1. b
            bunnysitter Feb 2, 2009 06:40 PM

            Four of us dropped in for ice cream after a satisfying meal at the newly re-modeled La Bamba (brand new kitchen, new paint, prices are slightly higher, same folks are pleasant, but slow service - )

            Loard's is a wonderful addition the the Plaza. We had the halo halo, mocha chip, burgundy cherry and walnut after numerous free tastings. The owners are very personable (Berkeley High alumnis). We mentioned that no advertising was evident and he stressed that they're taking time to properly train the staff. I didn't see their bubble tea menu as it was on the opposite wall from the ice cream, but I will definitely try it next.

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